Eggnog Ice Cream (#41) + Christmas Ice Cream Options

20 12 2012
Christmas tree

Our wee tree

Five day countdown!  The tree is up, the halls are decked, and our stockings hung by the gas fireplace with care.  Time to kick back with some rum and eggnog.

I must admit I was tempted to pour the rest of the carton of eggnog into my Donvier ice cream maker and call it Week #40, but that would be cheating.  Besides, anything made from scratch always tastes better!  I haven’t made homemade eggnog before, but I figured it’d be quite easy to capture the taste of this festive drink in ice cream format.  After all, the main ingredients for eggnog are pretty much the same as a basic ice cream custard: milk and/or cream, eggs, and sugar.  Add a sprinkling of holiday spices and a few glugs of alcohol, and there you go!

For this recipe, I added two extra egg yolks to the standard two eggs I typically use for a bit of extra richness.  If you’re after an ultra decadent treat, you could use six yolks and no whites.  Whichever you choose, make sure you add lots of freshly grated nutmeg to the custard — nutmeg is what gives eggnog its distinct taste.

If you’re not a fan of eggnog but still want to serve a Christmas-y flavoured ice cream for dessert, you still have plenty of other flavour options.  My top picks would be: Gingerbread Ice Cream, Spiced Rum Raisin Ice Cream, Cranberry Orange Ice Cream, Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream, or Classic Vanilla Ice Cream with a half cup of crushed candy canes mixed in.

An early Merry Christmas to all!

Eggnog Ice Cream (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons rum

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Hungarian Chestnut Ice Cream (Gesztenye Fagylait) (#36)

15 11 2012

The other day, my co-worker Lisa was telling me about a classic and extremely popular Hungarian dessert.  Gesztenyepüré – sweetened chestnut puree – is mixed with rum and passed through a potato ricer, then topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  Lisa thought this would make for a fantastic ice cream flavour.  But making chestnut puree sounds incredibly… involved.  Scoring, roasting, and peeling chestnuts is not how I want to spend an evening!  Luckily, you can buy frozen chestnut puree — which Lisa did and kindly passed along.  Thanks!

Gesztenyepüré

Hungarian sweetened chestnut puree (Gesztenyepüré)

I must admit that I haven’t had had much exposure to chestnuts.  My experience is mostly limited to the chestnut-filled sponge cakes from Chinese bakeries, and I can’t say I’m enamoured by the taste and texture.  But chestnut puree + rum + whipped cream + chocolate?  You have my attention.

I thought this classic Hungarian dessert would be best represented in ice cream format by layering rum-spiked chestnut puree and shaved chocolate with a rum ice cream.  You can buy chestnut puree at most fine food stores and at European bakeries and delis.  If you can’t find it or if you are feeling particularly ambitious and want to make your own from scratch, you might want to try this recipe.  Though I do love Kraken spiced rum, I thought I ought to use plain rum for this recipe, so not to detract from the flavour of the chestnuts.  This was also an excuse to open a bottle of Venezuelan rum that was gifted to us by our friends Roman and Nathalie (thanks!).  For the chocolate shavings, I opted for Lindt 70%.

Overall, the ice cream was pretty tasty.  I loved the rum and chocolate, but I still can’t say I’m a fan of chestnuts.  It’s the mealy texture I don’t enjoy.  But, if you’re chestnut lover, give this recipe a try.  If you’re planning on storing this ice cream for more than a few hours, give it a chance to warm up before you scoop and enjoy — this will give the chestnut puree a chance to soften and for its nutty flavour to be more pronounced.

Hungarian Chestnut Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons rum, divided
250 g sweetened chestnut puree
2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
1/2 cup grated dark chocolate

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of rum.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  6. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Set aside.
  7. Thoroughly mix the chestnut puree with the remaining 2 tablespoons of rum and the 2 tablespoons of cream.
  8. Spread a quarter of the ice cream into a chilled dish.  Using a potato ricer, press about 1/3 of the chestnut puree over the ice cream.  Try to spread the strands of chestnut puree thinly and evenly over the ice cream and avoid any big clumps.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the shaved chocolate.  Repeat another two times.  Top with the remaining quarter of the ice cream.  In total, you will have three layers of chestnut/chocolate between four layers of ice cream.  Draw a metal spatula or knife through the different layers a few times to marble.  (If you don’t have a potato ricer, you can spread thin layers of chestnut puree between the layers of ice cream.)
  9. Chill thoroughly in the freezer until firm.
chestnut ice cream, Gesztenye Fagylait

The Official Taster says: “Perfect for the season.”





Spiced Rum Raisin Ice Cream (#35)

8 11 2012
Bottle of Kraken black spiced rum

Kraken spiced black rum comes in a wickedly cool bottle.

