Buttermilk Ice Cream

June 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 13 Comments
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buttermilk ice cream

We’re in the summer swing here, and I’m starting to see some good-looking fruit at the farmers’ markets.  The first nice strawberries had me digging through my cookbook collection (I’m not a gardener) the other week for some fresh fruit inspiration.  Who wants to turn on the oven, especially in a house with no A/C?  What wound up catching my eye didn’t actually involve fresh fruit, but was something to go with it…Buttermilk Ice Cream.  It had been a while since I’d made ice cream at home and I happened to have some extra-special “real” buttermilk that I thought I’d paid too much for to hide in a baked good.  The gentle sweet tang of this ice cream is the prefect partner for simply sliced berries or peaches.  Don’t get me wrong, it’ll also be *stellar* with strawberry-rhubarb double crisp or  blueberry-nectarine pie.  Oh, and a strawberry-buttermilk milkshake…try that out, too.

I like to store my homemade ice cream in a restaurant-style 1/6 pan with a snap-on lid.  Freeze the empty stainless steel container while the ice cream is churning, and you’ll be good to go!

buttermilk ice cream

Buttermilk Ice Cream (makes about a quart)
adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

1 1/2 heavy cream 
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 
 5 large egg yolks (you could use up to 9 yolks- the more the richer)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or half a vanilla bean, scraped)
pinch of salt
about 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional; helps keep ice cream scoopable)

-In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the heavy cream and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar (and the vanilla bean seeds and pod, if using) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

-In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.  You want it to look lightened.

-Remove the cream mixture from the heat and slowly drizzle about half the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

-Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (if you are using a thermometer, this should be about 175-180°F).  Vigorously whisk in the xanthan gum, if using.  Strain the mixture and whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla extract (if not using a bean), and salt.

-Cool completely and churn in an ice cream machine according manufacturer’s directions.  Transfer to a container for freezer storage.

Ice Cream Cake with a Thin Mints Crust

August 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, ice creams & frozen, simple cakes | 6 Comments
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ice cream cake with a thin mints crust

Why must bikini season and ice cream season be one and the same?

It was my husband’s birthday last weekend.  Like a good, caring wife, I made him an unbaked cake using all prepared ingredients.  Sounds kind of mean when I put it that way, but it started when an unopened box of Girl Scout Cookies from God know when (they don’t expire, right??) was found in the cupboard, and he requested an ice cream cake with a Thin Mints crust.  That sounded pretty simple compared to some past requests, so I was happy to oblige.  I used a nice (but store-bought) chocolate gelato, and redeemed myself a bit by stirring together a little ganache for the top.  Colored sprinkles, a candle and a secret wish made it a birthday cake.

ice cream cake with a thin mints crust
Ice Cream Cake with a Thin Mints Crust makes an 8- or 9-inch cake

Steph’s Notes:  I made a half recipe in a 6-inch springform, using one sleeve of Thin Mints (minus two cookies), 1 tbsp of butter and one pint of ice cream.

1 box Thin Mints cookies (should you want to set 4 or five cookies aside for snacks or decoration, that’s fine)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 pints of ice cream
stuff to decorate!

-Line the base of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with a circle of greased parchment.

-In a food processor, blitz the cookies and melted butter until mixture is coarse crumbs. Firmly press cookie crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.  You can give it a little lip, or leave it flat.  Pop in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

-Slightly soften your ice cream on the counter for several  minutes.  Using a scoop, evenly distribute the ice cream around the crust and then smooth it all out with a small offset spatula.

-Freeze your cake for at least a few hours or overnight, until well-set.  Decorate and pop off the side of the pan (temper it for a few minutes or run a warm offset around the edge if it’s difficult to remove).  Slice using a warm knife.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet

July 26, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 32 Comments
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creamy dark chocolate sorbet

Yes–my week to pick again for TWD!!  I am crazy-excited!  My first turn came way back in March of ’08, when I chose Caramel-Topped Flan.  I think a lot of folks skipped that week.  Turns out flan is a love-it-or-hate-it thing (I’m a lover, btw).  We’ve made sooo many good things in the three+ years since then, and I’ve only missed out on a handful of them.  There are still a lot of good things left, which made my choice this month a hard one, but I hoped Dorie’s Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet would be a hit with most everyone (sorry, Kayte!!).

This sorbet really is creamy and intensely chocolaty.  It’s also super-melty.  Like, don’t blink or you’ll have a chocolate puddle where your sorbet once stood. Of course, that can more than possibly be chalked up to triple-digit temps in NYC and no A/C in my house!  No matter…eaten with a spoon or just slurped up out of a bowl, it’s delicious.  And so freakin’ easy.  I have a plan to work around the meltiness with the rest of my batch, and it looks something like this

As always, hugs and kisses to Dorie, LaurieJules and the TWD gang for making every Tuesday fun and tasty. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll this week! 

Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet-  makes about 1 1/2 pints
recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Steph’s Note:  I added a pinch of salt to the mix.  Milk with any fat content will work.

1 cup milk
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

-Stir all the ingredients together in a 3- to 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently.

-Lower the temperature and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping a close eye on the pan- as the ingredients bubble and roll, the potential for boil over is high.

-Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until chilled before churning the sorbet.

-Scrape the chilled sorbet mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the sorbet into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Serving:  Unlike ice cream, with could be served as soft custard straight from the churn, this sorbet needs time in the freezer to firm.

Storing: Packed tightly in a covered container, the sorbet will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Playing Around: 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract added to the cooled base will give you chocolate-peppermint sorbet.  You can even add crushed candy canes a couple of minutes before churning is complete.

Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream

July 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 1 Comment
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strawberry-sour cream ice cream

A hot, sunny summer holiday weekend is all the reason I need to indulge in a few of my favorite treats.  To celebrate Canada Day here in Brooklyn, R and I had smoked meats and Labatt Blue for lunch today at Mile End.  For the Fourth of July, we’ll eat chicken slathered in my favorite homemade BBQ sauce and Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream for dessert. 

I’ve made this ice cream several times before, and I gave it a quick nod a while back when I made an equally tasty Blueberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream.  Tangy sour cream really makes the sweetness of summer berries pop.  The little splash of almond extract in this version is a subtle but nice touch.  And…it’s pink…super-pretty pink!  While, of course, you can stash ice cream in the freezer for several days, I do think this one is best eaten within several hours of making it, while it’s soft and the dairy has the freshest taste.  (The base is uncooked, and the ice cream will get quite hard as it continues to freeze.)  So get a quart of berries while they’re still in season, invite a few friends to come around and enjoy!

Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream- makes about a quart
adapted from Sunset Magazine (May 2001)

2 1/2 cups strawberries, rinsed
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

-Hull strawberries and place in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, three to five minutes.

-Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and nest pan in a bowl of ice water and stir often until cold, about ten minutes. Remove pan from ice water.  You can store this in the fridge (covered) for a day or so before continuing on, if you wish.

-Add sour cream, half-and-half, vanilla, and almond extract to berries; stir until blended (mixture will be streaked).  At this point, you can store the base in the refrigerator for several hours before churning.

-Pour into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until mixture is softly frozen, dasher is hard to turn, or machine stops.

-Spoon out and serve softly frozen or, to scoop, freeze airtight about four hours; store airtight in the freezer up to one week.

Coffee-Almond Ice Cream

April 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 5 Comments
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coffee-almond ice cream

For about two seconds during last year’s holiday season I helped out in a little shop that specializes in a certain sweet made with egg whites.  As part of prep, a couple of days a week I’d have to separate nine flats of eggs…the whites were saved, but there was no use for the yolks.  There are 30 eggs in a flat, so you can do the math on the number of yolks that went into the bin each time I did this.  Is that not horrifying?!?  I actually felt pain when I would dump that giant bowl of fatty yellow gold in the garbage.  So, one day I asked to take some home and walked off with enough yolks for about eight batches of ice cream (or curd or pastry cream or whatever).  I portioned them up and froze them for later.  If you’ve never frozen extra yolks before, this link will give you some good tips on how to stabilize them for sweet preparations.

When I made last week’s Coffee Ice Cream Tart, I thought it was the perfect excuse to defrost some of those yolks and churn up my own ice cream.  There are recipes for coffee ice cream using instant espresso power and recipes using whole or ground beans.  I went the ground beans route and just used my normal drinking coffee, which is a not-too-acidic medium roast bean that I grind myself.  A quick steep of the beans in hot milk gives the backbone for the base, which is also flavored with almond extract.  The coffee-almond combination is a real winner in my books, but if it doesn’t sound like your thing, just swap vanilla extract for the almond and leave out the toasted almonds at the end of churning.  This ice cream is great with chocolate sauce!

Coffee-Almond Ice Cream- makes about a quart

1 3/4 cups whole or 2% milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coarsely ground medium roast coffee (measured after grinding)
5 large egg yolks
1/2 t almond extract
 about 1/8 t xanthan gum (optional; helps keep ice cream scoopable)
 3/4 cup (3 oz) sliced or slivered almonds, toasted and cooled

-Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until it reaches 190-200°F (steaming but not boiling).  Stir in the ground coffee and allow to steep for 20 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the coffee to extract as much liquid as possible, and remeasure the milk.  If necessary, add a touch more milk to reach 1 1/2 cups.

