Tiramisu Ice Cream (#52)

7 03 2013

I DID IT!!!  52 Scoops in 52 weeks!  My year of ice cream making is complete.  A rich, indulgent ice cream to finish off the 52 Scoops repertoire is definitely in order.  How does Tiramisu Ice Cream sound?

This was actually one of the first ice cream recipes I tried, well over a year ago.  I was having my family over for an Italian-themed dinner and was struggling to think of what to make for dessert.  Tiramisu would have been the perfect end to that meal, but my dad makes a pretty mean tiramisu — there was no way I could compete with him!  I settled on Tiramisu Ice Cream as an alternative.


My dad’s tiramisu makes a special appearance at birthdays and other special dinners.  It’s amazing and can’t be beat!

For readers who are unfamiliar with tiramisu, it’s a classic Italian dessert made with ladyfingers (small, elongated sponge cakes) that are dipped in strong coffee and liqueur (typically Marsala, Kahlua, or rum), layered with a rich, airy mixture of mascarpone cheese and egg yolks, and topped with powdered or shaved chocolate.

I’ve tinkered with this recipe over the last year, adjusting proportions and testing out different ingredients.  My final and preferred version of Tiramisu Ice Cream uses a couple of shots of espresso, Kahlua, and mascarpone cheese with 35% milk fat.  (Mascarpone can be up to 75% milk fat!)   The espresso and Kahlua give the ice cream a double coffee punch and a complex flavour, while the 35% M.F. mascarpone adds an extra degree of richness and smoothness without blowing your calorie count for the day.  It’s the perfect pick-me-up dessert!

Many of you have asked What’s next for 52 Scoops?  Well, right now, I’m eating a big bowl of Tiramisu Ice Cream and working on a blog post to answer that very question.  Check back in a few days :)

Tiramisu Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
2 shots of strong espresso (or 60 mL very strong brewed coffee.  No instant coffee allowed!)
1/4 cup Kahlua (or other coffee flavoured liqueur)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated dark chocolate
3/4 cup coarsely crumbled ladyfingers (optional)

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Date Orange Almond Ice Cream (#48)

9 02 2013

This week’s flavour features a sticky favourite: dates.  Dates are the fruit of date palm trees.  They are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking and often paired with orange, almond, and honey flavours.  How about rolling all of these flavours into one ice cream?  I figured an orange-honey base with chopped dates and toasted sliced almonds would be a fantastic combination.

dried dates, Medjool dates

Sweet sticky dates

Dates are a bit sticky to work with, so here are few tips:

1) To prevent the dates from sticking to your knife while chopping, lightly coat your knife with some oil or cooking spray.

2) To prevent the chopped dates from sticking together in one big clump when you’re churning them into the ice cream, soak them overnight in a bit of hot water and Grand Marnier.  (The Grand Marnier optional, but it will infuse the dates with a subtle orange flavour.)

Results?  Yum!  The soft, sticky dates contrasted really well with the crunch of the flaky almonds, and the orange-honey flavours were perfectly balanced.  Using honey as a sweetener also made the ice cream super scoopable.  Bookmark this recipe — it’s the perfect dessert to finish a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean-themed dinner!

Date Orange Almond Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

3/4 cup chopped dried dates
2 tablespoons of hot water
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier (or substitute an extra tablespoon of hot water)
2 eggs
2/3 cup honey
A pinch of sea salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
Juice and finely chopped zest of one large orange
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

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Sweet Potato and Kahlua Ice Cream (#44)

10 01 2013

Ahhh, sweet potatoes!  Packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, these bad boys are one of my favourite superfoods.  They were on sale last week, so I bought a big pile.


Sweet potatoes are one of my favourite superfoods.

I baked the sweet potatoes with every intention of eating them plain as I usually do, but then I thought, hey, why not incorporate them into this week’s ice cream recipe?  I’ve tried a few veggie ice cream recipes now — Mint and Peas Ice Cream, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, and Beet and Orange Ice Cream — so Sweet Potato Ice Cream should hardly be considered weird!

Baked sweet potato, baked yam

Fresh out of the oven and oozing with sweetness!

So I peeled them, tipped them into the blender, and stirred the silky orange puree into a basic custard along with a few spoonfuls of Kahlua.  Results?  This was an interesting one.  The taste of the sweet potato and the Kahlua were both fairly subtle, emerging only after the third or fourth bite.  As with the Beet and Orange Ice Cream, I found I really had to focus to figure out what flavours I was tasting.  The ice cream was also surprisingly not very sweet, considering I used my standard 3/4 cup of sugar and also had the natural sugars in the sweet potatoes.  Depending on your tastes, you might want to the increase the sugar to 1 cup or give the ice cream an extra drizzle of Kahlua or maple syrup.

