Endless Ice Cream: Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream Truffles

At some point last year I came across a recipe for ice cream truffles. It seemed easy enough. You scoop the ice cream, flash freeze the scoops, coat them in melted chocolate, freeze a little while longer, then indulge. So I grabbed a pint of  Häagen-Dazs vanilla bean ice cream out of the freezer and happily started away.

Good lord, it was a holy disaster. I’m pretty sure it ended with everything thrown unceremoniously in the garbage, quickly followed by the crack of a beer. But since I started making my own ice cream, my mind has often wandered back to that terrible day, and made me wonder exactly what went wrong. I started researching and I determined it was three things:

1) When the ice cream scoops started to melt I kept going instead of popping them back into the freezer.

2) When the temperature of the chocolate dropped and quit adhering easily to the ice cream I did not heat it up again.

3) Dipping the ice cream with my hands was messy and slow, increasing the speed of melted ice cream and cooling chocolate.

So I decided to give it another whirl, and this time the results were pretty fantastic…

Read More

Endless Ice Cream: Coffee-Maple-Bacon

My house in the summer gets disgustingly, unbearably hot. I once clocked 96 degrees in our living room. This means the oven pretty much gets a three-month vacation starting in June. However, no air conditioning can be the mother of invention. I’m forced to grill everything (I’ve made pizza, soup, bread, even lasagna on the grill), or get creative with no-cook and make-ahead recipes. This ice cream is in anticipation of those sticky, crabby mornings where it’s so hot I dream about moving to Alberta.

Whole bean coffee is steeped in cream, then cooked into a custard base. Maple syrup is whisked into the chilled custard. Then after it’s churned you fold in some pre-made chopped, candied bacon.

So there you have it: coffee, bacon, eggs, and maple syrup. Ice cream breakfast. If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning, make pancakes and scoop this on top of ’em. I guess I’ll be tinkering with cast iron skillet pancakes on the grill.

Coffee-Maple-Bacon Ice Cream

Read More

Endless Ice Cream: Asparagus

While at the farmers market recently, I came across a big booth of super fresh local asparagus. I knew it was destined for ice cream.

Most of the ice creams I make are a custard (egg) base, but I thought it would be too heavy for such a light, crisp flavor. I figured this would be the right time to try out Jeni Britton Bauer’s method of ice cream making. You may already be familiar with Jeni: on top of running 8 ice cream shops in Ohio, she also published an amazing compendium of her ice creams, and, oh, also was a James Beard Award recipient this year. Her method involves 3 bowls: a slurry in one, the salt and cream cheese in another, an ice bath in the third. You then boil the milk, cream, sugar and syrup for 4 minutes. The slurry is whisked in and returned to a boil. The hot milk gets whisked into the cream cheese, then everything goes into a big Ziplock bag and gets plunged into an ice bath. Then comes churning, freezing, and eating. Sound like a science experiment to you? That’s kinda how it felt.

By time I had finished with this my kitchen looked like a tornado had ripped through it. The clean-up was pretty intense. And as for the taste? Well, it depends on whether or not you like asparagus. I had 16 people taste this ice cream and asked their opinions. Without fail, every person who liked asparagus loved this ice cream. The two people that did not like the ice cream didn’t like asparagus anyway. So if you are not a lover of asparagus, this is not the recipe to change your mind. If you do love asparagus, get ready for one of the creamiest, freshest, sweet and pleasantly crisp ice creams you will ever taste.

Asparagus Ice Cream

Read More

Endless Ice Cream: Fig and Candied Walnut

I never ate a fig that wasn’t in Newton form until I was 28. Then, I picked up a pint for a dollar while grocery shopping one warm October evening. I gingerly bit into 0ne (it was oozing and I was scared), and proceeded to inhale the whole pint in about 30 seconds.  I love figs. I dream about them when autumn rolls around and I can anticipate their arrival at the supermarket. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for this ice cream. Dried Black Mission figs are simmered and pureed with a bit of hard liquor (which keeps it from freezing solid). Walnuts are candied with butter and brown sugar, then chopped and added to a creamy custard-based ice cream. The fig puree in swirled in at the end. A quart of this in the freezer should help tide me over till fig season.

