When my parents were in town a few weeks ago, we went to the Old Town Home & Garden Show. It was the 80th annual show, and it was a lot more fun than I expected. Walking back to the car, we stopped in a cooking store and I got a new ice cream book (because really, can you ever have too many ice cream books?).
One recipe that caught my eye was Coconut Gelato. And since we had to go to the store for eggs for the pasta <link>, we picked up a coconut. Unfortunately, I hadn't read the recipe carefully enough, and didn't notice we also needed coconut milk. As a result, my parents didn't get to try this while they were here. (Sorry mom and dad- next time.)
One of these is a fresh coconut; the other is canned coconut milk. I needed both.
On to the recipe:
The first thing you need to do when making coconut gelato, given you're using a fresh coconut, is open the coconut. This immediately presented me with a problem. My first instinct was to turn to my trusty chinese cleaver, with visions of splitting the coconut open in one blow, like you might see in a movie. But (surprisingly?) that failed.
Luckily, Google came to my rescue: Opening a coconut
. This approach worked perfectly. I even had my younger brother in town to smash the coconut-filled bag on the balcony (Rob is an experienced coconut-opener, having honed his technique on the beaches of the Caribbean).
Step #3 in that article is Bake the coconut @ 375 for 10 minutes, until you see a crack. Like this one.
Good job, Rob!
With the coconut in pieces, I combined it with a can of coconut milk in the food processor, and immediately made a (small) mess of the kitchen as coconut milk shot out of the machine (through the space between the base and the top). Not easily stopped when in pursuit of ice cream, I wrapped the towel (that had previously held coconut shards) around the seam, and kept at it.
Then I made some simple syrup (sugar, water, and a little lemon juice), combined it with the coconut/milk, and blended some more (this time with my trusty stick blender- there's a reason the food processor spends most of its time buried in the cupboard). After an overnight chill, I froze it in the machine.
The result? Coconut gelato.
I like it, but I don't love it. Next time, I'll skip the fresh coconut in favor for some shredded (unsweetened) coconut from the store. That might help me get the coconut pieces finer, and it'll be a lot less effort to open.
My parents were in town last weekend, and we decided to take a quick culinary trip to Italy: homemade pasta and rice (riso) gelato.
A couple years ago, we got my parents a pasta maker attachment for their mixer. It's pretty cool- you make the dough (flour, egg, water, salt), combine in the mixer, and then (after a quick rest) run it through the pasta attachments. The first one thins it out, and the second slices it into noodles. Depending on which model you get, you can make different kinds of pasta. Theirs makes spaghetti, linguine, and fettucine.
Check it out:
Make the dough, and form it into balls.
Last, change attachments, and slice it into noodles. Easy!
After dinner, we had rice gelato. Rice is one of those flavors that sounds weird, but tastes pretty good- like a frozen, blended, rice pudding. I first had it in Florence, at the suggestion of Rick Steves
. This is one of the more labor intensive flavors I've made (and anyone who's read any of my posts knows how I feel about labor intensive recipes). Luckily, my mom was there, and she did the heavy lifting. (Thanks mom! ..Although thinking about it, she did the heavy lifting for the pasta too.)Start by baking the rice with some milk, sugar, salt, a vanilla bean, and an orange peel. Sounds like it would make a good rice pudding, right?
I think this could have used more milk, but it still tasted good.
One surprise here is the addition of raw egg yolks, after the rice/milk mixture is baked. I don't know if the milk is supposed to be hot enough to cook the eggs, but we decided to return the whole thing to the oven until it was 165 degrees.
Then blend half the rice mixture (pouring it into a separate bowl makes this step a lot easier).
Chill in the fridge and then churn in the machine. This ice cream freezes really hard, even right out of the machine (most recipes come out like soft serve). When you take this out of the freezer, give it 5-10 minutes to warm up a little (Or pop the whole thing in the microwave, if you're really impatient).
Adapted from Perfect Scoop.
