Salted Caramel Ice Cream (#38)

29 11 2012

A couple more days until December!  Which means we should start (hopefully) getting a steady stream of Purdy’s chocolates from happy customers we’ve assisted over the year.  Very fortunately, my office is strategically located by the copy room, where all the treats are deposited.  And I must confess that when my nose sniffs out a box of Purdy’s, I make a beeline for the Himalayan Pink Salt Caramel.  Few stand a chance against me.

Sweet, sticky caramel punctuated with salt crystals makes for an exquisite combination, and it stands to reason that Salted Caramel Ice Cream be incorporated into the 52 Scoops repertoire.  This classic flavour is guaranteed to be a hit at your next dinner party.  I promise.

The trick to making a great Salted Caramel Ice Cream is the caramel itself.  Undercook it and the ice cream doesn’t have enough flavour.  Overcook it — this can happen in mere seconds — and it’ll taste burnt.  So, be sure to keep a very close eye on the caramel when it is cooking.  Also, when you pour the cream into the caramel, there is the possibility your caramel will separate (perhaps your cream has cooled down too much or you have not stirred vigourously enough).  If that happens, don’t worry — it can be rescued!  Warm the mixture over medium heat while whisking thoroughly, until the mixture comes together again as a smooth, luscious caramel sauce.

I used Maldon sea salt flakes in the caramel itself, but used Hawaiian alaea sea salt as a garnish for the ice cream.  Alaea sea salt contains a small amount of red alaea volcanic clay.  Its gorgeous pink colour makes it a perfect finishing salt.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

Salted Caramel:

3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup half-and-half cream
3/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Ice Cream Base:

2 eggs
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups half-and-half cream

For the Salted Caramel:

  1. Warm the cream until just gently steaming.  Take off the heat and set aside while undertaking step #2.
  2. Melt the sugar in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Do not stir, but swirl occasionally.  Let the mixture turn a dark amber colour.  Watch carefully.
  3. As soon the sugar turns dark amber, add the still-warm cream.  The mixture will bubble and splatter.  Whisk thoroughly to combine.
  4. Stir in the salt and vanilla.
  5. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 1 1/2 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.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of the custard to the salted caramel.  Stir to combine.  Pour the lightened caramel mixture into the custard.  Stir to combine.
  6. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  7. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
salted caramel ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Tastes a bit like Dulce De Leche. Yum!”





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)

Read the rest of this entry »





Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream (#32)

18 10 2012

After a glorious extended summer with warm days and sunshine through to early October, the rains have hit.  Raincouver is back and with a vengeance — I think it’ll probably be raining through to April.

Vancouver weather forecast

Environment Canada reports of rain, rain, rain for the entire week to come…

It’s time to hunker down.  A cozy dinner with friends is a great start… especially when my dad is cooking!

My dad is an amazing cook, and he’s always eager to host new guests who love food as much as he does.  Last Sunday, five friends joined the Official Taster, my family, and I for an amazing dinner.  We ate our little hearts out while it poured rain outside:

Home Smoked Salmon Crostini | Pulled Pork Crostini

Grilled Salmon | Grilled Romaine | Potato & Avocado Salad

Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed With Dried Apples, Apricot & Plums

Grilled Pork Ribs

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream

dinner with friends

Gathered around the table for one of many courses!

The ice cream was, of course, my contribution for the evening.  The recipe is based on Week #5′s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream recipe, with the addition of some cinnamon, vanilla, and warming cayenne.  I’ve made this super simple recipe about a dozen times now and it’s definitely one of my favourites.  The cayenne gives the ice cream just that little bit of kick to warm you up when there’s a damp chill in the air.   Enjoy, and stay dry out there!!

Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cocoa powder and sugar.
  2. Whisk in the eggs.
  3. Very slowly, whisk in 2 cups of the half-and-half, about half a cup at a time.  It should start off like a chocolate paste, then end up like to thick chocolate syrup.
  4. Add the cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
  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 half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
  7. Cool and chill overnight in the fridge.
  8. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
spicy mexican chocolate ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Make it again, Sam!”





Peaches and Cream Ice Cream (#23)

17 08 2012

I’m itching for September!  September usually means a weekend getaway with my parents and my sister to the Okanagan and Similkameen for some wine tasting, a couple of decadent winery brunches and dinners, and, of course, a mandatory stop at the roadside produce stands in Keremeos to buy freshly harvested fruits and veggies.  Peaches.  I’m always after peaches.

Peaches are one of my favourite summertime fruits.  They’re juicy, sweet, and oh so enjoyable on their own.  They’re also rather versatile in the kitchen, making their way into salsas and sauces, jams and chutneys, and desserts.  And then there’s the cuteness factor — how many fruits out there are soft and fuzzy?!  Our trip this year is still a few weeks away, so in the meantime, I’ve been buying pounds and pounds of peaches from my local produce shop.

ripe peaches

Cute, aren’t they?

Peaches and cream are a classic flavour combination, and this simple ice cream recipe is intended to let those soft, delicate flavours shine — no caramelizing or grilling the fruit, no boozy additions, no nutty bits and pieces.  (I’m saving all of that for next week!)  If you are chilling the ice cream for more than a few hours, be sure to let it warm up and soften slightly before scooping and enjoying.  That way, you’ll really taste the flavour of the peaches.

