Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 33: Balsamic and Black Pepper Gelato

So I figured it was time to make one of the weird ones. I was a little skeptical that this wouldn't turn out well but I had to give it a shot. And as it turned out it was great. Balsamic vinegar is sweet on its own but when its mixed with a creamy sweet base you really taste the vinegar's sourness. But no part of its flavor is overpowering. There is just enough of each flavor to make it interesting. The pepper punch sort of hits the back of your throat as you finish a bite. Its an interesting combination of a cold dessert being spicy. But I could see this becoming addictive. Its the type of thing that you could easily use as a simple desert after a rich meal. It would be better in small portions because I think for some it would get too overwhelming. Id like to combine other vinegar's and spices and see what I could come up with. Maybe an apple cider vinegar with cinnamon perhaps?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 32: Cinnamon Let Me In

Back on schedule. Today I made Cinnamon Stick Ice Cream. I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle cinnamon flavor that this has. I was afraid that it might have a strong eggnog taste but it isn't too bad. The texture is rich and smooth. The cinnamon didn't give it a graininess or chalkiness. It has a nice hint of cinnamon, like if you made cinnamon sugar on toast. Something crunchy like a honey roasted peanut or toasted walnut would be a great topping. I could see a nice caramel drizzle on it, like a snicker doodle. It would make a great ice cream sandwich between two graham crackers or sugar cookies. I didn't find it overly sweet so I think it would be ok to pair it with something a bit sweeter. I am really happy with this one. The addition of the cinnamon stick, not just ground cinnamon, did a lot for this. Its worth spending a little it to get the extra flavor. Even though the recipe didn't call for it I added a little vanilla extract. I think all ice cream needs it. This is a definite keeper. Easy, versatile, and comforting.

Week 31: Salty and Sweet

So I'm finally catching up, last week I made Pretzel and Chocolate Gelato. The recipe in the book called for a vanilla base with chocolate chips and pretzels. I favored a chocolate base with pretzels so that's how I did it. I may go back and try it her way sometime. One strong opinion I have to make on chocolate based ice cream ( since its been almost a year of making ice cream) is to use Baker's brand chocolate. I think it has a stronger chocolate flavor like what you would get from using cocoa powder but doesn't have a chalkiness that I find occurs with using chocolate chips. Even good Ghiradelli chips do leave some chalkiness. I also think it dissolves into the milk mixture better. It probably has a higher fat content that makes it a bit creamier too. All around I think it makes a superior chocolate base. From there you can add anything you want into it. I put pretzels in this  batch. Now there comes a texture choice. If you like the pretzels to be crunchy, which I prefer, you add them as a topping or mix them in yourself right before you eat the ice cream. If you like them soft, mix them into the batch as it churns. Words of wisdom: You may think you like the pretzels soft but after a few days they really get too squishy. It changes the texture and you don't enjoy the chocolate flavor as much. I should have put them on separately, but that's how I am able to give you such good advice. The other great thing about the crunchy pretzel on top is that you really get the good salt flavor. Its a great contrast to the rich creamy chocolate. When the pretzels sit in the ice cream the salt just sort of mixes in and you don't get that yin yang. I'm toying around with the idea of using chocolate covered pretzels in hopes that they might stay crisp and deepen the chocolate flavor. Any thoughts?

You just can't go wrong with chocolate and pretzels!

Week 30: This S#*t is Bananas

This was made several weeks ago and like usual I didn't get around to blogging about it. So here we go.

When I typically think of sorbet I think of a certain texture that is icy. However when you make sorbet from pureed overripe bananas and sugar syrup you end up with a smooth smooshy texture. Don't get me wrong it still tastes good but it doesn't scream sorbet to me. Maybe if the mixture was watered down more it may make an icier mix when frozen. Bananas are one of the only fruits that I really like just the way they are. We'll chocolate covered is even better but aside from that overripe bananas are not my favorite. Overripe bananas are essential to banana bread and that's where I think they should stay put. Its just a little to weird for me like this. I hate to hate on something like this but if you really love the taste of overripe bananas you will love this. I am definitely placing too strong an opposition to this. Sorry banana lovers :(

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 29: Basil Gelato

We'll it doesn't taste like pesto if anyone is wondering. It has a great earthy flavor. Basil has a licorice taste to it and I hate licorice, but I like this. Perhaps because its sweet and not too strong (we'll see what its like tomorrow when the basil flavor has had a chance to develop.