- 1/2 cup Italian Arborio rice
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lenghtwise
- Two 1-inch-wide strips of orange zest
- 5 large egg yolks (save the whites for use later)
- 1 cup half-and-half or cream
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350. In a 1.75 to 2 quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Add the vanilla bean and strips of orange zest (I made the mistake of actually scraping out the vanilla, but it’s not really a mistake… it’s delicious.)
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the rice from the oven a second time, remove the vanilla bean and orange zest and briskly whisk in the egg yolks at once. Then whisk in the half and half or cream and nutmeg.
- Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until chopped fine then stir it back into the cooked rice.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
I suspect most ice cream shops' business suffers in January. After all, who wants to brave the frigid January weather to go get ice cream. Hot soup, sure, but ice cream? Not so much. Luckily for me, I'm my own best customer, so business has been booming.
Pho 75 is the best in the city, but if you're suffering from Pho-withdrawal, this will do the job.
DC just kicked off its first cold spell of the new year and the weather men are threatening snow (always sure to throw the city into gridlock). So I decided to buck the seasons and make strawberry sorbet, as a reminder that Spring is on its way.
Okay, that's not true- I wanted ice cream, didn't have any milk in the house, and an excavation of the back of my freezer revealed a bag of frozen strawberries. So strawberry sorbet it was!
I based this on David Lebovitz's recipe from The Perfect Scoop, but I've upped the amounts. His recipe yields only about half a quart, and that isn't enough for me, let alone enough for me to share with anyone else. Full disclosure: I haven't tried this with these amounts. I used his recipe as written in the book and was unfortunately reminded how little it makes, a few short hours before bringing it to someone's house for dessert. These amounts are what I'll use the next time I make this. For the purists, I've included his recipe below. Feel free to use that- you won't hurt my feelings.Strawberry SorbetIngredients:
- 2 lb. strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup sugar
- 2-3+ tbl of liquor (optional; I've used dark rum to great success, but a splash of vodka works well to prevent it from turning into a brick)
- 1 tbl lemon juice (Most recipes call for fresh squeezed, and if you have it, great. But really, who keeps lemons in the house? I bought a large bottle of concentrate lemon juice awhile ago, and I use that as needed).
- Pinch of salt
- If you're using frozen strawberries, let them mostly defrost in a large bowl. (If you can get rid of most of that melted water before continuing, go for it. If not, don't worry about it. This isn't rocket science.) If you're using fresh strawberries, wash, hull, and slice the strawberries.
- Toss the strawberries with the sugar and liquor, if using, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, stirring every so often (I've skipped the hour wait, with no harm done).
- Puree the strawberries (I use a hand blender, and it works great- just watch out for stray bits of strawberries making a desperate break for freedom onto your kitchen counter) with the other ingredients until smooth. If you don't want seeds in your sorbet, press the mixture through a strainer. (Anyone who knows me even slightly knows I never both with this step.)
- Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (One thing the manufacturer's instructions aren't likely to tell you is when to stop freezing sorbet. For years, I treated sorbet like ice cream, and I ended up with crumbly sorbet. No good. Instead, stop churning when its the consistency of a thick smoothie. You'll get a much richer, thicker and smoother end product.)
And here, for the sticklers, are the original amounts:Ingredients:
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. kirsch (optional)
- 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
Growing up, my favorite ice cream flavor was peppermint stick. (If I was a better writer- or had a better memory- I would now speak poetically about its unnatural pink and red swirls, but that's not how I roll.)
But Big Ice Cream (too often crowded from the headlines by the likes of Big Tobacco and Big Pharma) long ago decided that peppermint stick ice cream would be available only once a year- an injustice that ranks with vending machines that take your money but don't give you any candy. And so I was reduced to an annual half-gallon, typically devoured in just a couple of standings.*
For whatever reason, I haven't found a recipe for peppermint stick ice cream that appealed to me. I've made fresh mint (from the mint plant on our balcony) a couple of times, and that's come out great. But I once tried adding mint extract to my basic vanilla, and it came out tasting as you would expect (full of fake mint flavor) and that pretty much turned me off to the idea.
