David Lebovitz

Always a big fan of the uber-talented David Lebovitz, I knew as soon as I read about these brownies I’d have to make them.  Typically I look at a recipe, via a photo of the finished product, before I attempt to make it, but in this case, is was the ingredients that caught my eye.

The Dulce de Leche (see recipe here) is basically caramelized sweetened condensed milk.  While available in the store, it’s so easy to make at home (and much cheaper), I’m not quite sure why anyone would actually buy this stuff instead of making it themselves.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

8 tbsp butter, cut into tbsp-size pieces
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (0.75oz) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup (7oz) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (5oz) flour
1 cup (3.5oz) toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Dulce de Leche

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the baking pan with two sheets of foil placed perpendicular, with the edges overhanging the sides, so that they make a cross.  These will be used as handles to lift the brownies out of the pan.  Spray foil-lined pan with cooking spray.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts.
  4. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly.
  6. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Storage:These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.

Makes 12 brownies

Source: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2006/06/dulce_de_leche.html

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I picked up a copy of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop a few months ago (see my review here) and promptly made some ice cream.  For the sake of my waistline, I put the book (and ice cream maker) away.  After having dug the ice cream maker out for last month’s Daring Bakers challenge, and with summer heat like we haven’t seen in a long time, I figured it was time to get David’s book out and try some more flavors.

It didn’t take long before I came across this recipe and knew it was the one to make.  How can you go wrong with chocolate, peanut butter, and ice cream?

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream

2 cups half and half
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup smooth all natural peanut butter (see my notes below for details)

Whisk together the half and half , cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full rolling boil.  Remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until the peanut butter melts and the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, then follow the directions of your ice cream maker to make the ice cream.

Makes about 1 quart.

Note: Use only all natural peanut butter, the kind that consists of peanuts and salt.  If there are any other ingredients, the ice cream will taste funny.  While I love Skippy Super Chunky peanut butter in a PB&J, when you cook/bake with peanut butter, make sure you use all natural peanut butter.

Source: The Perfect Scoop (p.30) by David Lebovitz

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The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

The Perfect Scoop


I picked up a Cuisinart ice cream maker a few years ago, much to the delight of my taste buds.  Both ice cream and sorbet came out great, especially the sorbets made with in-season fruits.

One thing I never quite got around to doing was buying a book on how to make ice cream.  With the many recipes available on the web, it seemed a like a waste of money.

Fatefully, one day I was skimming through the local book store, looking for some baking ideas.  I came across The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz.  I recognized the name, as I’m a big fan of his blog, so I started to skim through the book.  Most other ice cream books have a basic ice cream recipe, then add some mix-ins to make a multitude of flavors.  Not this ice cream book.  David comes up with some rather different (wakco?) ideas of flavors, things that I think most people never would have thought of making or doing (chocolate sorbet comes to mind).

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