Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Maple + Walnut - Egg

1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp guar gum
2 c heavy cream
1 c milk
1/2 c maple syrup (the darker the better)
1/2 chopped walnuts

Combine sugar and guar gum. Whisk into cream, milk, and syrup a little a time, continue until completely blended. Freeze normally in ice cream maker, add walnuts about 2 minutes before finished, move to freezer to solidify. Grade C maple syrup is best, as it has a stronger maple flavor. If you can't find that, try for grade b or dark amber.

You can use 2 eggs instead of guar gum and prepare like the Basic Sweet Cream recipe posted earlier.

As a vegetarian I try to avoid eggs. Plus there is a risk to eating raw eggs, and cooking takes extra time. Guar gum serves as a good replacement - it is commonly used in store bought ice cream. It is even more effective than eggs at preventing ice crystal growth and slowing melting, and it adds texture.

A word of caution: guar gum is very potent. I first used 1/4 tsp, and the ice cream was almost chewy. Still edible, but not recommended. I am very happy with the texture at 1/8 tsp, but I recommend you try it out with vanilla before using it in a more expensive recipe.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Spiceman Cometh: Mexican Chocolate

So here is the Mexican Chocolate recipe I created using a variation of Jerry's Chocolate Ice Cream. It's great because it has a rich creamy chocolate flavor with the spices on top.

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 c milk
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder

Melt chocolate and milk together in a medium pan. When the chocolate is fully incorporated into the milk, add the cocoa powder slowly while whisking in order to avoid any clumps.

In separate bowl, whisk together:
2 eggs
1 c sugar

1 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Slowly incorporate milk and chocolate mixture to egg mixture while whisking. Chill. Freeze in your ice cream maker.

Warning: no matter how un-spicy the liquid mix is when you test it, it will be very spicy in ice cream form. I made the mistake of adding double the cayenne that I started out with and the ice cream is edible, but barely. Stick with the 1/8 tsp unless you want your sinuses burned out a la wasabi/chili pepper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Honey Pecan

This turned out really well. It has a strong honey taste, cut by the roasted pecans. And the pecans aren't hard and frozen, but soft and firm. I might change the milk/cream ratio if I did it again, 2 cups cream and 1 cup milk, but that would make it really rich with all the eggs.

2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup honey
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted pecans

Put milk and honey into a medium saucepan. Stir until honey dissolves. Bring just to a boil. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk and honey to the eggs. Then add milk egg mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan. Add the cream and stir over low heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Chill completely and churn.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mean Mr. (Cinnamon) Custard

This is the best cinnamon ice cream I've ever had. It's creamy, has a strong but not overwhelming cinnamon flavor, and doesn't taste too much like eggs. I halved the recipe because it was too big to fit in my maker.

3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (I used 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine cream and milk in a large sauce pan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla beans; add beans. Bring just to simmer. Whisk sugar and yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 6 min. (do not boil). Strain into large bowl. Whisk in ground cinnamon. (at this point I also added the vanilla extract). Chill until cold, about 3 hours.

Transfer custard to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a covered container and freeze until firm.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Salty Adventures of Milkfat and Mr. Pecan

Warning - this recipe has a salty roasted butter taste, different from any commercial butter pecan I've tried.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Basic Sweet Cream Recipe (or your favorite ice cream base)
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
1 c pecan halves
1/2 tsp salt

Melt the butter, add pecans and salt, saute until brown. Separate the butter and pecans and let cool.

Perpare the ice cream base. When the butter is room temp, or as cool as you can get it while still melted, add to the ice cream base. Freeze etc as normal, adding the pecans when the ice cream is almost finished.

When I tried this ice cream straight out of the maker, I was disgusted with how salty it was. After a day in the freezer it mellowed out a bit, and it goes well with angel food cake.

Next time I make butter pecan I plan to add some vanilla, and maybe leave out the salt completely. If I do add salt, it will be 1/8 tsp, not 1/2 as this recipe calls for.

