Horlicks Ice Cream (#62)

1 10 2013

When we had a week of surprise sunshine and warm temperatures earlier this month, I had been hopeful that summer would extend right through to the end of September.  But alas, Raincouver is back with a vengeance.  The last few days have seen howling winds and sideways rain.  Welcome, Fall.  It’s officially time to switch from iced coffee in the morning to a warming drink instead.  The last couple of days, I’ve been drinking Horlicks with a shot of espresso.  Hor-what you ask?!

Horlicks is a malt drink mix.  Though it was developed by two English-born brothers in the United States, I tend to think of Horlicks as a “Chinese drink”.  It’s quite popular in Hong Kong, and hence it became a staple in many Chinese immigrant households in Vancouver.  Other kids drank Nestle Quik growing up.  I drank Horlicks.

Horlicks malted milk drink mix

Horlicks malt drink mix.  Delicious and nutritious!

Horlicks is actually quite good for, with 45% of your daily recommended calcium and 10% of your daily iron in each serving.  When mixed into a basic ice cream custard, it makes for an incredibly rich, delectable, and — dare I say — healthy dessert!

Horlicks Ice Cream (makes about 1.25 L)

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





Vegan Mixed Berry “Ice Cream” (#60-D/E)

12 07 2013

Apologies!  I realize it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a new recipe.  But now that we’re into July and there’s nothing in the forecast but sunshine, it’s definitely time to kick up ice cream consumption into high gear.

Environment Canada weather forescast

Nothing but sunshine in Vancouver’s summer weather forecast!

There’s nothing better than a huge bowl of creamy goodness when it’s 27 degrees out.  Except if you have a dairy or egg allergy or if you are vegan.

That’s where alternative frozen treats come in.  Walk into any grocery store and dairy-free and egg-free options abound — there’s rice milk ice cream, nut milk ice cream, soy milk ice cream, and coconut milk ice cream.  But personally, I’ve been pretty disappointed with alternative ice creams.  The taste seems artificial and the texture far too gummy.  And brands that pass the taste and texture test are usually pretty pricey, up to $9.00 a pint.  Solution?  Make your own, of course!

There are two routes for making dairy-free/egg-free/vegan ice cream at home:

  1. Use a non-dairy milk as the base (e.g. rice, nut, soy, or coconut milk)
  2. Use frozen banana as the base.

I’ve explored the first option (check out my recipes for Banana Bread Ice Cream, which has the option of using soy milk, and Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream, which uses both soy and coconut milk), so I figured it’s time to start exploring the latter.  The method is super simple and you don’t even need to have an ice cream maker!  For this particular recipe, it was just a matter of whirling up frozen, ripe bananas and mixed berries.  Done.  Ripe bananas are so sweet that you don’t even need to add any extra sugar, which is a bonus.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Vegan Mixed Berry Ice Cream (Makes about 1 L)

4 very ripe bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen overnight
2 cups of mixed berries, frozen overnight (I used a combination of blueberries and strawberries)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vodka

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 »





Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Syrup (#58-Y)

20 05 2013

The Victoria Day Long Weekend calls for an impromptu dinner party, and an impromptu dinner party calls for quick, simple dishes:

French bread, tapenade, olives, bruschetta

Olives, bruschetta, tapenade, and crusty French bread.  (Pick up from the deli and ask the bakery to slice the bread for you.)

fennel orange salad


Fennel and orange salad with lemon olive oil dressing.  (Pre-washed spring mix is such a time saver!)

Linguine with clams, pasta with clams


Bucatini with Clams (An easy and impressive main with just 12 minutes of cooking time!)

And to finish, Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt.  But I’ll save that photo for the end of this post, along with the Official Taster’s comments :)

If you haven’t had strawberries with balsamic vinegar before, you must.  They are a classic and wonderfully complementary pairing, with the depth and tang of balsamic vinegar bringing out the sweetness of the strawberries.  Absolutely divine!

The recipe itself is deceptively simple: whirl together four ingredients, chill, and churn.  It’s fantastic served on its own, but dress it up with a drizzle of homemade balsamic syrup for that additional WOW factor.

Store any leftover syrup in a jar in the fridge — it will keep indefinitely.  The syrup will be very thick when it’s cold, so warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave before using it.  Try it drizzled over asparagus or a tomato bocconcini salad.

Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Syrup  (Makes about 1.25 L)

For the frozen yogurt:

1 lb strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 cups of 2% plain Greek yogurt

For the balsamic syrup:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

Read the rest of this entry »





Lemon Ricotta Ice Cream (#55-E)

29 03 2013

Thank you Vancouver for promising me a week of sunshine!!!

Vancouver sunshine

Sunshine, sunshine, nothing but sunshine!

What better way to embrace spring sunshine than with a bright, citrus-y ice cream flavour?  Lemon Ricotta Ice Cream has been on my to-make list for months now, but the dark, dreary days of winter called for richer flavours.  Now that spring is in the air, it’s time to re-introduce lighter, fruitier flavours to the 52 Scoops repertoire.

This ice cream recipe is egg-free and super simple.  No cooking required!  Just pour the ingredients into a blender, give it a whirl, and you’re pretty much good to go.

The ice cream turned out light and fresh, sweet and tangy — absolutely delicious!  Texture wise, the ricotta cheese makes the ice cream a little more crumbly / flaky compared to other 52 Scoops recipes, so let it warm up ever so slightly before scooping and serving.  Enjoy it on its own or try serving it with a couple of shortbread cookies on the side.

Lemon Ricotta Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

3/4 to 1 cup white sugar
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I used 10% M.F.)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (3 to 4 lemons)
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups half-and-half cream Read the rest of this entry »





Oatmeal Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches (Saigon Cinnamon Ice Cream #54)

23 03 2013

Remember my friends Pete and Bec?  The ones who I had over for a farewell dinner and Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches before they moved back to Australia?  Well I didn’t mention that the evening they were over, they brought with them two huge bags of groceries and pantry items that they couldn’t finish up and otherwise would have tossed.  Two huge goodie bags full of things like spring roll wrappers, olive oil, shredded coconut, and white chocolate chips.  (Thanks guys!  The Official Taster and I are slowly working through the lot.)  One of the most curious items I found in the bags was a spice jar containing Saigon Cinnamon.  This was new to me.

cinnamon

Saigon cinnamon

After some quick poking around on Google, I learned there are four main varieties of “cinnamon”.   Ceylon cinnamon is considered the “true” cinnamon.  The three other varieties, Indonesian cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, and Saigon cinnamon, are actually from a related plant called cassia.  Ceylon cinnamon is the most expensive of the four.  But when it comes to flavour and aroma, it’s Saigon cinnamon that really packs a punch.

When I compared my “regular” cinnamon (unspecified variety, but most likely Indonesian cinnamon, as it is purportedly the cheapest and most common variety of cinnamon in North America) with the Saigon cinnamon, the Saigon variety was, by far, more aromatic and spicy.  It had a delightful burn on the tongue, like I had just popped a couple of cinnamon hearts into my mouth.

It was rather timely that I received an email from a blog reader last week suggesting I make cinnamon ice cream.  Even better, I thought I would bake a batch of oatmeal cookies and assemble some Oatmeal Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches.

The Oatmeal Cookie recipe below is from All Recipes, with a reduction in the total amount of sugar, since I find most cookie recipes are too sweet.  The cookies themselves are rather understated, which is fine for ice cream sandwiches since I want the ice cream to be the star of the show.  If you are making just the cookies (and not ice cream sandwiches), I would suggest adding a cup of raisins and/or chopped nuts for a bit more texture and interest.  The ice cream recipe is pretty much just a basic custard recipe with a couple teaspoons of Saigon cinnamon and some vanilla for depth – super easy.

Do you best to track down Saigon cinnamon — it’s amazingly fragrant, sweet and spicy at the same time.  It brings the ice cream to life.  If you can’t find Saigon cinnamon, regular cinnamon will do too, but use 1-1/2 teaspoons for the cookies and 3 teaspoons for the ice cream.

Depending on how thick or thin you spread your ice cream, you may or may not have some leftover cookies.  I ended up making ten ice cream sandwiches, each with a good, thick layer of cinnamon ice cream.  The ten extra cookies are stashed in a top secret location, away from the Official Taster.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches

For the Oatmeal Cookies (Slightly adapted from All Recipes)

(Makes about 30 single 2-1/2″ cookies.  If you are making sandwiches, you will have some leftover cookies)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups quick cooking oats (not instant)

For the Saigon Cinnamon Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

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





Backcountry Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (#53-E)

17 03 2013

Admit it.  Some of you didn’t think I’d be posting more ice cream recipes after finishing 52 Scoops.  But as promised, here’s another!

