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Entries in Frozen Dessert (8)


Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Cherry Compote

All week I've been reading about how summer is over.  It doesn't help that football season started and swimming pools have closed... but it was 96°F in Denver today and it certainly seems to me that it's still the season for shorts and swimsuits, sunglasses and flip-flops, and corn on the cob and ice cream.

Why not combine the two?  

When I read Melissa Clark's article about sweet corn ice cream, I was immediately intrigued.  I love corn in all forms, but for dessert?  In ice cream?  

Well, I'm very glad that I gave this recipe a chance.  The flavor of the ice cream is intensely corn-y in a really delightful way.  It's sweet, but not overly so, and while its refreshing on its own, I think the corn flavor is best cut with another flavor, hence the cherry compote.  I think blueberries or blackberries would compliment the ice cream as well.  Give this recipe a try before the farm stands close for the year!

Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Recipe from the NY Times
Yield = 1 1/2 pints
Time = 40 minutes, plus at least 5 hours' standing, chilling and freezing

4 ears fresh corn, shucked
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream 

1.  Using a large knife, slice the kernels off the corn cobs and place in a large saucepan. Break cobs in half and add to pot along with milk, cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat. Let stand to infuse for 1 hour, then discard corn cobs.

2.  Using an immersion or regular blender, purée kernel mixture. Return mixture to a simmer, then turn off heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, 1/8 teaspoon salt and another 1/4 cup of sugar.  Add a cup of hot cream mixture to yolks, stirring constantly so they don’t curdle.  Add yolk mixture to saucepan, stirring.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat the spoon, about 10 minutes.

3.  Pass custard through a fine sieve, pressing down hard on the solids.  This took quite a bit of "elbow grease."  I ended up using a plastic scraper and pushing the solids against the sieve in a circular motion.  I've included photos above that illustrate the quantity of custard before and after that might be helpful.  Discard solids.  For reference, I was left with about 5 cups of liquid and about 1 1/2 cups of solids.  Whisk in sour cream until smooth.  Let custard cool in an ice bath, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

4.  Freeze corn mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve with cherry compote (recipe below) on top.

Cherry Compote
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield = approximately 3/4 cup

1 cup pitted fresh cherries
1/4 cup Leopold Brothers Tart Cherry Liqueur (you can substitute another cherry liqueur, brandy, or orange juice)
1/8 cup sugar

1.  Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large heavy saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cherries are softened and start to release juices, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Simmer juices until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15–20 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over cherries. Serve warm.


Coffee Ice Cream

One of my favorite things to do while I'm cooking is listen to podcasts, particularly Good Food, The Splendid Table, and NPR Food.  Last weekend, I heard about how even Girl Scouts feel reluctant about selling cookies (not because of cost but because of palm oil) and a horrifying story about adding aspartame to milk (seriously?  milk needs to be sweetened?).  I also listened to an older podcast in which the lovely Nigella Lawson suggests a Valentine's Day dinner created from her new cookbook, Nigellissima.  

In the story, she described what seems too good to be true - a no-churn, one-step coffee ice cream recipe.  It doesn't require an ice cream maker -- just 5 ingredients, a whisk or mixer, and an airtight container.

I'd liken the texture of this ice cream to gelatto or a rich, full-fat ice cream.  This isn't sorbet and it isn't healthy, but the coffee flavor is rich and the texture is what you'd find at an ice cream shop.  A small scoop will do the trick and you won't believe how easy this is to make.

Nigella Lawson's No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
Recipe from Nigellissima via NPR
Yield = 1 pint

2⁄3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (I found mine at King Soopers - my Whole Foods and Sprouts didn't carry this)
2 tablespoons espresso liqueur (I used Kahlua)
1 1⁄4 cups heavy cream
1-pint airtight container

1.  Put the condensed milk in a bowl and stir in the espresso powder and liqueur. In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it reaches soft peaks. Fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture.

2.  Pour the caffe-latte–colored, airy mixture into an airtight container and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

3.  Serve straight from the freezer.



When I first met Rob, I was a law school student who didn't know the first thing about cooking.  I owned one pot.  I have no idea what I ate for dinner most nights (cereal?) and the first meal I cooked for Rob was goat cheese and mushroom quesadillas (this was a major triumph at the time... and I had to purchase a non-stick pan to make them because I didn't have one).  Rob doesn't really like mushrooms.  I was a vegetarian.  

When we moved to London, the exchange rate was atrocious and eating out all the time was not an option.  The woman who owned our flat lent me a copy of Joy of Cooking and I finally started to learn my way around a kitchen.  Eventually, I got over the fact that Brits don't refrigerate their eggs.  I still remember having some classmates over and successfully making a Flourless Chocolate Cake that people actually seemed to enjoy.