Peaches and Cream Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

4 ripe peaches (or enough to yield 2 1/2 cups of puree)
Juice of one lemon
2 eggs
3/4 to 1 cup white sugar (depends on how sweet your peaches are; adjust to taste)
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Peel and pit the peaches.  Place the peaches and the lemon juice into a blender and puree until smooth.  You should have 2 1/2 cups of silky peach puree.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  3. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. When cool, whisk in the peach puree and the vanilla.
  7. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  8. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
peaches and cream ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Refreshing!”





Egg-Free Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (#5-E)

1 08 2012

My Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream recipe from Week #5 is one of my favourites, and I’ve discovered a super simple way to make the recipe egg-free: mashed banana.  The addition of gooey, ripe banana adds that little extra depth and scoopability to the ice cream, compared to some other egg-free chocolate ice cream recipes that use only chocolate, sugar, and milk or cream.  And since this recipe uses a relatively large amount of cocoa, you don’t even notice the taste of the banana!

Use ripe and speckly bananas for this recipe (ones that look like this).  Be sure the bananas aren’t over-ripe (i.e. very high percentage of brown patches), as this will introduce a slightly boozy overtone to the ice cream.  But hey, you might enjoy that too!

Egg -Free Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 0.75 L)

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

Read the rest of this entry »





It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!

7 06 2012

June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, so I thought I’d reprise an oldie but a goodie: Week #5′s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream.

Chocolate ice cream

Week #5′s Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream

This super simple ice cream recipe uses only four ingredients, and I assure you it will taste better than any premium chocolate ice cream you’ll find at the grocery store.  If you have time to make and chill the custard this morning, you can churn out a creamy batch of ice cream for dessert tonight.  Cheers to chocolate!





Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream (#12)

31 05 2012

My dear family friend Grace is getting married this weekend!  In her honour, Week #12 will be her favourite ice cream flavour: chocolate chip mint.  But wait!  There’s a healthy twist: sub out the chocolate chips, sub in cacao nibs.

Cacao nibs are made by roasting, hulling, and gently crushing cacao beans.  They are, essentially, the natural source of all chocolate products.  Cacao nibs have a strong, dark, bitter chocolate flavour, delightfully crunchy texture, and are one of the hottest superfoods on the market.  They’re packed with vitamins and minerals including beta carotene, zinc, and a whack load of magnesium.  They also contain more antioxidants than blueberries, red wine, and green tea.

cocoa nibs

Cocoa nibs – crunchy little nuggets of chocolatey goodness packed with antioxidants!

Grace introduced me to cacao nibs earlier this month and I have to say I’m hooked.  How can something that is so good for you taste SO AMAZING?  I’m sprinkling cacao nibs over oatmeal, cereal, and yogurt, whirling them up in smoothies, and eating them by the handful.  And now, cacao nibs are working their way into my ice cream recipes.

The cacao nibs add an amazing crunch to the ice cream, and the mint ice cream itself has just enough sweetness that you don’t need to use a sweetened (and processed!) chocolate chip.  Enjoy, and eat often!

Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
1.25 to 1.5 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 to 7 drops green food colouring (optional)
3/4 cup raw unsweetened cacao nibs (or substitute with high quality miniature chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate)

Read the rest of this entry »





Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (#5)

11 04 2012

Dutch processed cocoa

I’m keeping things super simple this week and going with a classic that uses only four ingredients: chocolate ice cream. What I love about this recipe is its rather unabashed use of cocoa powder.  Unlike other chocolate ice cream recipes that use a scant few tablespoons of cocoa, this recipe uses a whopping 3/4 cup.  The result is an ultra decadent, rich, and chocolatey ice cream.

If you can find it, use Dutch-processed cocoa powder rather than natural cocoa powder.  What’s the difference?  Natural cocoa powder is lighter in colour, has an intense flavour, and is slightly acidic.  Dutch-processed cocoa powder is treated with an alkalizing agent to neutralize its acidity.  As a result, it’s darker and has a mellower, smoother taste.  Dutch-processed cocoa is also more soluble in liquids, making it the favoured cocoa powder for ice cream.

(PS: If you plan to do any baking with your leftover cocoa powder, keep in mind that natural cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder cannot necessarily be used interchangeably because of their different pH levels.  David Lebovitz has a great FAQ page on cocoa powder.  Have a read — it might save your brownies from disaster!)

Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 3/4 quart)

Adapted from the Donvier Ice Cream Maker Recipe Booklet

2 eggs
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

Read the rest of this entry »





Classic Vanilla Ice Cream (#1)

14 03 2012

Over a dozen pies at the office for Pi Day 2012!

Back in my university days at Waterloo, I was very grateful to have a number of friends in the Math Department.  The Mathies not only threw great parties, but they also introduced me to Pi Day (thanks MK!).  On March 14th at 1:59pm, you eat pie.  π = 3.14159.  Hee hee.

When I started working, I thought it’d be nice idea to introduce this rather tasty and quirky tradition to the Planning Department.  There’s no better way to shake and sugar up an otherwise dreary winter afternoon than indulging in ridiculous amounts of pie.  Admittedly, I have never baked or even bought a pie to share on Pi Day.  I’ve always been the ice cream gal.  Store bought, sorry — this was before acquiring my trusty Donvier ice cream maker.  But for Pi Day 2012 and as a great way to launch this blog, I thought it’d be an opportune time to crank out a batch of homemade Classic Vanilla Ice Cream, the perfect accompaniment for all things pie.

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 quart)

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 cups half-and-half cream
1.5 cups whipping cream
2 vanilla beans or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Read the rest of this entry »








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 109 other followers

%d bloggers like this: