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Watermelon Sorbetto

4 Aug

“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.” ~ Mark Twain

Look at that sorbetto!

Yesterday was a great day. Not only was it National Watermelon Day but I also met David Lebovitz. Yes, that’s right. I. Met. David. Lebovitz. It was epic.

So, in honor of this most auspicious day, I’ve decided to make David Lebovitz’s watermelon sorbetto. It just so happens that this is the first of  a few entries for my Watermelon Bombe, which will be debuted (hopefully!) later this week. It’s quite an undertaking, but if all goes as planned, I will be recreating a watermelon from lime sorbet, vegan vanilla ice cream and watermelon sorbetto. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention Jerry Seinfeld’s hilarious stand-up bit about the seedless watermelon. I first heard this routine on a mixed tape – yes, a mixed tape – one summer at camp. Thankfully, technology has progressed since then and I found the youtube video.

It’s so funny, I know. I keep laughing, and replaying. Some things never change.

If you want to read the complete transcript from Seinfeld’s watermelon bit here you go…

I’ll leave you with one fun fact before the recipe. Did you know that watermelons are not actually a fruit? Contrary to popular belief, watermelons are vegetables and part of the cucumber and squash family. So, next time someone tells you to eat a vegetable, pick up a watermelon and you’ll show them who’s boss!

Watermelon from the trusty fruit vendor

Watermelon Sorbetto

From David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop

Ingredients

3 cups of seedless watermelon puree*

1/2 cup sugar

1-2 tbs lime juice

1 tbs vodka (optional)

pinch of salt

1-2tbs of mini chocolate chips (for seeds!)

*To get 3 cups of watermelon puree, you’ll need approximately 3lbs of watermelon. I bought a 5.5lb watermelon which yielded 6.5 cups of watermelon puree.

Watermelon puree. It just looks so refreshing.

Method

Remove the watermelon rind and cut the fruit (actually, the vegetable!) into small pieces. Puree the watermelon in the blender until smooth. There will be small white seeds, don’t worry about it.

Pour 1/2 cup of the watermelon puree and 1/2 cup of sugar into a pot. Turn on the stovetop, heat, and stir until well-blended. Turn off the stove and pour the rest of the 2 1/2 cups of watermelon puree into the pot. Add 1-2tbs of fresh squeezed lime juice, and 1 tbs of vodka (I did!). Remember, using alcohol will affect the freezing temperature, so you may notice that the sorbetto is a little softer than usual when done churning, it will harden more in the freezer.

Refrigerate the mixture until chilled completely. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 2-3 minutes before done churning add in the chocolate chips for “seeds”.  Scoop the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze. Before eating make sure to defrost for 5-10 minutes first; watermelon has a high water content and so the sorbetto will be quite hard straight out of the freezer.

Watermelon sorbetto (check out those chocolate chip seeds!)

The Verdict:

Authentically watermelon! I like that this recipe was no frills – and really highlighted the true watermelon flavor. The lime juice is essential – it actually awakens the watermelon flavor. The vodka helped too as it kept the sorbetto a little softer. And of course, the chocolate chips were too cute to resist.

Rasperine Popsicles (Raspberry Nectarine Pops)

25 Jul
“Good relationships are like those popsicles with two sticks—they are bound in the middle.”

You might be suprised at what you can freeze, and with such ease!

These nectarines need a home in someone's belly...

Here’s the story:

It’s 104 degrees in New York City. We have two very powerful air conditioners blasting and had to purchase two fans because our apartment thermometer still reads 88 degrees – indoors! This is insanity. Sometimes I wonder if this is what hell feels like.

I was about to make a new ice cream when I realized that it’s just too damn hot. That may sound completely counter intuitive but just hear me out: The thought of using one iota of muscle power to whisk ingredients, and heaven forbid, turn on the stove, had me running the other direction. So naturally I looked in my refrigerator and realized that I had 6 nectarines that were being neglected. The Husband already dutifully downed a box of raspberries that were about to go bad, so I had to resist asking him to eat these 6 nectarines in one sitting. I also noticed that I had one cup of raspberry syrup left from my ice cream soda recipe, and that too needed a good home. Ah ha…Enter rasperine popsicles.

Nectarines smothered in home made raspberry syrup

Using nectarines and raspberry syrup I created a deliciously refreshing puree, poured them into popsicle molds and voila…rasperine popsicles.

This recipe is shockingly easy and honestly can be made by mixing any variety of fruits together. The best part is, they’re just fruit so they’re gluten free, vegan, and healthy too!