Sweet Potato and Kahlua Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

3 medium or 5 small orange sweet potatoes (enough to yield 1.5 cups of baked sweet potato puree)
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Scrub the sweet potatoes under cold running water.  Prick the potatoes a few times to let steam release while baking.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a fork.  Let cool.
  2. Peel the skin off the sweet potatoes.  Tip the potatoes into a blender and puree until smooth.  Measure out 1.5 cups of puree.  Set aside.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  4. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream and the salt.
  5. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  6. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining cup of the half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
  7. When the custard is cool, whisk in the sweet potato puree and the Kahlua.
  8. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  9. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sweet potato and kahlua ice cream, sweet potato pie ice cream

The Official Taster says: “This is a slow-release taste ice cream. “

Bailey’s Irish Cream Ice Cream (#42)

28 12 2012

I am partied out.  The last few weeks have been a flurry of Christmas lunches, dinners, potlucks, and parties.  I have indulged — no, overindulged — in sweets and treats.  I don’t think I need to see a chocolate or a cookie until April.  Heck, I don’t think I even have room for ice cream.

But I’m just about in the final stretch.  After this week, I only have 10 more posts to go before I have a compilation of 52 ice cream recipes — one for every week of the year.  There’s no stopping now!

I’m keeping things super simple this week; my post-holiday brain can’t handle anything beyond mixing A with B.

Let A = Vanilla ice cream base
Let B = Leftover Bailey’s Irish Cream from last weekend’s party
A + B = Bailey’s Irish Cream Ice Cream

Bailey’s Irish Cream Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

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Eggnog Ice Cream (#41) + Christmas Ice Cream Options

20 12 2012
Christmas tree

Our wee tree

Five day countdown!  The tree is up, the halls are decked, and our stockings hung by the gas fireplace with care.  Time to kick back with some rum and eggnog.

I must admit I was tempted to pour the rest of the carton of eggnog into my Donvier ice cream maker and call it Week #40, but that would be cheating.  Besides, anything made from scratch always tastes better!  I haven’t made homemade eggnog before, but I figured it’d be quite easy to capture the taste of this festive drink in ice cream format.  After all, the main ingredients for eggnog are pretty much the same as a basic ice cream custard: milk and/or cream, eggs, and sugar.  Add a sprinkling of holiday spices and a few glugs of alcohol, and there you go!

For this recipe, I added two extra egg yolks to the standard two eggs I typically use for a bit of extra richness.  If you’re after an ultra decadent treat, you could use six yolks and no whites.  Whichever you choose, make sure you add lots of freshly grated nutmeg to the custard — nutmeg is what gives eggnog its distinct taste.

If you’re not a fan of eggnog but still want to serve a Christmas-y flavoured ice cream for dessert, you still have plenty of other flavour options.  My top picks would be: Gingerbread Ice Cream, Spiced Rum Raisin Ice Cream, Cranberry Orange Ice Cream, Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream, or Classic Vanilla Ice Cream with a half cup of crushed candy canes mixed in.

An early Merry Christmas to all!

Eggnog Ice Cream (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons rum

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Hungarian Chestnut Ice Cream (Gesztenye Fagylait) (#36)

15 11 2012

The other day, my co-worker Lisa was telling me about a classic and extremely popular Hungarian dessert.  Gesztenyepüré - sweetened chestnut puree – is mixed with rum and passed through a potato ricer, then topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  Lisa thought this would make for a fantastic ice cream flavour.  But making chestnut puree sounds incredibly… involved.  Scoring, roasting, and peeling chestnuts is not how I want to spend an evening!  Luckily, you can buy frozen chestnut puree — which Lisa did and kindly passed along.  Thanks!


Hungarian sweetened chestnut puree (Gesztenyepüré)

I must admit that I haven’t had had much exposure to chestnuts.  My experience is mostly limited to the chestnut-filled sponge cakes from Chinese bakeries, and I can’t say I’m enamoured by the taste and texture.  But chestnut puree + rum + whipped cream + chocolate?  You have my attention.