-Put the coffee infused milk, 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, a pinch of salt and about half of the sugar in a medium saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl or measuring cup and set a mesh strainer over the top.  Ready an ice bath in a bowl large enough to hold your other bowl or measuring cup.

-In a separate medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar. Slowly pour the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

-Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (the temperature should be about 175°F). Vigorously whisk in the xanthan gum, if using, and quickly pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cold cream. Mix in the almond extract, then cool over your ice bath, stirring occasionally until the base is room temperature or cooler.

-Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least four hours, but overnight is better), then pour the chilled base into your ice cream maker and churn.  Just as your mixture is reaching the end of its churn time, add in your sliced or slivered almonds to incorporate.

-Transfer to a resealable container and place in the freezer until firm enough to scoop.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Coffee Ice Cream Tart

April 5, 2011 at 12:06 am | Posted in ice creams & frozen, pies & tarts, sweet things | 14 Comments
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coffee ice cream tart

It’s been awhile since we’ve made a Dorie ice cream concoction.  Well, allow me to make up for lost time by presenting you with a slice of Coffee Ice Cream Tart.  While you could very successfully use softened store-bought coffee (or any flavor, for that matter) ice cream in this tart, I went ahead and made my own.  I have lots of yolks in the freezer, and anyway, ice cream is one of my favorite things to make.  The ice cream is jazzed up with almond slices and extract, and the coffee-almond combo is a good one.  Add a little chocolate and it’s even better.  The crust was a little iffy, though, and it looks like several of us felt this way.  Mine sliced fine, but it was awfully hard to get through the frozen crust with a fork.  I had to resort to picking it up and eating it.  Not terrible, but maybe I just prefer ice cream cakes to tarts?

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Domestic Deep Thought, as it was Jessica’s pick this week.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream

August 10, 2010 at 12:01 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 24 Comments

chocolate ganache ice cream

It’s not often that I crank out straight-up chocolate ice cream, so it took Katrina’s pick of Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream to make me remember how insanely good it really is.  After letting it temper a bit, you need nothing but a cone or a spoon to enjoy it in its purest form.  But you can also turn it into wicked treats, like sundaes topped with marshie fluff and salty peanuts, or boozy bourbon milkshakes.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Baking and Boys.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Double Chocolate Brownie Semifreddo

July 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 16 Comments

double chocoalte brownie semifreddo 

After my first foray into the world of semifreddo, seems I can’t get enough.  I love that I can whip up a creamy frozen treat without having to wait for my ice cream machine’s canister to freeze. 

I would never have made this particular recipe if I actually had to bake a batch of brownies to do it, but just so happens I had some in the freezer.  (I wouldn’t admit to most people I know that I have a stash of assorted brownies in the freezer, but I bet all of you do, too, so it almost seems normal.)  Boy, is this ever rich…like frozen chocolate mousse.  A little goes a long way, though, so you don’t have to feel too guilty if you just have a couple small scoops.

Double Chocolate Brownie Semifreddo- makes 8-10 servings
from a recipe in Donna Hay Magazine (Issue 43)

Steph’s Note:  Half a recipe freezes nicely in a metal loaf pan.

3 eggs
2 yolks, extra
1 t vanilla extract
1 c (220 g) caster sugar
2 c (500 ml) whipping cream
250 g dark chocolate, melted

350 g chocolate brownies, chopped

-Pre-chill a 2-quart (or 2-litre) capacity metal tin in the freezer.

-Place eggs, extra yolks, vanilla and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, either by hand or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat for 6-8 mins or until thick and pale.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Fold through the melted chocolate.

-Whisk the cream until medium-stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the cream through the egg mixture until well combined.  (Make sure that the egg mixture is approximately room temperature at this stage or it will melt the cream, also if the egg mixture is quite stiff after you’ve added the chocolate, you may need to “loosen” it first with about 1/4 of the whipped cream.)  Fold through the brownies.

-Pour into a 2-litre capacity metal tin.  Freeze for 6 hours or overnight before serving.

Strawberry Swirl Semifreddo

June 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 14 Comments

strawberry swirl semifreddo

It’s hot, so hot, in New York…hot like The Lovin’ Spoonful’s song.  I’m not much for cranking the A/C (although I’m glad it’s an option in our building)…I’d rather chill out with a big glass of ice water or something cool and creamy.

