Chocolate Stout Ice Cream + Float

 Chocolate Stout Ice Cream + Float
Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography
Chocolate Stout Ice Cream by Modern Day Forager


No matter what your age, we think there is something really satisfying, watching creamy rich vanilla ice cream being scooped into a tall chilled glass and then the anticipation of  ice cold root beer being poured over the scoops, to create a old fashioned soda fountain float.  It’s what comes next, that is one of the best parts of this old school treat, there is the foam, the spill over and if that wasn’t enough, the top off of root beer, plus the nifty straw you get to stir, swirl, slurp and sip your icy glass of goodness.  Does it get any better?

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream by Modern Day Forager

We think not!   We replaced the traditional vanilla flavor of the ice cream and churned out our own milk chocolate stout ice cream.  To build the float, we added some stout to our chilled glass giving us better control when we added the scoops of ice cream and the splash of beer, making a thick head of foam and overflow but not making a huge mess.  The result was a extremely rich, thick, malty (with hints of hoppy bitterness), that really complimented the intensely flavored ice cream, creating a truly decadent dessert.  Who says the kids have to have all the fun this summer…?!?

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces milk chocolate, grated
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup chocolate stout
  • pretzel pieces, to taste, as garnish

Directions:

  1. Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Warm the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the yolks.
  4. Then add the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat,  scraping the bottom as you stir, once the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, pour it through a sieve on to the milk chocolate, stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  6. Whisk in the cream and stout.
  7. Stir until cool, over an ice bath or chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator
  8. Freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ingredients:

Ice cream
Stout

Directions:
Pour about half the stout in your chilled glass, (this will allow the ice cream to set up and you will have better control) followed by a large scoop of ice cream, then add a second scoop on top of that, add a splash of the stout to cover all of the ice cream to get a thick head of foam, add your favorite straw and serve immediately.

Chocolate Stout Ice Cream by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager

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Selecting, Storing and Preparing

Melon Week on Modern Day Forager

Every Saturday during melon season, I was asked the same question over and over;  “Could you select a melon for me?”  “How can I tell if a melon is ripe?”  “How do I store this at home?”  So let me try to arm you with the information you need.  First of all, one of the great things about shopping at your local farmers market is that most, not all, of the farmer’s at the market grew what they are selling, that being said, the melon was picked ripe, there are degrees of ripeness to be sure, but the melon is certainly eatable.  The problem comes in when the farmer or a grocery store purchases melons that have to be trucked to their final destination.

Melon Week on Modern Day Forager

 Selecting Melons:

Cantaloupe – Good quality cantaloupes will have a lot of  webbing on the skin, it will have a yellow/orange color and be slightly soft on the stem end.  If the cantaloupe is not ripe enough to your liking, store at room temperature on your kitchen counter or in a loosely closed paper bag for one to two days.

Honeydew – High-quality honeydew melons should be a creamy color and the skin will almost feel waxy when ripe.  They will be somewhat firm with a bit of softness at the stem.

Watermelon – Great tasting watermelons will be firm, even-shaped and heavy for its size.  The easiest method to judge ripeness is to look at the spot where it laid on the ground, that should be a darker yellow, and the rind overall should have a healthy sheen.  Watermelons do not ripen any further once they are cut from the vine.  Most popular watermelons are round dark green or dark green striped.  The light green oval shaped are usually not as sweet and red on the inside.

Seedless Watermelon– Like seeded watermelons, seedless watermelons will be firm, evenly shaped and heavy for their size.  Remember seedless watermelons are not seedless, instead of the large black seeds; they have the small white seeds that some people consider edible.  (I do not)

Storing Your Melons:

Uncut melons can be kept at room temperature for two to four days.  Ripe melons can be refrigerated for an additional 5 days.  Cut melons should be placed in a covered container and refrigerated for no more than three to four days.

Preparing Melon:

Melons taste wonderful just as they are.  Although, we are going to play around with them this week (that’s what we do.)  We like cantaloupe sprinkled with salt and a little black pepper, the combination is amazing, wrap them in prosciutto or any cured meats, blend the flesh and add the juice to anything, perfect addition to any fruit salad. Watermelon is wonderful with salt as well, we also like honey and lime or balsamic vinegar.  Let us know your favorite way to enjoy melons and we will pass them on to our readers.

Melon Week on Modern Day Forager

I hope that I was able to shed some light on the picking a melon question, please comment here or on facebook if you have any other questions on choosing a melon or any other farm fresh fair for that matter.

Melon Week on Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager

Cold Brew Coffee

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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It may not be summer yet, but it sure feels like it here in the southwest! You’ll be wooed by this perfect chilled perk up.