I thought this classic Hungarian dessert would be best represented in ice cream format by layering rum-spiked chestnut puree and shaved chocolate with a rum ice cream.  You can buy chestnut puree at most fine food stores and at European bakeries and delis.  If you can’t find it or if you are feeling particularly ambitious and want to make your own from scratch, you might want to try this recipe.  Though I do love Kraken spiced rum, I thought I ought to use plain rum for this recipe, so not to detract from the flavour of the chestnuts.  This was also an excuse to open a bottle of Venezuelan rum that was gifted to us by our friends Roman and Nathalie (thanks!).  For the chocolate shavings, I opted for Lindt 70%.

Overall, the ice cream was pretty tasty.  I loved the rum and chocolate, but I still can’t say I’m a fan of chestnuts.  It’s the mealy texture I don’t enjoy.  But, if you’re chestnut lover, give this recipe a try.  If you’re planning on storing this ice cream for more than a few hours, give it a chance to warm up before you scoop and enjoy — this will give the chestnut puree a chance to soften and for its nutty flavour to be more pronounced.

Hungarian Chestnut Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons rum, divided
250 g sweetened chestnut puree
2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
1/2 cup grated dark chocolate

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of rum.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  6. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Set aside.
  7. Thoroughly mix the chestnut puree with the remaining 2 tablespoons of rum and the 2 tablespoons of cream.
  8. Spread a quarter of the ice cream into a chilled dish.  Using a potato ricer, press about 1/3 of the chestnut puree over the ice cream.  Try to spread the strands of chestnut puree thinly and evenly over the ice cream and avoid any big clumps.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the shaved chocolate.  Repeat another two times.  Top with the remaining quarter of the ice cream.  In total, you will have three layers of chestnut/chocolate between four layers of ice cream.  Draw a metal spatula or knife through the different layers a few times to marble.  (If you don’t have a potato ricer, you can spread thin layers of chestnut puree between the layers of ice cream.)
  9. Chill thoroughly in the freezer until firm.
chestnut ice cream, Gesztenye Fagylait

The Official Taster says: “Perfect for the season.”

Spiced Rum Raisin Ice Cream (#35)

8 11 2012
Bottle of Kraken black spiced rum

Kraken spiced black rum comes in a wickedly cool bottle.

I’ve been rummaging around the liquor cabinet to see what else I can use in my ice cream recipes.  To date, I’ve used Kirsch in Week #22’s Black Forest Ice Cream, brandy in Week #24’s Caramelized Apricot Brandy Ice Cream, and whisky in last week’s Maple Whisky Walnut Ice Cream.  Flavours aside, incorporating alcohol into ice cream improves its texture and scoopability.  That’s because alcohol lowers the freezing point of ice cream, so it stays soft and creamy, even if it’s stored in the freezer for a few days.

Rum.  It’s time to break out the rum.  And there’s no better ice cream recipe featuring rum than a classic Rum Raisin.

Rather than using plain old rum for this recipe, I used Kraken, a spiced black rum that takes its name from a legendary sea monster — a squid of epic proportions.  Kraken comes in a wickedly cool looking bottle.  (And yes, I am easily swayed by cool looking bottles.)

Be sure to soak the raisins in the rum overnight to make them plump and boozy.  More importantly, this keeps them from freezing rock solid and breaking your teeth!

Spicy Rum Raisin Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
Pinch sea salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
3/4 c raisins (I used Thompson raisins)
1/3 c spiced rum (or use regular rum if you prefer)

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Maple Whisky Walnut Ice Cream (#34)

1 11 2012

I’m hardly a whisky connoisseur, but over the past two years, I’ve made an attempt to learn a little.  Top lessons learned to date?

  1. Buy your whisky at the duty free shops at the airport — you can save upwards of 50%
  2. If you like your whisky on the rocks, considering buying an ice ball mold.  A giant ice ball keeps your drink from getting watered down too quickly.
  3. The taste of whisky is enhanced when served in a Riedel whisky glass.
  4. Notwithstanding #3, no glass could ever make me enjoy whisky that tastes like diesel.
  5. Whisky is an awesome ingredient for ice cream!
bottles of whisky, whiskey

Whisky – a perfect warming drink in the fall and a great ingredient for ice cream!

Fall is the definitely the time to introduce the taste of spirits and liqueurs into ice cream.  Maple Walnut Ice Cream is a classic flavour that I thought could be made just a bit more sophisticated by adding a few shots of whisky.  Indeed!  Sweet maple syrup, toasted walnuts, and smooth Scotch whisky make for a fantastic combination.  I used the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.  And if you like, top off your bowl of ice cream with an extra shot of whisky and drizzle of maple syrup!

