Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Archive for January 2010

My whole family flipped for this!

Again, I took this recipe from David Lebovitz’s masterful cookbook on all things frozen, The Perfect Scoop. Even though it uses just a bit of whole milk and a smattering of butter, this ice cream came out remarkably creamy. In fact, I think the lack of fats really allowed the sumptuous flavors of oven roasted bananas and caramelized brown sugar to take center stage. The dot of butter actually went quite a long way, combining beautifully with the brown sugar to create a sweet-salty butterscotch flavor. The members of my family on diets went wild for this recipe, and we all polished it off in one sitting.

The three bananas left in the house...

I decided to make this when I wanted to make a new ice cream, but I didn’t have enough milk, cream or eggs to make the proper, custard style variety. Being too lazy to go out to the store, I decided to stick it out and scrounge around the house for ingredients to make some kind of frozen treat. When I saw the three bananas on sitting in a bowl on my kitchen table, I immediately remembered David Lebovitz’s Roasted Banana Ice Cream. I made it last year, and it was equally delicious then as it is now.

Getting ready for roasting.

This ice cream was pretty easy to make. Just chop up some bananas, add some brown sugar and melted butter and then pop the whole thing in the oven to roast. I would advise checking it frequently. David Lebovitz suggesting roasting the bananas for 40 minutes, but mine were done in 30. So check frequently and stir often to prevent a whole different kind of burnt caramel!

Fresh from the churn!

This ice cream was so awesome, one family member told me that I should package it and start a line of low-fat, insanely tasty banana based ice creams. I don’t know if I’m going to do that (I think David Lebovitz might have something to say about it!), but it was exceptionally good. Especially if you are on a diet and looking for a fairly healthy treat. This is honestly as good as it’s going to get and frankly, better than many full fat ice cream flavors I’ve made.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s cookbook, The Perfect Scoop, 2007.

Ingredients:

3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tbsp. butter (salted or unsalted), cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups whole milk

 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp. coarse salt

1.) Preheat the oven to 400°.

 2.) Slice the bananas into ½ -inch pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish.  Bake for 40 minutes, stirring just once during baking, until the bananas are browned and cooked through.

 3.) Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender or food processor.  Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, and puree until smooth. 

 4.) Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  If the chilled mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisking will thin it out.

Make it a Sundae!- This would be a great ice cream to use in a banana split! Use three scoops of this with chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce and marshmallow. Add a split banana, whipped cream, toasted walnuts for crunch and a maraschino cherry on top. An updated and great twist on classic!

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The best rice pudding I've ever had!

I’ve been making David Lebovitz’s Rice Pudding Gelato ever since I purchased his wonderful book, The Perfect Scoop, a year ago. It immediately jumped out to me because I love gelato and I particularly love this type of rice pudding that Scandinavians call Riskrem. Riskrem is rice pudding as you’ve never had it before and one of my all time favorite desserts. Part of what makes it so special is that freshly whipped cream is folded into the rice pudding, making it both decadent and light as a cloud. Combining my two favorite desserts is brilliant and this recipe captures the very best qualities of rice pudding and ice cream.

This ice cream starts life in the oven.

Part of what makes this ice cream so great is the way it’s prepared and its delicious flavorings. You bake arborio rice with milk, a whole split vanilla bean and some orange rind for an hour and a half until the rice is tender and deeply flavored. The milk infuses with the orange and vanilla flavors creating a rich and complex base.

The best of both worlds, take that Hannah Montana!

Another genius aspect of this recipe is the fact that some of the rice gets put into a blender, creating little nubbly textured grains of rice. Texture is really important in almost all food and ice cream is no exception. With some grains of rice being left whole and some pureed fine, this ice cream has a delightful mouthfeel that’s a joy to eat.

A sprinkling of cinnamon makes it perfection!

Even if you’re not a rice pudding lover, do try this ice cream. I think it’s an improvement on the traditional rice pudding and the subtle nutmeg, vanilla and orange flavorings keep every bite delicious and intriguing. Another great ice cream from David Lebovitz! With him you just can’t go wrong.

Rice Gelato
Adapted from Perfect Scoop.

1/2 cup Italian Arborio rice
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lenghtwise
Two 1-inch-wide strips of orange zest
5 large egg yolks (save the whites for use later)
1 cup half-and-half or cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350. In a 1.75 to 2 quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Add the vanilla bean and strips of orange zest (I made the mistake of actually scraping out the vanilla, but it’s not really a mistake… it’s delicious.)

