Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We all scream for ice cream

The calendar may say that it's just the beginning of May, but it's definitely starting to warm up.   For Tuesdays with Dorie, we're getting into the time of year when fruit recipes and frozen treats become more popular.  This week's selection comes from Becky of Project Domestication, and she picked Burnt Sugar Ice Cream for us to make.  Of course, lots of people like to eat ice cream year-round, but it gets more attention during the warmer months.  I’m spoiled—when I bought my current ice cream maker, it came with an extra freezer canister.  I keep one in my freezer all the time so I can make ice cream on short notice--as soon as I take the canister out, the other one goes in.

I've actually made this ice cream before.  The first time I made it was as part of a Daring Bakers challenge, back in February of last year.  I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t made it since, but that’s probably because I’ve been too busy trying out other flavors.  More recently, I made the Caramel Ice Cream recipe from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.  The ingredients for the two recipes are pretty much the same—sugar, water, cream, milk, egg yolks, and salt.  Dorie’s recipe also includes vanilla.  Where the two differ is in the proportions.  The Ad Hoc recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of cream to milk, whereas the TWD recipe is 1:2.  The Ad Hoc recipe also uses a significantly higher proportion of egg yolks—5 yolks for 2 cups of liquid, versus 4 yolks for 3 cups.  The question is, is it worth it to make the richer recipe?

To even the playing field a bit, I adjusted the liquid in Dorie’s recipe, using 12 ounces each of milk and cream.  I also increased the amount of salt from a pinch to ½ a teaspoon of kosher salt.  I did want to try the vanilla, so I warmed the milk and steeped a vanilla bean pod in it.  (I started to scrape the seeds out and rub them into the sugar like I usually do, then realized that might not be the best idea if I was going to then make caramel with the sugar.  So that vanilla sugar is now earmarked for next week’s pastry cream. =)  And there was still enough in the pod to flavor the milk.)  I usually add a bit of corn syrup to the water and sugar as insurance when making caramel, but forgot to do that this time.  It seemed okay, but the caramel seized up a lot when I added the liquids to it.  About 5 minutes of heating and whisking took care of that problem, though.  Then I carefully tempered the hot caramel mixture into the yolks.  Since the mixture was already quite warm, it didn’t take long at all to heat the custard to over 170F.  Once it was done, I strained the mixture into a bowl sitting in an ice bath and stirred to cool it down.  Once it was pretty cool, I put it in the fridge to chill completely before churning it into ice cream.

So, the verdict?  This ice cream is very good.  But my memory of the Thomas Keller ice cream is on a whole different level.  The flavor is similar (and I liked the vanilla bean addition), but the extra yolks give the TK ice cream an incredibly smooth texture.  The TK ice cream isn't something I’d make all the time, but it’s really worth it to go with the extra richness.  My girls aren’t as excited about caramel ice cream as Jamie and I are, so I dressed it up a bit for them.  Strawberries have been everywhere lately and I had some that really needed to be used, so I made a cooked strawberry sauce.  I was surprised at how tasty it was with the caramel—I didn’t expect the flavors to work that well together.

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe also turned out to be a great reminder that I've been meaning to write about another subject--my Adopt-a-Blogger buddy, Lindsay.  I've been meaning to introduce all of you to her and her blog.  Her blog is Scoop Adventures--yes, you guessed it, it's all about ice cream!  She includes recipes for ice cream (and other frozen desserts), as well as reviews of ice cream and places that serve it.  I asked her some questions so we can all get to know a little more about her:

How long have you been blogging and why did you decide to start?
I have been blogging since July 2009.  I decided to start my blog so I could share my thoughts and adventures related to ice cream.  Before I started the blog I had already visited many ice cream shops, so I wanted to share that experience with others.  Plus I was about to embark on the task of learning to use my new ice cream maker and making recipes, so why not write about it?

How did you decide on the theme for your blog?
I think I kind of described that above.  I love ice cream so that was easy.  There is also more info on my About Me page.

What are some of the blogs you like to read?
Oh, there are several!  I love the blogs with pretty food pictures and helpful tips.  Some of my favorites are listed on the side bar of my blog.  I really enjoy reading Tartlette, Running with Tweezers, Gluten-free Girl & the chef, use real butter, to name a few.  There are definitely more.

What is your favorite food and/or cuisine? (that you either like to eat or make)
Well the easy answer would be ice cream.  But I also enjoy many desserts, especially those featuring fresh fruit.  Other than dessert, I enjoy Asian flavors such as Thai and Indian cuisine.  My favorite dish of all time is probably my mom's lasagna.

What do you eat when you just can't decide what to make for dinner (or just don't have the energy for it)?
Usually spaghetti, or we order pizza.  My favorite quick meal, especially when my husband is out of town and I don't feel like cooking too much, is Mac & Cheese with tuna fish mixed in.  Sounds weird but its awesome!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
My zester.  Couldn't live without it.

What piece of kitchen equipment is at the top of your wishlist?  
Sounds silly, but a good candy thermometer...still don't have one.  Another item I'd like is a Foley Mill.  Nothing fancy. I'm fortunate to have a lot of kitchen gadgets already.

Who is your favorite cookbook author and/or favorite cookbook?
This is a tough question.  The cookbook I reference the most is Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.  Many of my recipes for ice cream as variations of his recipes.  He provides excellent inspiration.  My favorite "food" cookbook right now is Martha Stewart's Cooking School.

Share a couple of interesting non-blogging facts about yourself...
Blogging is not my full time job (but I'd like to keep that a secret).  I love to spend time with my husband and two cats, enjoying the warm weather in New Orleans.  I actually love everything about food and enjoy going out to eat and trying new things.  In my spare time, I run and bike...I always say that I run to eat. :)

For more information and some great ice cream recipes, head on over to Lindsay's blog!  For the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream recipe, check out Becky's blog.  And to see what everyone else thought of this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, check out this week's links.


  1. Your ice cream looks wonderful. I do have to venture into that Ad Hoc recipe you all made when I was gone or busy or something or other so I couldn't do it. Fun to read about Lindsay and her blog.

  2. great analysis of the recipes! i'll be sure to check out your adopt a blogger blog buddy :)

  3. Your ice cream looks great with the strawberry sauce--I think fruit is really nice with rich ice cream.

  4. Yum. I think I would explode with guilt if I tried the TK recipe.

  5. Thanks for the info on your blogging buddy. I will definitely have to check out her blog. Ice cream...yeah!! Nice job here, Di!

  6. What a great idea to pair the ice cream with strawberry sauce! Love the blgger buddy interview. I'll definitely be checking out Lindsay's blog :-)

  7. The ice cream looks great, Di! But TK's is next on my list - you all have totally sold me on that one. Glad everyone enjoyed this. Fun to learn a little bit about Lindsay, too!

  8. O! goodness!! Strawberry syrup/sauce. Perfect.

    Thanks for the intro to Lindsey.

  9. Ice cream is a favorite in our house! Thanks for sharing your experience. Great interview on Lindsey!

  10. The ice cream is wonderful! I like the sauce on it.

  11. Isn't that ice cream amazing. I made something similar to this last summer and I absolutely love it. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  12. Yummy! But I total agree with you on this one vs. the AHAH caramel ice cream. It was the best ever.

    Aren't you sweet to adopt a blogger! I'll have to visit Lindsay and ogle her ice creams. :-)

  13. LOVE that strawberry sauce on the ice cream! Love that you adopted a blogger! Great Q & A!

  14. Love all your research on the two recipes! I need to try the TK one soon.

    Thanks for making this recipe along with me for TWD. I loved it.

    Now...I must make a strawberry sauce like yours.