Maple Whiskey Walnut Ice Cream (Makes about 1 L)

3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup (Grade B syrup has a darker, richer maple taste compared to Grade A varieties)
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
Pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons whiskey
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

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Caramelized Apricot and Brandy Ice Cream (#24)

23 08 2012

The Official Taster has declared that he gets extra ice cream this week — payback for when I bashed him in the leg with my unicycle.  I’ve been trying to learn to ride a unicycle for quite some time now, and I really ought to stop practicing in the hallway as I’m waiting for the elevator.  Last week I almost accidentally pulled the fire alarm when I tried to steady myself.  This week, the unicycle slipped from underneath me and went flying into the O.T.’s legs.  Big bruise and a scratch.  Ooops.  But an extra large bowl of ice cream can fix that.

Apricots are the star of the show this week.  With soft, velvety skins, apricots also rank quite highly on the Fruit Cuteness scale, just behind the soft and fuzzy peaches that were featured in last week’s light, airy Peaches and Cream Ice Cream.

fresh apricots

Fresh BC apricots basking in the sunshine on Commercial Drive

This week’s ice cream recipe involves more complex flavours: deeply caramelized apricots, warming brandy, and toasted almonds.  There’s a hint of fall just around the corner.

When preparing the apricots, be sure to cook the butter and sugar until the mixture turns a light caramel colour before adding the apricots.  That way, you will achieve a deep amber colour and caramel-ly taste.  During the first round in the test kitchen, I made the mistake of combining the butter, sugar, and apricots in the pan all at once.  Because of the high water content in the apricots, the mixture never caramelized, and what I ended up with was a bright orange apricot compote — sweet and delicious, but not quite what I wanted.  I also mixed 1/2 cup of chopped and toasted almonds into the ice cream, but the texture of the nuts seemed a bit too coarse when paired with the soft, brandy-infused apricots.  I would suggest garnishing the ice cream with toasted sliced almonds instead, as these have a much lighter texture.

Caramelized Apricot and Brandy Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream: (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons brandy
Toasted sliced almonds (optional garnish)

Caramelized Apricots:

2 1/2 cups chopped apricots
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brandy

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.  Stir in the brandy.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.

For the Caramelized Apricots:

  1. While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the caramelized apricots.
  2. Melt the butter and sugar in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Swirl occasionally and let the mixture turn a light caramel colour, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped apricots.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apricots turn a gorgeous dark caramel colour.   This should take another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy.
  5. Cool and chill overnight in the fridge.

To Finish

  1. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. In the final stages of churning, add the caramelized apricots and churn to distribute throughout the ice cream.
  3. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds if desired.
caramelized apricot and brandy ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Payback tastes GOOD.”

Black Forest Ice Cream (#22)

9 08 2012

There was a news story that broke a few days ago that made me a bit sad.  Apparently, excess cherries from the US are being shipped to Canada, flooding the local market and causing prices to drop.  Cherry farmers in the Okanagan are receiving just half as much for their fruit compared to previous seasons.  With prices so low, farmers cannot afford to harvest the fruit.  Cherry pickers in the Okanagan have been laid off… leaving tens of thousands of pounds of beautiful, crispy, sweet cherries unpicked on the trees.  Sad faces all around.  Support our local farmers!  If you are able, pick up some local Okanagan cherries (and other local fruits and veggies) the next time you’re at the market!

Okanagan cherries

Okanagan cherries

I picked up a couple of pounds last weekend with a specific purpose in mind: BLACK FOREST.  I love chocolate and cherries!

Black forest cake itself is rather… involved.  Last year for my birthday, I was set on making a black forest cake from scratch.  Chocolate shortcrust pastry.  Chocolate sponge cake.  Cherry filling.  Freshly whipped cream.  Shaved chocolate curls.  Project Black Forest was accomplished over two days, the help of my dad (who just happened to have a homemade cake turntable on standby for my use), and caused quite the chocolately mess in the kitchen.

homemade black forest cake

Project Black Forest

But black forest ice cream is a cinch.  Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream + kirsch + boozy cherry compote = THE MOST AMAZING BLACK FOREST ICE CREAM EVER.  And it takes about 20 minutes of prep time!  (Hint: use a cherry pitter)  If you love chocolate and cherries as much as I do, you must try this recipe!

Black Forest Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

Ice Cream

3 eggs
1 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
3 3/4 cups half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons kirsch

Boozy Cherry Compote (makes about 2 cups)

3 cups of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons kirsch
1 tablespoon cornstarch

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