Sunday, May 04, 2008

Challenge 100: Candied Ginger and Mint Chip Ice Creams

My ice cream maker has reached new heights – delicious, creamy, irresistible new heights – in the past few weeks. I decided to put aside my doubts and try adapting an actual ice cream recipe, with a custard base, for non-dairy ingredients. And it worked! Up until now I'd just been making fruit sorbets, frozen yogurt, and that one vegan chocolate raspberry recipe which was really awesome but has now been totally surpassed by these real ice creams I've discovered I can make. These sent us into an elaborate ice cream dream, in which we were manning a freezer at the farmers market every Saturday this summer, and happily spending our week nights inventing new flavours to please our adventurous customers... that could happen, right? At the moment I'm only concerned with making another batch for myself, mmmmm.

The following two recipes are from A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti, with non-dairy substitutions added.

Candied Ginger Ice Cream
1 3/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream or coconut cream
1 1/2 cups milk or almond milk
2/3 cup sugar
3-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
7 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (or less) finely chopped candied ginger

Combine the cream, milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the fresh ginger in a medium, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Whisk together egg yolks, the remaining sugar, and the salt. Slowly pour the cream into the egg yolks, whisking as you pour. Return the mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant or wooden spatula, over medium-low heat until the liquid reaches 175 degrees F and coats the spatula (I haven't been measuring this temperature, and it's worked fine). Strain into a bowl, discarding the ginger, and cool over an ice bath to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight (this chilling time may seem unimportant, but it really is crucial – we tried to skimp on it once and the ice cream refused to thicken in the machine... impatience and ice cream making do not go together I've discovered).

Put the candied ginger in a bowl and put it in the freezer (this is important, I discovered, as the warm ginger melts the ice cream otherwise). Churn the chilled custard in an ice cream machine. Fold the ice cream and ginger together. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours.

Mint Chip Ice Cream
(With real mint leaves – absolutely the best ice cream I've made so far)
2 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream or coconut cream
3/4 cup milk or almond milk
3/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the cream, milk, mint , and 1/2 cup of the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and steep the mint in the cream for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, until it reaches 175 degrees F and lightly coats the spatula. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, discarding the mint. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

In a food processor, using on-off pulses, grind the chocolate into small pieces. Put the chocolate in a bowl in the freezer. Churn the ice cream base in an ice cream machine. Place the ice cream in a bowl with the chocolate and fold the two together. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours.
With 75 more ice cream recipes in this book, and all of them now open to my coconut/almond substitutions, it's gonna be a yummy summer!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic!!! And kudos to you for trying it. So glad it came out so good. You can make your own cashew milk and try that as well. Should be great with certain flavours--think chocolate covered cashews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GB

Laura said...

Meg, each of these sounds unbelievable! I can't decide which would be better. I can vouch enthusiastically for the quality of your ice cream (and Darryl's!). That Oreo cookie ice cream was absolutely heavenly. I had some Oreo cookie ice cream from the Marble Slab last night with Sean and Michelle, and it was nowhere near as good as Darryl's. You guys will definitely have to open your own farmers-market-ice-cream-booth this summer. I would be there, encouraging the west end to try it!

moyrad said...

We always think of iced desserts as a modern invention but people have always found a way to preserve ice and make it a tasty treat. I read part of Elizabeth David's Harvest of the Cold Months - The Social History of Ice and Ices (her last book) which though a little dry was fascinating. As it says, a evolution of ice and ices - from snow to flavoured ice to iced creams, mmmm I love them all.

Leeeeesha said...

Meg, remember my suggestion of the two of us getting together for a non-dairy ice cream making extravaganza? Can we do it sometime soon? I simply must have some on hand in my freezer.

What about an upcoming Sunday afternoon . . . ?