Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Ice Cream/Daring Bakers

So some of you know I like to follow the Daring Bakers, but I'm not yet one.  I've put in a request though! But one of my friends is one, so we made the July Daring Bakers Challenge: Swiss Cake Roll Ice Cream Cake together.  Only we made tiny little swiss roll cakes.  In a variety of flavors.  She posted here, so I'm not going to bother reposting.  Plus she took pictures :).  In fact, half the recipes on her blog are things I made with her, so if you want to see what I might be up to, checking with her is one way to do it.

But that's not the point.  The point is, I've been playing with ice cream making, and boy did I play with those cakes.  And we learned a few things about ice cream making in the process.  And that's why I'm posting.  That and I just ate half the cinnamon ice cream I made last night.

She has a nice picture of all of the ice cream on her page, so let me go into detail what we did for each of them.  I'd say all of the ice creams turned out very well, and all we did was stir them every hour.  Of course, these were all very rich ice creams and were eaten immediately.  I'm not sure what they were like 48 hours later.  But I think the richness helped prevent crystalizations.

For all of these we chilled overnight, then put them in the freezer and stirred them every hour.  I probably didn't stir hard enough, but I'm learning.  And they all turned out well.

Chocolate: I actually blogged about this one recently.  Absolutely delicious, but doesn't hold its form.

Peach and Blueberry:  I used David Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream recipe, split it in half and pureed 4 skinned peaches into half and maybe a cup and a half of blueberries into the other half.  Both were amazing and I couldn't think of anything I would have done differently.

Lime: This was the only ice cream I didn't see everything that was done for.  I think this warmed 1 1/3 cup of milk with lime zest from 2-3 limes, then added it to one (or two) eggs, beaten with a half cup of sugar, slowly, beating vigorously to temper the egg, the added it back to the pan and simmered for a few minutes, then added it to 2/3 cup cream.  Then we (well, actually not me) added the juice of 2-3 limes.

Cinnamon and Chili:  I made them separately, but I might as well describe them together, since I did the same thing (though the chili would be better if you infused fresh cayenne pepper into the cream, rather than adding cayenne powder).  Both froze suprisingly well.  After looking up recipes for cinnamon ice cream, I realized that they all sounded to me like make pudding, add cream and freeze.  So that's what I did.  Since we didn't have cinnamon sticks on hand, I added about a teaspoon of cinnamon to 1 1/3 cups of milk and about 3/8 of a cup of sugar and brought it to a boil and cooked for 2 minutes.  I poured this into an egg, beating steadily to temper the egg, then added the egg to the pudding, and cooked another couple minutes.  But it was weird and goopy, like the filling in cinnamon rolls, not like cinnamon infused milk.  It also had a little bit of egg bits in it, so I strained it into 2/3 cup cream cream and blended really well, to mix the cinnamon goop into cream thouroughly.  It wasn't cinnamony enough, I would have started with more (or added extra cinnamon sooner, rather than after mixing it into the cream).  I probably added another 2 teaspoons.  The recipe I based it off of was a side to apple pie or something, so it was much milder than we wanted.  I also added a dash of vanilla to smooth out the flavor.  We made the chili identically, only we only started with a half teaspoon of chili in the milk and sugar mixture and seasoned to to taste later.  We may have added too much, I think it got more intense as it froze.  But it went well with the other ice creams.  Also, it wasn't as goopy, so that wasn't an issue.

Last night I tried making cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon sticks rather than cinnamon.  I warmed a cup of milk with 3 cinnamon sticks, then took it off heat and let it simmer for about an hour.  I should have given it more time, but I was getting impatient.  I made the "pudding" like I did last time, but it kind of separated, I'm not quite sure what went wrong.  And I added cinnamon after mixing it into the cream, which was a bad idea, since it didn't mix in very well.  So in summary: I messed up a lot.  And then I froze it and you can't even tell.  It's great, it's creamy, no crystalization (at least not immediately after freezing).  I think this tells me that the egg is pretty crucial if you make it without an ice cream machine.  The extra richness prevents crystilization (and gives it shape as opposed to the chocolate ice soup I made last week).

As I experiment more, I share more tips I discover for making ice cream without a machine.  I might start making more interesting flavors at some point too.  After all, I think designing ice cream flavors would be the best job ever.  But I'll do math instead.

Still accepting flavor recommendations.  Once I get my hands on a lychee, I'm thinking about trying a coconut lychee or a lychee lime.  Or maybe I'll just do lychee lime.

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