Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ice cream adventures

Rum raisin ice cream
I was really excited to receive a Cuisinart ice cream-maker over the holiday season. How cool is it to be able to have custom ice creams to accompany any desserts I make? And having homemade ice cream in the freezer is great for those days when you just want a bit of something sweet at the end of a meal. I was waiting eagerly for some mild spring weather to start churning out the frozen treats. Of course, that hasn't exactly happened as yet, but I decided to start churning away anyway!
My first attempt was not exactly a success. I made a batch of vanilla creme anglaise, intending to churn it into ice cream to accompany an apple tart I was taking to a friend's place for a dinner party. I thought a dash (okay, a healthy dose!) of bourbon would elevate this pairing from the classic to the sublime, but alas, in my enthusiasm, I forgot my middle-school science lessons: alcohol retards freezing! So my delicious custard never made the leap from liquid to frozen, and I had to resort to the making-ice-cream-without-a-machine technique of open-freezing, which yielded decidedly icy results.
The next recipe I tried, Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, also called for whisky, but I decided to add the alcohol in the last few minutes of churning and everything worked just fine. Ditto the Rum Raisin ice cream I made to celebrate India's victory in the Cricket World Cup. I didn't know that India was going to win when I made the ice cream, but I reckoned that a boozy flavor would help us drown our sorrows if we ended up losing!
Coconut Ice Cream
My latest ice cream success is a recipe for Quick Coconut Ice Cream with Saffron created by Nicole Stich of Delicious Days. It's a wonderfully simple concoction to whip up, just four ingredients get simmered together for 10 minutes to make the ice cream mixture. The results are fantastic! I used jaggery (an unrefined Indian sugar) instead of regular white sugar, because its dark, rich flavor complements the sweet creaminess of coconut milk beautifully. I can't wait to try other versions of this. How about one flavored with cardamom, and with roasted cashews mixed in, as a finale to a South Indian meal? Or a plain white sugar version to accompany grilled pineapple, great for barbecue season? Or a version with canned lychees mixed in, perfect for dessert after a spicy Thai curry. My mind (and soon my ice cream maker!!) is churning with all the possibilities.

Recipe: Quick Coconut Ice Cream with Saffron
I replaced the sugar with jaggery. I also scaled the recipe up by 50% (and am happy I did!) to use up the cream I had left over from my previous week's Rum Raisin ice cream, and it worked fine.

1 comment:

Jason's Food said...

Nice meeting you last night. Why aren't pecans used in more icecream flavors than just butter pecan? The buttercsotch pecan sounds good.