But a few weeks ago, Katie came home from work with a surprise- she had stopped at Walgreens and bought a box of 65 mini-candy canes
Picture this box, but full of candy canes.
The box sat on the counter for a week or two, and raided for the occasional 'cane, until I overcame my laziness and used it in ice cream. It's really easy: I made my standard base, added a little mint extract, and then when it was almost done churning, a TON of crushed candy canes. (A 'ton' is a technical term, and is defined roughly as 65 mini candy canes less however many were still in the box, in the picture above.)
Admittedly, crushed may be the wrong word here. I ground some of them in my mini-food processor, but then a couple got underneath the blade and I couldn't get it to work right. Finally, I got impatient and dumped in the rest without really breaking them up enough. But it still tasted good.
And check it out- the candy canes melted and turned the ice cream pink!
Also, and I think it's because of all the sugar, the ice cream is still really soft, so you don't have to worry about waiting around for it to soften. You can come home from work, grab a spoon, and go straight to the freezer for a quick bite (or so I've heard).
Now I can make my favorite flavor anytime I want. Unless Big Candy decides to create an artificial candy cane shortage, and stops selling them the rest of the year.
*A standing is similar to a sitting except the food is consumed standing up, usually in front of the regridgerator or freezer, straight from the container.
Back in the early days of this blog, I mentioned that I made a bacon-peanut brittle ice cream, how awesome it was, and that one day, I would get around to writing about it. This is not that day.
No- this is the story of bacon-pecan brittle.
I was at my parents' house a few weeks ago to see my uncle, who was visiting. He shares the family interest in (some might say addiction to) eating, and the subject of my ice cream came up. I offered to make any flavor he wanted, and listed some I've made. His eyes lit up when I mentioned Bacon Peanut Brittle, but my brother told me my niece is allergic to peanuts. As adorable as my niece is, I couldn't let her allergy stand in the way of ice cream. And so, Bacon-Pecan Brittle Ice Cream was born.
This isn't a complicated ice cream. Making the brittle is the most time-intensive step.
1. Cook the bacon. (The recipe calls for only two strips, but who are we kidding- use the whole pack). Remember this is going into ice cream, not on an egg sandwich, so it should be pretty crispy.
2. Assemble the rest of your ingredients. You really want to get everything together before you start, since once the sugar is melted, things start going pretty fast.
Many years ago, my friend Lynn sent me her recipe for a savory bread pudding. It has such heart-healthy ingredients as cheddar cheese, (turkey) sausage, cream, eggs, olive oil and butter. Lynn closes the instructions with step #8: "eat! but not if you have like cholesterol and/or heart problems." This is how I felt while making the brittle.
3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and butter in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring often, until it turns golden brown (10-15 minutes).
4. When it's ready, remove the pot from the heat, and immediately stir in the vanilla, salt, peanuts and bacon (ie, everything except the baking soda). It'll thicken up, but keep mixing, until it's evenly combined.
5. Sprinkle with the baking soda, and stir to combine. The recipe says it'll foam up, but this didn't happen to me.
6. Spread the whole thing out on a baking sheet (I used one sheet, and it came out pretty thick; consider using two, if you want thinner brittle). Let it cool completely, before breaking it up into chunks.
This recipe makes quite a bit- so much I didn't need to stand guard over it, to prevent family members from stealing pieces over the course of the afternoon. Store the brittle in an air tight container for up to two weeks. (Don't refrigerate it.)
This is how much I had left over. Needless to say, the family scavengers finished it by early the next morning.
At this point, you're good to go. You can make a standard vanilla ice cream base, and mix this in when the ice cream is just about done churning. Or you could make your own little tribute to The King, and make it into some kind of peanut butter, banana and bacon-brittle sandwich. Or just keep eating the brittle from the container a little (or a lot) at a time. I won't judge you.
