Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Week 24: Oh Snap! - Molasses Ginger Snap Ice Cream

This week's ice cream is perfect for Christmastime. I love gingerbread and this has all of those wonderful flavors in frozen goodness. The molasses ice cream on it's own is tasty but the addition of cookies makes anything better in my opinion. The cookies did get soft but I added some fresh ones crumbled on the top for crunch. You could create some great desserts with this ice cream. If you leave out the cookies in the ice cream you could layer it between two gingerbread men and make gingerbread ice cream sandwiches. I may make those for Christmas next year! You could also serve alongside or layer it between gingerbread cake. A frozen ice cream pie would be delicious with a ginger snap cookie crust. The cookie and ice cream combinations are endless.

On the box of ginger snaps I bought there was a cute note. According to Swedish tradition, you place a cookie in your hand, make a wish, then tap the cookie with your finger. If it breaks into 3 pieces then you're wish will come true. So far, every time I've tried this it's broken into 3. I'd like to hope that my wishes will come true. We'll have to wait and see.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I'll be taking a break for New Year's but I'll be back with a special sous chef. My cousin will hopefully be joining me the week after.

See you in the new year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week 23: Egg Nog Ice Cream

I have to be honest in saying I really don't enjoy Egg Nog. I wasn't particularly thrilled about making this one. But I'm also sad to report that it didn't blow me away. I thought it might make me like egg nog. To be honest it tastes like an eggier (I'm making that a word if it isn't) version of the cardamom ice cream. I didn't think about it till now but the first thing Rob said after tasting it was that it tasted like a chai latte to him. To be honest it's the same flavors in cardamom as in this, nutmeg, citrus zest of lemon and orange, orange flavor of grand marnier, and almond flavor of desarono. Not being a egg nog drinker I didn't know what to expect. I'm rather supprised that she would duplicate the flavors of a recipe for another recipe. Maybe it was unintentional. The one thing I omitted for severe lack of taste in is the anisette liquor. I hate the flavor Of licorice and maybe the duplicating of flavors is my fault for not adding it. It may have made it taste different. To me not better but others might disagree. To anyone out there who has made egg nog or egg nog flavored anything. What are the associated flavors? My bosses father used to mix egg nog with creme de menthe, so for her I made a bowl where I added peppermint extract. I think I put in a bit too much. It is a little overwhelming. This ice cream is very rich but for mr not in a good way. I like richness of flavor when it comes to a chocolate or coffee base, but a nutmeg, citrus, egg thing - I'll pass. I hate to diss her recipies but I think this would have been better with just putting bottled egg nog in the ice cream maker and flipping the switch. I hate when I make something I dislike, but I didn't have high hopes for this one. Sorry. I'f you love egg nog, I highly suggest experimenting with making your own ice cream with store-bought or homemade egg nog. If you do I'd like to know the results.

Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What Would You Do-oo-oo?

So I'm stepping it up a notch this week with homemade Klondike bars. But not just any Klondike bars, Triple Coconut Klondike bars. They have great coconut flavor and crunch from toasted coconut, sweetened flakes coconut, coconut milk, and I added cream of coconut to make it even more rich. So if you want to be technically correct its Quadruple coconut. Once I thought about the process it was really easy to make. You make the ice cream as usual, when it's still soft you spread it into a baking dish lined with wax paper (so the ice cream doesn't freeze to the pan). I used a 9x13 pan but if you had more ice cream you could use a deep cookie tray or sheet cake pan. I would just suggest that the mixture fill the container at least an inch high. Let it freeze until it's set enough but not too hard. Remove from pan with wax paper an cut into squares. My mom suggested that the new brownie pans that have inserts to make them precut would work great. I dont make brownies that often to need a pan like that, but they do seem neat. Once they are cut you can return the pan to the freezer if they thawed out too much, if not it's time to dip them in chocolate. I used magic shell! I love this stuff. I've used it before to make carvel-like ice cream cake. This stuff is amazing. I read online that you can make your own (see recipe below) by melting chocolate with coconut oil. Coconut oil is rather expensive, but maybe I'll try it sometime. You coat the bars in magic shell and then refreeze. It takes more magic shell than I thought, but it didn't solidify as quickly as I imagined. You have a little time to top it with nuts or cookie crumbles if you wish to add more texture or flavor. I meant to top some with almonds but forgot in the process of making them. You have to work somewhat quickly because if the bars get too soft the chocolate doesn't stick as well to them. The melted ice cream sort of seizes up the choclate a bit making it harder to get an even coating. But they're handmade, they don't have to be perfect. Mine certainly aren't but they sure taste like it. This is a great thing to try with any store bought ice cream too. You can come up with lots of different flavor combinations. The one benefit to making your own magic shell would be that you can make it with any type of chocolate. White chocolate would be beautiful with mint ice cream for Christmas. This is too easy and too good a treat not to try. It's one of those simple but fancy things that wow people. There's not much I wouldn't do for a Klondike bar, how about you?

