Monday, May 25, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

This is a combination of a recipe for hazelnut gelato and chocolate ice cream. Basically I took the recipe for the hazelnut ice cream as a base, then reduced the amount of sugar and chocolate used in the chocolate recipe. I also added about 1/2 cup more of milk after steeping the hazelnuts, since they soak up a lot of liquid.

1 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk (could go as high as 1 cup)

Toast the hazelnuts in the oven (350 for 10-15 minutes until they are golden and smell toasty). Peel by rubbing with a tea towel. Allow to cool completely, then grind them up with the 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor.

Heat ground hazelnut mixture with 2 cups cream and 1 cup milk and 2 oz hard chocolate. Once the hard chocolate has melted completely, whisk in the cocoa powder slowly so it doesn't clump. Bringl liquid just to a boil. Take off the heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hr.

Strain out hazelnuts with a fine strainer, pressing out all the liquid. Add extra 1/2 (or even 1 cup) cup milk and return to low heat. Meanwhile whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar in a bowl. Temper the eggs with the heated milk mixture, then return to heat and let thicken. Chill and churn.

The chocolate and sugar are approximate. If you find it not sweet or chocolatey enough, add more.

Although I was skeptical at first that what was effectively hazelnut tea could impart a strong nut flavor, it's actually very strong, and also very delicious. The resulting flavor was very gourmet, and definitely as good as any store-bought chocolate hazelnut ice cream I've ever had.

Update: I modified this recipe to make hazelnut ice cream with a fudge ripple. Don't use the chocolate, cocoa powder, or 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar. Instead use another 1/4 cup sugar whisked in with the egg yolks. When putting the finished ice cream into the freezer container, layer it with the cooled fudge ripple recipe, which I got from David Liebowitz, below:

Fudge Ripple:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients except vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a simmer, cook for 1 minute, then chill completely. Drizzle over ice cream as you layer it into the freezer container. Tastes like the Hershey's syrup out of a can! Also it would be good drizzled over other desserts as a chocolate sauce.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

There's an amazing ice cream parlor in Columbus, OH. They make the most bizarre yet delicious flavors, like Maker's Mark, salted mint white chocolate chip, Thai peanut (spicy with coconut flakes), and salted caramel ice cream. Since M loves the salty-sweet combo, I decided to make some for her to celebrate a recent academic milestone. I used David Lebovitz's recipe, including the praline. Since making caramel can be a bit tricky (you have to be careful to get it dark enough to give it flavor without burning it), I made sure to read all his tips about the process, too.

The results are quite good. It's a very rich ice cream, and it doesn't freeze completely solid because of all the butter. I'd recommend it served on top of apple pie, rather than as a dessert on its own. Also, I'd either break the praline into much smaller pieces, or leave it out altogether (I love me my creamy smooth ice cream). Finally, I might even up the salt just a bit to 3/4 tsp instead of a scant 1/2.

Strawberry Ice Cream

I have an aversion to cooked strawberries. They get globby and stringy. But S loves them and really wanted to make strawberry ice cream, so when our local grocery story started selling them for $1.49/lb, I decided to do it. But my way.

To avoid any globbiness or seediness (I hate seeds in my ice cream; I prefer it smooth), I macerated chopped strawberries in sugar and just a dash of lemon juice (seriously a tiny dash is all. When I made peach ice cream and put in the 2 tbsp required, the ice cream turned out tart. Ew.), then pureed them and ran the puree through a fine strainer. And even I admit the results are delicious.

2 cups cream
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tps vanilla
1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add 1/3 cup sugar and the lemon juice to the chopped strawberries. Stir and let sit for 2 hours. Puree in a food processor or blender, strain through a fine strainer and set aside.

Scald cream. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks and remaining 2/3 cup sugar together in a bowl. Temper the eggs with the scalded cream, then move mixture back to the heat, adding remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Be careful not to overcook it, or you'll end up with chunky custard. Strain mixture into a bowl, then mix in strawberry puree and vanilla. Chill. Churn. Enjoy.