Rasperine Popsicles

A 365scoops original

Ingredients

2 cups chopped nectarines, peeled (approximately 5 nectarines)

1 cup raspberry syrup

water (as needed; I used 1/4 of a cup)

Four rasperine popsicles, coming right up!

Method

Puree the nectarines and raspberry syrup. Add a little water to thin/dilute the puree. Pour into four popsicle molds and let them freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Before eating, run the popsicle molds under warm water for 20 seconds so that they release easily from the molds. Enjoy!

The Verdict: I drank the leftover puree even before it was frozen, which is a sure sign that these popsicles are good. Frozen, however, they are even better. I’m telling you, they’re refreshing, sweet (but not too sweet, thanks to the lime zest and lime juice in the raspberry syrup) and well textured (thanks to the nectarines). Do yourself a favor and try these at home. And the best part is…they don’t require any equipment. No ice cream maker, no problem. No popsicle molds, no problem, just use paper cups and popsicle sticks. These are a DIY summer dream!

Happy licking to you all!

Raspberry Lime Rickey Ice Cream Soda

22 Jul

“When life gives you limes…make a raspberry lime rickey!”

In honor of National Ice Cream Month I was invited to write a guest piece on JCarrot’s blog as part of their Frozen Fridays series.

One raspberry lime rickey ice cream soda, coming right up!

Ice cream sodas, once a staple of pharmacies and soda fountains are sprouting up across the U.S., bringing back a lost art form and flavor palette. Given the plethora of soda fountains and pharmacies,  ice cream aficionados like myself have decided it’s time to jump on the ice cream soda bandwagon. I’m doing it with a modern twist on an old classic: The Raspberry Lime Rickey Ice Cream Soda, which traditionally is made with seltzer water, raspberry syrup and a few squirts of fresh lime juice. (Don’t worry, we didn’t leave out the ice cream in our version!)

Seltzer runs deep in my family’s blood. My maternal grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, used to make and sell seltzer water from a pushcart in Latvia. Almost in parallel, across the globe, my paternal great-aunt, the first woman to graduate Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1939,  owned and operated a drug store and soda fountain in Boston.

Look at that beautiful raspberry swirl... so refreshing and so creamy

In this family-owned pharmacy and soda fountain, my father and his siblings enjoyed countless ice cream sodas. The options were delicious and cold classics including an orange freeze (vanilla ice cream in orange soda or orange sherbet in club soda), egg creams and root beer floats. My uncle even tells me that he worked as a “carbonics engineer” (a fancy title for soda jerk) which explains my father’s fond memories of guzzling ice cream sodas as a kid. Nothing, however, is as refreshing on a hot summer day as a raspberry lime rickey.

To read the full article and get the recipe for a raspberry lime rickey ice cream soda, visit JCarrot’s blog  here

Baileys Irish ‘Screme

20 Jul

“I drink to your health when I’m with you,

I drink to your health when I’m alone,

I drink to your health so often,

I’m starting to worry about my own.” ~ Irish Toast

Bailey's Irish 'Screme

There’s no two ways about it. I. Love. Baileys Irish Cream. There, I said it. It’s rather embarrassing to admit, you see, because The Husband always tells me that I have the girliest taste in drinks. Um, I hate to point out the obvious here, but I’m a girl, so I like drinks that girls generally like. Is that weird? Am I supposed to be obsessed with Jagerbombs? No, I prefer an Irish car bomb thankyouverymuch.

Apparently I’m not alone in my love for Bailey’s because this month I’ve had many requests for a Bailey’s inspired flavor. In light of National Ice Cream Month I’m committed to presenting you with lots of fun and unique flavors. This one might actually be an all time personal favorite!

A note about making ice cream with alcohol: Alcohol prevents ice creams and sorbets from freezing too hard since it doesn’t freeze.  This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives the ice cream a better, usually smoother and creamier texture. A curse because after churning for 20-25 minutes in the ice cream maker it still looks unfinished. Don’t worry. It will still harden more in the freezer but it will melt a bit faster, and the scoops may not be as round and firm. What does this all mean? Just eat the ice cream faster so that it doesn’t melt.  Caution: A brain freeze may ensue.

While enjoying your Bailey’s Irish ‘Screme, here’s some food for thought:

The beautiful swirl of Bailey's and milk...

Did you know that each American consumes a yearly  average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other  commercially produced frozen dairy products? While that may seem like a lot for many of you, rest assured I’ve eaten far more than that since starting 365scoops. Do the math. Actually, don’t. I’ve consumed a scary amount of ice cream lately, let’s not go there…

And one more…

Question: How many licks does it take to polish off an ice cream cone?