I bought a quart of strawberries from the Greenmarket the other day, only to find the ones in the bottom half of the container were kind of smooshed.  I probably would’ve been annoyed, but I’ve had this Strawberry Swirl Semifreddo recipe mentally tagged ever since I saw it in Donna Hay a couple of months ago.  It calls for heaps of fresh strawberry purée…a good use for smooshy berries if you ask me.

I’ve never made a semifreddo at home before.  Turns out it’s the perfect way to get something like ice cream, but without an ice cream maker.  It’s less dense than regular ice cream…sort of like frozen mousse…and it has a really silky mouthfeel.  I made this yesterday morning, and it’s still perfectly scoopable this afternoon.  That scores big points in my book, as some homemade frozen desserts turn hard as a rock overnight.

There are different ways to  make semifreddo, but this one starts out with what’s almost a zabaglione that’s then folded into whipped cream and swirled with strawberry purée.  The amount of purée called for in the recipe was quite a bit more than I thought could incorporate and still get nice curlicues of pink and white.  I just served the rest as sauce on the side.

  strawberry swirl semifreddo

Strawberry Swirl Semifreddo- makes 6-8 servings
from a recipe in Donna Hay Magazine (Issue 49)

Steph’s Note:  If you find that you have more puree than you can incorporate into the base and still get a nice swirl, serve the extra along side scoops of the semifreddo.  Half a recipe freezes nicely in a metal loaf pan.

For the base
3 eggs
2 yolks, extra
1 t vanilla extract or seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
1 c caster sugar
2 c whipping cream

For the strawberry purée
750g strawberries, hulled
2 T powdered sugar

-Pre-chill a 2-quart (or 2-litre) capacity metal tin in the freezer.

-To make the puree, process the strawberries and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

-Place eggs, extra yolks, vanilla (extract or seeds) and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, either by hand or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat for 6-8 mins or until thick and pale.  Remove from heat and beat for a further 6-8 mins or until cool (you can transfer to a standing mixer instead and whip for about 4 minutes).

-Whisk the cream until medium-stiff peaks form.  Gently fold cream through the egg mixture until well combined. Pour into a 2-litre capacity metal tin.

-Spoon over the strawberry purée and use a spatula to gently fold it through the cream mixture for a swirled effect.  Freeze for 6 hours or overnight before serving.

Black Raspberry Ice Cream

May 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 15 Comments

black raspberry ice cream

I’m going to the Yankees game tonight…I already have my Teixeira shirt on and everything.  At about 8:00, I’ll probably be having a chocolate Carvel soft-serve out of a little plastic helmet (along with a beer chaser–classy!).  That’ll be pretty great, but I know it won’t be as tasty as the Black Raspberry Ice Cream I made last week.

If this summer is anything like last summer, I’ll be able to get fresh black raspberries at the Greenmarket in a month or two.  But they’ll also cost like five bucks a half-pint, and make this one super-expensive batch of ice cream.  I noticed frozen black raspberries at Trader Joe’s late last year…one thing I’ve learned about TJ’s since they arrived in NYC is that if I see something that looks interesting, I should just chuck it in my basket, because the next time I go, I’ll be told that it’s been discontinued (or that it’s “seasonal,” which I’m pretty sure is a euphemism for discontinued).  I snapped up a bag right away, and unfortunately I haven’t seen them in my local store since.

If you can’t find black raspberries, just use red…heck, the recipe below was originally for red raspberry ice cream anyway.  Your ice cream will be less purple and more pink, but it will be every bit as good.  If something can taste like summer, this is it.  And just like summer, you might even cry a little when it’s gone (not that I’m admitting to having done this).

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend!

P.S.:  I cannot even tell you how awesome the ice cream was with this cake…..*sigh*

Black Raspberry Ice Cream- makes a generous quart
modified from David Lebovitz’s recipe for Raspberry Ice Cream in The Perfect Scoop

Steph’s Note:  Make the purée by whizzing the black raspberries in a blender or food processor and pressing through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  Lebovitz says you should begin with 6 cups (or 750 g) of berries to get the required amount of purée, but I got all I needed from one 340 gram bag of frozen black raspberries, coupled with about 3/4 cup of frozen red raspberries (because one bag of the black was all I had). 

1½ cups (375ml) half-and-half
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1½ cups (375ml) heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1½ cups (375ml) strained black raspberry purée (from fresh or thawed frozen berries)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
about 1/8 t xanthan gum (optional; helps keep ice cream scoopable)

-Warm the half-and-half, pinch of salt and about half of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

-In a separate medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar. Slowly pour the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

-Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Vigorously whisk in the xanthan gum, if using, and quickly pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the raspberry purée and lemon juice, then stir until cool over an ice bath.

-Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, but to preserve the fresh berry taste, churn the ice cream within four hours of making the mixture.

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