Homemade ice cream

August 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm (101 cookbooks, Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, unrated)

I bought Derek an ice cream machine for his birthday, and we’ve experimented with it a little bit this spring and summer.

The first flavor we made was a Philadelphia-style vanilla.  The recipe is from The Perfect Scoop, by David Leibowitz. The flavor was good (very clean–milk and vanilla), but the texture was initially a bit soft and wet.  It firmed up after 24 hours in the fridge.

After that we tried a strawberry rhubarb sorbet, also from Leibowitz.  Unfortunately, once frozen it tasted mostly of strawberry and very little of rhubarb.  I’d like to try just plain rhubarb next time.  Perhaps I can replicated the really really excellent rhubarb ice cream Katrina and I had in Paris.

My third attempt was to use up some very ripe bananas and cream.  I tried to make a no-sugar ice cream using bananas, frozen cherries, cream, and coconut nibs, inspired by this raw vegan chocolate cherry ice cream recipe.   Unfortunately, I didn’t follow a recipe and the texture ended up extremely icy.  (Maybe the cherries added too much water?  Maybe adding cream was a bad idea).

Next we tried the sprouted kitchen fresh mint frozen yogurt from 101cookbooks, except without any chocolate chips.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of fresh mint, which is a pretty vague measurement.  I used a pretty packed cup of fresh mint.  The original recipe calls for brown rice syrup, which I didn’t have.  Instead I followed Heidi’s suggestion of substituting maple syrup.  The only Greek-style yogurt I could find here was a cream-based yogurt.  I thought that Greek yogurt was supposed to be higher in protein than normal yogurt, but this one was not.  It was just very high in fat (as you’d expect since it’s made from cream not milk).  The frozen yogurt gets mixed reviews in the comments section of Heidi’s blog.  Some people report off flavors and an icy texture, while other people say it’s perfect.  I thought it came out great.  The mixture was definitely thicker than the typical ice mixture, but it froze up well with a nice creamy texture.  I loved the combination of the herbal mintiness from the fresh mint leaves and the strong peppermint flavor from the mint extract.  And the tang from the yogurt was perfect.  I didn’t even miss the chocolate, but Derek did.   He’s not such a fan of sour frozen yogurts, but I loved it.  I’ll definitely make it again.  Next time I might try a sweetener that’s cheaper than maple syrup.

Today we’re trying the Leibowitz recipe for ginger ice cream.  It’s our first attempt to make a custard-based ice cream  Stay tuned!

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Artisanal balsamic vinegar… not

July 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm (Cook's Illustrated, Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Italian, Sauce/dressing, Summer recipes, unrated)

We had friends over for dinner the other night, and Derek wanted to make a summery dessert.  He decided on panna cotta. He considered making green tea or earl grey panna cotta, but in the end he decided that he shouldn’t mess around on his first attempt, and made plain vanilla panna cotta.  He thought it sounded a bit boring though, and so he decided to top the panna cotta with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  I only had cheap supermarket balsamic vinegar though, and so we decided to reduce it to make it sweeter, less harsh, and more syrupy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hot candied walnuts

December 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Derek's faves, Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Other)

Many years ago Katrina and Dan shared some of these nuts with us.  Derek immediately fell in love.  The recipe is originally from the book party nuts! by Sally Sampson.  We’ll probably be trying out some more of her recipes shortly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Cherry “Nice Cream”

November 3, 2007 at 6:22 pm (Alma's faves, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Quick weeknight recipe, Website / blog) (, )

This is a great “nice cream” recipe. I make it often for Alma when she has a friend over and asks me for a treat. They happily scarf it up. It’s also my go-to recipe when I want something sweet and refreshing, but have no frozen desserts in the house. I almost always have bananas and sour cherrie sin my freezer, and chocolate in the pantry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Derek’s S.O.B. Sundae

August 12, 2007 at 3:13 pm (Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, My brain, restaurant inspired, unrated)

Derek and I went to Le Divan Orange for dinner last week, and loved their mushroom terrine with Sesame oil, Orange juice, and Beets. The sauce was unusual, and divine. We sopped up every last drop with our bread. It inspired Derek to create this dessert in which we substitute ice cream for the mushroom terrine.

