Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream (#20)

26 07 2012

I was hoping to get this post up earlier, but I ran into some technical difficulties a couple of days ago: I discovered that my Donvier Chillfast cylinder, which I normally store in the freezer, wasn’t frozen solid and icy cold, but was melty and sloshing around!  How could that be?!  I had turned down the freezer to its coldest setting the night before to make sure the cylinder would be as cold as possible.  Was my freezer on the fritz?  The cylinder itself?  Luckily, it was neither.  It turned out that the Official Taster was in a pinch to quickly chill two kegs of beer and had grabbed the Chillfast cylinder and submerged it in a tubful of water, along with the kegs and a couple bags of ice cubes.  Official Taster, you owe me some extra dish washing for thisSurely the ice cubes alone would have been sufficient!  So, this set me back half a day while I re-froze the cylinder.  On the upside though, my custard had some extra time to “age” in the fridge.

Week #20’s flavour came to me when I was shopping at my local produce store.  Blueberries!  Only $1.89/lb!  That’s about as cheap as U-pick, with all the picking done for you!  Blueberries pair well with so many different flavours – cinnamon, cardamom, basil, thyme, orange, and lemon to name a few.  I had a hard time deciding between blueberry-basil and blueberry-lemon, so I figured I’d develop an ice cream recipe containing all three.  So here we have Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream: blueberry compote infused with lemon and basil, dolloped between layers of lemon basil ice cream.

jar of blueberry compote

The blueberry compote, along with a big spoonful of ricotta cheese, would be a great topping for waffles!

Alternating layers of ice cream with random dollops of compote creates a marbled effect that allows the creamy yellow colour of the ice cream to be retained.  Marbling also lets you enjoy the subtle flavours of the lemon basil ice cream on its own as well as with the occasional mouthful of blueberry goodness.  Another option is to swirl the blueberry compote into the ice cream in the final stages of churning, similar to Week 13’s Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream and Week 16’s Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream.  This would result in a purple-blue ice cream with berries evenly distributed throughout.  Either way, Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream makes for a perfect summer treat!

blueberry lemon basil ice cream

Blueberry compote marbled into lemon basil ice cream.

Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream

2 eggs
3/4 cups white sugar
1 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups half-and-half cream

Blueberry Compote (makes about 1.5 cups)

2 1/2 cups of blueberries, divided
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

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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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Baby Donvier Has Arrived!

31 03 2012

Baby Donvier, 1/2 pint, about 6 inches tall.

I am thrilled to announce a new addition to my ice cream equipment family!  Baby Donvier arrived yesterday, only four short days after a successful bid on Ebay.  It arrived in perfect condition, having been protectively enveloped in bubble wrap and nestled in a solid cardboard box for its journey from California to its new home in Vancouver, Canada.  It was the right time to add Baby Donvier to my family, and I know it will bring me great joy for years to come.

You see, when I decided to embark on this sweet, culinary adventure, I must admit I had some concerns about the potential implications on my waistline.  My large Donvier ice cream maker (now known as Big Don) is best suited for recipes that yield one quart of ice cream. 

One quart per week x 52 weeks = a whole pile of jeans that won’t fit (even if I share).

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