The Sims Special


This week we’re tackling the weird and wonderful food from The Sims. First on our list, Mac and Cheese. While seemingly simple, we couldn’t resist putting our own spin on it. Next up, a *new* classic, the ultra comforting Aubergine Parmesan (alternate identity: Eggplant Parm). And finally, the ever-challenging Baked Alaska. The perfect summer dessert, best accompanied by your household fire extinguisher.

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Ingredients

Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups water

  • 1 Cup whole milk 

  • 8 oz dried macaroni 

  • 4 oz american yellow cheese, shredded

  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Molten Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups water

  • 1 Cups whole milk 

  • 8 oz dried macaroni 

  • 8 oz american yellow cheese, shredded

  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 oz panko bread crumbs 

  • Reserved chilled stovetop mac and cheese

  • To garnish: parsley leaves

Aubergine Parmesan Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 medium aubergines (eggplants)

  • As needed kosher salt 

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil 

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 4 garlic cloves 

  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes 

  • ½ tsp dried oregano

  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 (28-oz) cans hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes

  • 1 large sprig basil + more to garnish 

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour 

  • 1 tsp kosher salt 

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 eggs, beaten 

  • 2  Cups breadcrumbs 

  • 1 tsp dried basil 

  • 1 tsp dried parsley 

  • ½ tsp dried oregano

  • As needed fry oil 

  • 8 oz low moisture mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 

  • 4 oz parmesan cheese, grated 

  • 6 slices fresh (high moisture) mozzarella

Base Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs

  • 50 g granulated sugar 

  • 30 g all purpose flour 

  • 20 g cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ tsp kosher salt 

  • 20 g unsalted butter, melted + cooled

Italian Meringue Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites

  • ⅛ tsp cream of tartar  

  • 225 g granulated sugar 

  • 45 g water

Baked Alaska Ingredients:

  • 48 oz vanilla ice cream, slightly softened 

  • 48 oz strawberry ice cream, slightly softened 

  • 48 oz chocolate ice cream, slightly softened 

  • Base cake

  • Italian Meringue 

  • 12 oz high-proof (80) alcohol

Method

Serves: 4-6

Mac and Cheese Method:

  1. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. 

  2. Combine the water and milk in a saucepot. Add the pasta and bring the mixture to a boil.

  3. Cover and cook until the pasta is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 6-8 minutes. 

  4. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the macaroni and cheese sit for 5 minutes until all the cheese has melted. 

  5. Pour the pasta into the prepared bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  6. Take the solidified mac and cheese out of the refrigerator and unmold.

Molten Mac and Cheese Method:

  1. Combine the water and milk in a sauce pot. Add the pasta and bring the mixture to a boil.

  2. Cover and cook until the pasta is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 6-8 minutes. 

  3. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the macaroni and cheese sit for 5 minutes until all the cheese has melted. Keep warm until ready to use.

  4. Meanwhile, combine the butter and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

  5. Coat the exterior of the reserved mac and cheese in the breadcrumb mixture. 

  6. Coat the original bowl with a generous layer of oil or nonstick spray. Place the now-breaded mac and cheese back in the bowl. 

  7. Scoop out about 2 cups of the chilled mac and cheese to form a crater in the middle. Place a small metal bowl inside of the crater to help maintain its shape. 

  8. Bake the mac and cheese bowl in a preheated 400 °F oven until crispy, about 15-20 minutes.

  9. Remove the insert bowl and fill the cavity with the fresh, molten mac and cheese. Run a spatula along the outside of the crispy mac and cheese to help it release.

  10. Invert the mac and cheese onto a plate. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Aubergine Parmesan Method:

  1. Line three large rimmed baking sheets with paper towels.

  2. Slice the aubergine into ½ inch slices.

  3. Place the aubergine slices on the prepared sheet trays. Sprinkle the slices with salt on both sides. Stack the trays one over the other to weigh down the slices. Top the final tray with another (unlined) sheet tray. Weigh down the stack of sheet trays with a heavy-duty casserole dish. Let the aubergine slices sit for 1 hour.

  4. Begin heating the oil in a large dutch oven.

  5. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. 

  6. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and tomato paste. Stir well to incorporate and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  

  7. Add the crushed tomatoes and basil sprig. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and allow the sauce to cook for 30-45 minutes.

  8. Prepare three large shallow dishes. One with the flour, salt, and pepper, another with the eggs, and the final dish with the breadcrumbs and dried herbs. 

  9. Dredge the aubergine slices in the flour mixture, then egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Transfer the dredged slices to a rack placed in a large rimmed baking sheet until ready to fry.

  10. Preheat a large skillet with ½ inch of oil to 375 °F. 

  11. Working with 2 or 3 slices at a time, fry each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. 

  12. Transfer the fried aubergine to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let cool to room temperature. 

  13. In a large heavy-duty casserole dish, start assembling the aubergine parmesan. Start with a layer of sauce, then a layer of aubergine, followed by a layer of low moisture mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Repeat this layering process until the casserole dish is filling. Make sure to finish with a layer of fresh mozzarella slices. 

  14. Cover the casserole dish with a layer of aluminum foil and bake at 375 °F for 30-40 minutes. 

  15. Uncover the casserole and bake for another 30 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425 °F and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until browned and bubbling. 

  16. Allow the aubergine parmesan to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Base Cake Method:

Base Cake Recipe

  1. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and a parchment round. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

  2. Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the egg/sugar on high speed until thickened, pale, and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. 

  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt onto a piece of parchment. Tip the sifted ingredients into the bowl of whipped eggs and fold to incorporate. 

  4. Pour the melted butter down the side of the bowl and once again, fold to incorporate. 

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

  6. Transfer the cake to the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through and pulled away from the sides of the pan. 

  7. Let cool at room temperature.

Italian Meringue Method:

  1. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

  2. In a medium saucepot, combine the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to 240 °F. Stir the mixture just until it comes to a boil, then cover with a lid to remove any sugar granules stuck to the side.

  3. Meanwhile, begin whipping the egg white until they are white and frothy. 

  4. Once the sugar syrup is ready, carefully pour the syrup into whipping egg whites on medium speed. Increase the speed to high and continue mixing until the meringue is thick, glossy, and has returned to room temperature, about 15-20 minutes.

Baked Alaska Method:

  1. Prepare a medium bowl (with an 8-inch diameter) with plastic wrap with a generous overhang. 

  2. Pour the vanilla ice cream into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix the ice cream until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add the vanilla ice cream to the prepared bowl. Freeze the bowl for 1 hour.

  4. Repeat the mixing and layering process with the strawberry and chocolate ice cream. Make sure to freeze the ice cream insert in between ice cream additions.

  5. Once the bowl is filled with all three ice cream flavors, add the base cake. It should fit perfectly into the bowl. 

  6. Freeze the ice cream insert overnight.

  7. Unmold the ice cream insert onto a turntable, cake-side down. Place the turntable on a metal sheet tray if your work surface is not stone or inflammable. 

  8. Working quickly, spread the Italian meringue onto the ice cream insert. Smooth out the exterior using a bowl scraper or mini offset spatula. 

  9. Add the alcohol to a small pot and bring to a simmer. Carefully, ignite the alcohol using a torch and ladle the flaming alcohol over the meringue. 

  10. Allow the flame to extinguish itself and then serve immediately.