A few weeks ago, prior to this HUGE deluge of Vancouver rain, the Official Taster and I, along with our friend Jason, thought it’d be fun to head up one of the local mountains and build an igloo.  Yes, an igloo.

I hadn’t grown up camping, let alone snow camping.  The Official Taster introduced me to this activity just a few years ago, and let’s just say my first snow camping experience was rather… epic.  New Years Eve, 2009/10.  Mount Seymour.  22 hours of rain and sleet.  Two people who were sent down around midnight because they wouldn’t have lasted the night.  Huddling under a tarp in the morning hoping for a break in the weather so we could pack up and haul all our gear, plus the evacuees’ abandoned gear, down the mountain.  I think my body needed three days to recover after that!

But I’ve since grown to love snow camping.  Because when you can fall asleep to something like this…

winter camping

Mount Seymour. Photo courtesy of Peter G.

… Or wake up to something like this…

Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park

Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park

… It’s pretty amazing.

And when you introduce a snow saw to your arsenal of winter gear, it gets even more fun.  Because you can play around and cut out sleeping platforms like this:

Sleeping platform cut into a huge snow bank.  Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver.  (Photo courtesy of Dave F.)

Sleeping platform cut into a huge snow bank. Mt. Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Dave F.)

Even better, you can cut blocks to build igloos, as the O.T., Jason, and I did recently:

building igloo

The Official Taster laying igloo blocks. Black Mountain, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver

igloo, winter camping

The finished igloo!

Knowing we were going to be building a warm, cozy snow shelter, Jason had suggested we might as well get fancy with food – why not churn a batch of ice cream up on the mountain?

A half-pint jar of custard and my half-pint Baby Donvier wouldn’t add that much weight to my backpack, and since I had some leftover blackberry puree from my blackberry escapades last summer and a block of cream cheese in the fridge, an egg-free Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream it was then!

Donvier half pint ice cream maker, blackberry cheesecake ice cream, blackberry ice cream

Churning out a mini batch of ice cream in the backcountry.

As expected, the ice cream did not firm up as much as it usually does when I churn it at home, since the inner frozen cylinder — though packed in the snow while we were busy igloo building — was not at its optimal ultra-cold temperature.  But after two and a half hours of cutting, hauling, shaping, and stacking blocks, we were hungry and happy to have a treat to enjoy, even if it was a bit on the soft side.

Backcountry Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 cups of strained blackberry puree (about 4 cups of fresh or frozen berries)
250 g cream cheese, softened
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup white sugar (adjust to taste; depends on the sweetness of your berries)
2 cups half-and-half cream

  1. Puree the blackberries at low speed in a blender.  Strain the puree through a sieve to remove all the seeds.  You should have about 2 cups of puree.
  2. Place the cream cheese in the (now empty) blender.  Add half of the blackberry puree and blend at medium speed.  Scrape down the sides.  Add the remaining blackberry puree and blend some more.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a good whirl, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
inside igloo with ice cream

Jason, the Igloo Builder and Guest Taster, says: “This tastes pretty good!”





Avocado Ice Cream (#47-E)

2 02 2013

Organic avocados were on sale this week for $1 each.  While I typically pounce on sales, I’ve always been a bit cautious with sale avocados.  Will they be a perfect creamy green inside or a brown icky mess?  It’s always been a bit of a gamble for me… until I recently stumbled upon this neat little tip from The Kitchn on how to tell if an avocado is perfectly ripe inside.  Pop off the dry button on the stem end of the fruit.  If it’s green underneath, the avocado is ripe.  If it’s brown, it’s past its prime and most likely brown and stringy inside.

Avocado

Score.  That little trick from The Kitchn worked!  Perfectly ripe inside!

So, what to do with three perfectly ripe avocados?  Ice cream of course!

Avocado Ice Cream might sound rather bizarre, but in Southeast Asia, avocados are typically used for sweet rather than savoury dishes.  When I was travelling in Vietnam, when I wasn’t sipping an iced Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk (cà phê sữa đá), I had an avocado milkshake (sinh tố bơ) in hand.  Avocado milkshakes are rich and buttery in taste and ultra smooth in texture.  Surely avocados would work well in ice cream.