I may not have chopped up the basil fine enough to take out the texture. In looking back at the picture in the book she had more flecks of basil and not really pieces of it as in mine. Its interesting to take a normally savory flavor and turn it into a sweet treat. its a big gamble that can only be done with certain flavors. This works well as a sweet flavor possibly because basil is a sweet herb to begin with.

I made Bolognese sauce today and it complimented it nicely. It makes a nice pairing with any Italian food I think. Even Thai or Indian food might benefit from a sweet basil dessert. The creaminess will definitely balance out any spiciness in the dish.

It was a simple base to make and might be nice to try with other herbs. I've had lavender ice cream before which was really neat.

Its a fancy, sophisticated treat that is impressive to have people try. Lets hope some folks are ambitions enough to try it tomorrow.

Week 28: Cocoa Sorbet

So I had better hopes for this one. The recipe was so simple I thought what could go wrong. Well it turned out more like fudge than sorbet. 3 ingredients, cocoa powder, sugar syrup and vanilla extract. I used agave syrup and a bit of water to thin it out. I'm not sure if that created the problem or if the thickness of the mixture was the issue. Maybe if it had more liquid, i.e. water in it, it would have gotten frozen like sorbet should instead of being still soft and fudge like. Don't get me wrong it was still good. And it was good on top of the white chocolate ice cream. But it wasn't sorbet.

I will keep it in mind when I want a good fudge or chocolate sauce recipe.

Been A Long Time

In the haze of preparing for our wedding, I've let my blogging slip.Slip isnt the word, more like drop from my life entirely. If it had a bigger following I might feel bad about it. But since I do this mostly for myself I have to just go with the flow. I set a goal that i wanted to make 52 ice creams and I'm going to do it. It just might take me a little longer or I may have to do double time to catch up. But it will get done. I did make ice cream during the hiatus. Lets see...

I made white chocolate ice cream which I was going to have for a baby shower at work but them decided on making three different ice cream cakes instead (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry). I made the cookie crust and used store bought ice cream like in this post. They were heart shaped and adorable and I wish I had gotten a picture.

I made some more Guinness ice cream that didn't come out so well, so Rob took a stab at and for his first time making ice cream he did amazing. Its not the easiest to make on your first try but it tasted amazing, It was nice of him to make an ice cream for me and I think he has a greater appreciation for this endeavor than he had before. He admitted it was hard work and didn't really want to make it again. I think the Guinness was what attracted him. Some beer for the ice cream more beer for him (haha!). I'll be making another attempt at Guinness ice cream for St. Patrick's Day. That is one ice cream where you have to stick to the recipe and not fiddle with it which is where I got in trouble.

A few weeks ago I made Cocoa Sorbet which I will blog about next.

 And today I made Basil Gelato will be the next post after that.

If I missed any mentions of ice creams made in the past few months I'll throw them in intermittently.

Pheww, I feel better for writing this out. I have to keep the momentum going and keep going. I've done alot of wedding planning and that is tapering down now so I should be able to get back to it regularly.

P.S. I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to ice cream related things. Check it out!
Feel free to send me things you think I should pin there.

I cant wait to make this pinned lovely from How to: Simplify...I'll need a decadent occasion for this one.

Chocolate Doughnut, Nutella, and Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 27: Sweet Tart.....Lemon Vanilla Ice Cream w/ Raspberry Sauce

This ice cream is delicious. Its light and creamy, the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The lemon zest really pumped up the lemon flavor. It reminds me of a lemon chiffon. I like the softness of it with the vanilla more than I would if it was a sorbet. I think it would be too tart and too strong to pair well with the raspberry sauce. Berry sauces are so easy to make I don't know why I don't make them more often. They are great to make when you are having company. You can just purchase store made pound or angel food cake and pour over a raspberry or blueberry sauce and dollop with fresh whipped cream. So easy and beautiful. I use frozen berries when I make sauces because they break down just as much as fresh would and tend to be less expensive. Unless you get them at peak season. But frozen berries are picked when they are the freshest too, so you are guaranteed a consistent product that you don't always get when you buy fresh. They each have their place. Sorry for rambling about fruit. This ice cream would be great with in all sorts of combinations.

