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.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Banana-Coconut Ice Cream Pie

May 25, 2010 at 1:10 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 21 Comments

banana-coconut ice cream pie

I know I’ve told you before that I’ve been turning my nose up at raw bananas since I was a kid.  But I try to keep an open mind, and I want to bake along with everyone, so I always give banana recipes a go anyway.  Well, guess what.  I think I’m starting to accept them…maybe even like them a little.  I didn’t at all poo-poo Spike’s choice of Banana-Coconut Ice Cream Pie for TWD this week.  In fact, I enjoyed it!  What’s happening to me?? 🙂

An ice cream pie is what it sounds like– a crust (cookie-coconut in this case) topped with ice cream.  I made mine in a springform rather than a pie plate, but that’s a nitpicky detail.  Dorie uses chocolate ice cream as the base in her recipe…I assembled this pie at the same time I made that burnt sugar ice cream, so I used it instead.  I didn’t want to miss out entirely on the chocolate, though, and made a cocoa fudge sauce to go on top.

Raw bananas make three different appearances here.  There’s a layer of them between the crust and the ice cream, there’s a rum-banana smoosh stirred into the ice cream, and there are a few decorative slices for the top.  Further proof that I am beginning to appreciate bananas: I thought the burnt sugar ice cream with rum and bananas stirred in was just killer!

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

Tuesdays with Dorie: Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

May 4, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 37 Comments

burnt sugar ice cream

I suppose because I work in the pastry biz, I’m often put on the spot about my favorite desserts.  If I’m asked to name my favorite to eat, that’s such a tough question…often the answer that comes to mind is just the last thing I’ve tried!  But if I have to name my favorite to make, that’s easy…ice cream!  I love the way one simple base recipe can be switched up a million different ways.  I love tempering the eggs and watching as they magically thicken the custard (geeky, right?).  And I especially love that first taste of soft-serve right out of the machine!  Yeah, so, needless to say, Becky’s pick of Burnt Sugar Ice Cream for TWD made me pretty jazzed up.

What is “burnt sugar?”  It’s caramel taken half a step further…deep dark and just smoking.  Don’t be afraid to take it to this stage for the best flavor.  But do be prepared to move fast with your milk and cream when you reach it, or instead of getting the complex sweetness with a bitter edge that you are after, you will wind up with something that is just plain burned (and a pot that’s hard to clean!).  Stand back when you add the milk and cream to the hot caramel…it will bubble and spit (you can minimize that by heating the liquids first), but the fury dies down quickly. 

If you’ve given up on making ice cream at home because it turns rock hard as it sits in the freezer, give this one a shot.  Because of the caramel, it stays luxuriously soft, creamy and easy to scoop.  And the taste– oh momma!  It’s perfect in an affogato, prefect for leftover DdL cookie sandwiches and perfect on its own, with just a sprinkling of pink salt.

burnt sugar ice cream

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

Tuesdays with Dorie: Vanilla Ice Cream

July 28, 2009 at 1:32 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 40 Comments

vanilla bean ice cream

Do I really need to say anything at all about vanilla ice cream?  It is good…so good…not to mention good with everything (sweet, that is).  It is fantastic if you make it yourself.  And it is amazing if you make it yourself and use real beans in your custard.  I dare you not to lick every last bit off your machine’s dasher!

vanilla bean ice cream

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (Dorie also has it here on her website).  Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu chose it for TWD this week, so she’ll have the recipe, too.  Don’t forget to scan the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Honey-Peach Ice Cream

June 16, 2009 at 2:45 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 34 Comments

honey-peach ice cream

We are well into June now…never mind the fact that it’s been raining here constantly, and the thermometer can’t decide if it wants to read warm or chilly…it’s time to crank out some ice cream!  Tommi of the colorful Brown Interior selected Honey-Peach Ice Cream for TWD, so that’s a good place to start!

Peaches cooked down in honey are puréed and added to a simple custard.  I buy Cobble Hill Honey from Two for the Pot in Brooklyn.  Every jar I’ve purchased tastes a little different, and my current one is quite mild.  After churning, some extra chopped peach bits are supposed to be added to the ice cream.  Peaches aren’t quite in season here, and the ones I bought were less than spectacular, so I just cooked and puréed the whole lot, rather than save some for add-ins.  I added most of the purée to the custard, but didn’t want to thin it out too much, so I froze the rest in an ice cube tray…I see bellinis in my near future!  As is, I liked this ice cream a lot, and would love to try it again with amazing peaches and a stronger batch of honey!

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

P.S.:  By the time this post pops up, I’ll be in Michigan, visiting one of my grandmas.  I haven’t seen her in a few years, so please forgive me if I can’t make the blogroll rounds this week.  Also, because of the timing of this trip, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make next week’s recipe.  I know, I know…I’ll do my best, but it may have to be one for the rewind files.

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