ice cream Archive

Brown Sugar Ice Cream with A Ginger-Caramel Swirl

This is the first flavor I’ve made out of the book by the legendary Bi-Rite Creamery. It’s absolutely delicious. The recipes in the book are interesting – most call for 1% or 2% instead of whole milk, and many include tapioca syrup (instead of corn syrup). Corn syrup isn’t usually an ingredient in most homemade ice creams, but I’m interested to see how it affects the texture.

The base of this ice cream is a plain custard, but made with brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. I love the flavor of the base – like vanilla, but with deeper caramel undertones from the brown sugar. The base is great on its own, but it’s over the top fabulous with the caramel, which is spiked with ginger spread before being swirled into the final product.

Find the recipe posted at Epicurious.

Rich Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream is a great way to test out a base recipe for ice cream. This one uses a higher ratio of dairy to eggs, and resulted in a slightly icier texture than I’d like.

Ice cream is funny – it needs just enough fat for a smooth, creamy texture, but if it has too much it’s like eating straight butter. The flavor for this base is good – clean vanilla (I used vanilla paste instead of a bean).

One reason I was curious about this recipe is that the cream is added just before the base goes into the ice cream maker. I suppose this results in a cleaner cream flavor since it’s not cooked, but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra step. To get the recipe, check out Leite’s Culinaria.

Mango-Honey-Mint Sorbet

I tend to make a lot of ice cream but not sorbet. Sorbet is good and all, but it doesn’t have the creaminess that ice cream has.

This sorbet is pretty spectacular, though. Mangoes are so sweet, this hardly needs any sugar – in fact, the sorbet only contains a half cup of honey. I used champagne mangoes and local star thistle honey. I love the addition of mint, too.

Banana Pecan Piloncillo Ice Cream

This is a pretty interesting ice cream. It’s mostly bananas (frozen first), mixed with a bit of cream. Sugar is in the form of piloncillo, that cone-shaped sugar found in Latin markets.

I had no problem finding piloncillo, but grating it is kind of a pain (the ice cream uses a full cone). I started by hand, then quickly realized it would take me all day. I fed it through my food processor grating plate instead, but it made an awful noise and I’m guessing my Cuisinart wasn’t all too happy about it. A better option would be to buy already granulated piloncillo from the fantastic Rancho Gordo. It was out of stock when I was buying ingredients for the ice cream, so I used the cone instead.

I haven’t had great luck making a delicious banana ice cream, but this method works. It uses eight very ripe bananas, but since they’re frozen, you can just store them in the freezer as they ripen. Since I was at a Latin market buying piloncillo, I just picked up bananas there – they tend to sell bananas that are much riper than at mainstream markets.

The result is a frosty treat that has a very clean, not muted or mutated banana flavor. I think it would be fine without pecans but they add a nice nuttiness that compliments the bananas and sugar. Find the recipe at Sweet Talker.

The Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World

Back to Jeni’s ice cream – I like the method and the silky texture of the ice creams out of this book. I also like that there isn’t any need to strain the base.

What I don’t like is that it doesn’t use any egg yolks – sometimes I have leftover yolks and need to find a way to use them up. I mean, pasta and lemon curd are good, but given a choice I’ll take ice cream any day.

This isn’t a typical Jeni’s recipe – no cream cheese included. Instead, there’s evaporated milk.

The result isn’t a milk chocolate ice cream, but an intense chocolate ice cream that’s milky. Think frozen chocolate pudding. It’s really, really good, although I’m a sucker for chocolate.

For the recipe, take a look at Wee Eats.

Salty Caramel Ice Cream

Assana’s favorite flavor from Jeni’s is the salty caramel. Normally that would be my favorite flavor too, but Jeni’s version just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t know why. Not salty enough, maybe… and the caramel has a hard edge that I don’t love.

Normally I use the wet method to make caramel – using a sugar and water base. I never have any issues with this method and I could probably do it in my sleep. For this ice cream, the dry method is used instead – just sugar is melted in the hot pan until it becomes amber. I know this method is supposed to be less temperamental, but I think it leads to a more bitter caramel.

Other than the flavor, the texture is typical Jeni’s – silky smooth and has a great mouthfeel. For the recipe, along with directions to make a Tuscan sundae using the ice cream, take a look at Bon Appetit.

Seared Asparagus with Lemon & Parmesan Curls

It’s the first day of Spring, my favorite time of the year. Bulbs are in bloom, our persimmon tree is sprouting tiny green leaves, and the markets are full of the first of the spring produce – asparagus, tiny perfect radishes, green garlic, spring onions, and the very first of the strawberries.

This is also a time of renewal, and opportunity! Suzanne Goin has posted more springtime recipes at (Grilled Asparagus with Fried Eggs, Proscuiutto & Shaved Parmesan, anyone?). When you check out the recipes, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with Symmetry(TM) Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens, providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

To celebrate the season, our friend Marsha joined us for a Spring-centric dinner (including asparagus, my least favorite food on earth). We had fluke halibut from our Siren SeaSA delivery – we’d never even heard of this fish. It’s a flaky white fish, mild and not as thick as Pacific halibut (I’d liken it to a flounder). The skin is beautiful – ghostly white, with no visible scales. I did a simple preparation since it was ultra-fresh – baked with a parmesan-breadcrumb crust. It was delicious.

I love the idea of fresh asparagus – nothing says Spring like this vegetable. But I just don’t like it, so Larry and Marsha got to enjoy the bounty. I bought thick spears and peeled the stalks before searing them in a blazing hot pan. The seasoning is just a bit of lemon oil and parmesan, and they both loved the dish.

