White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream (#63)

5 01 2014

I was tidying the pantry cupboard the other day and came across a secret stash of macadamia nuts from our November getaway to Maui.  November has always been the prime time for the Official Taster and I to sneak away — it’s the greyest, wettest, and absolutely most dreary month in Vancouver.  Ordinarily, we’re the type to throw on our backpacks and head off to explore unfamiliar places.  But the past Fall had been such a whirlwind of activity for both of us that, this time around, we needed a wheely-suitcase holiday.  Maui it was then.

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, sunset

A recursive sunset from our hotel in Lahaina, Maui.

Of course, any trip to Hawaii requires loading up on macadamia nuts.  (Travel tip: forego the overpriced gift shops!  Your best bet is to buy your mac nuts at Costco or Walmart.)  These rich, buttery nuts are a bit of an indulgence.  They’re loaded with fat and calories, but they’re oh so tasty when whirled into white chocolate ice cream.

Mauna Loa, macadamia nuts, macadamiass

Load up on these bad boys when you’re in Hawaii!

roasted macadamia nuts, macadamias, mac nuts

Yum!

Toss your New Year’s resolution out the window and whirl up a batch of ice cream!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
1/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
8 ounces quality white chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I used lightly roasted and salted ones)

Read the rest of this entry »





Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt (#59-Y)

11 06 2013

There are a lot of people out there who don’t like yogurt.  For many, it’s the characteristic tang of yogurt that’s the deal breaker.  The solution?  Chocolate.  And lots of it.

This frozen yogurt recipe calls for a whopping 3/4 cup of Dutch cocoa powder — the same amount as in my recipe for Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream, which I made waaaay back in Week #5.  I assure you that the deep, chocolatey taste of cocoa powder will mask any hint of tang in the yogurt.  Even if you have the most discerning palette, hyper-sensitive sour taste buds, and can pick out even the slightest whisper of tang in your food, you will likely attribute that taste to the sweet-tart macerated raspberries that are churned throughout the frozen yogurt.

Rather than using 2% plain Greek yogurt (Oikos brand – 130 calories, 3.5 g fat, 17 g protein per 1/2 cup) as I did with my last two frozen yogurt recipes, I gave 3% plain regular yogurt (Astro brand – 80 calories, 4 g fat, 5 g protein per 1/2 cup) a try this week to see if there’d be any difference in using a thinner yogurt, albeit one with a slightly higher fat content.

Astro 3% plain yogurt

3% plain regular yogurt has fewer calories and is cheaper than 2% plain Greek yogurt, but doesn’t compromise on taste and texture in frozen yogurt recipes.

Results?  Taste: AWESOME.  Texture: AWESOME.  Granted, I ought to test this recipe using both 2% Greek yogurt and 3% regular yogurt and do a side-by-side comparison, but based on this recipe alone, I’m convinced I could use either variety in my frozen yogurt recipes and have fantastic results.  Bonus: regular yogurt is usually cheaper than Greek yogurt!

(Readers: please let me know if you try this recipe using fat-free, 1%, or full-fat varieties of yogurt.  I’d be very interested in hearing about your results!)

Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt  (Makes about 1 L)

For the Chocolate Frozen Yogurt:

3/4 c Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup white sugar
3 cups of plain yogurt

For the Macerated Raspberries:

1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon vodka

Read the rest of this entry »





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.

Tiramisu

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)

Read the rest of this entry »





Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches (Chocolate Malt Ice Cream #51)

28 02 2013

My friends Pete and Bec are heading back home to Australia!  Pete and I first met in 2005 when he was in Vancouver for a year on a work visa.  He was one of my rock climbing BFFs that summer and I was sad to see him go at the end of the year.  Luckily, our paths crossed again in 2008 in Paris, where we had a fantastic day exploring the city and drinking cheap wine on the banks of the Seine.  Last year, when I heard that he and his new wife were planning a five-month visit to Vancouver, I was absolutely thrilled.  Those months have flown by, and yesterday, we had a celebratory goodbye-for-now dinner.  And what better way to end a dinner with the Aussies than with a dessert inspired by Tim Tams.