Answer: 50!

Well, I promise you that after trying this Bailey’s Irish ‘Screme you’ll want to double or triple your number of licks, it’s just that good!

Baileys Irish Screme with espresso pillows...

Bailey’s Irish ‘Screme

Created by yours truly

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk

2 cups half-and-half

3/4 cup sugar

3 tbs good quality instant coffee

1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Creme

1/3 cup Trader Joe’s espresso pillows (crunchy toffee espresso bits covered in dark chocolate)

Ha! That Bailey's Irish Cream looks drunk!

Method

Mix the milk, half-and-half, sugar, instant coffee and Bailey’s. Let cool in the refrigerator until the sugar and coffee are fully dissolved.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and begin churning. After approximately 20-25 minutes your ice cream will still be very creamy (because of the alcohol). Slowly add in the “espresso pillows” and allow to churn for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer the ice cream into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

The Verdict: One of my favorite flavors to date! The Husband loved it, despite making fun of me for loving Bailey’s. I highly recommend this one. The combination of coffee, chocolate and Bailey’s is truly sensational. Those Irish were really on to something here…

The Great Rabbino Ice Cream

8 Jul

“The Babe: Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong. ” ~ The Sandlot

Ladies and gentlemen…I present to you a national legend…The Great Rabbino.

Touchdown!

You heard me correctly. The Great Rabbino, aka TGR. A clever name, I might add. The brains behind this wonderful site is a dear friend, and uber sports aficionado. Two years ago today (!) TGR was born. It was the “love child” if you will, of my friend and his then fiance (now wife). You see, while she was busy planning their wedding, he had to find a way to channel all his excitement for their big day, and decided to start writing about the next best thing to his upcoming marriage…the marriage between sports and Judaism! Fast forward two years, and The Great Rabbino is off the hook! TGR has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Sentinel, and several Jewish print/online publications. Basically, this “love child” has grown big and strong. Yasher Koach!

As The Great Bambino says in The Sandlot, “Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.” This blog is my friend’s chance to do something great. And he sure is!

Enter the ice cream.

When I created the Chicago Bulls flavor a few weeks ago The Great Rabbino gobbled it up, and the next thing I knew, it was featured on their site and on The JewishJournal.Com. 365scoops was flattered, but it was only the beginning! TGR recently approached me again to make a two year anniversary flavor. Ohy, I was plotzing with excitement! I would have to be mashuguna to pass up this opportunity, hell, this could be my one chance to do something great! My mind started racing. How can I best create an ice cream flavor that embodies sports, Judaism, and deliciousness? I had far too many sleepless nights brainstorming flavors until finally The Great Bambino came to me in a dream saying “If you churn it, they will come.” And the rest, my friends, is history!

TGR ice cream...mid churn!

The Great Rabbino Ice Cream 

I owe you a bit of background on this flavor. During one of my 3am brainstorming sessions (yes, I am exaggerating… slightly) I thought, “how can I make a sports ice cream?” ah, hah! I’ll make green mint Oreo (green for astro turf and Oreos for mud). And then I thought,  and “how can I make a Jewish ice cream?” ah, hah! I’ll adapt a recipe from none other than Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen (two veritable Jews, aka Ben & Jerry).  And to honor this incredible two year anniversary of TGR, I will top each ice cream with a hand-made, chocolate basketball or football. Done and Done.

And now for the main event…

The Great Rabbino Ice Cream

Adapted from Ben & Jerry’s (This ice cream is actually Mint Oreo)

If you don't like oreos there is something seriously wrong with you...

Ingredients

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp peppermint extract

8 Oreos, chopped

6 drops of green food coloring

Method

Chop the eight Oreos and store in the refrigerator.

Whisk together the half-and-half, milk and sugar. Add in the peppermint extract and green food coloring, whisking thoroughly before adding in each drop of green food coloring. Note:

Furiously mixing in the green food coloring. Ohy.

Do NOT forget to add the food coloring or else you will end up like me, adding it while the ice cream is churning, furiously stirring so that it doesn’t clump. Talk about a buzzer beater!

Once mixed, pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 2 minutes before the ice cream is done churning slowly add in the Oreos.  Store in a freezer safe container and let harden in the freezer for approximately 2 hours before serving.

Football and Basketball Chocolates 

Created by me, designed by Wilton!