Magic Shell Recipe:

1 1/4 Cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (measured when solid)

Melt the coconut oil over very low heat. Slowly stir in the chocolate until completely melted and blended. Add a dash of salt. Store your topping in a jar or squeeze bottle. You don't need to refrigerate it, but if it does solidify, just nuke it for a few secs to make it all melty again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful for Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Per request from my family, I made Butter Pecan ice cream for Thanksgiving. I ended up making two different recipes. One was from Paula Dean on the food network, the other I found online was an adaptation from the joy of cooking. Both were pretty easy recipes. I've provided them below. Paulas was by far the easiest but didn't really provide enough real butter pecan flavor. It has pudding mix which is mostly what I taste when I ate it. It is less sweet than the other but tastes more like cake batter ice cream. The other recipe is really, amazingly good. Very rich in flavor and a lot of nuts which I loved. Both are creamy and smooth. Most of my family ate the one I favored, probably because I sold it better. But to be honest if I had just made Paulas recipe they would have loved it anyway. (A) because I made it and (B) it does taste good. One thing I will say I liked about Paulas recipe besides being ridiculously simple is that the pudding mix gave the ice cream a great buttery yellow color. So try both and see what you prefer.

Recipe Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Butter Pecan Ice Cream on the Food Network

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back by Popular Demand...

So Oreo was a big hit last week except there wasn't enough of it for everyone to try. So I'm making it for a second week. I'll make a double batch this time so I can bring some to my dad. I'll be posting again when I make Butter Pecan for Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 22: Or-eo-eo Ice Cream

Perhaps the hardest thing about making this ice cream was scraping the cream filing off the cookies. Yes, I said it! I was shocked that the recipe said to do so, but I think it would have made it too sweet. And I get what she was trying to do here, the ice cream is the cream filling. I hated throwing that filling out but really couldn't stand eating it. I'm not really into eating frosting, and thats basically what it is. This ice cream was so easy to make, you could make it for any late night craving. You just make a simple syrup ahead of time (one cup of sugar and one cup of water, simmered till the sugar dissolves). It lasts for a couple months in the fridge. Equal parts whole milk and heavy cream, and you could really add the sugar syrup to taste. The recipe called for 1/4 cup for the 3 cups of heavy cream and milk together, and a dash of vanilla extract. Put this into a maker and then five minutes before its done churning, add the crushed oreo cookies. You could try it with the filling if you want it more sweet but I went for what the recipe said. If you do try it with the whole oreos, I'd like to know how it comes out. I wonder if Nabisco has thought of selling just the cookies. They would be great for desserts or people like me who just love the cookies. I'll have to make my dad a batch of this sometime, he loves oreos! I'm attempting to eat healthier and cook more at home, besides ice cream, but its hard to have the leftover sweets in the house. I still have most of the package of oreos left. I think I'll bring the cookies into work tomorrow so as not to tempt me.

I decided to make an oreo ice cream sandwich when I tasted it. It was delicious. Most people like oreos - they are the cookie of your childhood. They're nostalgic and comforting. This is a perfect combination of chocolate and vanilla. Its so easy you have to try it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week 21: Its the Great Pumpkin Gelato, Charlie Brown

I apologize for the huge delay in posting. I'm not having great luck lately. I wrote out a post yesterday and then lost it due to a blogger error on the iPad. Last week we were out of power as a snowstorm hit CT. I had to decide between plugging in the lights or running the ice cream maker. Sadly I chose the lights. Because of this I wasn't able to make my last week of pink ice cream for October. I feel disappointed for not being able to finish it but a donation will still be made to Susan G. Komen.

It was a week of adjustment. You don't realize how much you depend on power until you loose it for a week. I feel for those who are still without power. Because this was such a different week I was totally out of my routine. We stayed with my parents who had a generator and then got their power back mid week. I am so grateful for not having to sleep in a freezing house and see my homemade ice cream melt.

I had great plans for this weeks post but those didn't seem to work out well either. I downloaded an app called Dragon Dictation which types out what you speak into it. I thought this might be a fun and easy way to speak/write these blog posts. I was having some difficulties with the app. You dont have the ability to see what the program is typing as you are saying it, so you dont know what it has picked up until you stop the recording and look at the text. I had to speak very slowly to achieve accuracy and that gets kind of annoying after awhile. This app is great for short sentences or phrases, like a facebook status or tweet. I know they make a computer version which I think works better as it trains the program to learn your voice. I'll have to look into getting that. Anyway enough about that - Lets get to the ice cream!

