Tag Archives: frozen

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

15 Aug

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I just made a batch of Smitten Kitchen’s Maple Cluster Granola. She uses an egg white in her recipe as a protein “glue” that creates wonderful clusters. Genius. Since I have a “nothing to waste” attitude, I saved the yolk and immediately made room in the freezer for my Cuisinart ice cream bowl.

As I was putting the container of fresh-baked granola away in the pantry, I re-discovered my bag of Culinary English Lavender (grown in Long Island). With lavender, a little goes a long way, so I always have what feels like an endless supply of purple buds.

And so, Honey Lavender Ice Cream.

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I just got back from a trip to visit California’s Bay Area and Sierra Mountains. Lavender seems to grow wild there, and in many other places, so if you have fresh lavender accessible, skip the purchased bag and go pick some!

This ice cream smells and tastes like a delicate flower, in a good way. I am almost tempted to lather a cold honey-lavender-ice-cream-mask all over my face, but the temptation to just eat the ice cream is much greater.

(psst…since we are on the subject, have you ever tried Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap? It’s my favorite!)

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Pair the ice cream with fresh strawberries or white peaches. Or serve it over your favorite summer fruit crumble, cake, or pie.

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Find more Figs in my Belly ice cream recipes and flavors in the Recipe Index.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

adapted from Bakeology by Lisa, using David Lebovitz technique

I used 1% milk and one fewer yolk than the original recipe because it was convenient for me and a touch healthier, without compromising on taste or texture

  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% milk, but you could use whole if you want)
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons culinary lavender
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks (large or extra large work fine)

Place the bowl of an ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

Place the milk, salt, honey and lavender in a small pot and heat, stirring with a rubber spatula, until just scalding. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the mixture infuse for one hour.

Meanwhile, place the heavy cream in a bowl and place a mesh strainer over the top. Set the bowl of heavy cream into a larger bowl. Surround the larger outside bowl with ice water.

After an hour, re-warm the milk/salt/honey/lavender mixture. Mix the egg yolks in a small bowl. Very slowly and stirring constantly with either  a whisk or a rubber spatula, pour some of the milk mixture (about 1/2 cup) into the yolks.  Pour this mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk mixture. Continue to cook the custard over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Once thickened, pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the bowl of cream sitting in the ice water bath. Stir everything together and let it sit in the ice water bath until the ice cream base is chilled. Once chilled, refrigerate the mixture for a few hours. Churn it in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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White Chocolate Sorbet (with a splash of amarula liqueur)

11 Jul

It can be tricky to keep chocolate around during the summer heat. It might melt and goop up, or it might bloom to an unappetizing texture and taste.

Cold, silky, frozen chocolate sorbet, on the other hand, is where the party’s at. This white chocolate sorbet is made with good-quality white chocolate, whole milk, just 1 tablespoon of sugar, a splash of vanilla, and a little shot of liqueur.

No egg yolks, no cream, and just a touch of sugar. After all, while we want to satisfy our sweet tooth, we don’t want to totally bust our belts…(never-mind that white chocolate is mostly made of cocoa fat).

I know there is a band of white-chocolate haters out there. If you’re not into it, maybe I can convince you to try this Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet. It might just blow your mind.

Since the majority of the sorbet’s flavor will come from the white chocolate, I would splurge and buy a hunk of high quality stuff. Most gourmet markets will carry the good stuff. I purchased my chocolate at Westside Market in NYC, but I know that Whole Foods carries good brands, too. I used Callebaut chocolate (Valrhona is another popular brand). Oh, and maybe it is the professional/restaurant pastry-mind in me, but we always buy a hunk and chop the chocolate ourselves (…but hey,don’t sweat it, I won’t tell anyone if you buy chips, no big deal, it all gets melted anyway).

I added slightly less than a shot of amarula to the sorbet base.  Amarula is a South African cream liqueur that (as per wikipedia, and I agree) tastes like a slightly fruity caramel. I love to drink amarula with (preferably crushed) ice and some coffee. Oh baby! You can recognize the bottle easily because of the big elephant on it.

In addition to the subtle flavor it lends to the sorbet, the alcohol is used for texture. Sorbet is not as rich as ice cream, and it can become quite firm after spending a night in the freezer. Alcohol does not freeze, so it will keep the texture of the sorbet nice and soft. David Lebovitz offers some helpful tips on his blog on how to keep homemade ice cream soft. And instead of amarula, you could use a light rum or a splash of amaretto

White Chocolate Sorbet (with amarula liqueur)

from David Lebovitz, originally from Gale Gand

makes slightly less than 1 quart

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk

2/3 cup (160 ml) water

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 tablespoons amarula liqueur (a little less than 1 shot)

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract)

8 ounces (225 gr) best-quality white chocolate (I used Callebaut brand), finely chopped

1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, water, sugar, vanilla, and amarula until it’s almost to a boil.

2. Remove from heat and add the pieces of white chocolate, whisking until they’re melted. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl set within a larger bowl of ice water. (If using a vanilla bean, rinse and air-dry it, and reserve it for another use.)

3. Stir the mixture until cool.

4. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

(Note: If you chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours, there’s likely to be a white chocolate disk hardened onto the surface of the mixture when you go to churn it, so it’s recommended to freeze it just after it’s been chilled over the ice bath.)