Ingredients/Items Needed

White, Brown, and Orange  Wilton Candy Melts

Wilton Sports Large Lollipop Mold (I decided to do the Basketball and Football; you won’t be needing the lollipop sticks because we’re not making pops, just chocolates)

Decorator’s “paint” brushes (I kid you not!) and Qtips (for cleanup, I’ve never done this before, don’t judge)

Why does it look like I was doing arts and crafts? Oh wait, because I was "painting" with chocolate, that's why!

Method

Ohy. This was tedious. Deep breaths.

Melt the chocolate disks in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and then repeat until the candy is melted. Be careful not to over-melt it.

First, “paint” different colors in your candies (i.e. the brown lines on the basketball and the white lines on the football). To do so, dip a decorator’s brush in the melted chocolate and “paint” within the small grooves on the candy mold. The first few you paint may not be amazing. Don’t worry about it. Paint the features or details as desired and let the candy sit and cool completely (I put mine in the refrigerator).

Voila! Hand-made chocolate football and basketball.

Once cooled, fill the mold with the main color (i.e. brown for the football and orange for the basketball), then tap the mold against the counter to even out the chocolate and to remove any air bubbles. Put in the refrigerator to harden. The chocolates should be ready in approximately 10-15  minutes. Pop the chocolates out of the mold and repeat this process until you have as many as you want. This is really tedious so I recommend either a) buying a few molds or b) employing The Husband to do it for you. I chose Option B…I’m just saying…

The Great Assembly: To assemble the Great Rabbino Ice Cream treat simply serve two heaping scoops of The Great Rabbino Ice Cream and top it with either a football or basketball. Voila! Devour and enjoy!

She shoots and she scores!

The Verdict: In the words of Rachel Ray YUM-O! I’m not just saying this because this mint Oreo ice cream truly redeemed my first epic failure and allowed to me enjoy mint chocolate again. It’s delicious because of the flavors, and more importantly because it was a great way to celebrate TGR’s second anniversary. Here’s to many more…”until 120″ as they say!

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 Jul

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride and honor that I wish you Happy National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day!

In 1984 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July “National Ice Cream Month” and urged fellow Americans to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” I love those politics :) To kick off ice cream month I’m presenting you with a very creative flavor that I hope will knock your socks off!

My cousin’s cousin (hell, we’re all related, he’s my cousin too!) is a masterful chef at the ripe ‘ole age of 14 and a great fan of 365scoops. He sent me this cinnamon bun recipe and anecdote below and I knew I had to turn it into an ice cream. I’ve been saving it for a special day, and today is the day!

Baked to perfection!

Here is the story of the cinnamon buns…One Sunday morning, my family and I were relaxing, getting ready for breakfast, and my sister said she wanted cinnamon buns, so I said I would make them for her. [Note to self: move into their house!] I looked on the internet for a recipe, and found one, but changed some of the ingredients. They came out delicious. Now whenever we have sleepovers with friends, I make them for breakfast. We love them so much because they are the best cinnamon buns any of us have ever had, and my mom  doesn’t even like cinnamon buns and she loves these! [Now that’s an endorsement!] I will make them for anyone who comes to our house and is here during a breakfast time. [Great, I’ll be there tomorrow!]

The cinnamon bun dough ingredients

Mitchell’s Cinnamon Buns 
Created by Mitchell himself!
Ingredients
The Buns: 2 cups flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 egg

Adding the butter...which makes everything better!

Filling:
3 tbs butter1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Glaze:
2  sticks of butter (wowzers!)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 tbs Agave nectar
Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda + powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir with fork to blend. Cut butter into dry mixture; it will resemble coarse crumbs. Beat the yogurt with the egg in measuring cup and pour into bowl. Stir with fork until dough forms ball. Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead about five times, until no longer sticky.

The dough, covered in the cinnamon filling, rolled half-way

Pat dough into 12×8 inch rectangle. Spread with filling and roll up into 12 inch long “jelly roll”. Cut into 1 inch thick slices.
Spray 9×13 inch pan with nonstick coating. Spread 1/2 glaze on bottom and then arrange rolls on top of glaze. Bake 15-20 minutes until rolls are golden and glaze is bubbly. Watch them closely as they can burn quickly!
Coming up with an ice cream flavor to complement these perfect cinnamon buns was not so easy. But, I decided on a classic: cinnamon. It’s a perfect addition to the buns, and served with the

Yum. Simply Yum.

remaining glaze drizzled on top was simply heaven.

