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For Chocolate Lovers only

A Pair of Cabinets

A “cabinet” is a New England term for what most people call a “milkshake”. When my sisters and I were kids, my parents used to take us back and forth to Massachusetts from our home in New Jersey on a fairly frequent basis. We almost always stopped at a restaurant called “Eileen Darling’s”. It wasn’t fancy and didn’t serve upscale food, but it was family-friendly long before anyone had ever heard of that term. Cabinets were a standard item on the menu, and we must have polished off a good many of them over the years. Funny thing is, I think the restaurant still exists, though not in the location I remember (too bad; if you sat in the right place in the original location, you got a great view of “The Bughaus”, a Volkswagen repair shop with an enormous concrete beetle upside down on the roof). In any case, this upscale version of a cabinet is named in honor of Eileen Darling’s.

The Mocha-Caramel Cabinet has some thickness to it, but if you like it thicker I’d use only 1/2 cup water, though if you do so you may have to play with the amounts of coffee and chocolate syrup. If the cabinet is too thick for your blender with only 1/2 cup water, add a little more, “pulsing” the machine on-and-off, until your blender can handle the thickness. Vary the amount of chocolate syrup according to your preference. The only Dulce de Leche ice cream I can find regularly is made by Haagen-Dazs. They have excellent distribution throughout the US, at least. If you know of any other good examples of this ice cream flavor, I’d appreciate finding out about them. Use any good chocolate ice cream for the Brandy-Cappuccino Cabinet.

Yield: Each recipe yields about 2 cups, or 2 servings


    Mocha-Caramel Cabinet:
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) slightly softened Dulce de Leche ice cream
    Optional Garnish:
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Chocolate syrup

Dissolve instant coffee granules in cold water, then pour coffee into blender container. Add desired amount of chocolate syrup. Cover blender and blend at a low speed until mixed.

To soften ice cream, remove lid and any plastic or paper lid liner from a one-pint carton. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for 5 to 10 seconds, just until ice cream is slightly softened. Work quickly now! Using a large spoon, scoop out about half of the carton (about 1 cup), a spoonful at a time, dropping each spoonful into the blender container as you scoop it out. Cover blender container; blend at high speed just until smooth.

Divide among two clear mugs or glasses. Garnish with a puff of lightly sweetened whipped cream and a thin, minimalist drizzle of chocolate syrup. Serve immediately!

    Brandy-Cappuccino Cabinet:
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • Up to 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup cold milk
  • 1 Tbsp. brandy (see Note)
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) slightly softened chocolate ice cream
    Optional garnish:
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Ground cinnamon

In blender container, place chocolate syrup, instant coffee granules, and cinnamon. Pour in milk and brandy.

Soften ice cream and scoop into blender container as described in above recipe. Cover blender container; blend at high speed just until smooth.

Divide between two clear mugs or glasses.If desired, garnish each with a puff of lightly sweetened whipped cream, a thin, minimalist drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a pinch of cinnamon. Serve immediately!

Note: If you wish, omit the brandy and substitute another tablespoon of milk.

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© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

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