BACON AND EGG ICE-CREAM BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL

“This is one of my signature dishes at The Fat Duck. What makes this recipe so special is being able to make instant ice-cream at the table with the help of a little dry ice. Dry ice can also be used to turn bought smoothies and custard into ice-creams and sorbets. I serve this dish with marmalade because its bitterness and acidity cut through the richness of the ice-cream.” – Heston Blumenthal

bacon and egg ice-cream

Bacon and Egg Ice-Cream
Serves 6
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ice-cream base
400 g sweet-cured smoked back bacon
1 litre full-cream milk
30 g semi-skimmed milk powder
24 large egg yolks
120 g unrefined caster sugar

Crispy soldiers
Clarified butter
1 loaf brioche, crust removed, cut into soldiers (1.5 x 1.5 x 5 cm)
Golden caster sugar

To serve
6 medium eggs
Pastry offcuts or other bits of dough, to plug holes
400 g dry ice (see note)
Orange marmalade

Infusing time overnight

To start the ice-cream base, preheat the grill to high. Lay the bacon slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place under the grill for 5-7 minutes or until crisp.

When the bacon is cooked, drain on kitchen paper and cut it into strips. Place in a bowl, pour over the milk then refrigerate to infuse overnight.

The next day, put the milk and bacon into a saucepan and add the milk powder. Place over a medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat.

In the meantime, blitz the egg yolks and sugar together using a hand blender. Combine the egg mixture with the warm milk and bacon and return the pan to the heat. Warm the liquid until it reaches 85ºC.

Once this temperature has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and pass the ice-cream base through a fine sieve into a clean container over iced water, pushing the custard through with the back of a ladle.

To cook the crispy soldiers, melt a tablespoon of clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add some of the soldiers and fry on all sides, remove and place on paper towel to absorb any excess fat. Repeat as necessary to cook the remaining soldiers.

Clean the pan completely then place it over a medium-high heat. Add enough sugar to cover the bottom of the pan and allow to melt.

Once the sugar has completely melted and caramelised, add some of the soldiers, no more than 4 or 5 at a time. Turn using tongs in order to cover every side, being careful not to touch the sugar as it is extremely hot. Once coated on all sides, remove the soldiers from the pan, place on a silicone mat and allow to cool. Repeat as necessary, cleaning the pan thoroughly after each use.

To serve the ice-cream, use a large-gauge needle or an egg punch to make a hole in the top and bottom of the eggs and gently blow out the contents. Rinse the shells in cold water and place in boiling water for 45 minutes to sterilise. Remove, allow to cool and plug one of the holes in each shell with pastry.

Using a syringe, fill the eggshells with the ice cream base. Plug the remaining hole with pastry and keep refrigerated until needed.

To serve, make the ice-cream in front of your guests by cracking an egg filled with ice-cream base into a saucepan and adding some of the crushed dry ice while mixing continuously until the ice-cream is formed. This will take approximately 1 minute and it will look like scrambled eggs. Place in a bowl, add a teaspoon of orange marmalade on top of the ice-cream, place a slice of crystallised bacon on top and serve with crispy solders on the side.

Note
When handling dry ice, you need to take exactly the same precautions as you would with naked flames, hot pans and baking trays straight out of the oven. Don’t let it come into direct contact with your skin or you will get a nasty burn. And make sure all the dry ice used to freeze an ice-cream has dissolved before you serve it – you don’t want to bite into or swallow a chunk of dry ice!

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MEYER LEMON CUPCAKES RECIPE

The mild and sweet flavor of Meyer lemon is one of Martha’s favorites; these zest-flecked cupcakes are filled with Meyer lemon curd, which peeks out from the tops. The fruit, which is actually a lemon-orange hybrid, is generally available at specialty stores in winter and early spring. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, use regular lemons instead. The recipe yields a lot of cupcakes, so you may want to consider these for a bake sale or large gathering, such as a shower or special birthday celebration.

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes
Yield: 42 Servings

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 Meyer lemons)
7 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
lemon curd (see link below for recipe)
3 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners’ sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a medium round tip (#8) with curd. Insert tip into top of each cupcake, and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside, then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour (or refrigerated a few hours more) before serving.

Recipe excerpted from: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living; photos by Con Poulos and others 2009 Clarkson Potter.

PLAYING KOI CUPCAKES RECIPE

“Koi made from circus peanuts transform a simple platter of cupcakes into a golden pond. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make the bodies and fins. The fish float on overlapping blue and white paper bubbles.” – Karen Tack

Hello, Cupcake! cookbook

Playing Koi Cupcakes
Makes 1 pond: 24 koi cupcakes

24 vanilla cupcakes baked in blue paper liners
1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/2 cup vanilla frosting
Blue food coloring
48 orange circus peanuts
48 orange peanut-butter-filled candy-coated chocolates(peanut butter M&M’s)
24 orange cereal O’s (Froot Loops, Apple Jacks)
48 brown mini chocolates (M&M’s Minis)
White and light blue candy-coated chocolates (M&M’s) for serving (optional)
White and light blue paper circles (optional)

Spoon 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting into a small ziplock bag, press out the air, seal, and set aside.

Tint the remaining can of vanilla frosting pale blue with a few drops of the blue food coloring. Cover and set aside.

Place 24 of the circus peanuts on their sides and cut lengthwise into 2 slices, to make 48 slices for the fins. Lay each slice flat and cut each in half on the diagonal to make 96 pieces.

For the bodies, place the remaining 24 circus peanuts flat side down and make a diagonal cut from one short end, removing no more than 1/4 inch.

Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the light blue frosting and smooth. Place 1 of the circus-peanut bodies on top of each of the frosted cupcakes. Arrange the fins, pointed ends up, placing 2 at the uncut end of the circus-peanut body and 2 on either side in the middle.

Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe a large dot of frosting at the cut end of the circus peanut body. Press 2 orange candies into the dot of frosting for the eyes and the cereal O for the mouth. Pipe small dots of vanilla frosting on the orange candies and add the brown candies for the pupils. Repeat on all of the koi bodies with the remaining frosting and candies.

If you like, arrange the cupcakes on a surface with circles cut from white and blue paper and sprinkle the platter with white and light blue candies.

Adapted from the book Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Copyright © 2008 by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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