Cinnamon Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s A Perfect Scoop
Ingredients 
1 cup whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
10 cinnamon sticks

The beautiful cinnamon sticks

Method

In a saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and 1 cup of the half-and-half. Warm through, and then cover and let steep off the heat for one hour. Pour in the remaining cup of half-and-half.  Refrigerate until completely cold.
Once cooled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Great Assembly!
To serve this incredibly delectable treat you’ll need two warm cinnamon buns, a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream, and 1-2tbs of glaze. Place one cinnamon bun on a plate, glaze side up,scoop a generous heaping of ice cream on top and drizzle with a bit of glaze. Cover with the second cinnamon bun, glaze side up. Enjoy!
The Verdict: In-cred-i-bleMouthwatering. Buttery and gooey. The perfect amount of cinnamon. Most importantly, Mitchell, you’ve made 365scoops proud! Here’s to many more delectable days during national ice cream month!

Now that's the money shot!!


Praline & Cream Ice Cream

29 Jun

“Grab somebody, come on down
Bring your paintbrush, we’re paintin’ the town
Oh there’s some sweetness goin’ ’round
Catch it down in New Orleans” ~ Down in New Orleans, Dr. John

The Husband and I just back from a fantabulous weekend in New Orleans. Actually, now that we’ve been there and we’re super cool, we call it NOLA.

Anyhow, NOLA was amazing. Between celebrating the wedding of our incredible friends, spending the weekend eating beignets and pralines, dancing our pants off at a blowout wedding party, and second-lining our way through the hotel, it was a pretty sweet time!

Ever since we booked our tickets for NOLA I knew that I’d be making a praline ice cream. Upon arriving in NOLA, I decided to throw my New England charm out the window for an afternoon, and adopt a “local” accent.  I marched my tuchas right up to the front desk and asked” Hey y’all, where are the best ‘prah-leens’ in town?” The Husband looked at me like I was nuts and then laughed in my face. What? Can’t a girl dream about being a Southern belle? Apparently not!

Aunt Sally's Pralines all lined up and ready to go!

Despite my ridiculous sounding accent, I still managed to find the golden delicious treats. Though I’ve tried a few pralines in my day, I decided to make this ice cream out of Aunt Sallys Pralines. Or should I say “prah-leens”? Or “pray-leens”? Who knows. But what I do know is that they’re damn good.

I’ve always wondered, however, where pralines came from. Thanks to our trusty ‘ole  Aunt Sally I have a little history lesson for you:

In the days of sailing vessels, a southern gentleman made business trips from New Orleans to Paris and returned with some delicious pralines, which he presented to the head cook of his plantation. By virtue of her excellent cooking, she prepared a confection that has lived through the ages. 

 Instead of almonds, she used a Louisiana nut called a pecan (pronounce “peakon”) and sugar made from Louisiana sugar cane. Instead of one nut she used a handful of pecans for good measure. In his historical writings of early Louisiana, eighteenth century historian Le Page du Pratz praised the pecan and its use in “the praline…one of the delicacies of New Orleans.” 

During the mid-1800’s, Entrepreneurial black women in New Orleans, who had very few opportunities to make extra money for their families, realized the popularity of the praline and found considerable success selling them on the streets, thus making the Praline synonymous with New Orleans and a delicious candy loved by everyone. 

Now that you all know where the praline came from, all that’s left is this ice cream recipe.

Beware. It’s sweet. And addictive.

Pralines lined up before being added to the cream base

Pralines & Cream Ice Cream

Inspired by NOLA.  Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Burnt Sugar Ice Cream recipe. Created by moi.

Ingredients

8 Aunt Sally’s Pralines, chopped

1 cup sugar

3 tbs water

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup whole milk

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Clumps of crystallized sugar (after the water has dissolved but before it starts to caramelize)

Method

Gently warm the milk, half-and-half, salt and vanilla bean paste in a pot on the stove top. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and cover so that it stays warm.

Stir the sugar and water together in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. The sugar will be very liquidy and then it will bubble rapidly (still white or clear in color) and eventually the water will boil off and it will return to clumps of crystalized white sugar. This is normal.

Slightly increase the heat and without stirring, let the sugar begin to caramelize. From time to time, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and swirl the pan. I was extremely cautious when making the caramel because the first time I did it, I turned around for 20 seconds, and the next thing I knew my caramel was smoking and burnt. So, on the second try, I watched the caramel like a hawk because it went from golden brown to dark amber in a nanosecond.  But if you keep the sugar mixture on low heat the entire time it takes approximately 15 or so minutes for it to caramelize.