Here are some I like:
lemon vanilla with blueberry, pomegranate, or strawberry sauce
orange vanilla with chocolate sauce
ginger vanilla with mango, apple or peach sauce
lime vanilla with raspberry or pineapple sauce

The combos are endless!

When I am finished with the recipes from the book, I can explore this more...

The whole fun of cooking is trying new things. Experiment with store bought ice cream if you don't want to go out and buy an ice cream maker. Ice cream is meant to be fun, so play with mixing flavors and have fun with it! Let me know if you make something great!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 26: Espresso Gelato with Biscotti

We're halfway there! Week 26, WOW! I have to let you in on a little secret. I am not great at committing to projects. I get excited in the beginning but then I either don't finish something or get burnt out it the end. Its one of the flaws I hate about myself and I'm working on it. I was afraid I would do that with this blog. I have slowed down periodically but haven't lost enthusiasm yet about making ice cream. I am more excited about coming up with my own recipes once this 52 week adventure is over. But about this weeks flavor. Its espresso and there's no denying it. If you need a good wake-me-up at 9:00 or pick-me-up at 2:00 have a scoop of this. I am strange but not that strange, I like the smell of coffee and the taste of coffee flavored items but not the taste of real coffee. This gelato is appealing to me but not something I could have all the time. But for you extreme coffee fans this is amazing. Its one of those ice creams you can't hide making. The smell of the espresso is so strong and wonderfully rich. It perfumes the kitchen. The biscotti are a great addition to this because they add some body to the mixture and an extra sweetness. I used chocolate biscotti with almonds. When I tried it they were crunchy but the longer they sit in the gelato the softer they will get. I am excited to try it today again and see what the texture is like. Its only flaw - possibly not being sweet enough. I doubled the recipe and cut back a bit on the sugar because I thought the biscotti would make it sweet but it isn't as sweet as I thought it might be. It may be good to add a little chocolate sauce on top if you are serving it as a desert. If you don't like your coffee or espresso too sweetened than this would be perfect for you.

Cheers to a good pick me up to start the week off right! Happy Monday!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 25: All in the Family - Coconut Apricot Sorbet

I entered this year of blogging with the best of intentions. I wanted to start it off with a BANG, but it sort of fizzled. But I'll update you on the past weeks events and tell you whats ahead.

Well for starters I got engaged on NYE! I will figure out how to have ice cream at my wedding, don't you worry. The following week my cousin was supposed to make ice cream with me but the scheduling didn't work out. But she was here with me this weekend to make Oreo for her and we made Coconut Apricot Sorbet from the book. Both are really easy ice creams to get started with so I was happy that it worked out that way. 

For her reference and yours I'd like to go over the process.

Step 1: Make a sugar syrup. In a small saucepan, on medium heat, stir 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat to cool and refrigerate in a covered container. It lasts for at least a month in the fridge. 

Step 2: Mix 2 cups whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup sugar syrup in a bowl to combine.

Step 3: Pour into ice cream maker and run for 30 minutes or whatever your machine calls for.

Step 4: Put cookies (as many as you'd like) in a plastic zipper bag and crush them. This keeps the mess to a minimum.

Step 5: In the last 5 minutes of mixing add the cookies to the ice cream mixture. If you use a lot of cookies you may want to mix them in by hand after you have taken the ice cream out of the maker.

Step 6: Enjoy homemade Oreo ice cream!

See how easy it is! And if you have a KitchenAid mixer you can get the ice cream bowl attachment. So you don't have to have another appliance taking up space. It looks great. Direct from the manufacturer it is expensive but I have seen it retail as low as $35 on sale. So its a great investment if your just starting out with making ice cream. I must get one.

Aside from making Oreo we made Coconut Apricot Sorbet. It came out lovely. The coconut milk makes it slightly creamy and the apricot flavor is what you really taste. I couldn't find apricot juice so we pureed canned apricots. I didn't strain it because I like the chunkiness of having bits of apricot in it. It has shredded coconut in it as well which adds to the texture. There is a refreshing icy quality that I love about sorbet. On a day like today it might be a bit too cold to enjoy it but I'll certainly try.

A special thank you to my cousin. I am so happy that she was able to come and make ice cream. I think she really enjoyed it and was surprised by how easy it can be. She is welcome in my kitchen anytime. Maybe someday I will get her started with her own machine!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...