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

·       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!?
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