* The recipe comes from Humphrey Slocumbe's flavor 'Elvis: The Fat Years', which is a banana and brown sugar ice cream, with the bacon-peanut brittle mixed in. My in-laws got me their book as a present, but you can get the original recipe from this article
I was at my friends Mike and Emi's house, when someone said 'Flying home last week, I had the biscoff cookies. Those are the best.' Other people agreed. To all of this, I smartly replied 'Huh?'
The exchange caught me by surprise. And no, not because I didn't know what they were talking about. That isn't unusual. But in this context? Cookies? The best
cookies? And I hadn't even heard of them!?
See, I really have only two interests: food and exercise. Because I'm wildly over-educated, I can speak on other topics, like the major obstacles to the successful completion of the Doha trade round
. But at a conservative estimate, I spend upwards of 75% of my free time thinking about food and exercise. And yet here I was, caught out entirely over these allegedly great cookies. My ignorance could not be allowed to continue.*
And so a research project was born. Biscoff: What is it, Why does Delta serve it, Where can I get some, and How does it taste in ice cream?What is it?
Biscoff rose to fame as a cookie. A speculoos cookie, to be specific. Speculoos are, according to Wikipedia, a kind of shortcrust biscuit, and ... well, if you care that much, go read the Wiki entry
But more recently**, Biscoff has been available as a spread. A cookie
spread. (Let's all just pause for a moment, to recognize how great that idea is... ready? Okay- let's keep going). Flavor-wise, biscoff is to cookies, what nutella is to chocolate and hazelnut. When I tried it for the first time, it was as if someone had taken a box of the fancy Pepperidge Farms cookies I only got at my grandmother's house, ground them up, and made a spreadable paste out of them. All of which is to say.. it's pretty awesome.
This is what you're looking for.
Need more evidence on how awesome it is? I found this Salon article
, with a quote from Ann Cashion, of Cashion's Eat Place.
It’s a texture, a mouthfeel thing. They are crisp to the bite, but then they just crumble into tender sand as you chew. Remarkable, really. I have only one source for them: a store near my beach house. So when I go to close the house at the end of the summer, I stock up on enough Biscoff to last me through until April! But they never do last because, well, that’s the nature of addiction, right?
Why does Delta serve it?
I dunno. Not even Wikipedia had a good answer for this one. In fact, Wiki doesn't even have an entry on Biscoff the cookie. I had to make do with this entry from WikiKitchen
, Wikipedia's red-headed step-child. But Delta and Biscoff clearly enjoy a pretty deep partnership. You can even earn Delta Sky Miles by shopping at biscoff.com. Seriously
. Where can I get some?
For years, the easiest way to get biscoff cookies was to fly Delta. I'm told that on many/most/all(?) of their flights, they offer Biscoff cookies as a snack. (The second easiest was to order them from Amazon). But no longer- now, you can find Biscoff both as a spread and as a cookie at your friendly neighborhood grocery store.*** Which leads us to the research question most dear to my heart...How does it taste in ice cream?
Great question- glad you asked. Kirby was kind enough to bring over a jar, with the suggestion that I make it into ice cream.
Well.. the remains of a jar.
Given it's similarity to nutella, I followed the recipe I use to make nutella ice cream
. It uses a basic custard, and has you pour the hot custard into a bowl with half a cup of nutella/biscoff spread in the bottom (with a little vanilla extract).
When I first poured in the custard, I was worried that the biscoff was too thick to melt.
But no worries- it smoothed out great after a minute or two of stirring.
After a chill in an ice bath and overnight in the fridge, the ice cream churned up great. The spread is pretty thick (thicker than nutella), and so the ice cream scooped out dense, with a strong cookie flavor. In a word- awesome.
* In my defense, I've never been a big store-bought dessert guy. For this, I blame my mom, who is a great baker. Her desserts have spoiled me for anything I can get at most bakeries.
** My friend Brad tells me that Biscoff, the spread, has been available in Europe for some time.
*** I haven't been able to verify the cookies. The Giant (a grocery store chain) by my apartment recently began stocking biscoff spread, next to the Nutella, but I've yet to see the cookies in the store. My friend Kirby is the only one who has spotted the cookie in the wild, but for all I know, he was in the depths of a sugar binge at the time.
