Thursday, July 03, 2008

Top 100

This weeks culinary endeavor was to recreate some Cinnamon-Chocolate Gelato. I attempted to make this dessert while keeping one eye on my pee-crazy puppy. Let me tell you, that is difficult. I don't know how you mom's out there cook with kids running around potentially sticking forks into electrical outlets or grinding play dough into the carpet.

When I was at the store picking up ingredients I looked at the solid bars of semi-sweet chocolate and then back at the chips. The bars? almost $4. The chips? less than $2. I went the inexpensive route, not realizing the hassle it would be to "finely chop" chocolate chips. It was a pain and a bad idea.

The first instruction was to whisk some dry ingredients and then slowly pour some milk it. Then I was supposed to "whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved." No offense to whoever wrote this, but it's a pretty poor instruction. How is one supposed to tell when cornstarch is dissolved? That's just silly.

Next, we heat it up and cook it for a while. Then, pull off heat and add the chopped chocolate. Clearly, I'm not the world's tidiest cook.

Then, you rig up this intricate cooling system. Not thinking clearly, I put my mixture into the most insulating bowls I own...stupid. I should have done with with metal bowls. Also, my physics teacher would have been very disappointed. I filled it with ice and water to the brim forgetting that water expands as it melts. I had a mini lake rushing all over my counter and down onto the floor at the end of the 30 minute cool down. Embarrassing for a girl who's taken 4 semesters of thermodynamics.

Then, it's poured into the ice cream machine for a churn and sent into the freezer for a sit. A few hours later, out comes a delicious treat. The Bon appetit picture has very fancy and sophisticated shaved chocolate as topping. Here, in my house, nothing beats the rainbow sprinkle.

So, while it didn't set up as firm as I would have liked, (probably because I am a little impatient) the flavor was exceptional.

Whoa! Clearly, this was written at the end of a long and confusing day at work. As has been pointed out, water contracts as it melts, taking up less volume than ice, so that isn't the reason that I had a little lake in my kitchen. Here is my new theory as to why it the water level went up: It didn't really go up. The gelato base in my bowl became much denser and thicker as it cooled, so it probably sank into the liquid more, displacing the fluid and making Lake Eerie on my kitchen floor.

Reminder: If you want to join the club feel free! This link has a list of all the different recipes from Bonappetit's top 100 dishes that we're going to try. Leave a comment with your suggestion for next week's dish on this post. Friday afternoons I post the recipe for the following week and I review them on Thursdays.


poodle said...

um, water expands when it freezes. that's why ice floats. right?

Lindsay said...

Hmm, so you apparently can violate laws of thermodynamics in your kitchen then. Ice is indeed LESS dense than water (it floats!) but even if you filled something to the very top with ice water, when the ice melts, the water it turns into will fill up only the volume it displaced when it was ice. So the water level shouldn't actually change...

Ooo! Unless the container was packed with ice so there was ice above the water line held there by the fact that there was ice below it (and not just free-floating). I bet that was the case, yes? (and laws of thermodynamics continue to hold. sigh.) ;)

TRS said...

Sheesh you are hilarious!

Tell me... when you take pictures for posts like this is it a one shot deal? Because your expression in that top photo is perfection! Or does ED take three pictures and you pick the most applicable?

You should be an actress!

poodle said...

so, not to be a know-it-all or anything, but even if the base became more dense, it should have the same mass (unless you added something extra to it) and should therefore have displaced the same amount of water as when you started. my guess would be when the same as lindsay's: there was extra ice packed in that melted over the edge. or when you stirred it, it sloshed and spilled. what a thermodynamics mystery!!

poodle said...

and i think that next week you should make the bruschetta!!! it looks divine.

Lindsay said...

Hehe, so yeah - I'm still going with my theory (for the same reason poodle states). But this continues to be a hilarious post. :)

Anonymous said...

Well when I made the gelato, the heat from the base heated the top bowl, melted the ice cubes underneith and thereby allowed the top bowl to drop farther into the lower bowl, displacing the water onto the cabinet. QED


Katie said...

Mom, this is exactly what I realized last night driving home from work! While Lindsay's solution is correct, there was a LOT more water displaced that her idea could explain.

The ice in the bowl was supporting it up out of the water. As the cubes melted, the bowl began to float, sat much lower in the water and displaced a bunch.

I don't know why it took me so long to figure out. My brain is fried.