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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Gingered Biscuit Topping

For the cobbler:
1 pint strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1/2 pound rhubarb (2 stalks), peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into slivers

For the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons very finely chopped crystallized ginger0.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

To prepare the cobbler, place the strawberries and rhubarb in a large, heavy saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir over high heat until the sugar has started to dissolve, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the fruit has exuded some of its liquid, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the fruit and all liquid with the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the flour, lemon zest, and salt. Cool slightly, pour into a lightly buttered 1-quart baking dish, and dot with the slivers of butter.

To make the topping, preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to mix in the ginger and to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles the texture of small peas. Quickly stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a well-floured work surface, knead into a ball, and roll out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out 4 biscuits. Gather the trimmings and roll out again. Cut out 2 more biscuits.

Arrange the biscuits snugly over the fruit. Brush lightly with additional buttermilk, sprinkle with sugar, and bake until the cobbler is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
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Chocolate Guiness Ice Cream, from [info]seantaclaus
Deep Dark Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Originally posted on his lj, quoted below:

I mentioned this recipe over a month ago, and mentioned that I might post it at some point. Wait no more. Also, this is a hybrid recipe that I assembled from experimenting with combinations of other recipes-- in a couple cases, I substituted due to not having a specific ingredient, and make note of that in each case. All I ask is that if you pass it along, you give me credit (a simple link back to my LJ is fine).

1 large bottle Guiness Stout (I want to say it was something odd like 13.6oz-- someone can tell me specifically, I'm sure)
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
1 1/8 cups dutch process cocoa
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I did half and half with semi-sweet and dark chocolate)

--In a large saucepan, simmer the Guinness until reduced by 3/4 in volume, about 8 minutes (I actually let it boil down longer, until it reduced to half, as it makes for a bit richer flavor on the Guinness part). Edit: For those who don't drink and are concerned about alcohol content, the making of the Guinness reduction cooks/evaporates out the alcohol content of the Guinness.

--In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk, heavy cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium-low heat. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise; use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape out the "seeds" of the vanilla bean, stirring the seeds and bean pod into the milk/cream mixture. Simmer the milk/cream mixture over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard it or rinse and reserve for another use. (I had no vanilla bean, so I opted for more extract in it's place)

--Combine the remaining 5/8 cup sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium bowl; using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until thickened like mayonnaise.

--Measure out 1 cup of the hot milk/cream mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the cocoa mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until completely incorporated. Stir the chopped chocolate into the saucepan with the hot milk/cream. Stir the egg mixture into the hot milk/cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble a chocolate pudding (the constant stirring is extremely important at this point-- if you stop stirring it, the eggs may attempt to make the mixture congeal-- this is a BAD thing). Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl and stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming, and refrigerate until completely cooled (2 hrs. is a safe bet, if it doesn't seem to be substantially cooling after an hour, try placing the bowl in a larger bowl, lined with ice-- this worked for me).

--Remove from refrigerator and add the Guinness reduction, whisking until well blended.

--Pour the chilled custard into the machine's freezer bowl, turn the machine on and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes (this is specific to the type of machine-- follow whatever the instructions are for your machine in this instance, the above is simply for mine). The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Dr. Paisley, [info]rohanna, [info]generalbusybody, [info]dragonet2, [info]skyfire33, and [info]velvetkatt all had the opportunity to sample the recipe. Now, before anyone asks me to cook this for them, know that it took me a good 7 hours in the kitchen getting everything from the two recipes aligned and prepared properly, not counting fridge time. I could probably drop that to around 3 or so now, but it's still not an easy prep, especially for one person.

I toyed with the idea of making chunks of Guinness flavored chocolate to put in it, but ended up with something more akin to a chocolate Guinness ganache. Still, if you want that recipe, it's basically as follows (off the top of my head):

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 stick butter
2-3 tablespoons of aforementioned Guinness reduction
1/8-1/4 cup chocolate chips for consistency (optional, I didn't do this, which may have been the issue with keeping the chocolate bits from blending in with the ice cream)

--Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once everything has combined and it has the same thick consistency throughout, turn the burner off and let it cool. Upon cooling, it will start to thicken substantially, becoming more solid than fluid.

This mixture is exceptionally rich, and also makes for a good warm chocolate syrup or a good base for hot chocolate. If nothing else, it would make an excellent icing for something once cooled.

There you go, kids... enjoy, and don't say I never gave you anything.


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