For the uninitiated, Tim Tams are an extremely popular brand of biscuits that originated in Australia in the 1960s.  A Tim Tam is a sandwich cookie comprised of two chocolate and malt flavoured biscuits, a light chocolate cream filling, and a textured chocolate coating.  They are considered an Australian cultural icon.  The hit the West Coast market in Canada about 10 to 15 years ago.

Tim Tams

Tim Tam biscuits — an Australian cultural icon!

Tim Tam biscuit

The inside of a Tim Tam biscuit: a light chocolate cream filling sandwiched between two chocolate malt biscuits, all dipped in chocolate.

Since this was a celebratory dinner, I thought a bit of extra effort was in order.  Vanilla ice cream topped with a couple of Tim Tams wasn’t going to cut it.  But homemade Tim Tam Ice Cream sandwiches — two homemade chocolate malt biscuits with a chocolate malt ice cream filling — now we’re talking!  (I decided against the dipped chocolate coating – I figured the ice cream sandwiches would be sweet and rich enough as is.)

If the idea of making ice cream sandwiches sounds like a bit too much effort, I can assure you, it’s not.  One little trick I’ve learned is to use a cookie cutter to cut out perfect rounds of ice cream to sandwich between two cookies (rather than scooping ice cream, squishing it between two cookies, and risking cookie breakage).

Still not convinced?  You have a few other options to achieve chocolate-malt Tim Tam goodness:

  • Option B: Crumble your homemade chocolate malt cookies and churn them into your chocolate-malt ice cream (a deconstructed Tim Tam Ice Cream sandwich!)
  • Option C: Feeling cookie lazy?  Chop up some store-bought Tim Tams and churn them into your chocolate malt ice cream.
  • Option D: Just make the chocolate malt ice cream!

Which malted milk powder to use, you ask?  You will probably have three options: Horlicks, Ovaltine, and Milo.  Horlicks has the most malty and least chocolatey taste, while Milo has the least malty and most chocolatey taste.  Ovaltine is somewhere in between.  Since I was already adding cocoa powder to both the cookie dough and the ice cream, I opted for Horlicks to maximize the malt flavour.  Horlicks also has the fewest weird ingredients (e.g. modified palm oil, oligofructose)

I used half of the ice cream for ice cream sandwiches, and churned cookie bits into the other half.  Results?  Both were incredible!  The ice cream has a toasty chocolately flavour, and the ice cream sandwiches — individually wrapped in parchment paper– were super cute and fun to serve for dessert.

If you are freezing the ice cream sandwiches overnight or longer, I would suggest taking them out of the freezer for 5 minutes prior to serving.  That way, the cookies will have a chance to soften up every so slightly.

Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches

For the Chocolate Malt Cookies – slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Malt Sandwiches recipe

(Makes about 40 single cookies.  If you are making sandwiches, you will have some leftover cookies)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons hot water

For the Chocolate Malt Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt Read the rest of this entry »





Nutella Ice Cream (#50)

21 02 2013

There were signs:

  1. When I stopped at my sister’s last weekend, she was toasting hazelnuts.
  2. When we stopped at La Grotta del Formaggio on Commercial Drive later that afternoon to pick up a few cheeses, I came across bags and bags of hazelnuts.
  3. When we popped across the street to Triple A Market for some produce, there was a huge display of Nutella.

Week #50 clearly had to be Nutella Ice Cream.

For those unfamiliar with Nutella, it’s a creamy hazelnut-chocolate spread that was created by Pietro Ferrero in the 1940s in Italy.  But while Nutella is (still being) marketed as a nutritious food (50 hazelnuts in every jar!  Full of skim milk!), it’s actually not that great for you.  In fact, in 2012, the makers of Nutella had to pay $3 million in a class action lawsuit over false nutritional claims.  The top two ingredients in Nutella?  Sugar and oil.  Yikes.  This meant having to make my own healthier version of Nutella to use in my Nutella Ice Cream recipe.