Just the right caramel color

Once the caramel is created, turn the stove top off, put on an oven mitt, step back, and pour the milk mixture into the caramel. The  mixture will smoke and bubble rapidly, and some of the sugar will clump together.  Once mixed, turn the heat back on to low, and stir until the caramel cream ice cream is well blended.

Let cool completely on the stove top and then refrigerate for at least two hours.

Transfer to the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Little chopped "prah-lines"

While the mixture is churning, chop the eight pralines into small chunks. Approximately five minutes before the mixture is done churning add the praline pieces slowly into the ice cream. Let churn for five more minutes and then transfer to a freezer safe container for two hours, or overnight, before serving.

The Verdict: The Bees Knees!

(I’m using an old-fashioned expression because it seems apropos for this recipe!)

Truthfully, this was a really decadent ice cream. The caramel cream base was really smooth and sweet, but not overpowering. In fact, it mimicked the praline flavor quite well. The pralines themselves held up really well in the ice cream because they were soft and chewy, and so when frozen, they didn’t get hard as a rock. Instead they were chewy and delicious. The perfect combination.

I highly recommend this flavor! Happy licking to y’all!

Milky Way Ice Cream

14 Jun

“Tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way?”  

~ Drops of Jupiter, by Train

Milky Ways...en route to their final destination!

Let’s take a little walk down memory lane:

“Back in the day” when I first started 365scoops I made ice creams that were based on flavors that I  wanted to eat.  During the day I would dream up a flavor, and then at night I would create it. It was a simple time. But alas, that ship has sailed!

Fast forward a few months and now I get so many emails from friends and family members requesting flavors that I can hardly keep up! Though it sounds like I am kvetching, it’s actually a terrific thing, because now I have a large repository of ice cream ideas to turn to on a rainy day! If I am ever rummaging through the cabinet, looking for an inspiration or some chazzerai to swirl into the ice cream, I can always turn to this “ice cream file” to answer my SOS call.

The idea behind this ice cream flavor is no different! It stemmed from a brief text conversation with my sister. This aforementioned sister has been off galavanting around Spain and France for the past two weeks, and before she breezed through NYC to catch her flight she asked for Milky Way Ice Cream.

“I’ve really been into Milky Way these days, ” she told me in a text.

Um, hello, welcome to my life.

How are we sisters and only now are you “really into” into the chocolate caramel combination? Where have you been all these years? Not important. The past is behind us. At least you’re on team chocolate caramel now. I was worried there…

Anyhow, though this ice cream is a rather simple concept, and fairly easy to execute as well, it really is an all-time winner. Light chocolate ice cream swirled with home-made caramel and bits of milky way? Perfection.

Grab a spoon and dig in!

Chocolate ice cream ingredients melting together...

Milky Way Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base adapted from Ben and Jerry’s

Ingredients

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 cup half-and-half

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup creamy caramel 

2 Milky Way candy bars, chopped into small pieces

Method

Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling water. (If you are like me and do not have a double boiler, simply fill a large pot with water, and place a small saucepan on top, it will work just fine!)

Gradually whisk in the cocoa and heat stirring constantly, until smooth. The chocolate may “seize” or clump together. Don’t worry, the milk will dissolve it. If it doesn’t you can use a fine mesh strainer at the end to remove the clumps, and I promise this will not compromise the flavor (trust me, it happened to me!)

Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, and heat until completely blended. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Whisk the “chocolate milk” mixture with sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add in the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1-2 hours.

The caramel bubbly wildly after adding the cream...

While the ice cream is cooling make the caramel sauce. I’ve posted this recipe before in the ‘Take 5’ post, so you can see it here.

Next chop up the 2 Milky Ways into bite-sized pieces.

Before you put the chocolate ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker, check and make sure that the chocolate has not separated. If it has, simply pour the mixture over a fine mesh sieve and whatever clumps did not dissolve will be left behind. Like I said, this will not compromise the flavor! (It happened to me!)

Transfer the ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Approximately five minutes before the mixture is done churning add in the chopped pieces of Milky Way.

When the ice cream is finished, scoop a few spoonfuls of chocolate ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Cover with caramel. Repeat this process until you have used up all the ice cream and caramel sauce. Freeze for approximately 1-2 hours before enjoying!

Milky Way Ice Cream

The Verdict:

The Husband: $hit! That’s tasty.

The Sister: Woah, that’s good.

Self: Yum.

Enough said. Enjoy!

S’mores Ice Cream

10 Jun

“Please sir, I want s’more?” ~ Oliver Twist

'Smores!

