Thursday, May 16, 2013

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

This month's Improv challenge ingredients were cinnamon and sugar. With such a classic combination there are always a ton of recipes that come to mind, but this month I wanted to try something new. Last year I was lucky enough to try the delicious ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, and when I got back home Mimi Jr. surprised me with a copy of their cookbook, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones. Since his first flip through the book, their recipe for Snickerdoodle Ice Cream has been at the top of Mr. Mimi's request list, so I knew this was the time to try it.  I made a few changes to the recipe, seeping cinnamon sticks in the cream,adding a little gelatin to help keep it from turning to liquid too fast and replacing some of the sugar corn syrup to help keep it more scoopable.
All I can say is, I should have made this sooner. It was a thick, rich ice cream with the perfect amount of cinnamon- enough to know it was definitely cinnamon, but not so much that it was overwhelming. To up the snickerdoodle factor, I added some cinnamon chip snickerdoodles and topped the whole thing with a buttery cinnamon sauce. I have never thought of snickerdoodles as a personal favorite cookie, but this ice cream may have just changed my mind. I'll probably have to make it again, just to be sure.

 Snickerdoodle Ice Cream
adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
 5 egg yolks
 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar
 1 cinnamon stick
 1 cup milk
 2 cups heavy cream
 1 teaspoon gelatin
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 2 tablespoons corn syrup
 cinnamon chip snickerdoodles* the amount you use is up to you

 In a small bowl soften gelatin in a tablespoon of water.
 In a medium sauce pan combine milk, cream and cinnamon stick bring to a simmer. Let cinnamon infuse for 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and add corn syrup and 2 tablespoons sugar, bring to a simmer.
Add 1/4 cup hot milk mixture to softened gelatin, stir to dissolve gelatin. Add gelatin to the milk pan and stir to incorporate
 Whisk egg yolk and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl until thick and sugar has dissolved.  Temper the egg yolk by whisking in about 3/4 cup hot milk.. Add egg yolk mixture to the milk, stirring with a wooden spoon, you do not want to make this frothy by using a whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 170 degrees f. Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl, allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or overnight.
Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
Break snickerdoodles into bite size pieces.When ice cream has finished churning but is still soft, fold in (as much as you like) snickerdoodles pieces, then place in a freezer safe container, cover and freeze until firm.While ice cream is firming up, make the cinnamon syrup.
printable recipe

Cinnamon Syrup

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Light corn syrup (Karo)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

In a deep pot combine the butter, sugar, buttermilk, salt, cinnamon and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the baking soda and vanilla and stir until combined. *The baking soda will cause the mixture to foam to twice its volume, so be sure to use a big enough pot* The color of the syrup will turn to a golden brown. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the syrup thickens. Let it cool and serve immediately, or store in the fridge in an air tight container. It will thicken as it cools, but you can warm it up in the microwave to thin it out.

printable recipe

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Goat Cheese Nasturtium Ice Cream

I can never resist adding a new cookbook to my collection and I was lucky enough to be offered a copy of Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher of Mali B Sweets in New York. We live on a 1/2 acre with lots of fruit trees and a big vegetable garden, as well as lot of herbs and flowers. I love being able to grow some of our favorite fruits and veggies, and I was excited to be able to get some more use out of my garden, this time by using flowers as a fun new ingredient in my kitchen. 
This book is full of both sweet and savory recipes, and beautifully photographed. The recipes use a wide variety of flower, from your typical rose, all the way to violets, sunflowers, tulips and hollyhocks. Using flowers as food is the epitome of seasonal eating, as I had to choose my recipe based on what was in bloom, and that happened to be nasturtiums.
Nasturtiums have a peppery taste and I have used them in salads, but nothing more. We wanted to try the flowers in a way that was completely new to us, so we made the Goat Cheese Nasturtiums Ice Cream and the Nasturtiums Thumbprint Cookies.
 Both recipes were straightforward and easy to make. The thumbprint cookies used a nasturtium jam, but I didn't have time to make my own so I embellished some red currant jelly with nasturtium petals and white pepper. It added just the right bit of sweetness to the buttery, peppery shortbread cookie.
The goat cheese ice cream was smooth and creamy, with the distinct tang of goat cheese, but was still sweet enough to be called ice cream. It had a very light and refreshing feel, making it the prefect dessert for the upcoming hot summer nights. I know we will continue to flip through this book, and try new recipes based on what is blooming in my garden, and maybe even plant some new varieties of flowers to use in the kitchen.

Goat Cheese Nasturtium Ice Cream
Cooking With Flowers- Miche Bacher

8 ounces soft goat cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup nasturtium petals, finely chopped.

1. Crumble goat cheese in a heat proof bowl.

2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, warm the milk and half the sugar. Summer until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and salt in a heat proof bowl. When the milk has absorbed the sugar but before it comes to a boil begin to temper your eggs by slowly pouring half the hot milk mixture over the yolk mixture, while whisking vigorously. Then slowly pour the egg- milk mixture back into saucepan, whisking vigorously. Heat the mixture until it coats the back of a spoon and the temperature reaches 160 F.

3. Slowly pour mixture over the goat cheese, whisking to fully dissolve and incorporate it. Fold in chopped flowers and chill mixture for at least 4  hours and up to overnight. (The flowers will release their essential oils when they absorb some of the residual heat from the cream.) Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container and let harden in freezer until firm. Let ice cream sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.


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