It seemed perfectly fit to make Pumpkin Gelato as Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. Its also a very comforting and homey flavor that helps when you've had a stressful week. I had made pumpkin ice cream last year for Thanksgiving and didn't have great results. This was before I had this book of course. The texture was never quite right. I thought by adding butter cookies it would taste more like pie but it ended up making it gritty. On another attempt I think I added too much pumpkin and that was too strong a flavor and made it less creamy. But third times a charm I guess. This is creamy without too much spice to be overwhelming. Its not too sweet which I like. If you preferred it sweeter, to be more like pumpkin pie, I would drizzle some maple syrup on top or even better make maple whipped cream. Pecans on the top would add a great crunch. This would be nice to serve alongside pumpkin pie or any pie at Thanksgiving. Its easy simple ingredients will impress your holiday guests and make them very thankful for you and your ice cream.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 20: Oh So Tart - Cranberry Lime Sorbet

Continuing with my pink ice creams for breast cancer awareness month I've made Cranberry Lime Sorbet. It has a beautiful pink color and deliciously tart. This sorbet definitely packs a pucker. I like it for a change but I know that some who try it will say it needs to be sweeter. It uses fresh cranberries, which were surprisingly easy to use. I had never made cranberry sauce or anything with fresh cranberries before. Its fun to hear them pop when you cook them. This was such an easy sorbet to make and has great cranberry flavor. I'm really happy that this didn't just have cranberry juice in it. Sorbets with fresh fruit always taste better and have better texture I think, than when they just use bottled juice. Its the perfect time to make this as fresh cranberries are readily available in the grocery store this time of year. I really need to make more with them. The lime juice and lime zest gives a great refreshing citrus punch to this sorbet. I love citrus flavors. Cranberries are really good for you. This sorbet is pretty healthy. There isn't a huge amount of sugar in it and all of the natural goodness of the fruits are there, especially the whole cranberries themselves. 

This would be great for the holidays. I still like to eat ice cream even when its cold out. This would taste wonderful with a berry crisp or cobbler. It would also be a great side to a creamy desert like a cheesecake or custard pie. 

Only one more pink ice cream to finish out October. Again, any suggestions are welcome. 

Guinness Ice Cream for Robs Birthday

Yesterday was Robs birthday and I was so excited to make a special ice cream flavor for him. I've wanted to make an ice cream with beer for awhile and since Rob loves beer it was only perfect. Not every beer lends itself well to an ice cream form but Guinness is perfect. The Guinness itself is creamy and rich and didn't take much to transform it into a wonderful sweet desert. I was really surprised that it still tasted like beer, I was nervous that the sugar would make the beer taste too sweet but this seems perfectly balanced. Beer and non-beer drinkers liked it. It has great coffee and chocolate flavored undertones that make it appealing to all. This is a seriously awesome treat that will wow anyone at your next St. Patty's Day celebration. Its a must make for all the Guinness lovers in your life.

he had ice cream for breakfast

I stumbled upon a blog recently called Ice Cream Ireland by a guy who owns an ice cream shoppe in Ireland. I figured this would be the best place to look. I searched his blog for Guinness Ice Cream and I wasn't disappointed. His recipe uses a different technique than I was used to but it was perfectly suited for this concoction. I've provided his recipe here:

Murphys Guinness Ice Cream
1 Cup (237ml) Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 1/8 Cups (266ml) Cream
1 1/8 Cups(266ml) Milk
500 ml Guinness
A handful of dark chocolate chips.
Yield: 6 Servings
1. Measure out 100ml of Guinness and set aside.
2. Boil the remaining 400ml Guinness until it reduces to 100ml in volume. Cool.
3. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.
4. Bring the milk to a simmer.
5. Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.
6. Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat. Stir until the custard thickens slightly (around 70C). Use a thermometer, as at 75C the eggs will scramble!
7. Allow the custard to cool.
8. Stir in both the reduced and non-reduced Guinness.
9. Whip the cream.
10. Gently fold in the custard.
11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer.
1. I haven’t made this recipe for home use, so I would love any feedback if you try it!
2. The photo of 3 litres of Guinness is what I used. Don’t pay any attention to the volume!
3. I combine reduced and non-reduced Guinness because using just reduced loses a bit of freshness in terms of flavour.
4. You don’t have to use the chocolate chips of course, but I do think Guinness and chocolate go well together. You could also use this as a companion to a chocolate cake.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Watermelon Sherbet