As a hot coffee drinker for decades I understand the trepidation. I looked at my Grandmothers glass of iced coffee with bewilderment and later in life turned my nose up at the iced coffee drinkers at my local coffee house. I love my hot coffee, the process of brewing it, the smell and oh my and the flavor!  However, what I don’t love is sweat on my brow, the acidity in my stomach, the bitterness of burnt beans or even the luke warm temperature it inevitably becomes.

Our MDF solution… COLD BREW… No bitterness, no acidity, all the flavor, and you can make the concentrate (as technically as any coffee engineer would want) ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Refreshing, full flavored and incredibly rich and smooth!  Start sipping…

Cold Brew Coffee

12 oz coarsely ground coffee

7 cups water (we used filtered)

milk or half & half (this is to taste)

simple syrup (also to taste)

  1. Place ground coffee in a large container.
  2. Gradually add 7 cups of cold water.
  3. Stir gently to ensure all grounds are wet.
  4. Cover with a layer of cheesecloth or plastic wrap.
  5. Let stand for 15 to 24 hours at room temperature.
  6. Remove covering.  In a fine mesh sieve (lined with cheesecloth that you used to cover or a coffee filter.  Pour coffee through into another container. Do not stir grounds as it produces a cloudy end result.
  7. Cover jar and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Will keep for up to 2 weeks.

To serve fill a tall glass with ice and mix 1 part coffee with 1 part milk or half & half.  You could substitute filtered water for the milk.  Sweeten with simple syrup or add a pinch of salt for a real treat.

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We have a jar of this waiting in the cooler for us to cool down on with the hot days ahead.  We hope your Monday is going well.  See you tomorrow.  We would love to hear from you.  Connect with us here in the comments or on our Facebook page.

doubleshotModern Day Forager

The Crazy Jane

ModernDrinks-72Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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This cocktail is currently the most popular drink at Home Restaurant in New York City.  People love the earthy rosemary juxtaposed with fresh, fragrant apricots.  Here is our interpretation.

The Crazy Jane

1 1/2 oz rosemary-infused vodka (recipe below)

1/2 oz apricot puree (recipe below)

1/2 oz simple syrup (2:1 ratio not standard 1:1, sugar to water)

1/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Lime wedge for garnish

  1. Combine all ingredients, expect for lime wedge, in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously.
  2. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wedge.

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Apricot Puree

8 apricots, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons sugar

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pass through a sieve or other straining device to remove the coarser elements.

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Rosemary-Infused Vodka

2 cups vodka (we used Smirnoff)

2 bunches fresh rosemary

  1. Place the rosemary in a quart sized jar or other container.  Add vodka and seal.  Store in a cool, dry place and allow to infuse for 3 days.
  2. Strain the mixture and discard rosemary.  Use right away or you can store it in a sealed jar for up to 3 weeks.

Modern Day Forager

Watermelon Cucumber Cocktail

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Makes two drinks.

2 1/2 cups watermelon, seeds removed, cut into chunks

1/2 large English cucumber, peeled & cut into chunks

1 oz honey lime ginger simple syrup (recipe below)

3 oz vodka

cucumber slices for garnish (we used cocktail cucumbers but any cucumber will do)

  1. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl or pitcher.
  2. In a blender, puree the watermelon and cucumber chunks.
  3. Pour mixture through the sieve into the bowl.  Use the back of a big spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze all the juice into the bowl.  Transfer to a lidded jar for storage.
  4. To serve, fill two glasses with ice and add 1 1/2 oz of vodka, 4 oz of watermelon cucumber juice, 1/2 to 1 oz simple syrup (to taste) to each glass, garnish with a cucumber slice.

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Honey Lime Ginger Simple Syrup

2 cups cold water (use filtered)

2 cups granulated sugar

juice & zest from 6-8 limes

4 tablespoons honey (we used a local orange blossom)

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

  1. In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remember, the longer you boil it, the thicker the syrup will be when cooled.  To test if the sugar is completely dissolved: using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of the syrup.  You shouldn’t be able able to see any sugar crystals in the in the liquid.  If you do, boil a bit longer.
  3. Once the water and sugar are done boiling and removed from the heat source add the honey, lime juice, lime zest and grated ginger.  Let sit approximately 20-30 minutes to infuse the simple syrup.  Using a wire mesh strainer, strain out the flavoring then pour into a tightly sealed, clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator.  The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.

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This drink could be made into a mocktail by leaving the vodka out and adding club soda or sprite if its for the kids.  If you have a juicer you can skip the blender and just use the juice you get from the watermelon and cucumber.  Such a refreshing summer drink as the temperatures rise.  Please connect with us on Facebook or in the comments section.

Modern Day Forager