Ice Cream

Three C’s Ice Cream: Coconut Curry Chocolate

I stole the inspiration for my latest culinary concoction straight from my go-to ice cream guide: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Jeni calls this recipe Gucci Muu Muu for its rich, vibrant blend of flavors.

In fact, I’ll let her describe this milky masterpiece herself:

currychocolate6

The result was every bit as decadent and luxurious as that description suggests. I loved the balance of sweet and spicy, as well as the chewy, candied texture.

Note: I used Penzey’s sweet curry powder (as well as their natural cocoa powder). I reduced the amount of curry powder from one tablespoon to one teaspoon so it wouldn’t overpower the chocolate and coconut. My advice is to start with one teaspoon and add more to taste.

The showstopping conclusion:

Caramel Apple Ice Cream

As the days shorten and the shadows lengthen, nothing puts me in the fall spirit like apples: apple pie, apple cider, and—of course—apple ice cream! I made up some sweet, creamy caramel, then simmered apples in spiced cider to create caramel apple pie in ice cream form.

Note: I strained out the apple pieces before churning the ice cream because I was afraid they would turn icy when frozen. I stirred the cooked apples into some reserved caramel to make the perfect ice cream topping and/or pie filling.

Bring on the cool mornings, crisp nights, and colorful leaves of autumn!

Lavender Ice Cream with Jasmine Green Tea Cookies

Where is the summer going? In an effort to hold on to summer’s lingering sweetness, I made up a batch of lavender ice cream and paired it with jasmine green tea cookies.

The cookies, known as sablés, are a type of French shortbread. I ground up the tea and mixed it with the sugar and flour for a fragrant flavor. For the ice cream, I used a light, milky recipe and infused it with lavender, vanilla, and a touch of maple syrup.

The soft crunch of the cookies balances the cool, velvety smoothness of the ice cream, and together they perfectly capture the sweet, flowery aroma of a summer afternoon.

Summer Harvest: Lemongrass Ice Cream with Rhubarb Crisp

I wanted to whip up a new dessert for my birthday dinner since I’m entering a new decade of my life. Luckily, the late June harvest offers plenty of opportunities to experiment with fresh, fun flavors. After a couple of trips to the farmers market, I had collected enough goodies for a veritable midsummer feast (Redwall reference, anyone?).

I infused whole milk with lemongrass and vanilla to create a rich, fragrant ice cream, then paired it with rhubarb crisp for a sweet, fruity finish with a touch of crunch. In the words of my mother-in-law (who is not generally a dessert person), the results were “sublime.”

To a new decade filled with new adventures—and lots of new ice cream!

Blackberry (Sorbet) Mojito

The lilacs are blooming, the trees are greening, and the lake is almost warm enough for a swim (if you’re brave). It’s not quite summer, but I couldn’t resist making something light and fruity in anticipation of the muggy days ahead.

I started with a blackberry sorbet, made by simmering lemon juice, sugar, and blackberries on the stove. After straining out the seeds and chilling the mixture, I churned it in my ice cream maker. While the sorbet was setting in the freezer, I mixed up a classic mojito with mint, sugar, white rum, soda water, ice, and a splash of lime juice.

To finish, I added a scoop of blackberry sorbet. You can let the sorbet float on top or give it a minute to melt into the mojito for an extra fruity cocktail. Tastes like summer!

Peeps Parade Ice Cream

Note: Some Peeps were, regrettably, harmed in the making of this ice cream.

I was mulling over spring ice cream flavors when my brilliant friend Crystal (check out her amazing handiwork on Etsy!) suggested I make a Peeps Rocky Road. The next thing I knew, I was at the grocery store fighting off local college students for the remains of the Easter sale candy.

The pickings were slim, but I managed to grab an assortment of Peeps and a bag of chocolate eggs for garnish. I also snagged some smoked almonds and the usual milk, cream, cocoa, etc. for the ice cream base.

Back at home, I committed the Great Peeps Massacre of 2016 (they gave their lives valiantly for the cause). Next, I chopped the almonds into coarse pieces and churned up a batch of ridiculously rich milk chocolate ice cream (tip: sweetened condensed milk added to the richness).

The results were…spectacularly good! I should mention that I don’t normally like ice cream with lots of stuff in it. I prefer my ice cream smooth and stuff-free. Furthermore, I was afraid the Peeps would turn rock-hard and the almonds would soften when I mixed them into the cold, creamy base.

I was happily surprised when, even after freezing the concoction overnight, the almonds kept their crunch and the Peeps stayed soft and chewy. Better yet, the sweetness of the Peeps perfectly countered the smokiness of the almonds. Combined with the chocolate base, each mouthful was pure bliss.

Consider me a convert to chunky, chock-full-of-stuff ice cream.