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven a second time, remove the vanilla bean and orange zest and briskly whisk in the egg yolks at once. Then whisk in the half and half or cream and nutmeg.

Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until chopped fine then stir it back into the cooked rice.

Chill the mixture in the fridge then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Better than the cake itself!

When I saw this delicious and inspired ice cream on the wonderful blog, Not Eating Out In New York, I knew I had to try it for myself. I’ve actually had Carrot Cake Ice Cream before at various ice cream parlors, and its alway been one of my favorites! It combines the best aspects of carrot cake and vanilla ice cream, creating a sort of carrot cake cake ala mode effect. With a flavor with the word “cake” right in the title, you might think this is just carrot cake pieces crumbled into vanilla ice cream. But this ice cream derives its flavor from a mixture of shredded carrots, brown sugar, spices, dried fruit and nuts to make the base of the ice cream itself taste just like the real thing.

Shredded Carrots

The one way I deviated from the already brilliant recipe was that I added some cream cheese right into the base of the ice cream to mimic a cream cheese frosting flavor. This worked out really well! The cream cheese was subtle, but present, and added to the overall effect of eating a piece of carrot cake in frozen form. I even think it improved the texture and scoopability of the ice cream as it held up particularly well even after days in the freezer.

Simmering Carrots

The hardest part of this recipe is probably simmering the carrots in milk for 20 or so minutes. It’s an extra step in comparison to the standard custard based ice cream recipe, but the results are completely worth it. The shredded carrots seep into the milk, creating a base that tastes of carrot cake in every bite.

Just finished churning...ready for scooping!

This was definitely one of my best homemade ice cream flavors and a recipe I’ll be making again and again. If you love ice cream and you love carrot cake then making this recipe is a no-brainer. Try it alone, or better yet with a slice of real carrot cake!

As adapted from the blog “Not Eating Out in New York”

Carrot Cake Ice Cream
(makes about 1 quart)

2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup packed shredded carrots
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup well softened cream cheese

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugars and spices until fluffy and the lighter in color. Set aside.

Combine the milk, cream, carrots and raisins in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. (Do not let boil.)

Whisk softened cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.

While beating the egg yolk mixture, pour in a small spoonful of the hot milk mixture and continue to beat. Repeat process with a larger spoonful, while beating, then repeat again, and again. (This will temper the eggs, so that they don’t cook lumpy.) Next, scoop all the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture. Return heat to medium-low. Cook about 8-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently with a spatula to scrape all corners of the bottom of the pot. Do not let boil. The custard should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but have no lumps.

When custard is ready, take off heat and immediately whisk it into the the set aside bowl of whisked cream cheese. Whisk well until fully incorporated.

Let custard cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and completely chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Follow your machine’s instructions for churning length. Add the chopped nuts in the last minute of the churning process. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours to “ripen.”

Make it a Sundae!- Not Eating Out In New York also features a delicious looking cream cheese sauce that she pours over her carrot cake ice cream. This would make a delicious carrot cake sundae! If you want to make the sauce, omit the cream cheese in the ice cream recipe. Top with some candied or crushed pineapple and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Sauce
(makes about 4 servings)

1/4 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth in consistency.

Healthy but decadent

I’ve always wanted to try chocolate sorbet. Most sorbets are fruit flavored, so I wondered if a chocolate flavored one could really be any good. Especially with the yumminess that is chocolate ice cream to compete with. But after making this amazingly flavorful sorbet, I’m happy to report that the two frozen treats are different, but equally good. Using water instead of milk products or eggs allows for a deep, dark chocolate flavor to shine through in a way that would be difficult in an ice cream. And the best part is that its devilish taste belies the sorbet’s angelic nutritional profile. So after a calorically packed holiday season, treat yourself to this sorbet guilt-free!

The main ingredient-Cocoa!

I used a recipe I found from a book called Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich. What intrigued me was its simplicity of ingredients and ease of preparation. It has essentially just three ingredients- cocoa powder, water and sugar. Can water really even be counted as an ingredient? And as for the preparation, it’s a quick, simple boil on the stove. The hardest part is probably the agonizing wait for the sorbet to become solid and ripen in the freezer!  

Doesn't it sort of look like Sand Art?

The only thing to watch out for with this recipe is that you definitely don’t want to overcook your sorbet when it’s on the stove. You want to heat the cocoa-sugar-water mixture just until the sugar dissolves and no longer. You see, I’ve learned from this recipe that heat is the enemy of the flavorful cocoa powder. If you boil it too long, the cocoa will lose all of its chocolately intensity- definitely something to be avoided.

