Matcha Ice Cream (#7)

27 04 2012

This is the ice cream that almost ruined my wedding dress.

When Tavis and I decided to get married last year, we knew up front we wanted to have a simple wedding.  Wedding day was going to involve a bit of a sleep in, oatmeal for breakfast, and getting ready together at home.  That would be followed by photos at a few of our favourite neighbourhood spots and then cocktails, a short ceremony, a dinner reception, and mingling at a local restaurant.  No muss and fuss, no bridesmaids and groomsmen, no running around like a madwoman.

That morning, after getting my hair and make-up done, changing into my dress, and finding an instructional video on YouTube so I could help Tavis tie a Windsor knot, I thought I’d better play it safe and have a small snack before our photo session — after all, it’d be at least a couple of hours before cocktails and dinner.  Earthy green homemade matcha ice cream in the freezer, white wedding dress… you know where this story is going.

Fortunately, those dribbley drops of matcha ice cream dripped into my dress, rather than onto my dress (now that would have been a mortifying disaster!)  Our wedding day turned out perfectly and we had so much fun celebrating with our friends and family.

Be sure to use matcha powder for this recipe and not green tea leaves.  Also, be sure to avoid wearing white when you enjoy your frozen treat!

We had such a fun time at our photo shoot.  Photo courtesy of the amazing Gracci and Rico Pelaez of Pelaez Photography.

Matcha Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons matcha powder
6 tablespoons hot water

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Black Sesame Ice Cream (#6)

21 04 2012

Grey hairs be gone with black sesame seeds!

Two years ago, I discovered my first *gasp* gold hair.  (Yes, it was GOLD and not G-R-E-Y).  Tavis, to his credit, named it Goldie and said it’s for good luck.  Goldie has since morphed into Silvie, and Silvie, as it turns out, is making a few friends.  I guess this is what happens once you’re in your 30s.

My mom has always said that eating black sesame helps prevent grey hair.  Old Asian wives tale!  But after poking around on the trusty internet, I realized there may be some merit to this claim.  Grey hair can be caused by a number of factors, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  Black sesame seeds are choc full of of beneficial vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B1,  Vitamin E, copper, manganese, zinc, and iron, all of which contribute to good hair health.  So, I’ll pass on the hair dyes and henna and, instead, will crank out a batch of black sesame ice cream for preventative measures.  Smooth, nutty, and not too sweet.  Enjoy!

Black Sesame Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream

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No Fudge All Crunch Ice Cream Cake

15 04 2012

For the last five years, Tavis and I have celebrated our birthdays with our good friends Jenn and Lee.  Tavis and Jenn’s birthdays are in January, and Lee’s and my birthday are in April.  Our January Babies and April Babies events have become a special tradition, always involving a delectable home cooked meal and a special order Dairy Queen ice cream cake that has “less fudge and more crunch” (we find the fudge to be a tad sweet).

For the uninitiated, DQ ice cream cakes are made with layers of vanilla and chocolate soft serve, dark, thick fudge, and chocolate cookie crunch.  They put me in an incredible happy mood.  Since I’ve embarked on a year of ice cream making, I figured I’d be given some latitude if I deviated from the norm of purchasing a DQ cake for April Babies this year and, instead, *made* an ice cream cake  — one with no fudge and all crunch, to satisfy my recent Oreo cookie craving.

This recipe takes a bit of planning.  Make both ice cream custards on Day 1, crank the ice cream and assemble the cake on Day 2, serve the ice cream cake on Day 3.  Patience, patience, I assure you it is worth it!

No Fudge All Crunch Ice Cream Cake

No Fudge All Crunch Ice Cream Cake (Makes about 2 L)

1 cup of finely crushed Oreo cookies (about 12 cookies, whirled around in a small food processor)
1 recipe vanilla ice cream*
1 recipe chocolate ice cream*
10 coarsely chopped Oreo cookies

* Since we were going to be eating oodles of cake, I lightened up both recipes by substituting whole milk for the whipping cream (no change to the amounts of half and half).  If you prefer an ultra premium ice cream cake, you can stick with the original recipes.

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Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (#5)

11 04 2012

Dutch processed cocoa

I’m keeping things super simple this week and going with a classic that uses only four ingredients: chocolate ice cream. What I love about this recipe is its rather unabashed use of cocoa powder.  Unlike other chocolate ice cream recipes that use a scant few tablespoons of cocoa, this recipe uses a whopping 3/4 cup.  The result is an ultra decadent, rich, and chocolatey ice cream.

If you can find it, use Dutch-processed cocoa powder rather than natural cocoa powder.  What’s the difference?  Natural cocoa powder is lighter in colour, has an intense flavour, and is slightly acidic.  Dutch-processed cocoa powder is treated with an alkalizing agent to neutralize its acidity.  As a result, it’s darker and has a mellower, smoother taste.  Dutch-processed cocoa is also more soluble in liquids, making it the favoured cocoa powder for ice cream.

(PS: If you plan to do any baking with your leftover cocoa powder, keep in mind that natural cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder cannot necessarily be used interchangeably because of their different pH levels.  David Lebovitz has a great FAQ page on cocoa powder.  Have a read — it might save your brownies from disaster!)

Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream (makes about 3/4 quart)

Adapted from the Donvier Ice Cream Maker Recipe Booklet

2 eggs
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

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Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream (#4)

5 04 2012

Update – June 7, 2012: This recipe won the Grand Prize in Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s Home Grown Chef Contest!

Happy Easter!  This calls for a special Easter ice cream recipe — something that goes beyond crushing a bag of Cadbury mini eggs and mixing them into vanilla ice cream (though that would probably be pretty tasty too).  Seeing that my dad has always been a fan of hot cross buns, I thought I’d try replicating the taste of this bakery treat in ice cream format for Easter this year.

Hot cross buns at Cobbs Bakery at Lonsdale Quay Market

Hot cross buns are sweet, mildly spicy buns that are studded with currents and raisins and marked with a symbolic cross.  They’re an Easter tradition and typically served on Good Friday.  I think I’ve developed an ice cream recipe that hits just the right combination of spices, flavouring, and dried fruit.  Be sure to use the best quality spices and dried fruit you can find.  If you’re buying bulk from a grocery store, make sure their bulk products have a high turnover for greatest freshness — yes, you *can* taste the difference!

Note: After three weeks of using up to 50% whipping cream for the dairy portion of the custard base, I’m switching over to using 100% half-and-half.  While whipping cream does result in an ultra-premium taste and increases the scoopability of the ice cream, I’m convinced that continued high usage will wreak havoc on my waistline, even if I use Baby Donvier and make smaller portions!  Don’t worry, using half-and-half does not significantly affect taste.  In fact, you might also want to experiment further and cut the half-and-half with some milk.

Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 quart)

2 eggs
3/4 c brown sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg (use freshly ground, if possible!)
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp orange zest, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon zest, finely chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/3 cup golden raisins

Icing (optional):

1/4 cup icing sugar
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp milk

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