Back in Boston, I subscribed to Gourmet.  Most of the recipes were way too complicated for me, but when the March 2008 issue arrived I knew I had to make profiteroles.  I can't remember now whether I'd ever had them before, but the image on the cover was irresistible. 

Have you ever seen such an enticing dessert?  The pastry portion, which is the profiterole, is a pâte à choux or a light pastry dough.  Translated from French, profiterole means "a small profit."  Perhaps someone was being cheeky?  

Miraculously, the first batch turned out well.  Apparently I made them in my pajamas (see above - Sheepy Time!) and I was so proud that I made Rob take my photo.

Profiteroles can be finicky.  I've had to start the choux over on numerous occasions.  This is a recipe where you need to measure certain ingredients out ahead of time (I've noted them below).  That said, it isn't complicated and it can all be done a day ahead of time.  The chocolate sauce is out of this world good.  You'll have some leftover and you'll likely spoon it on most anything... or just eat it on its own.  Dangerous... but delicious.

Notes about making the profiteroles - After you melt the butter and water, the instructions tell you to add the flour at once and to stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pan.  Be sure to measure out your flour ahead of time.  If you get to this step and the dough doesn't pull away from the sides and form a ball, I'd suggest starting over (see the photo above for my dough "ball").  This has happened to me and the result is that the profiteroles don't rise.  I'd also suggest cracking the eggs into a bowl ahead of time so they are easily added to the batter.  You can still just drop one yolk in at a time (with the surrounding whites), but it will be much easier to do from a bowl.

The dough will be very sticky.  I've found the easiest way to pipe the dough is in a ziploc.  Even better, there is no clean up.

Notes about making the chocolate sauce - Measure your cream and chocolate ahead of time and have your salt nearby.  Don't be dissuaded when, after adding the cream, the mixture will caramelize on your whisk or fork (see above where there is a huge chunk attached to my fork).  As the mixture heats up, this will eventually melt.  I've made the chocolate sauce ahead of time and it keeps in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least a week.  Of course, it is best served immediately.

Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce
Gourmet Magazine - March 2008 


For profiteroles:
  • 1 quart coffee ice cream (or vanilla or really any flavor you like)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
For chocolate sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounce fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Equipment: a small (about 1 1/2-inch) ice cream scoop; a ziploc bag (trim one corner once the dough is in the bag and squeeze the dough from that corner)or a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip 


Chill a small metal baking pan in freezer. Form 18 ice cream balls with scoop and freeze in chilled pan at least 1 hour (this will make serving faster) (I've never done this step but if you are serving this to a group or at a dinner, I am sure this is advisable).

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure out flour and set aside.  Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted.  Reduce heat to medium, then add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds.  Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.

Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.  Try to avoid having pointy peaks as they will be more likely to burn (just press them down gently with your finger).

Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes total.  Prick each profiterole once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly ajar, 3 minutes.  Cool on sheet on a rack.

Make chocolate sauce:
Heat sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

Remove from heat, then add cream and a pinch of salt (mixture will bubble and steam).  Return to heat and cook, stirring, until caramel has dissolved.

Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until melted, then whisk in vanilla.  Keep warm, covered.

Serve profiteroles:
Halve profiteroles horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream.  Put 3 profiteroles on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce.

Notes:  Ice cream balls can be frozen up to 1 day (cover with plastic wrap after 1 hour).  Profiteroles can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.  Recrisp on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven 5 minutes.  Cool before filling.



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

In case it isn't obvious by the frequency with which I post about desserts, I have a sweet tooth.  Dinner in our house is more often than not followed by something sweet.  As the weather turns and fall and then winter arrive, I always look forward to the arrival of my two favorite seasonal ice cream flavors - pumpkin and peppermint stick.  This year I am determined to make homemade batches of both.

This recipe for pumpkin ice cream requires a bit of advance planning as the puree must be chilled initially and then the custard must be chilled again.  You can make this in one day, but be sure to leave enough time for both the puree and the custard to chill.  There is also a LOT of heavy cream in this recipe.  It is delicious but obviously unhealthy.  That said, I have found that a few bites of this is more than enough and it is something to really be savored.  Finally, the chocolate chips are optional - I threw them in at Rob's request and because I do think pumpkin and chocolate are a dynamite combination.  