With a dollop of whipped cream on top!

I had a family member on a diet who flipped for this recipe and couldn’t believe it wasn’t a wicked indulgence. It’s remarkably creamy for a frozen treat with no dairy products, and also holds up very well after days in the freezer. This is chocolate at its best; rich, unadulterated and distraction free.

Chocolate Sorbet
Paraphrased from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich

1 cup (3.25 oz) cocoa
Scant 1 cup sugar
2 tiny pinches salt
2 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar, salt in saucepan and whisk in 1/2 cup boiling water to make a thick paste. Add the remaining water. Stir over medium heat just until tiny bubbles form at the edges of the pan. Don’t cook any longer, as the heat can damage the flavor of the cocoa.

Take the mixture off the heat and add the vanilla. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours. Add the rum or vodka, if using. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Harden the sorbet in the freezer for at least 3 to 4 hours.

Note: The flavor is so rich that you can substitute half of the water with milk.

So delicious!

I never intended on making Bananas Foster Ice Cream. I had originally wanted to make Ginger Ice Cream, but that poor frozen treat came to untimely end, unfortunately. My ice cream curdled on me, and I was left with no more ingredients to start over with. So, thinking on my feet, I scrounged together the ingredients I had lying around in my kitchen and decided to make a Burnt-Sugar Banana Ice Cream. It sounds good right? Well, it was! And not only was it tasty, it ended up tasting just like Banana’s Foster, that decadent treat combining bananas, brown sugar and butter until caramelized. So in the end, I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Who needs Ginger Ice Cream anyway?

Burnt sugar and bananas!

This ice cream was super simple to make. The hardest part was probably making the burnt sugar. You add some sugar and water to a medium pan and boil it until the sugar turns dark brown. That’s the trickiest part. Because if you take the caramel off the heat too soon, you’re left with plain old caramel, which is OK but not the flavor we’re looking for here. If you leave it on too long, you’ll end up with a black caramel which will leave your ice cream with a burnt, acrid flavor. Wait until the sugar has turned a dark brown color, with perhaps just a fleck of black beginning to appear. Then, take it off the heat immediately and pour in the cream. Don’t worry, with some practice you’ll get it just right. And you’ll be glad you did because burnt sugar ice cream of any kind is amazing!

Caramelized bananas = Yum!

This ice cream has only a few ingredients in it, just three if you really pare it down. But all of its simplicity the flavor payoff is phenomenal! Rich and delicious, like a great banana’s foster, only frozen. Try it with a bit of flaky sea salt for that salted caramel flavor.

Bananas Foster Ice Cream

 

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas (the more brown spots, the better!), mashed

2 cups heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark rum

 1.)    Add sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil with about two tablespoons of water added in. Boil, without stirring, until the caramel turns a dark brown. You’re looking for a very dark caramel here, but you don’t want out and out burnt. If your caramel turns black and starts smoking start over; you’re ice cream will taste horrible if you use it.

2.)    Once your caramel turns dark brown, quickly take it off the heat and add the cream. Don’t worry if it roils up and hardens, bring it back to the heat and it will dissolve completely.

3.)    Add in the mashed up banana, rum and vanilla extract and cool until completely chilled. Churn in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make it a Sundae!– This decadent ice cream hardly needs it, but you could take it completely over the top by adding a rum-caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream and toasted pecans. Now that’s a sundae!

The Lighter Side– You substitute half and half for the heavy cream for a less rich ice cream.

The holy trinity of malts!

I’m just going to preface this post by saying that I love malt. I love it so much that it’s almost impossible for a malted milkshake or an ice cream to be too malty for me. I think it’s a seriously underrated flavor that most people would love if they tried it. So when I decided that I was going to come up with my own recipe for a malted milk ice cream, I knew it had to pack a wallop of flavor. At first I thought that that would simply mean adding malted milk powder to the base of my ice cream, but in a stroke of genius I remembered an old, forgotten can of barley malt syrup in my closet. Barley malt syrup is a natural sweetener that can be used in equal amounts in substitution for honey, molasses or sugar in recipes. It’s also used as a part of the process in making authentic bagels and pretzels, which is why I originally purchased it. But best of all, it is some deeply malty stuff that did double duty in my recipe by sweetening and boosting the flavor of the ice cream simultaneously.

What a Whopper!