Well I knew it would happen eventually, I would make an ice cream so bad that even I wouldn't eat it. Such was the sad case of the Watermelon Sherbet. So let me preface my thoughts by stating that this was not in the book. If it was I would have been more upset as Sue hasn't let me down yet. The main problem with this recipie was the gelatin. I did as it said to proof the gelatin in cold water before heating it and adding it to the watermelon puree. Somehow when it cooled in the freezer layers of gelatin formed in the mixture. I didn't see clumps of gelatin when i took the sherbet out of the ice cream maker this morning. The surrounding non gelatinous parts tasted good. It had nice watermelon flavor and the cream made it smooth. But when you hit a chunk of gelatin ( and there were some pretty big chunks in there! ) it left an awful taste in my mouth. Like you chewed on a piece of fat in your ice cream! I was so disgusted with the look and taste of the chunks, I threw it away. I don't think I will make an ice cream with gelatin in it again.

All you can do is try and that's what counts. On a better note moms pie was delicious! The French Vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce was the perfect addition to it. It more than made up for the awfulness of the sherbet.

Let's hope next weeks pink concoction is better. If anyone has a suggestion, I'm all for trying new things. You just never know.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 19: As American as Pie and Ice Cream - French Vanilla Ice Cream w/ Caramel Sauce

While I've been making ice cream each week, my mom has been making pies. She is following Martha Stewarts pie book. So when a co-worker asked if she would make him an apple pie, she happily agreed. It took awhile from the initial request a few months ago but it should be well worth the wait. Every pie I've had of hers is amazing. It happened to be perfect timing because its apple season and Tuesday (Mark, Caroline and I) hit the year mark at work. So nothing goes better with apple pie than vanilla ice cream. And this weeks selection has a little something extra, caramel sauce.

The caramel sauce was easier than I thought it would be. You warm cream and a bit of vanilla extract in a pan till scalding then slowly add it to brown sugar. Cook the mixture until thickened and finish with a pad of butter. Very easy and tastes delicious.

almost ready! - YUM

look at all the black flecks of seeds from the vanilla bean - pure vanilla flavor!  

I'll post more pics and blog when I have some of the pie tomorrow.

I know I said I would be making pink ice creams for October and I still am. Along with this weeks ice cream is a special request from Christina. She asked for something with watermelon so I'm trying something new Watermelon Sherbet. Stay tuned for the post tomorrow.

a preview: the watermelon sherbet mixture in the maker before churning

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 18: Eat Pink! - Strawberry Gelato

So this weeks ice cream seemed destined to be. A co-worker or mine Tracy, is a regular follower of my blog, so I often let her choose the flavors. FYI - You can all have a say too, just write something - Hello even;) Anyway she is on vacation this week and so we decided upon Strawberry Gelato, because she absolutely hates strawberries. Real ones, fake ones, doesn't matter. But it occurred to me that this is the perfect ice cream for Breast Cancer month because its PINK! So I am going to make an attempt to make only pink colored ice creams this month. I dont know why this didn't occur to me a week earlier when I made chocolate. I may have to stray away from the book because I don't think there is much left of that color. So if you have a pink (or pinkish) colored ice cream you would like, please suggest it.  

I feel the need to write this blog not just for the people I work with, even though they are the ones taste testing. It was my original intent and I've kind of lost sight of that. So for those of you who have not had a chance to taste this lovely creation I will do my best to describe its loveliness. Its a beautiful shade of blush pink. Its a real pink make from real strawberries not fake pink food coloring you can see and of course taste the difference. This came out with a nice texture, since its a gelato there are more eggs and milk than cream. The strawberry juice adds to the creaminess making it seem richer even though there isn't a lot of cream. I used frozen strawberries (dont hate me for cheating) but it was easier and cheaper than buying fresh strawberries now. In hindsight this worked better to make a thicker mixture. The syrupy consistency of the frozen strawberry juice is thicker and probably more flavorful. I chose a frozen package with just strawberries and sugar - thats it. I didn't want additives that would make it taste fake. The one downfall in the texture is that the fruit gets a bit frozen throughout the gelato. Its not because I used frozen (mine were thoroughly thawed), I can see fresh doing that too. Maybe it would have been better if I had made a strawberry puree instead of keeping the sliced pieces of strawberries in it. But since the strawberries were sweetened I didn't add any additional sugar and it isn't too sweet (which I prefer). The minute ice cream tastes too sweet I think you loose the true flavor of the ingredients. Homemade ice cream should taste fresh and look beautiful. This does both!