This egg-free ice cream recipe is super simple: blitz four ingredients in a blender, chill, churn, done.  I would suggest that you churn the avocado mixture as soon as it is thoroughly chilled (about four hours), otherwise the mixture will start to discolour and darken from contact with air.

Results?  An amazingly smooth, creamy, and pillowy soft ice cream with the rich taste of avocado and just a hint of caramel from the condensed milk.  Be careful with this one, it might be hard to stop yourself from eating the whole batch in one sitting!!

Avocado Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

2.5 cups half-and-half cream
3 avocados
Juice of half a lemon
225 mL (3/4 can) sweetened condensed milk (save the rest for cà phê sữa đá)
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)

Read the rest of this entry »





Pomegranate Ice Cream (#46-E)

27 01 2013

Pomegranates are a fascinating fruit.  Crack one of these guys open and there are hundreds of red, jewel-toned seeds (AKA arils) inside.  Beautiful.

pomegranate, pomegranate seeds

Pomegranates have hundreds of gorgeous red seeds inside.

Pomegranates are typically available during the fall and winter.  They are considered a superfood and loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.  If I can get my superfoods in ice cream format, all the better!!

I thought the simplest way of making Pomegranate Ice Cream would be to go Philly-style, simply whirling pomegranate syrup into some cream and adding a handful of pomegranate seeds at the end of the churning process for some texture.  I used Alton Brown’s recipe for pomegranate syrup, which involves cooking pomegranate juice, sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice into a thick syrup.  Pomegranate juice can be found at higher end grocery stores.  I used a bottle of POM 100% pure pomegranate juice for this recipe.  If you are inclined to juice your own pomegranates, the POM council lists three methods on its FAQ page.  Make sure you’re not wearing any white clothing!  You will need at least eight pomegranates for 1 litre of juice.

Be sure to let the pomegranate syrup cool completely before you whisk in the cream.  If you add cold cream to hot syrup, the mixture will curdle and there will be no way to rescue it.

This egg-free ice cream has a very concentrated, rich, fruity taste, with a hint of tannins during the first few bites.  The frozen pomegranate seeds add a delightful pop in the mouth.  Overall, Pomegranate Ice Cream is a winner in my books!

Pomegranate Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

4 cups of 100% pure pomegranate juice
1/2 cup white sugar
Juice of half a lime (I love the combination of pomegranate and lime; feel free to use lemon as Alton suggests)
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup of pomegranate seeds
Read the rest of this entry »





Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream (#45-D/E)

18 01 2013

This week’s recipe features another tuber: the purple yam.  Purple yams are commonly used in the Philippines, where they are known as ube.  In North America, you can buy purple yams at most Asian green grocers.  You can also find them in some conventional grocery stores, alongside potatoes and sweet potatoes.  Purple yams have a reddish-brown skin and the most delightful purple insides.

purple yam, purple sweet potato, ube

Look at this gorgeous colour!

Purple yam and coconut are a common combination in Filipino desserts, such as ube macapuno cake and halo halo.  With this in mind, I thought I’d give purple yam and coconut ice cream a try.

This is a super simple ice cream recipe.  You puree peeled and boiled yams with some coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt and – ta da! -  your custard is done and ready for chilling.  Yes, finally, another dairy-free and egg-free ice cream recipe!

I had a bit of a chuckle as I was pouring the custard into the ice cream maker.  It was super thick and goopy because of the richness of the coconut milk and the starch in the yams, and the colour reminded me of McDonald’s Grimace character.  As for taste, the Official Taster claims it’s “gentle”.  Huh???  I will interpret that to mean “an ice cream with a soft, pillowy texture, wonderful coconut flavour, and subtle undertones of purple yam”.

Keep in mind this ice cream freezes up quite hard overnight.  Enjoy it as soon as it is chilled to serving consistency.  If you need to freeze it longer, give it a good 15 to 20 minutes on the counter to warm up before scooping.

Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

2 cups of purple yams, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 – 13.5 oz (400 ml) can coconut milk
1.5 cup soy milk (or substitute dairy milk)
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of sea salt

  1. Place the yams into a medium-sized sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to boil.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the yams are fork tender.  Drain the yams, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Tip the yams and the reserved cooking water into a blender and puree until smooth.

    Purple yam puree, purple sweet potato puree, ube puree

    Purple yam puree

  3. Add the coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, and salt into the blender.  Puree until very smooth.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Purple yam coconut ice cream, purple yam ice cream, ube ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Gentle.”








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