I like this ice cream better along with a cake or bread, to cut the saltiness. I am going to try Welsh Cakes (buttery skillet cakes). Pancakes might be good too, perhaps with a banana thrown into the mix...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Basic Sweet Cream Recipe (see earlier post)
+2 TBSP extra sugar
+5-6 tsp cold-brewed coffee concentrate (or more to taste)

Add the extra sugar at the same time as the other sugar and the coffee at the same time as the milk and cream.

This recipe makes for a very subtle coffee flavor - it reminds me of Stony Field Farm's Decaf Coffee ice cream. You could make a concentrate using traditional hot brewing, but I think the cold-brew flavor is better for ice cream and iced drinks.

Here's my recipe for coffee concentrate, adapted from here:

Put a rounded 1/3 cup of coffee grounds (apparently fine grind doesn't work as well - use medium course grind) in a non-reactive container (mason jar, stainless steal bowl), and add 1 1/2 c of water. Stir so all the coffee gets wet, and leave soaking for ~12 hours. Note that I use a higher concentration then the link suggests.

When the soaking is done, poor through a fine strainer, cheese cloth or coffee filter. I used a strainer on top of a coffee filter sitting in a funnel - the strainer keeps the filter from getting clogged, and the funnel holds a lot of liquid which forces the coffee through the filter more quickly.

Toddy makes a pitcher/filter combo that looks like it will make the process easier, but if you're just making ice cream or iced coffee occasionally, it's probably not worth the 30 bucks.

Basic Chocolate Recipe

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 pinch salt
1 c sugar

1. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water.
Gradually whisk in milk and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove
from the heat and let cool.

2. Whisk eggs in mixing bowl until light and fluffy (1-2 min). Whisk in sugar,
little at a time, whisk until blended. Add cream, vanilla, and salt and whisk
to blend.

3. Pour choco mix into the cream mix and blend. Cover and refrigerate until
cold, about 1 to 3 hours, depending on your refrigerator.

4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker etc

I had some trouble getting the chocolate to melt again completely during step 1 after I added the milk. So I'd recommend adding the milk and the hard chocolate together, and melting them both down in a double boiler. We ended up having more of a chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, which was tasty, but it lacked completely smooth creaminess.

Basic Sweet Cream Recipe

Courtesy my brother:

2 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 c heavy cream
1 c milk

Whisk eggs until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a
little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1
minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.

Makes 1 quart.

If you want extras (cookies and cream, for example), add the crumbled oreos, chips, whatever, at the very end, churn until mixed, and freeze. Don't add too much, though, because the mixture can overflow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

So easy a monkey could do it

Recently my fiancee bought a Cuisinart ICE-20 Ice Cream Maker. We figured it was a sound purchase because I consume ice cream at least once daily during the summer, and because this particular model got great reviews on Amazon. No ice or salt involved, just freeze the metal canister for 24 hours (it has some magical freezing liquid inside its walls), mix up a batch of fatty dairy products and sugar with your choice of flavoring, and churn for 30 minutes. So easy a monkey could do it.

Except that we couldn't. Our first batch stayed liquid. Our second batch also stayed liquid. Our third batch was a custard base and remained custard (although it was the most delicious rich creamy chocolate custard I've ever had, it wasn't ice cream). At this point we were desperate. The maker itself is so simple that it couldn't possibly be defective. The only explanation was user error. Apparently we aren't as smart as monkeys.

After several trials and more errors, as well as internet blog searching and consultations with my brother, who owns an Ice-25, we think we figured out what was wrong:

1. The canister must be frozen for at least 24 hours. Even if you shake it and don't hear any liquid sloshing around in there, it's not frozen all the way until it's been in the freezer for a day and a night.

2. The liquid ice cream mixture must be as cold as you can get it. If the recipe calls for a custard base or involves heating the liquid in any way, cool it down in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

3. Add extras (chips, nuts, shavings, etc.) at the very very end, when you can already tell that the ice cream is done. Churn just until mix. Then freeze.