- Date: Saturday, April 24, 2010 -- 7pm
- Location: Palo Alto, CA
- Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
- Fellow Chefs: Emilee and Sam
- Dining Companions: Brian and Cornelia
- Recipe Rating: B
Emilee was insistent that for my 30th birthday dinner we at least have a dessert that sounded yummy. I was insistent that the dessert should come from The Book. There were very few recipes that fit both requirements, and this one was in that narrow intersection. Emilee really did the bulk of the work for this recipe [she was also insistent that I shouldn't make my own birthday cake!]. She started by making two kinds of homemade ice cream: mascarpone and espresso. Sam contributed by turning the ice cream maker on and off :)
Emilee then sliced a frozen pound cake, which had been thawed, toasted the slices, then brushed them with Kahlua and rum. We then assembled the cake in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, layering the ice creams with shaved chocolate and the pound cake slices. We then froze the cake for 8 hours. To serve we inverted the cake onto a platter and shaved some chocolate on top. We served it with fudge sauce. This recipe was a strange combination of gourmet and not-at-all gourmet. Calling for two different kinds of homemade ice cream: gourmet. Calling for a frozen Sara Lee pound cake: not gourmet. To be fair, it didn't say that it had to be Sara Lee brand, but isn't that the first thing you think of when you think frozen pound cake? It seemed tremendously odd to me that the recipe called for us to make our own ice creams but not make our own pound cake. Those frozen pound cakes just aren't that good and using one brought the deliciousness of our dessert down a bit. That said, the two ice creams both had excellent flavors. The texture of the mascarpone ice cream was a little gummy and weird. The espresso ice cream was just right. Overall the dessert was good but not great. And although it almost looks cute in the picture above, it was very not-cute in real life. We all enjoyed eating this, but there are better ice cream cakes out there.
The recipe in The Book is almost the same as this one, except the one in The Book doesn't call for the extra egg white in the mascarpone ice cream.
It was a busy weekend, leading into a busy week! On Saturday my special gentleman and I went to Muir Woods with Brian and Sam. I had never been there and it was incredibly beautiful. We hiked all afternoon, stopping to eat lunch and play in a little creek. Hiking with Brian is awesome because he knows a lot about the flora and fauna of Northern California. Hiking with Sam is awesome because his two-year-old narration of events is really funny. Sam walked part of the way, but most of the hike he spent on Brian's back, just looking around and talking about what he saw. Saturday evening we ate take-out and watched a movie with Em and Brian in Palo Alto then headed back to Berkeley. On Sunday we went up to Point Reyes with my special gentleman's aunt, who lives in San Francisco. It was a beautiful drive, and the Point Reyes National Seashore was quite nice.
Tonight my friend Ana is coming to dinner. She and I overlapped in graduate school at MIT, and she used to cook with me very frequently. In fact, after my special gentleman she has assisted in cooking and/or eating the most recipes in this project of all of my friends. She still lives in the Boston area, but she is in Berkeley for a few days so tonight we are having dinner from The Book! After work today I picked up some oxtails (amongst other things) from the grocery store. It should be an interesting meal! Tomorrow morning my special gentleman and I are headed out for a trip that includes stops in New York, Connecticut, and Colorado. Busy times!