I find useless knowledge fun. But you never know when something you thought was useless serves a purpose one day. So here we go.

facts about strawberries

from strawberries.com
·       Learn how to keep strawberries fresh.
·       There are over 20 named species of strawberry plants.
·       The Garden strawberry is the most common type of strawberry grown commercially.
·       The US strawberry industry is over $1.2 billion dollars annually, and strawberry festivals are very popular.
·       The United States is the top strawberry producing country in the world, followed by Spain.
·       Strawberries are “accessory” fruits.
·       The typical modern strawberry is a hybrid from both North and South America.
·       Learn more about strawberry genetics here.
·       The strawberry was considered poisonous in Argentina until the mid-1800′s.
·       Many Lepidopterans (butterflies, moths, and skinners) are known to feed on strawberry plants.
·       The word strawberry is derived from the Old English word “streawberige”.
·       One cup of strawberries (144 grams) contains approximately 45 calories.
·       Click here for strawberry nutrition facts.

I want to add more into my blog posts. They get boring when I just rattle on about the taste of the ice cream. If you have suggestions of what you would like to know about ice cream or ice cream making. Feel free to ask:)

I will be donating the cost of supplies to make this months pink ice creams to Susan G. Komen

Lets support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and eat pink ice cream! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 17: Willy Wonka's Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Factory.

If Willy Wonka had started an ice cream shoppe, this would have made the list. I am so pleased that this came out so well. Sometimes it's hard to determine how sweet it will be when it's done, but this is just sweet enough. There is a nice slightly bitter taste that dark chocolate should have and this has it without being too overpowering. There is a good chocolatey flavor that's aided by adding kahlua. The recipie called for grand marnier which I didn't have, so I made due with what I did have. It's smooth and rich, defiantly an indulgent treat. I used more leftover ghiradelli chocolate and mixed semisweet with bittersweet to add depth to the chocolate flavor. I've been bad with taking pictures lately. I intend to, then it gets too late by the time I blog and then I don't want to bother with getting the camera out. I should put more effort into doing that. I feel like sometimes I need a blog assistant. Someone to force me to do more with this blog than I am. I can't fault my co-workers for not posting when its not that exciting to read. I need to do more research into what makes a good blog and what other people are doing when it comes to blogging about food. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 16: The Grapefruit Sorbet Diet

We went to the cape this weekend so i needed something easy to make. This definitely fit the bill. I found bottled fresh grapefruit juice in the produce section. It was much less expensive than buying the amount of fruit I would have needed to get 8 cups of juice. This recipe is nice because it has brown sugar. I cut down on the sugar because I thought the granita was way too sweet. It is sort of healthy, the fruit is good for you as it is low in calories, brown sugar is better than processed white sugar, and the small amount of vodka, we can call that an antiseptic. I think the vodka makes the mixture not freeze too much so that it is still soft. This is a very pretty sorbet. It's light and refreshing. The whole point of the grapefruit diet is that when you eat or drink grapefruit with a meal the enzymes in the grapefruit act with the protein your eating to make you feel more full. It seems like a pretty weird diet, but aren't they all. If I was going to join the cult of grapefruit dieters, I would have sorbet instead :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 15: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Heaven

I love peanut butter in pretty much anything. So it goes without saying that I was going to love this from the start. I liked that it had bits of mini chocolate chips in it. The chocolate gives it some depth of flavor but the chip size isn't an overpowering texture. I strayed away from the original recipe a bit. Instead of making a vanilla based ice cream with gobs of peanut butter, I opted for a peanut butter base. I had made peanut butter ice cream once before with a different recipe. That one didn't have eggs nor did it require heating or refrigeration prior to mixing. It was very easy but still tasted amazing. Although this tastes amazing and much like peanut butter mousse, I think the taste isn't that different from the other (easier and faster) peanut butter ice cream. That recipe was in the book that came with the maker. I tried other recipes from that book and they weren't as good as that one. Finding good recipes is half the battle. If I didn't have this book I would be scouring the Internet for recipes that may not have been tested. I will say this: most of the duds I have made were due to my lack of following the directions correctly. She is very exact and I am not. I use the cooking method to ice cream making (a little of this a little of that) while she the baking method (measuring everything!) Some recipes have worked out in my favor. Others not. This one was on my side. I made it how I wanted to and it worked. Deliciously!

There is a really cute blog out there called the chocolate peanut butter gallery. So if you love this combo check it out!