I've referenced Food52
quite a few times on this blog. I'm a big fan of their site: it's about food (always a plus for me), they have a broad collection of recipes- often with multiple versions of any given dish (because much of it is contributed by readers)- which are easy to follow and produce good food, and .. okay, I seem to be struggling with writers block this morning. You know what else Food52 benefits from? Editors. Something that this site sorely lacks, some days. Suffice to say I like their site, and you should check it out.
Let's just skip the intro, and get to the point of this post: Food52 runscontests
, where readers are encouraged to submit their 'best' versions of a given dish or kind of food (eg, Your best recipe with mint
, Your best potato pancakes
). I like these contests, because when I'm want to make a dish, I assume the judges have done my due diligence for me, and that the winning recipes have been validated as being worth a look.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Your best ice cream content. Surely this would identify a great new recipe for me to try (hopefully several, thanks to the runners up).
Plus, any 'best ice cream' competition has to wade into one of the most contentious ice cream flavors debates since Chocolate or Vanilla: Plain or Stuff? As regular readers, I'm sure all of you know where I stand
. I'm a stuff guy- the more the better. (My favorite ice cream at the Chicago Ice Cream Festival of 2010- where, thanks to their terrible marketing and resultant lack of lines, I may or may not have absolutely gorged on ice cream- was Jeni's Brown Butter and Almond Brittle.. chock full of stuff) But I can understand the other side's argument. Sometimes, the mix-ins get in the way of the pure flavor of the ice cream. Was Mike's Plain Vanilla good? Of course. Would it have been better if I had mixed in some Oreos or heath bar? Definitely.
Ready for Food52's winning recipe? Olive oil-saffron with Burnt Orange-Caramel Swirl
Wait, what? This is the best flavor out of the 100+ that were submitted
? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this is good ice cream (I really enjoyed the olive oil gelato I had at Otto years ago), but this is the best?Quick aside: How do they choose the winners? Do they really make every recipe that's submitted and do a taste test? And if so, how do I get in on that?
Back to this recipe: I can't imagine anyone looks at this list and picks that one, except on the basis of its complexity and number of ingredients (olive oil, saffron, burnt orange AND caramel? And again, long-time readers, you know both of those are big turn-offs for me.. I prefer short ingredient lists I already have in the house, and easy).
It won the contest, so it must be good. But it strikes me as fancyness (is that a word? Spell-check says no. I really could use an editor some days) for its own sake.
When you have a minute, check out the other flavors submitted. You think Vanilla-Bourbon Walnut Crumble
, or Apple Cider Ice Cream with Walnut Pralines
, or Honey Lavender
wouldn't be able to provide some heavy competition to the champion?
You know what this reminds me of? The Pepsi Challenge. There are flavors that would probably taste great for one spoonful. But for a large bowl, give me a classic.
This is how I feel about my attempts to make basil ice cream.
I've tried twice. No, that's not right. Not twice, as in two attempts. No, I've tried two different recipes, with multiple attempts to spin them into wonderful ice cream. Alas, they remain bowls of sugary, basil-y milk.
(As of this writing, I've only tried to freeze my second recipe once. I'm holding out hope- a thin, muted, easily-broken hope, but a hope all the same- that maybe the canister wasn't frozen enough, and that on a second try it'll work).
My first recipe was a little more complicated than I usually like, but I figured you, my wonderful blog audience, was worth it.
I followed David Lebovitz's recipe, whereby the basil leaves are blended with sugar and milk, and then the whole mess is cooked up into a custard. Looking at the pictures (this all took place a few weeks ago), I must have added some lemon zest too.
Then the usual process: let it cool, and then chill overnight before churning in the machine. Except.. it didn't churn. After a good thiry minutes of spinning, it was still milk. Cold milk, sure, but not ice cream.
This has happened to me before
, but usually (as in the case of that link), I re-freeze it and it works out. In this case, I ended up spinning it three times, to no avail. So finally, I read about a technique for making ice cream without an ice cream maker, where you put the mixture in the freezer, and every 10 minutes or so, mix it up.