I refrained from eating all of the radishes we got from the farmer’s market (I usually eat all of them, raw, as soon as I get them home), instead sautéing them in butter. I’d never had radishes this way, and we liked them. The addition of a bit of tarragon at the end of the sauté was perfect. Marsha said she wondered what they’d be like cooked even more, so they were softer. Cooking them definitely removes some of the bite of the radish, and you’re left with a gentle earthiness.

Now, on to the strawberries. The first of the season aren’t the greatest – they’re not very juicy or flavorful, so a great way to squeeze out every bit of flavor is to roast them with a bit of sugar.

For this ice cream, the roasted strawberries are then pureed and added to the cream base. A bit of buttermilk goes into the base after cooking, resulting in a subtle strawberry ice cream with a slight tang. It’s extraordinarily silky due to the addition of a bit of cream cheese and cornstarch (this is an egg-free base). What I love about this ice cream is that it’s not over-the-top strawberry flavored. The milky creaminess comes through, and it seems to murmur, Spring is here… and here’s a taste of what’s to come.

For the radish recipe, take a look at The Splendid Table. Here’s the recipe for the strawberry ice cream:

Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream
Recipe from: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer, Artisan Books
Yield: Makes about 1 quart

Roasted Strawberries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Ice Cream Base
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup buttermilk

1. Prepare the strawberries: Preheat the oven to 375°. Combine the strawberries with the sugar in an 8-inch-square glass or ceramic baking dish, stirring gently to mix. Roast for 8 minutes or until just soft and remove from the oven. Let cool slightly. Puree the berries and the lemon juice in a food processor. Measure 1/2 cup of the pureed berries; refrigerate the rest of the puree for another use.

2. Make the ice cream: Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

3. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat; boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

4. Gradually add the hot-milk mixture to the cream cheese, whisking until smooth. Add the reserved ½ cup strawberry puree and the buttermilk and blend well. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

5. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of an ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin’s springtime recipes at, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with Symmetry(TM) Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream

This is my second dip into Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream cookbook. Making ice cream at home has become the norm for us now – I can’t remember the last time I actually bought it at the store. I can make a custard base in my sleep, but Jeni’s recipes are a little different.

Different doesn’t mean harder – there are a couple of extra steps but the absence of eggs means not having to worry about straining the final mixure (to remove any clumps of cooked egg). I’d say this method (which uses cornstarch and cream cheese) results in a more consistently silky ice cream.

Assana is my flavor picker out of this book since she’s the Jeni’s expert. When I delivered the last one to her, I asked which flavor was next, and she said to make the spicy chocolate – otherwise known as Queen City Cayenne.

I used really good chocolate for this, since it’s the star of the show. The cayenne isn’t overpowering and delivers a low and slow type of heat. It’s just right. The deep chocolate flavor is attained by using both dark chocolate and cocoa powder. I used Valrhona cocoa powder and Amano Morobe 70% chocolate. The result is a rich, very chocolatey ice cream with just a hint of spice. It’s really delicious (so good I ate some for breakfast). Assana gets a gold star for her excellent taste in ice cream.

For the recipe, along with directions to make a chocomole sundae using the ice cream, take a look at Good Day NY.

Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream

I attended a book signing by Jeni Britton Bauer at Omnivore Books months ago and I’m finally just getting around to making the first recipe out of the book. Our neighbor Assana is just slightly addicted to Jeni’s ice creams – maybe more than slightly, since the only way to get it is to order from them in Columbus, Ohio. It turns out they ship a LOT of ice cream to the SF Bay area.

I tend to prefer a custard base for my ice cream, but Jeni’s is different. The base uses cornstarch and cream cheese for a thick, creamy texture – no eggs. It’s only slightly more complicated than a custard base and doesn’t require straining because there’s no chance of getting bits of cooked egg in there.

The first time I tried to recreate this flavor was after I tried some from one of Assana’s orders. I loved it. Chunks of moist, caramel-soaked cake and a buttery, creamy base. The book wasn’t out yet but there was a published recipe for the vanilla base, so I made that and added chunks of real Gooey Butter Cake that I had soaked in a brown sugar caramel sauce. It was good, but not quite right.

There are a couple of secrets to the recipe. Frontier Butter Flavor added to the base just before freezing (ew, right? But I had to follow the recipe). And the cake isn’t actually a gooey butter cake, it’s just a plain, think, all-purpose yellow cake that soaks up flavors really well in addition to holding its shape when added to ice cream. And the caramel sauce. I had it wrong with brown sugar – it’s honey butterscotch sauce.

The verdict? It’s damn good. Creamy and thick without being fatty, and the chunks of cake are terrific. I delivered a pint to Assana in a real Jeni’s container with a real Jeni’s label, just for good measure.

Speculoos-Stroopwafel Ice Cream

I make a lot of ice cream. Usually I choose flavors that appeal to me or the people I’m making it for, but this one was really just an excuse to get some Biscoff spread into the house. Which really wasn’t a great idea, since it’s completely delicious and addicting.

The other reason I went this direction is to celebrate my colleagues and the product I work on every day – we just wrapped up a successful presence at a huge trade show in Amsterdam. The stroopwaffel I bought wasn’t overly sweet, but the overwhelming opinion from everyone who tried the ice cream was that it could have been left out. The Biscoff spread is already really rich and sweet and the bits of cookie just get in the way. I probably won’t make this one again, although the texture is terrific and creamy despite having very little sugar and no cream (just half-and-half). I credit the fat and sugar in the Biscoff spread.