This ice cream was Anne's choice. She loves peanut butter as much as I do, perhaps even more! Let's hope she loves it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 14: Orange Granita

Its ironic that this recipe is in an ice cream book because it A) isn't ice cream, B) its not really even sorbet, and what puzzles me more as to why its there is that C) it didn't even require use of the ice cream maker. Although it may not fit the reasons that one might include it in an ice cream book, it is icy and sweet. For your history lesson...what is granita?

The orange juice is slightly tart while the added sugar makes it sweet. The fact that it is frozen and then scraped over and over gives it a fluffy airy quality that sorbet just doesn't have. This is a great summer dessert. Its a very adaptable recipe too. You could pretty much use any juice and cut down the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the juice you use or how healthy you want to make it. I took a trip to Stew Leonard's and got their fresh squeezed orange juice. Sorry guys I didn't slave all day squeezing oranges! But I think this juice was just as good. It tasted real to me, anyway. For those of you who try it, I'd like your thoughts. 

On a side note I was at the Brimfield Antique show and tried orlimonade - we laughed at our pronunciation it but it had orange, lemon and lime juices blended together with sugar and water. It was awesome! On a hot day like Friday it was perfect! I need to learn how to make it. It might actually make a great granita...ooohhh.

Make this one, its easy, doesn't require fancy equipment, and tastes refreshingly good.

4 cups orange juice (or any juice), 1 cup sugar, pour into a shallow dish, put in freezer, and every fifteen minutes or so scrape with a fork until fully frozen and fluffy. Eat and enjoy! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 13: Graham Central Station

Lucky Number 13! I first tried ice cream with graham crackers at our local J. Foster called Graham Central Station. I've been in love with it ever since and I get it most times I go there. I think this version is just as good. This is a very special day because I got to make this weeks choice with my friend Brie. She bought me the book that started this blog going so it was nice to finally get her in the kitchen to make something.When she gave me the book she picked this as a flavor she most wanted to try, so its perfect that she was willing to be my assistant today.

So Graham Cracker Malted Vanilla.came together like most other vanilla based ice creams however this one has real vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. We made 2 double batches because I knew that this one will be a hit. I bought cinnamon graham crackers and honey graham crackers. In her batch we mixed the two, in mine I used just cinnamon. It didn't make a huge amount of difference in the flavor, so use what you like. The crunchy texture of the crackers is nice when they were freshly added in, but when I tried it again a few hours later the crackers had softened and they melted in your mouth. They became more a part of the ice cream itself than just seeming like a add in. The malt adds a nice earthy flavor. Its definitely a much stronger flavor in a malted milk ball than it is here but its still there. Malted milk is actually malted barleywheat flour, and whole milk evaporated into powder form. It doesn't smell very good in the container but when mixed with enough sugar it doesn't taste how it smells, thankfully. 

There is just the right amount of sweetness to this. The flavors work perfectly together. I don't think I would change a thing about this one.

Thanks again to Brie for helping make this one. It took a long time but it was worth it! Hopefully I can get her back to make something else (that's less time consuming). 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 12: Sweet Cream a la Irene

So I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to make this weeks selection. But thankfully we didn't really feel the effects of Hurricane Irene were we are. I put off making it thinking we were going to be out of power for a longer period of time. My ingredients survived so Sweet Cream was made today. Its simple and will go perfectly with the pistachio cake that a co-worker is bringing to work tomorrow. That is if she didn't loose power or was forced to evacuate her home like some people I know. This storm is crazy! I am amazed at how varied this storm is from one area to the next. My parents live half an hour away and they were without power since 6:30 this morning. There is flooding in a lot of areas and some trees are down, but I was really surprised that our area didn't get hit as much as they predicted. I'm so grateful for it. I am also grateful for another easy ice cream this week. Because of all the chaos surrounding Irene it was nice to have something uncomplicated. The taste is simple and light, the ingredients were basic (milk, cream and sugar syrup) and the taste is perfectly sweet. Tastes much like frozen whipped cream. It would be great with anything mixed in but is great on its own too.

I hope to all that had to deal with the stress of Irene today that they at least had one simple thing happen today. This was my simple thing. Hopefully if work is open tomorrow, everyone can share in it while swapping storm stories. I pray for all who didn't have a simple day today. Tomorrow is new, and may it be better. If you didn't have a great day I suggest you make something sweet and easy, like this. Go ahead...eat a chocolate bar. It is sure to brighten your soul.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 11: Cookie Dough

The sorbets are always easy as they are mostly fruit based, but this was one of the easiest ice creams so far. No tempering of eggs and no prior refrigeration of the mixture required. Just milk, heavy cream, sugar syrup, vanilla extract, and of course cookie dough.

