I made this to celebrate the end of finals this week and to satisfy a craving my boyfriend had… That’s all I’m good for.
I love leaving the kitchen window ajar while the wind and rain blow around. The cold air helps my ice cream freeze better as it churns. Later, a hot oven full of baking goodies fills the indoor air with warmth and tasty aromas.
Composition of the ice cream cake:
- Two layers of chocolate cake. I made One-Bowl Chocolate Cake from Better Homes & Gardens, leaving out the eggs and substituting soymilk for milk.
- Two layers of mint-chocolate chip ice cream that owes its flavor and color to lots of fresh mint leaves. The method is explained in the recipe from David Lebovitz. I omitted the egg yolks, substituted the whole milk and cream with full-fat coconut milk and vanilla soymilk (I didn’t want it too rich and creamy), and blended the steeped-mint mixture with 1½ Tbsp liquid soy lecithin and ¼ cup tapioca starch before reheating.
- On top, I drizzled 3 oz. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Mint UFOs melted with 1 Tbsp vegetable shortening. I also used chopped UFOs for the ice cream. Mmmmminty.
Wooowooowooowooo… We are beamink you up. Do not rezist, Earthlink. We are flyink you to galaxy of minty chocolate. Woowooowooowoo…..
Life is being a distraction right now. But chocolate is a nice distraction from life.
Product: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Wedges
Price: $3.49 for 3.5 oz at Trader Joe’s
Type of chocolate: 70% Belgian cacao
My notes: Aroma of cocoa. Shiny, plasticky surface. Very soft and chewy bite, uncomplicated rich chocolate flavor.
Overall rating (out of five stars): ***
See how my teethmarks sank smoothly into the wedge before it broke? That’s a soft bite.
Don’t forget that there’s a second layer of wedges under those, making for 16 per tin.
…bring May flowers. The indoor, clean-and-sudsy kind of shower just helps you smell like flowers and other sweet things.
From top to bottom photo:
- Juicy pear and dewy florals fill the air when you lather up with this creamy French-milled soap bar. Magnolia Pear 8.8 oz soap bar by South of France.
- Get refreshed and clean with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash. Peppermint and eucalyptus wake up the senses and lighten the mind.
- Close your eyes, and a shower becomes a wash in a luscious vanilla bean shake. Giovanni Cleanse Body Wash in Hazelnut Vanilla.
- Homemade citrus-olive oil scrub: Mix several heaping teaspoons of coarse or regular sugar with 2 Tbsp olive oil and the zest of a grapefruit. Add several drops of a citrus essential oil (e.g. lemon, bergamot) to cover up the smell of olive. Chill in refrigerator before using as a body exfoliant.
- In the evening, turn out the lights and shower by the dreamy glow of a candle. Surround yourself with steam and the aroma of fresh figs as the soft light dances on your glistening skin. Pacifica votive candle in Mediterranean Fig.
On holidays, one must make time for sweets.
Marzipan Easter Eggs, 8 oz for $5.59 from Cost Plus World Market.
Citrus Gum Drops, $1.99 for 8 oz from Trader Joe’s. These are very citrus-y and delicious.
I would not describe myself as a chocoholic, cacao connoisseur, or chocolate fiend. But I am a solemn devotee of the food with a 200-year history as a solid confection (though cacao has a 2000-year history in human consumption as a beverage). Purported to possess aphrodisiacal qualities, lauded for its content of antioxidant-rich flavonoids, and appreciated as a source of mood-boosting theobromine, chocolate is such an amazing foodstuff that I feel virtually no shame for consuming half a bar religiously each week.
Chocolate reviews will thus become a regular feature, not for the sole purpose of grading products but mainly to share my favorite finds and encourage others to enjoy their own chocolate tastings.
Product: Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar
Price: $1.49 for 3.5 oz at Trader Joe’s
Type of chocolate: 85% cacao from Colombia
My notes: Chocolatey aroma, like the inside of a confectionery shop. Smooth, shiny surface. Somewhat soft snap. Readily melts in mouth with a soft, chewy bite. Initial fruity taste slightly redolent of beer, with a bitter cocoa aftertaste. Best for consuming just one or several squares at a time.
Overall rating (out of five stars): **
The package comes with two individually-wrapped 1.75-oz bars. Perhaps I’d give this a *** rating if I was very fond of dark, dark chocolate, but I like to be able to put away about 2 oz at a time without feeling ill.