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.
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