Ok, so that quote is not exactly right but it’s close enough, and fits this post just perfectly!

When I was a little girl, my friends and I had a real affinity for making up dances, songs and commercials and performing them for anyone who would watch. At the time our audience was mostly younger siblings (who we bribed to sit in the audience), doting grandparents, or parents who, though they loved us unconditionally, couldn’t bear watching another dance to “I Think We’re Alone Now” , “All That She Wants”  or “Baby Got Back”.  Who didn’t love themselves a little Ace of Base? Ah, the good ‘ole days

Well, back in the ’90s when we used to make up dances, we also made up a totally rad song based on the movie Oliver. Actually, the line about “s’more” was the inspiration behind this “top 40 hit” that we wrote one fine spring day. It went a little something like this (to the tune of Food Glorious Food!):

Food Glorious Food! Mishmash but still eat it. What are you looking for? There is the door! If you desire me, I’ll drink some tea…[insert hand motion to actually drink tea!] Food Glorious Food!

Clever, I know…check out that totally awesome rhyming. Oh, and to answer your question, that song makes absolutely no sense at all. The point is, my friend and I wrote it, we were super proud of it, and obviously it was catchy (if I can still remember the words 18 years later). I should have known then that I had a love of all things food…perhaps that song was the precursor to 365scoops.

Why am I telling you this hugely embarrassing story? Because it’s a perfect introduction to my s’mores ice cream. As a matter of fact, whenever I think of s’mores this song comes to mind. Most people think of campfires and toasted marshmallows (and I do too!) but I also think of this wacky, strange and totally bizarre-o song.

‘Smores Ice Cream

Created by me!

Mixing the marshmallows and half-and-half to form the marshmallow-flavored base

Ingredients

25 marshmallows (15 swirled into ice cream; 10 for roasting!)

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 full graham cracker sheets, crushed

1 1/2 Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, chopped

Method

Melt 15 marshmallows and one cup half-and-half over a saucepan until the mixture forms into a liquid. Remove from the stovetop and cool.

Pouring the marshmallow mixture into the chocolate ice cream base

In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar. Next whisk in the milk and cream. Add the vanilla extract.

Next add the marshmallow mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir well. Though you will not be able to see the marshmallow mixture in the ice cream, it will give it a really silky, creamy texture, and obviously an added sweetness too!

Cool the mixture in the refrigerator. In the meantime, roast the marshmallows! Set the oven to broil.  Put 10 marshmallows onto a baking sheet and start toasting them.  Keep checking on them and after 4 minutes, turn the baking sheet once. Remove from the oven, flip the marshmallows over, and return to the oven for another 2 minutes (or until they start to look charred).

Chop the Hershey’s bars into bite-sized pieces and break the graham crackers into small pieces and set both aside.

Mmm... Toasted marshmallows!

Remove the ice cream mixture from the refrigerator, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 5 minutes before the ice cream is done, add in the bits of Hershey’s, graham crackers and toasted marshmallows.

A word to the wise:  when breaking up the marshmallow pieces they are so gooey that you need to wet your finger tips with hot water (so that the marshmallows don’t stick to you).

I churned this ice cream for 20 minutes, and it was very “gooey” when finished because of the marshmallow base. Put the ice cream into an air-tight container and store in the freezer for 2 hours before serving. When ready to eat, scoop generously and enjoy!

'Smores ice cream...check out the toasted marshmallows and graham cracker pieces. Yum!

The Verdict: Delicious! Please sir, can I have ‘smore? It was a hit and while I was glad to share it with others, I was even happier to have the rest for myself. I may or may not have eaten the remainder (which was a lot) directly out of the container. The best part was the bits of toasted marshmallow which tasted exactly like a campfire. Yum yum yum!

Take Five Ice Cream

7 Jun

“Hershey’s TAKE 5 provides a unique taste experience by combining pretzels, caramel, peanuts and peanut butter, and covering it all with chocolate for a delicious salty sweet snack unlike anything else.” ~ Hershey’s Website

Take 5 Ingredients, all lined up! Peanut butter swirl, chocolate covered pretzels and caramel sauce.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have been invaded by a “Take 5 Monster.” Yep, it’s bound to happen to everyone once in their life, and this time, it happened to me.

It was, thankfully, a really welcome invasion though, and luckily the “Take 5 Monster” is my friend.