The few things I can say is that if you are looking for a simple yet satisfying treat to serve up quick, this might be it. And if you have kids or company coming and you want to look cool, just make this simple vanilla base and put anything you want in it. It looks like you took a lot of time to prepare, but didn't. This is such a basic recipe that will please even the pickiest person. It may be very hard for me to go back to store bought ice cream. The ingredients used to make this were so inexpensive and it took very little time or effort. What I like most about homemade ice cream is that you don't have all the preservatives and processed ingredients. It's clean eating to me. I'm sure if you wanted to make it really healthy you could use agave syrup and organic milk. Not sure if this would change the texture. But it might be worth a try.

Some people may worry about the raw cookie dough in this, but I'm not. I've eaten raw cookie dough most of my life and I'm still here obviously. Knock on wood, it's never made me sick. Cookie dough is made with pasteurized eggs. It's probably the only way it could sit on the grocery store shelf for more than a couple days. Plus I kept it refrigerated the entire time.

Sometimes I wish every recipe was this simple. I think I am getting lazier as this goes on. I'll try not too. I would love to just make the ice cream and have someone write the blog part for me. But I'll try to make a conscious effort to make these posts more exciting.

Till next time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 10: Just Peachy - Fresh Peach and Marcona Almond Gelato

Peaches are in season right now so I had to find a recipe in this book to utilize this wonderful fruit. The one chosen, Fresh Peach and Marcona Almond Gelato. In case you're wondering Marcona almonds are from Spain and they are sweeter, rounder, and have a more delicate texture than other almonds. I was pressed for time at the grocery store, so I settled for regular sliced almonds instead of searching. Some of these recipes get very specific and I'm not sure that it always makes a difference as to the end result. I will be the first to admit that better ingredients create a better outcome. But in this case The almonds add some flavor but mostly provide a crunchy texture. But let's get to the star of the recipe - the peaches. Thanks go to my Mom who gladly provided the peaches for this recipe. Since they originally came from my aunt, I thank her too. It pays to take advantage of fruits while their in season. They are sweeter, cheaper and of course more plentiful. I think I may take additional advantage of peaches this year and make peach cobbler - oh yum! I tend to like apples and stone fruits cooked more than raw. Since Rob is slightly allergic to them raw, I usually cook them anyway. This recipe uses uncooked peaches and because mine were so ripe they pretty much had the texture of cooked ones. Even though my fruit was ripe this ice cream isn't very sweet. I think I like it that way. I like when you can taste the flavor something has more than the sugar. What's nice about cooking and baking yourself is being able to change a recipe to suit your tastes. This just reminded me of something I heard on the Ben and Jerry's documentary. The reason why there is so much stuff in their ice cream is because Ben has weak taste buds and he kept saying he couldn't taste the flavoring. I think it would be awesome to have hyper taste buds. Being a taste tester would be a perfect profession. I always get a bit off topic at the end of these posts. Anyway this gelato is beautiful. Smooth soft peaches, creamy cool ice cream and crunchy almonds. What more could you want?!

Time to go.
Peach dreams :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Roads Diverged in a Scoop

So the official Rocky Road chocolate vs. vanilla taste test starts tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is. Even though I thought the chocolate was going to win me over, somehow the vanilla has more "rockiness to it". Adrian! Yes I went there.

I like to root for the underdog but I realize that the purists may like the chocolate just because it's familiar. Maybe another taste will swing my vote.

I had to come up with my own recipe this time. It wasn't sweet enough or chocolatey enough at first so I added Magic Shell to it because that was all I had. That did make it harder but at least it gave it the much needed sweetness. The chocolate I used must have been semisweet.

On another note, I watched a biography on Ben & Jerry's today. It made me want to drive up to their plant and try to eat a whole Vermonster my myself! I don't know anyone whose tried it. That is a bucket list item for sure. My one regret while on vacation... I didn't eat enough ice cream! I'll have to make up for it this week:) Ha Ha

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 9: I Love Rocky Road

I was surprised to see that this flavor wasn't chocolate but vanilla based with chocolate chips. While I like this version, I think would have preferred the chocolate base. Maybe I'm a purist. But it was still very delicious. The rough "rocky" texture of the chips, coconut and almonds contrasts nicely with the soft marshmallow pieces. I will admit my jaw was a bit tired of chewing after this one. This made for some thick ice cream that had to be mixed by hand because the maker couldn't hold half of the final ingredients.