I’ve been rummaging around the liquor cabinet to see what else I can use in my ice cream recipes.  To date, I’ve used Kirsch in Week #22’s Black Forest Ice Cream, brandy in Week #24’s Caramelized Apricot Brandy Ice Cream, and whisky in last week’s Maple Whisky Walnut Ice Cream.  Flavours aside, incorporating alcohol into ice cream improves its texture and scoopability.  That’s because alcohol lowers the freezing point of ice cream, so it stays soft and creamy, even if it’s stored in the freezer for a few days.

Rum.  It’s time to break out the rum.  And there’s no better ice cream recipe featuring rum than a classic Rum Raisin.

Rather than using plain old rum for this recipe, I used Kraken, a spiced black rum that takes its name from a legendary sea monster — a squid of epic proportions.  Kraken comes in a wickedly cool looking bottle.  (And yes, I am easily swayed by cool looking bottles.)

Be sure to soak the raisins in the rum overnight to make them plump and boozy.  More importantly, this keeps them from freezing rock solid and breaking your teeth!

Spicy Rum Raisin Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
Pinch sea salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
3/4 c raisins (I used Thompson raisins)
1/3 c spiced rum (or use regular rum if you prefer)

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Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream Fail!!

17 07 2012

I was really hoping this would be recipe #18-D/E — the dairy-free and egg-free version of Caramelized Pineapple Ice Cream #18.  But after two rounds in the test kitchen, I’m tossing in the apron.  This is recipe #18-FF for FAIL.  It went something like this:

Attempt #1: The first round started with caramelizing chopped pineapple as per instructions in the original recipe, then churning it into Week 17’s Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, minus the toasted coconut.  But for whatever reason, the two wouldn’t marry; the buttery caramelized pineapple chunks together with the coconut ice cream was far too rich a combination.

Attempt#2: I prepared another batch of caramelized pineapple.  This time, I pureed it, since the chunkiness of the fruit seemed to be an issue the first time around.  To lighten up the mouthfeel, I thought I would eliminate the eggs from the recipe and go Philly-style.  So, I had caramelized pineapple puree + coconut milk + rum + sugar.  Blend it, chill it, churn it, DONE.  Easy peasy right?  Well it was easy, but the texture and taste of the ice cream still wasn’t right.  The Official Taster even said to me: “This does NOT work.”

Pineapple and coconut should be an exquisite combination, but I am currently 0 for 2.  Readers, do you have any tips for making dairy-free and egg-free caramelized pineapple and coconut ice cream?  Should I thin down the base with some coconut water?  Use more fruit?  Use more sugar?  Other?

I welcome any of your suggestions — you can post a comment or tip below.  I’d love to hear from you!





Caramelized Pineapple Ice Cream (#18)

11 07 2012
Dairy Queen pineapple sundae

My weakness!

I have a confession.  Even though I’ve committed to a year of ice cream making (over one-third of the way through!!!), I still, on occasion, like going to Dairy Queen.  Pineapple sundaes are a bit of a weakness for me.  I don’t care what crazy, unpronouceable ingredients go into them.  I am a sucker for sweet soft serve ice cream and tangy pineapple.  But when I mentioned the other day that I wanted a DQ pineapple sundae, the Official Taster raised an eyebrow and gave me a look.  While Tavis did oblige and let me indulge, I knew it was time to develop a 52 Scoops pineapple treat.

I used to think that pineapples were really finicky to peel and cut.  When Tavis and I were visiting the floating markets in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam last year, we marvelled at the ability of the pineapple vendors.  The vendors, mostly women, have perfected the art of peeling and spiral cutting a pineapple in just a minute or two. They are MACHINES, carving perfect little hand-held snacks for boatloads of happy travellers passing through the delta.

Floating market pineapple vendor

Pineapples, pineapples everywhere!

Woman cutting pineapple

Pineapple Lady expertly peeling a pineapple

Spiral cutting a pineapple

Spiral cutting out the eyes of the pineapple

Fresh pineapple

Yum!

Here’s a link to a very helpful spiral cutting technique video on YouTube.  Once you practice a few times, you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll never need to buy canned or pre-cored/cut pineapple again!

For this ice cream recipe, I caramelized the pineapple in a little bit of butter and brown sugar.  Cooking the pineapple takes away the acidic bite on your tongue and results in a deeper, richer taste.  The addition of rum keeps the pineapple from freezing into solid chunks, while imparting another layer of flavour.  When the caramelized pineapple is churned into a simple vanilla base — absolutely exquisite!

Caramelized Pineapple Ice Cream (#18)  (Makes about 1.5 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Caramelized Pineapple (makes about 2 cups):

3 cups of fresh pineapple tidbits (half to one pineapple, depending on size and your peeling abilities)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp rum (I used spiced rum)

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