Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chef's Roll and Avocados From Mexico: The Chef's Avocado Madness Tournament

Avocado Ice Cream Sandwiches
on Mexican Churro Shortbread

As March Madness approaches, people are brushing up on their bracketology skills and pondering their favorite basketball teams.  It's really a game of chance...rarely does the favorite ever win.

This year Chef's Roll has partnered with Avocados From Mexico to bring everyone a very special "foodie" version of March Madness.  I'm a proud player in the Avocado Madness tournament, a bracketology style cooking competition where people can vote, watch and even attend the final round where chef's duke it out for $10,000 and a golden ticket to the World Food Championships!

Week one is the sandwich round, where the top 10 vote getters will automatically advance to the next round, and the rest will be judged on creativity and presentation.  Half of the competition will be eliminated after this week, so my entry HAD to be stellar.

Of course, everyone knows I love two things...dessert and Mexican food.  So, I came up with a sandwich that combines the two, showcases Avocados from Mexico and looks awful purty on a plate!

Avocado Ice Cream Sandwiches on Mexican Churro Shortbread with Berry Chipotle Compote and Cream Cheese Frosting

Avocado Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 avocados from Mexico, peeled and seeded
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  1. Place the milk and cream in a medium saucepan and heat on medium heat. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes, until the sides are bubbling and the temperature reaches 170 degrees with a candy thermometer.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the sugar and the egg yolks together on medium speed until thick and pale yellow (about 5 minutes). Reduce speed to low, and very slowly temper the heated milk mixture into the whipped eggs.
  3. Once combined, transfer the custard mixture back into the empty saucepan. Reduce the heat on the stove to low and stir with a wooden spoon until it reaches a temp of 185 degrees, and lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a mixing bowl and place it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill for about 1 hour.  When the mixture is chilled, place the mixture into a blender and add the avocado.  Mix on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. Churn the mixture for about 20 minutes, or until the ice cream is soft set.  Transfer the container to the freezer until ready to serve.
Mexican Churro Shortbread:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 3 tbsp.
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature, plus 2 tbsp. melted
  • 2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. Mexican Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the stick of butter, sugar, salt and flour. Mix on low speed until the mixture is chunky. 
  3. Add the heavy cream and Mexican vanilla and mix on medium speed until a thick dough is formed.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of parchment paper that’s been dusted with flour.  Roll the dough out to about 1/2” thickness and cut out the desired shapes for the shortbread. 
  5. Place the cut-outs on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  6. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  7. Combine the remaining 3 tbsp. sugar and the 2 tbsp. cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together until combined.
  8. Brush each of the shortbread pieces with the melted butter, then coat the buttered side in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Berry Chipotle Compote
  • 6 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. cold water
  1. In a small saucepan combine the blackberries, blueberries, sugar, cloves and chipotle powder.  Stir and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, mashing the berries with a potato masher as they cook.
  2. As the mixture begins to bubble, stir in the dissolved corn starch.  Whisk continuously until the mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute.  Pour the mixture through a strainer, removing as many seeds and berry chunks as possible.  Transfer the warm compote to a pastry bag or application bottle and use before the mixture cools and gets too thick to work with.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 bricks cream cheese (12 oz.)
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese.  Mix on high speed until smooth.
  2.  Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on medium speed, incorporating each one completely before adding the next one.

To build the sandwiches:
  1. Place a few pieces of the shortbread face down on a serving plate. 
  2. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the avocado ice cream onto the shortbread. 
  3. Place another piece of shortbread on top of the ice cream to form a sandwich. 
  4. Pipe a small amount of cream cheese frosting into the center of the top piece of shortbread. 
  5. Garnish with a fresh blueberry and optional small mint leaf.
  6. Pipe the Berry Chipotle Compote around the sandwiches on the serving plate.  Serve immediately.

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