Carrot Cake Ice Cream (#21)

2 08 2012

The last few weeks have been all about light and fresh summer fruit flavours, so a warm and cozy flavour like carrot cake might seem a little bit out of place in August.  But this flavour is in honour of my co-worker Greg, who is getting married this weekend!  When I learned a few months ago that he and his fiancee were choosing carrot cake as one of their wedding cake flavours, I pre-scheduled Carrot Cake Ice Cream for Week #21.  It’s an unusual ice cream flavour, but with carrots as cute as these at the local markets, who can’t resist picking up a couple of bunches and creating some carrot cake ice cream awesomeness with them?!

bunches of fresh carrots

Carrots galore!

Similar to my Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream recipe, the challenge here was to mimic the taste of carrot cake without churning actual bits of cake into a basic vanilla ice cream.  The recipe needed to balance the myriad of flavours of carrot cake — sweet carrots and raisins, a touch of cinnamon, subtle notes of vanilla, toasty pecans, and tangy cream cheese frosting.  After some tweaking, I arrived at the recipe below.  Out of season or not, it’s delicious.

The Official Taster is taking a break from tasting this week.  Though he enjoyed Week #19’s Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, he has declared he does not want to sample any more ice creams containing cream cheese  (???!!!)  So, this week’s Guest Taster is the groom-to-be himself.  Congratulations Greg, and all the best to you & Darlana!

Carrot Cake Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

6 to 10 carrots (depending on size; you’ll need enough to yield 1.5 cups of cooked carrot puree)
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2.5 cups half-and-half cream
125 g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

  1. Peel and dice the carrots and place into a saucepan.  Add enough water to just cover the carrots.  Add a pinch of sugar.  Bring to a boil and let simmer until the carrots are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Strain the carrots, reserving the cooking water.  Puree the carrots in in a blender with two or three tablespoons of the cooking water until smooth, scraping the sides down as necessary.  Measure out 1.5 cups of carrot puree.  Let cool.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  4. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  5. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly to room temperature.
  6. Place the carrot puree and the cream cheese in the blender.  Add one third of the custard and blend at medium-low speed to combine.  Scrape down the sides.
  7. Add the remaining custard and give everything a good whirl, until the mixture is smooth.
  8. Add the raisins to the mixture and chill overnight in the fridge to allow the raisins to plump up and the flavours to mellow.
  9. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  10. In the final stages of churning, add the toasted pecans.
carrot cake ice cream

Greg, this week’s Guest Taster, says: “Two thumbs up!”


Fresh Mint and Spring Peas Ice Cream (#14)

13 06 2012

Earlier this week, my co-worker Andrew brought me a bunch of fresh mint from his community garden in East Vancouver.

garden fresh mint

Garden fresh mint

Seeing that I had already used mint (albeit in extract form) in a classic ice cream recipe just a couple of weeks ago (Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream #12), an unusual ice cream recipe was once again in order.  Mint and peas can be whirled into a wonderful soup… so, why not in ice cream?

You can buy fresh mint at most produce and grocery stores, but use garden fresh mint for this recipe if you can.  Inhale deeply and it smells so amazingly cooling.  Mint also grows like a weed.  If you don’t already have some in your backyard, chances are, your neighbour does and will gladly invite you over to harvest a bunch.  Fresh shelling peas tend to be a bit harder to come by, unless you hit up your local farmers market at the right time.  If you can’t find any, frozen peas will do just fine.  Frozen vegetables are picked at their peak of ripeness and then immediately flash frozen — they can be more delicious and nutritious than “fresh” veggies that have been sitting around for weeks.


Fresh peas at the Saturday Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon. Sadly, I wasn’t able to bring any back with me to Vancouver.  A trusty bag of Green Giant peas worked just fine for this recipe.

The resultant ice cream is a gorgeous bright green colour that screams Hello, Spring!  Still raising an eyebrow at this flavour?  Don’t.  I assure you it’s a wonderful combination on the palette.  Subtle flavours, refreshing, and with an ever so slightly grainy texture, somewhat reminiscent of Matcha Ice Cream #7.  Try it out for yourself!

Fresh Mint and Spring Peas Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

3 cups of peas (enough to yield 2 cups of puree)
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 cups half-and-half cream, divided

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Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream a Grand Prize Winner!

7 06 2012

I’m thrilled to announce that 52 Scoops’ Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream recipe is the Grand Prize winner in Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s Home Grown Chef Contest, with 36% of reader votes!

A big shout out to friends, family, and fans who voted for 52 Scoops.  Thanks also to my fellow contestants — it was a pretty tight race at times!

I love classic ice cream flavours, but I also love unusual ice cream recipes — and Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream is one of my favourites so far.  Keep your eye out for more quirky & original 52 Scoops ice cream recipes in the weeks ahead.  And if you have any interesting ideas, please email me or post a comment!

Hot cross buns ice cream

Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream – a prize winning recipe!

Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream a Candidate on CEK’s 2012 Home Grown Chef Contest!

29 05 2012

My recipe for Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream — an innovative original inspired by my Dad’s love for hot cross buns — is a candidate on Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s 2012 Home Grown Chef Contest!

The Top 5 most popular recipes, determined by the number of page views, will advance to the finals and be added to a poll for everyone to vote on.  Have a peek at my contest entry page.  And if you haven’t tried this recipe yet, what are you waiting for?

Hot cross buns ice cream

Hot Cross Buns Ice Cream – fruit, spice, and all things nice!

Thank you for continuing to support 52 Scoops!

Mango Ice Cream with Chili Sea Salt a Community Pick on Food 52!

24 05 2012

What a day!  My Maple Bacon Chocolate Ice Cream is receiving fantastic reviews from a number of Unofficial Tasters, and I just found out on Twitter that my recipe for Mango Ice Cream with Chili Sea Salt was awarded with a “Community Pick” on Food 52!

Mango ice cream with chili sea salt

Mango Ice Cream with Chili Sea Salt: A “Community Pick” on Food 52!

Many thanks to the Food 52 Head Recipe Tester for choosing this recipe and for calling 52 Scoops “a little crazy”.  I will continue to strive to create both classic and crazily unusual ice cream recipes!

Maple Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream (#11)

24 05 2012

Bacon has made quite the appearance on the culinary scene lately.  Bacon topped doughnuts.  Bacon tacos.  Bacon banana breadBacon ale.  Bacon chocolate chip cookies.  Edible Canada, one of my  favourite restaurants in Vancouver, has even launched an entire bacon themed menu.  Every dish on the menu, savoury and sweet, incorporates bacon as an ingredient.   Heaven!  I can’t wait to eat my way through the menu.  In the meantime, I’m jumping on the bacon bandwagon and cranking a batch of maple chocolate bacon ice cream.

slices of bacon on butcher paper

Bacon, baby!

Quality ingredients are key for this recipe (well, for any recipe, really).  Be sure to use REAL maple syrup (not Aunt Jemina’s), a couple of thick slices of bacon from your local deli counter (stay away from the packaged, pre-sliced stuff), and premium dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content (any less means it’s full of hydrogenated vegetable oil and sugar).

Result?  The perfect marriage of salty and sweet.  Trust me, this ice cream won’t last long in the freezer!

Maple Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

For the Maple Ice Cream:

3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup (Grade B syrup has a darker, richer maple taste compared to Grade A varieties)
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
Pinch of sea salt

For the Chocolate Covered Bacon Bits:

150 g bacon
70 g of premium dark chocolate Read the rest of this entry »

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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