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp. sugar
  • 4 medium/small beets, about 1 cup diced
  • 1 pint of ice cream, vanilla or a nutty/caramelly flavor like maple walnut or butter pecan
  • nice coarse salt, fleur de sel or kosher salt
  1. Roast the beets until cooked. Peel and dice finely into about 1/4-inch squares.
  2. Meanwhile, reduce the orange juice in a small pan on low for about 30 minutes, until only 2 Tbs. remain. Remove from heat.
  3. Dissolve the sugar into the still-warm orange juice. Add in the sesame oil and stir vigorously until it forms an emulsion. The result should be a thick, caramelly sauce.
  4. To plate: Scoop 1/2 cup ice cream into a bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced beets (preferably still warm) on top. Drizzle with a heaping tablespoon of warm sauce, then dust with coarse salt. Serve immediately.

My Notes:

There wasn’t quite as much beet flavor as we would have liked, but we boiled the beets instead of roasting them. I also used 4 Tbs. orange juice concentrate since I didn’t have fresh juice, but Derek thought not-from-concentrate would have been better.

Update 9/23/2007: I tried making the sauce and drizzling it over baby golden beets which had been roasted. I made the recipe for the sauce as above, with the concentrate again. My first thought after taking a bite was “too too sweet.” The only thing my taste buds detected was sweet. I didn’t get any beet flavor, and very little sesame. I hadn’t added any salt so I tried sprinkling some salt on. It helped a bit but it was still too sweet. I then tasted the sauce alone and it seemed okay–I could definitely taste both the orange and sesame.  The sauce did seem quite thick, almost like caramel, maybe too thick for seasoning beets with?  Maybe I should have thinned it down with a vinegar? Or maybe the golden beets just are too sweet for this sauce, at least with the added sugar? I tasted the beets by themselves and although they did taste “beety”, it was a pretty subtle flavor–none of that intense concentrated flavor I thought roasting was supposed to give them. Did I do something wrong? I just rubbed a little oil over them, wrapped each one in tin foil, and baked at 400 or so until they seemed soft. I let them cool a bit and then peeled them.

So now I’m left with a bunch of beets, which I will probably just add to a salad, and a good 1/4 cup of sesame orange sauce. What am I going to do with that??? I don’t have any ice cream.

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Hot Fudge Sauce

March 15, 2007 at 1:56 pm (Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing, unrated, Website / blog)

Most hot fudge sauce recipes call for bar chocolate, corn syrup, and heavy cream, none of which I typically have around. So what to do when you get a desperate desire for hot fudge at 11:30pm, after all the stores are closed? Here’s my improvised version:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa (sifted)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic half and half
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • a touch of vanilla

It was pretty good. In the past my improvisations have tasted more like chocolate syrup than hot fudge, but this concoction leaned closer to the hot fudge side. It was perhaps a tad too sweet and a bit too thin. I think next time I would use 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup half and half. It’s not at all healthy of course, but is hot fudge ever healthy?

I tried a similar version from epicurious, which had overwhelming positive reviews. Here’s the recipe with my modifications:

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used table cream with 15% fat)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup (omitted, but added a Tbs. of white sugar)
  • 1/6 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (a bit too much for my taste)
  • 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped (I used 2 ounces callebaut bittersweet)
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter ( I felt like it had a bit too much of a butter taste, so next time I’d try less)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I forgot this)

The final hot fudge sauce had the perfect consistency: thick, shiny, it hardened a bit when poured over ice cream, but just the very surface, the rest was still warm and gooey. The flavor was good but not quite perfect, I’m not sure why. I can’t decided if it was too sweet or not sweet enough. Certainly there was too much of a butter flavor.

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Frozen Mint Hot Chocolate

April 28, 2006 at 2:59 pm (Alice Medrich, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Quick weeknight recipe)

I love mint hot chocolate, but who wants to drink a hot beverage in the heat of the summer? That’s why this recipe from Alice Medrich’s cookbook “Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts” is so nice. It makes a thick slushy chocolate-y rich-tasting dessert, without much work or too many calories. Medrich suggests a number of variations: malt, mocha, orange, lemon, and mint.  Being a chocolate mint freak I naturally chose the mint option.

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