This one definitely warrants a chocolate vs vanilla taste test. Since I have left over ingredients I think I will see if I can make it happen for Tuesday. Since I'll be away next week on vacation maybe this can take the place of next Sundays post. I can declare the winner of the taste test on Sunday instead of starting a new flavor. We'll see what the ice cream gallery has to say at work.

a fork in the road

The title for this post came from the Wierd Al song, I Love Rocky Road, sung to the classic 80s anthem I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett.

I hear those ice cream bells and I start to drool
Keep a couple quarts in my locker at school
Yah, but chocolate's gettin' old
Vanilla just leaves me cold

There's just one flavor good enough for me, yah me
Don't gimme no crummy taste spoon
I know what I need

Baby, I love rocky road
So won't ya go and buy half a gallon, baby
I love rocky road
So have another triple scoop with me, ow

They tell me ice cream junkies are all the same
All the soda jerkers know my name
When their supply is gone
Then I'll be movin' on

But I'll be back on Monday afternoon, you'll see
Another truck load's comin' in for me, all for me
I'm singin'

I love rocky road
So won't ya go and buy half a gallon, baby
I love rocky road
So have another triple scoop with me, ow

(oh, make it talk)

When I'm all alone, I just grab myself a cone
And if I get fat and loose my teeth that's fine with me
Just lock me in the freezer and throw away the key
Sing it

I love rocky road
So won't ya go and buy half a gallon, baby
I love rocky road
So have another triple scoop with me

I love rocky road
So won't ya go and buy half a gallon, baby
I love rocky road
So have another triple scoop with me

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week 8: Loco for Coco-nut! Orange Pineapple Coconut Sorbet and Mango Coconut Ice Cream

I made two ice creams this week. One as a slightly belated birthday present for my mom (Mango Coconut Ice Cream) and the other for the usual gig (Orange Pineapple Coconut Sorbet).

First the sorbet. This was by far the easiest recipe yet! 3 ingredients, and it took practically no time to prepare. If it wasn't for letting the mixture cool overnight in the fridge, this could easily have been done in 15 minutes. I was pretty pleased with the outcome of this flavor combo but I would have preferred a stronger coconut flavor. The orange and pineapple juices overpowered the coconut milk. But the milk did add a creaminess that would have been lacking if it was just juice alone. I think if I try this one again I'll use cream of coconut instead of coconut milk, to make the coconut stand out more and make the mixture more creamy. Regardless this is refreshing.

Mom requested Mango Coconut ice cream for her birthday which was a few weeks ago. It just took me a while to get to it but it was definitely worth the wait. She found the recipe in the Hartford Currant living section. Very simple to make with little ingredients. A few mangoes pureed, coconut milk, whipping cream, and sugar ( I used sugar syrup to simplify the process - no heating the mixture to dissolve the sugar). Topped with fresh mango slices and toasted coconut; it really makes it amazing!!! The coconut adds crunch and the mangoes make the mango in the ice cream really stand out.

They are the perfect type of ice creams to make to start off a beach weekend. Fresh, bright, tropical flavors - perfect to cool off from the heat. Should Monday be another scorcher, the sorbet will certainly be appreciated.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 7: Carda Carda Carda Carda, Cardamom Chameleon

I must admit I went into this weeks creation without a lot of enthusiasm. The green tea turnout was such a bummer for me, I was nervous to try another "spiced" flavor. But I stuck to really following (and making sure I accurately read) the recipe this time. I used just egg yolks and decided to not double the recipe for fear it may screw it up. Plus cardamom is not typically thought of as an ice cream flavor so I didn't know how popular it would be. Actually most of the time when I mentioned it last week people said, "What's that?" Cardamom is an Indian spice which has a flavor that's hard to describe. I taste notes of orange, cinnamon, and an overall spicy flavor. It reminds me a bit of spiced chai tea. My boss picked the flavor this week and she graciously provided me with the cardamom pods to make it with. I broke open the pods to take out the seeds and then ground the seeds into a powder.

The texture of this was much better. Thicker, creamier, richer - how ice cream should be. I'm sure the sweetened condensed milk is really what gave it the right consistency. The flavor is unique and definitely unexpected. In the future I think I would purchase ground cardamom because my grinder didn't get the seeds pulverized enough to not add a texture to the mixture. I do think that the freshly ground seeds probably provided a much stronger flavor than packaged ground cardamom would have had. It was interesting to make this because I had never had cardamom or seen it in pod form. It didn't take that many pods to make a tbsp worth of powder, but it was a bit time consuming to break open the pods. I had to use pliers, because my hands would have been sore trying to break them open with my fingers. The skins although they are papery, are quite tough. But I will take free ingredients whenever they are offered to me. So thank you for the donation. I hope it was worth it!