I have strong feelings on this, so let me be clear: it sucked. Sure, it froze, but it wasn't very good. It was similar to really bad, cheap ice cream.. grainy and full of ice crystals.
So for my second attempt, I went with a recipe I've made several times before- and once just a few days ago, with fresh mint:
| || |
Make Jeni's standard ice cream base (3 1/4 C milk, 2/3 C sugar, 2 TBL corn syrup, 1 1/3 TBL cornstarch). Then, pour it into the bowl to cool, and add the basil (or whatever herb you like). The basil steeps as the milk mixture cools. Then, wheneve you're ready, make it into ice cream.
Like I said, this worked perfectly for the mint- I still have most of a quart in my freezer. But this time, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip.* So I put the milk mixture back in the fridge, washed and dried the freezer bowl and put that back in the freezer. I'll try again in a couple of days. But if this doesn't work, I'm throwing in the towel on the basil. I've got a better flavor coming down the pipe.. biscoff!
*I took a picture, but I don't think it really makes clear how not-frozen it is.
My parents were in town this weekend, so I stocked up on ice cream. I made four flavors: Coffee-Cinnamon, Pina Colada, Strawberry (sorbet), and Ginger (a new flavor!) My parents are huge ginger fans, so this was for them, and featured chopped, candied ginger from Trader Joe's.
But unfortunately, it's now the work week, and like the hangover from a big night out, my freezer now presents a serious danger: How do I avoid eating the remains of four quarts of ice cream over the next couple of days?
Generally speaking, my first line of defense against junk food binging* is 'Don't buy it'. This works well for me, since I do the food shopping, and I know that if I have anything like a sleeve of Oreos in the house, it won't last the night. But the 'Dont buy it' defense doesn't really work for homemade ice cream. 'Dont make it'? I guess, but while I do take breaks for short periods, that's not a good long-term strategy.Dan Ariely
has a suggestion. Ariely is a behavioral economist at Duke, and author of a couple of books (check out his Amazon page
). He wrote a guest post on Tim Ferriss' blog on something called 'ego depletion'.
(I'll take a shot here at describing the concept, but you're much better off just reading the article. Really.. go read it
). Ego depletion is the idea that you start each day with a bank account of decision 'points'. As you make decisions, both large and small, that bank accounts is reduced. Deciding between the red shirt and blue shirt to wear to work may cost only 1 point. Deciding not to skip the gym after work might be 20 points. And so forth. After the day's account is empty, your ability to make decisions is significantly impaired. And so when you get home to make dinner, and you see four quarts of ice cream in the freezer, the question of 'Should I make dinner or just eat a lot of ice cream?' is more likely to be answered in favor of the ice cream.
(Seriously, read the article, Ariely does a much better job than I did. Click here for the article
I found this idea fascinating, because it helps us understand how we make decisions (consciously or not), and can provide some insight into how to avoid devouring a quart of chocolate hazelnut ice cream (or whatever your weakness is) while sitting on the couch watching basketball (I would call out Kirby here, but he knows that I've done the same thing). And I would add that there's nothing wrong with the occasional binge, but being aware of why you do this is better than being unaware.
As Ariely says in the article,
The key here is planning the indulgence rather than waiting until you have absolutely nothing left in the tank. It’s in the latter moments of desperation that you throw yourself on the couch with the whole pint of ice cream, not even making a pretense of portion control, and go to town while watching your favorite tv show.
To be clear: eating the whole pint of ice cream, in and of itself, isn't the root problem; rather, it's the eating of it because you've used up your decision points and don't have the willpower left to resist the ice cream and make dinner. This is exactly why a good article on getting in shape suggests planning all your meals in advance, prepping everything on Sunday, and packaging the meals for the week in tupperware.
