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!
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