We have officially entered the Snacky Pants birthday celebration period, which extends approximately 30 days on either side of the actual anniversary of her entrance to this world. We’ve kicked in to high gear a bit earlier than usual owing to our rapidly approaching trip which will separate her from many of her usual admirers during this important holiday. Brother and CatWoman feted her with gifts, and I was directed to produce both chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese filling and a chocolate ice cream. Normally I would have wanted to go to vanilla or some sort of caramel ice cream, but one does not argue with the birthday girl.
Simply Desserts, in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood is famous for their chocolate cream cheese cupcakes, and in fact I’d just eaten some at a going away party that my office crue held before my leave of absence started. So the flavor was fresh in my mind when I started searching, and I settled on this recipe at recipezaar.com. The only change I made was to use chopped Guittard bittersweet chocolate instead of the chips. I was slightly skeptical of the vinegar, and could taste it faintly when they were warm, but no-one seemed to mind, though I’m not sure why the recipe wouldn’t just call for baking powder instead of or in addition to baking soda. These cupcakes were super moist and tasted even better after a day in the refrigerator.
For the ice cream, I once again turned to Fanny over at Foodbeam.com and followed her recipe for Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Chocolate Gelato. Wise call. This time I used Scharffen-Berger unsweetened bar chocolate and Lake Champlain cocoa powder, and pressed brother into service separating eggs and whisking and manning ice water baths while I began removing the general sheen of chocolate from the whole kitchen. The result was astonishingly rich. If you have a chocolate itch that this doesn’t scratch, you may need to be hospitalized for your own safety. As my friend Stu says, “dzaing main”! The only problem we had was that it really needs some freezer time to harden up, and since we started cooking late in the evening, we ended up eating it in semi-souplike form, even after a brief attempt to quick freeze on a baking sheet. Anyhow this only made it quicker to deliver the chocolate punch straight to our arteries. The picture above was taken the next day, at the “proper” texture. Yes, I re-lit the candle for verisimilitude. Clearly I need one of those ice cream freezers like they have on Iron Chef that can go from custard to ready to serve in 20 minutes.
Snacky Pants and all of the other revelers reported full satisfaction and an inability to sleep due to chocolate overload. Mission accomplished.