If you're interested in more on this, Brian Wansink (a professor at Cornell's Food Lab .. how cool a place is that) wrote Mindless Eating
, which goes into much greater depth, with a focus on food (for example, why do we sit at a movie theater, mindlessly shoving handfuls of stale, over-buttered popcorn into our pie holes).
The bottom line here is not that you should stop eating junk food. You're not going to. But for those of us, like me, who have serious control problems around food, it can only be helpful to understand better how and why we behave as we do.
And now, with the public service announcement out of the way, here's an ice cream recipe.Ginger Ice Cream
, adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
- 3 ounces peeled fresh ginger
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- Cut the ginger into thin slices. Add the sliced ginger to a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
- Let it cook for two minutes, then drain the ginger (this is called 'blanching').
- Add the milk, 1 cup of the cream, the sugar, and the salt, and heat until the mixture is warm. Cover the saucepan, remove it from the heat, and let the ginger steep for an hour.
- Remove the ginger from the milk mixture (you can eat it, it's pretty good), and make a custard with the milk mixture and the egg yolks.
- Put the remaining 1 cup of cream in a medium bowl, and pour the custard into that bowl and mix. From there, follow the usual steps (chill and churn, etc).
- You can add chopped candied ginger, but we had trouble chopped it into really small pieces, and I didn't think it froze that well.
* To me, there's a huge difference between binging on junk food and binging on healthy food. If you decide to eat a quart of cottage cheese, two cups of oatmeal, and a bowl of apples over three hours, you'll be really full, but long-term, you'll be in better shape and in less danger from things like diabetes**.
** This touches on capital N "Nutrition". I'm happy to get into a big discussion on this, but I'm not sure an ice cream blog is the place for it. If you have questions, let me know.
I love ice cream. You know this. But sometimes I get stuck on what flavor to make.
Vanilla? Too boring
Chocolate Hazelnut? Always a classic, but I don't want to get in a rut.
Salted Caramel? Loved it, but making the caramel is a pain*, and I'm really lazy.
So this means that I'll often sit down with a stack of ice cream books next to me, and flip through them looking for inspiration. And to be sure, I see some really unusual and cool sounding flavors, but they all have one thing in common: they're based around one (or more) key ingredient I never have in the house. And I'm not gonna go to the store just to pick up some...
- Szechwan peppercorns**
- Fresh figs
- Dulce de leche
- White miso
Hey.. i've got miso paste in the house! Katie bought some white miso paste to make miso-glazed fish, and since the glaze only calls for a couple of tablespoons of miso, we've had it in the fridge for awhile.
is the story of how White Miso-Peach ice cream came to be.
The ice cream itself was really easy.
1. Make the standard ice cream base.
2. Melt some sugar in a small pot.
3. While the sugar is melting, chop the fresh fruit (the recipe calls for peach, pear or apple).
4. When it's ready, toss the fruit in the melted sugar and mix well. This is the only tricky part. When you add the cold fruit, the sugar will immediately harden. Keep stirring, and it will soften as the peaches cook. Soon, you'll get this pot full of soft, goey peaches and sugar mix.
5. Add a little miso paste, and combine.
6. Mix the whole thing into the ice cream base, chill it, and churn. See? Easy.
I liked it a lot. It tastes like a very sweet peach ice cream, with an occassional salty hit from the miso. I think I probably could have blended it up better, to get a more uniform miso flavor, but I still liked it. One tip: when people tried this, I told them it was peach ice cream. I figured some people might have been scared off by the idea of miso in the ice cream, and so I only told them about it if they asked what else was in it.
I took a couple pictures, but they're from my phone. My camera decided to give me some weird error. (Katie's pro tip: Have you tried charging the battery? Yup, that fixed it).
* I found this great recipe for making caramel in the microwave from America's Test Kitchen. If it works, you can expect a slew of caramel-related recipes. Get excited.
** I'm in desperate need of a good asian market in DC, that doesn't involve driving out to suburban Maryland or Virginia. Any suggestions?
*** Really, lavender? Can I just go pick some lavender from someone's garden and eat it? Is the lavender I see on a menu the same stuff people grow in their garden?