Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Scream, I Scream: A Swan Song for Summer

File this under the "Duh" category...

In addition to not doing very much sewing this summer, I also didn't do very much cooking or baking. It was just too darned hot. Then, about a month ago, the NY Times published several articles in the dining section about ice cream and making it at home. Like I said: duh. Why not make cold food! Double duh. Anyway, Phineas procured an ice cream machine, and my first two test runs took place this weekend. In honor of my trip to Tulum, I decided to make vanilla and chocolate (without the Mayans we would have neither flavor), using the vanilla beans that I bought in Mexico.

I used the NYT recipes for Bittersweet Chocolate and for Roasted Hazelnut Vanilla, but omitted the steps involving the nuts to make a plain vanilla. Both are "Philadelphia Style" ice creams, meaning that they do not contain egg yolks. This makes the recipe much easier to execute than if I were to make a custard-based ice cream (tempering egg yolks with hot cream is always a risky proposition).

The method is pretty easy. Cook the cream and other ingredients, chill in the fridge, churn in your machine until it looks like soft serve (15 min or so) and let the finished ice cream solidify in the freezer. Here's how it went:

- I think leaving out the hazelnuts left my ice cream lacking some richness and creaminess. It reminded me more of an "ice milk" - a flashback to the late 80's/early 90's. The recipe calls for a 2:1 ratio of milk to cream, but I think I will reverse that ratio next time in order to get a richer ice cream with a creamier texture. That said, for very vanilla-y flavor, this ice cream delivered in spades.

Bittersweet Chocolate
- This recipe is pretty perfect as is. I think the most important element is to use good chocolate: I used a bittersweet valrhona. I also used a cognac instead of rum and vanilla sugar (ordinary sugar stored with a few vanilla beans left over from another project) instead of plain. I am pretty pleased with the rich and creamy ice cream I ended up with.

Mmmmmmmm... ice cream

I'm sure there will be a few more weeks for me to experiment with my ice cream maker before the cool weather really sets in, and Phineas has already requested that I make coffee ice cream for him. I also want to try frozen yogurt. Then I will be able to get back to baking and my mac+cheese experimentation, which I never completed before the warm weather set in. Stay tuned for more goodies from the kitchen as I say goodbye to summer. Speaking of which, here are a few last picture
s from my vacation. I think the looming clouds paint an accurate swan song for the warmer months.

Orpheus and I spent lots of time snorkeling - he is a natural in the water

Calliope and Linus with a stingray

Orpheus with Stingray


MS said...

My 'other' Tricia has the recipe for Mario's olive oil gelatto in a cookbook - if you should find yourself so inclined...

Clio said...

TOTALLY inclined! Let her know I will be contacting her for it...

Mar-Mar said...

great pics of vacation! Ahh! Ice cream! Looks wonderful!

If you every find a great Italian ice recipe(think vanilla chip) let me know. We don't do Brooklyn flavors too well here in Connecticut.

Wish I was there to help you experiment with the ice cream and mac+cheese!