It turns out that 50 hazelnuts is not all that many.  I figured to yield 1 cup of Nutella, I would need at least 1.5 cups of hazelnuts — which turned out to be 125 hazelnuts.

toasted hazelnuts

125 toasted hazelnuts went into my homemade version of Nutella.

I tipped the hazelnuts into my Vitamix along with some cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and a dash of cream and gave it all a whirl.  At first, the mixture was incredibly thick, not at all like store-bought Nutella.  But after adding a tablespoon of coconut oil and blending further, things started looking good!  I combined the Nutella with a slightly modified custard recipe… but not before sneaking a couple of spoonfuls into my mouth!

Final results?  Ultra rich and creamy.  Nutty.  Chocolately.  AMAZING.  I think I could have eaten the entire batch of ice cream in one sitting!  Garnish the ice cream with a few toasted, salted hazelnuts.  The salty-sweet contrast is absolutely delicious.

Nutella Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

For the Nutella (makes about 1 cup)

1 .5 cups shelled hazelnuts
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 c half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil (Note: If you are making Nutella to spread on toast, crepes, etc., you might want to add an extra spoonful or two of oil for a thinner, more spreadable consistency.)

For the Ice Cream

2 3/4 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch of sea salt Read the rest of this entry »





Red Velvet Ice Cream (#49)

13 02 2013

Red.  This week is all about red.  First off, we rang in the Year of the Snake for Chinese New Year on Sunday.  In Chinese culture, the colour red symbolizes good fortune and joy.  During the 15 days Chinese New Year is celebrated, red envelopes, red lanterns, red paper-cuts, and other red decor abound.

And then there’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.  Definitely not a day I’m rah rah rah about, but an occasion that many enjoy.  Red hearts, red roses, red, red, red all around.  A red ice cream is befitting for this week.

Back in Week #39, I made the most gorgeous red ice cream: Beet and Orange Ice Cream.  I’ve been racking my brain all week trying to figure out what other intensely red ice cream recipe I can develop.  I was inspired by the idea of Red Velvet Cake — layers of red-tinged chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting — but after poking around online, I realized that Red Velvet Cake recipes typically call for a ridiculous amount of red food colouring to tint the cake red.  Some recipes call for a WHOLE BOTTLE of colouring!  Adding chemicals to my ice cream recipes is the last thing I want to do!  Fortunately, I came across Bake Cakery’s post on Red Velvet Cake made with beets.  This was the perfect inspiration to use beets in another ice cream recipe and in a way that will lead to a completely different taste.  Beets + cocoa + cream cheese = all natural Red Velvet Ice Cream bliss!

I used 1.5 cup of grated beets in this recipe (compared to the 2 cups used in my Beet and Orange Ice Cream recipe) to make sure the taste of beets would not be overwhelming.  A 1/4 cup of natural cocoa powder introduces just enough of a chocolatey taste to the ice cream, and half a brick of cream cheese pays tribute to the cream cheese frosting traditionally used to frost a Red Velvet Cake while adding a subtle tang.

grated beets

Instead of using red food colouring to tint the ice cream red, this recipe uses grated beets!

The ice cream turned out reddish-brown — definitely not the same luscious red as my Beet and Orange Ice Cream or the deep garnet colour of a traditional Red Velvet Cake made with food colouring.  I was a little disappointed in the colour, but it was a small price to pay to not add any food colouring to the recipe.  If you want your Red Velvet Ice Cream to have a more brilliant red colour, go ahead, add a few drops.  Your secret is safe with me!

Red Velvet Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

1.5 cups grated beets
1/2 cup water
125 g cream cheese
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
Juice of half a lemon
3 cups half-and-half cream, divided
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt Read the rest of this entry »





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!

Gesztenyepüré

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.”








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