Here’s how it all happened:

Late one Monday night I received an email from a friend about free cone day at Haagen Dazs. Then poof, out of nowhere, she slipped in a little flavor request, so sneakily, probably hoping that I would be blindsided by the free ice cream (who doesn’t love free?!) that I might not notice the flavor request. Oh hell no! I saw that flavor request loud and clear and actually thought that it was a terrific idea. Here’s the email to prove it:

Dear 365Scoops,

Can I request a Take 5 flavored ice cream?? I’d be more than happy to take that pint quart off your hands!!!

Can’t wait,

“The Take 5 Monster”

My mind started racing. Though I’ve had many flavor requests, this one allowed me the unique opportunity to fully deconstruct a retro candy bar, and create my own flavor. Being a lover of all things chocolate, I really wanted to make this a chocolate base. Besides, the Take 5 candy bar is covered in chocolate so it just made sense. Boy was I outvoted! I put a poll out to my royal Take 5 taste-testers to see whether they wanted a chocolate or vanilla base – and this was the unanimous response: “V for VANILLA.” Ok…

All 5 of the "Take 5" taste testers unite! (note the little tiny hand on the right, that was our youngest taste tester!)

So I reluctantly agreed to a vanilla base (in retrospect it was a great idea!) and started creating the flavor. With a little help from the “Take 5 Monster” we decided that a vanilla base with chocolate covered pretzels and caramel and peanut butter swirls would truly pay homage to the delicious candy bar. And let me tell you, it really did!

Take 5 Ice Cream

Created by me – in collaboration with the “Take 5 Monster”

This ice cream has a number of components: peanut butter swirl, caramel sauce, and a vanilla ice cream base. Bear with me on this long list of ingredients and methods. I suggest that you prepare the fillings a day before, so that you’re only assembling the ice cream on the second day. That’s what I did and it worked out beautifully.

Peanut Butter Swirl Ingredients

4 tbs butter

1/2 confectioners sugar

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Swirl Method

To make the peanut butter swirl mix the butter, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt together in a separate bowl. If you are using natural peanut butter (which I did!) make sure to mix it well first before adding the other ingredients because natural peanut butter separates and you’ll want the oil and peanut butter to be mixed first before adding anything else.

The sugar is heating slowly, you can see the caramelized chunks appear

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

From David Lebovitz’s A Perfect Scoop

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups heavy cram

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

Caramel Sauce Method

In a large, deep, heavy duty-saucepan, spread the sugar in an even layer. Cook the sugar over low to medium heat, watching it carefully. You will notice that small clumps of sugar start to form, then they brown a bit, and then it will begin to liquefy. When it liquefies and darkens at the edges, use a heatproof spatula to very gently stir it to encourage even cooking.

The caramel is starting to get very hot and amber-toned

Tilt the pan and stir gently until all of the sugar is melted and the caramel begins to smoke and turns a deep amber color. SPOILER ALERT: this is where I messed up the first time! The entire pan will not smoke (which is what I thought); instead little bits of smoke will rise from the center of the pot and swirl ever so gracefully through the air. Act fast! This is the point of no return, and the very point at which you can royally spoil this caramel!

Whisking in the cream. Look at that beautiful color contrast!

Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in half of the cream, which will steam and bubble up like crazy! Carefully stir until the sugar is dissolved, then gradually whisk in the remaining cream and the salt and vanilla. If there are any bits of hardened sugar, whisk the sauce over low heat until smooth.

This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm gently in the microwave if you want it as a topping, or chill completely before adding it to this ice cream mixture.

Doesn't that look like a vanilla bean and sugar island? It's the beginning of the ice cream...

Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate covered pretzels – chopped

Vanilla Ice Cream Method

On the stove top mix 1 cup of heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla bean paste until the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not boil the cream, just warm enough for the sugar to melt.

Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup of half-and-half and 1 cup of whole milk. Once stirred add in the vanilla extract. Cool completely in the refrigerator.

Freeze the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is approximately 20 minutes.  About 3 minutes before the mixture is done pour in the chocolate covered pretzels so they mix into the ice cream.

The layering process...

Now begins the fun stuff! Scoop a layer of ice cream, swirl on some peanut butter, cover again with ice cream, and then smother in caramel sauce (you can never have too much!). Repeat this process until you use up all the ice cream. You will only use approximately 1 cup of peanut butter swirl and 1 cup of caramel when making this concoction.

The Verdict: Superb! The “Take 5 Monster” was in heaven, and all our taste-tasters seemed to be pleased as well.

This was scrumptious. The combination of flavors was really a “delicious salty sweet snack unlike anything else”. Take 5 – you had it right!

Take 5: The final product!