In addition to the malt syrup, I added flavor to the ice cream by adding malt powder to the base of my ice cream, and crushed malted milk balls to the finished ice cream. This resulted in an ice cream with a big, delicious malt flavor punctuated by the frequent crunch of a malted milk ball bursting between your teeth. Malt powder is usually found in the dried milk section of the grocery store, but don’t confuse it with Ovaltine which isn’t what you’re looking for. Brands such as Carnation or Horlicks are pretty dependable and readily available.

Malty goodness!

As for the malt syrup, that’s probably going to be trickier to find. I found mine at a local health food store, and Whole Foods might carry it. Trust me though, it’s worth the trek to find it. The syrup made the ice cream deeply flavorful in a way I’ve never experienced before just using malted milk powder. It also added a slight background caramel note that I found appealing. I also have suspicions that the malt syrup may have helped the texture of my ice cream as well. This ice cream came out particularly smooth and creamy, so I think that the syrup may have acted as a stabilizer similar to the way corn syrup would behave in a recipe.

The malt ice cream of dreams.

With malt powder, malt syrup, and chocolated covered malted milk balls, I definitely got my fix of malty goodness in this ice cream recipe. And man, was it good! If you love malted milkshakes as much as I do, you have to give this a try. It turned out smooth and thick with a creamy malt flavor permeating every bite. Forget the drive thru, and make this soda shop classic for yourself at home!

Malt Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 ½ cups whole milk

¼ cup sugar

½ cup barley malt syrup

4 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ cup malted milk powder

2 cups coarsely crushed malted milk balls

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

      1.) Combine milk, heavy cream and sugar 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 malt syrup. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffier and turn a paler 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 4-5 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, malt powder, and vanilla extract refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Add in the malted milk balls after the ice cream finishes churning.  

 Make it a sundae!

This ice cream is a natural when paired with chocolate. Make a chocolate malt sundae by adding hot fudge spiked with malt powder, more crushed malted milk balls, and whipped cream.  And of course this ice cream also makes fabulous malted milkshakes. Enjoy!

A New England Classic!

I live in New England (hence the title of my blog) so I couldn’t get away with not including this timeless Vermont classic. Made from good, toasted walnuts and high quality maple syrup it’s just divine. Unfortunately, at most places you order Maple Walnut Ice Cream, the flavor is not so fabulous. To save money, most commercial versions of this flavor use the dreaded cloying and sicky-sweet imposter that is artificial maple flavoring. So even if you’ve tried Maple Walnut Ice Cream in the past and haven’t flipped for it, try this version at home. You’ll think you’ve been transported to a snow dusted Vermont sugar shack!

Toasting the walnuts.

 For this recipe I call for grade B maple syrup. This might be a little bit of a trick to find because most supermarket maple syrups are Grade A dark amber. What’s the difference you ask? Grade B has a darker flavor, with richer caramel notes. This intensified taste really helps in cutting through all of that cream and milk for a more pronounced maple flavor. I found my bottle at Trader Joe’s, but any other specialty food store or gourmet shop would probably carry it. It’s worth searching for, and also tastes great on pancakes, waffles and any other place you would typically pour on the maple syrup!

Just Churned Maple Ice Cream, yum!

I also call for maple sugar in this recipe, for another boost of maple flavor. I found mine at my local grocery store, but I do live in New England. If you live in a part of country or world that doesn’t carry it, again try a specialty food store such as Whole Foods or your local gourmet shop. If all else fails and you still want to make the recipe, maple sugar is also readily available through online vendors.

Maple-Walnut, the perfect winter flavor!

This flavor was very successful, with the maple flavor really shining through the ice cream. Add a substantial portion of toasted walnuts and get ready for a delicious ice cream straight from snowy New England!

Maple Walnut Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup grade B maple syrup

¼ cup maple sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon maple extract

¾ cups toasted walnuts

      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 maple sugar and maple syrup. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turns a lighter 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 5-6 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and extracts and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add toasted walnuts. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

Make a Brazilian Sundae!! So good and unusual, I don’t know how this sundae got its name, but if the Brazilians did invent it they really know what they are doing! Start with a scoop of Maple Walnut Ice Cream, then add a scoop of Coffee and a scoop of Butter Pecan Ice Cream (either homemade or store bought ice cream is fine). Drizzle some caramel sauce spiked with rum and some cold chocolate sauce over it and top with fresh whipped cream and more toasted walnuts. A decadent taste sensation, and not to be missed!

The lighter side– Feel free to reduce the cream to ¼ cup and substitute all whole milk for the rest of the 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.