Read More

Dorie Greenspan’s Olive Oil Ice Cream

Every two months I host a cookbook club meeting. A cookbook is chosen (usually at the prior meeting) and friends and family all choose a dish to make from it. Then we all get together to talk about the dish we chose, eat the hell out of all the food, and drink an ungodly amount of beer. While flipping through our next cookbook, Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, trying to pick my dish from the hundreds of incredible recipes, this recipe for olive oil ice cream caught my eye. A basic custard base, but some of the heavy cream is swapped out for olive oil. One of Dorie’s suggestions is topping it off with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon salt flakes. The end result is a sweet and incredibly nuanced ice cream. My five year-old son declared it the best ice cream yet (he has rich five year-old tastes).

Olive Oil Ice Cream

Read More

Endless Ice Cream: Toasted Brown Rice

I have had the joy of working in a coffee shop for almost 11 out of the last 12 years. One of the many, many highlights of this job is the sheer number of teas and coffees I have been privileged enough to taste along the way. A steadfast favorite tea is The Republic of Tea’s Tea of Inquiry. It’s a classic genmaicha, green tea with toasted rice. The depth and warmth the toasted rice lends to the tea is what made me fall so quickly in love with it. After going through several tins I decided to try my hand at toasted rice and mixing it with different types of tea. Oolong, black, white, pu-erh — all have been made better with a small handful of toasty brown rice.

The last time a brewed a cup, I wondered how toasted brown rice would fare in ice cream form. My first instinct was to steep the rice with tea leaves for an ice cream take on genmaicha, but I have a handful of other tea-themed ice creams already up my sleeve. So I decided to pair it with the sweet molasses flavor of brown sugar. The results were beyond my expectations. Dark, toasty, creamy and sweet, this ice cream has a subtle depth that keeps your spoon going back for more.

Toasted Brown Rice Ice Cream

Read More

Endless Ice Cream: Black Licorice

Editor’s Note: New contributor Rebecca McClain (unsightly) is here to prove that the indefatigable bakersroyale isn’t the only ES-er who can whip up a dessert (don’t worry — poptails ain’t goin’ anywhere!) For the rest of the spring and summer, unsightly, a vegetable gardener and baker who has eaten something new everyday for the last 4 years of her life, will be bringing us ES-style ice cream recipes: that means you can forget about chocolate and vanilla—because you’re getting olive oil, figs, and black licorice up in your ice cream.

Ages (or 12 years) ago, I spent a lot of time walking the streets of the UW-Madison campus with my boyfriend. State Street was loaded with every kind of eatery, from North African to Hungarian to Tibetan. One of our favorite stops was an ice cream parlor called The Chocolate Coyote. The lobby was loaded with stacks of free copies of The Onion. We’d grab a copy, head into the parlor, and if we were lucky they would have their incredible black licorice ice cream in the line-up.

We’d sit and read over The Onion and eat triple-scoop waffle cones of the stuff. Black licorice is a pretty polarizing flavor, and we both sit firmly in the ‘love-it’ side. This ice cream was unlike anything I had ever had. It was creamy white with little pieces of hard licorice that left ribbons of flavor. It was my favorite. A couple of years later a Coldstone Creamery opened up just two doors away from the Chocolate Coyote and very quickly and very efficiently put it out of business. After a period of mourning, I started my hunt for that ice cream. I stopped at every small ice cream parlor I came across. I asked the owners if they had ever heard of it. Everyone I talked to either looked disgusted or puzzled. I researched online and the only thing I could find was this weird solid black ice cream that looked nothing like what I wanted.

Last summer we drove to an ice cream shop over an hour away to taste the solid black ice cream and came away disappointed. Finally I broke down and bought an ice cream maker. Sometimes you have to take shit into your own hands. Black licorice was, of course, the first thing I made in it. I found licorice flavor from LorAnn Oils and hard candies at a local candy store. I was set.

The verdict? I am happy at last. I can rest easy knowing that my favorite ice cream is always in my reach. And the best part is I am now ice cream crazy. I think about ice cream at least a few hours each day. I have a feeling this will be a delicious summer.

Black Licorice Ice Cream

Read More
« Previous
Next »