Spice Ice Cream with Sorghum Swirl
Posted November 16, 2009on:
This ice cream flavor was inspired by of all things- Cracker Barrel Restaurant. I’m a foodie through and through, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for this restaurant. I can best describe Cracker Barrel in one word- cheesy. And I mean this in the best of ways. The gift shop? Pure cheese. The food? Even cheesier (particularly their velveeta laden mac and cheese-yum!). I know very well that it isn’t “good food” but damn it, I like it anyway. Especially the ice cream sundae in the frosty mug with sorghum molasses on top. Straight up down-home deliciousness. I like it so much, that one time I asked my waiter if I could buy some sorghum molasses from the restaurant. They wouldn’t sell it to me, those stinkers, so I ended up buying it over the internet. As soon as it arrived I knew I had to create an ice cream flavor that revolved around the sorghum. It ended up being as beautiful as was delicious.
You might be wondering, what does sorghum syrup taste like? Well it depends on the brand that you get, but generally it tastes like a very mild molasses. Sort of a cross between molasses and golden syrup, if you’ve ever had that. It’s a unique flavor that tastes great on ice cream because it’s assertive without being overpowering the way that a stronger brand of molasses might be. If you live in the south (which I obviously don’t) you may even find it readily at your local grocery store. If not, it’s completely available to order from a variety of online vendors over the internet. When adding the swirl to the ice cream, I layered the ice cream base in three layers, with two layers of sorghum in between. Then, I gently swirled and folded the ice cream over a few times with my spoon. It’s a delicate balance, you want to make sure the sorghum gets swirled throughout the base but not incorporated so much that you get sorghum ice cream.
In the ice cream base I wanted something that would complement the sorghum and without being too overpowering. I decided on a blend of traditional pumpkin pie spices which worked very nicely with the mild molasses flavor in the swirl. I used a blend of freshly ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. If you can, I would definitely recommend buying your spices whole and then grinding them fresh in a spice mill or coffee grinder. It makes such a difference in flavor!
This ice cream tasted warm and autumnal with its blend of fall spices and its undertone of molasses flavor. It’s a great ice cream to make during the fall and winter. It will make you feel cozy and remind you of a freshly baked spice cake or pumpkin pie. I definitely think I elevated my favorite sundae at Cracker Barrel, while staying true to the heart of what I loved about the original. Make this ice cream if you’re looking for a treat that’s both comforting to eat and gorgeous to look at.
Spice Ice Cream with Sorghum Swirl Recipe
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup light brown sugar
5 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cloves
heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
¼ cup sorghum syrup or molasses or regular molasses if unavailable
1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.
2.) Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.
3.) All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.
4.) Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and spices and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. When ice cream is ready, layer ice cream and sorghum or molasses in a pre-frozen, cold container. Gently swirl and fold over the ice cream and swirl layers until the sorghum is well swirled throughout but not fully incorporated. Enjoy!
Make it a sundae!
I think that this ice cream would taste fabulous with a bourbon-caramel sauce drizzled over the top. Add plenty of toasted pecans and whipped cream for a autumn/winter sundae taste sensation.
The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.