If you'd like to make your own pumpkin puree, I've included instructions below the recipe.  It will absolutley make a difference in how flavorful the ice cream is but obviously adds a step to the preparation.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma  
Yield = approximately 1 quart 

1 cup fresh pumpkin puree* or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 - 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (miniature chips are preferable) 


In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.  

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the custard.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.  While the mixture is whirling around in your ice cream maker, add the chocolate chips.  I started with 1/2 cup and then sprinkled additional chips until the ratio seemed right.  Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container.  Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.  Makes about 1 quart.

*To make your own pumpkin puree, use 1 large or 2 medium Sugar Pie or other eating (not field) pumpkins.  Cut out the stem and quarter the pumpkin lengthwise. In a preheated 400°F oven, bake the quarters, cut side down, in a shallow roasting pan with a little water in the bottom until tender, about 1 hour.  Let cool, scrape out the seeds and cut the flesh from the peels.  It is recommended that you then force the pumpkin through a medium-mesh sieve or the medium disk of a food mill.  I am lazy and instead just processed it in the food processer.  Freeze any leftover puree for up to 2 months.



Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

At this fantastic Cape Cod wedding earlier this summer, we were treated to the most satisfying and easy to eat late-night dessert: the ice cream cookie sandwich.  I've been awaiting the perfect opportunity to make ice cream cookie sandwiches and finally did for a Labor Day BBQ at my parent's house in Palmer Lake.

I have made ice cream sandwiches in the past (Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl) but these were simpler and tastier.  The chocolate chip cookie recipe I used comes from Alexandra's Kitchen and is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  These are delicious.  Make them!  Better yet, make a batch and freeze 3/4 of them in ready-to-go balls in your freezer so you can bake off amazing cookies on demand (unless, of course, your husband eats the dough balls periodically without you knowing....).

Back to the ice cream cookie sandwiches!  Due to time constraints and, let's face it, practicality, I used store-bought chocolate ice cream to fill my sandwiches.  I am sure these would be even better with homemade ice cream and next time I'll make a point to make them completely homemade.  After freezing the sandwiches, I put each one in a wax paper sandwich bag.  I ordered the plain bags before I discovered these bags with chevron stripes (love!) or these with bright stripes or dots were an option.  Next time, next time.  They were a huge hit and were ready to be served the day before the party.  The cookie sandwiches would be delicious served with vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate chip or sweet cream ice cream, too (the possible combinations are numerous).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield = 16 ice cream sandwiches 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Alexandra's Kitchen
Yield = 32 cookies 

10¾ oz unsalted butter (1 1/3 cups)
10¼ oz light brown sugar (1½ cups packed)
7¾ oz granulated sugar (1 cup)
2 large eggs
1 T. pure vanilla extract
17 oz unbleached all-purpose flour (3¾ cups)
1¼ tsp table salt
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl, beat again on high for one minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended, about another minute on medium-high speed. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together in separate bowl. Add to butter mixture and combine with a spatula or wooden spoon until just blended. Add the chocolate chips and stir till combined. The dough will be stiff.

Portion into 32 small balls.  The original recipe calls for 1 3/4 oz balls, but I wanted to be sure to have an even number.  If you have a digital scale, you can use the 1 3/4 oz size as a guideline.  Otherwise, use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon.  At this stage, you should chill the portioned balls for at least three hours prior to baking the cookies.  I was, unfortunately, in a bit of a rush, so I froze mine for 30 minutes and then baked them.  

Preheat oven to 375°.  Place portioned balls nicely spaced (they will spread) on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper.  Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake the cookies for 8-11 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through cooking.  Keep a close watch as you'll want to remove the cookies from the oven when they still look slightly raw—you will think you are removing them too early.  The cookies will continue cooking as they sit on the tray out of the oven.  Let sit for 5 minutes on tray before removing to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before assembling sandwiches.

Creating the Sandwiches

Once your cookies have cooled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and ensure you have a place in your freezer to accommodate the baking sheet and the sandwiches that will be placed on it.  Scoop ice cream onto the flat side of a cookie -- I found the most effective way was to scrape a thin layer of ice cream, place it on the cookie and repeat.  I filled mine about 1/2 inch full of ice cream -- I've seen them filled with an inch of ice cream and it is really up to you.  I asked people at the BBQ and they felt that there was enough ice cream.  I'd estimate that it was about 3 tbsp of ice cream per cookie.  After you have covered the cookie with ice cream, place the flat side of another cookie on top, press slightly (but carefully) on the top of the cookie and place it on the baking sheet.

You must work quickly to assemble the sandwiches and it is best to work in batches - create 4-6 sandwiches (depending on how quickly they are melting) and transfer them to the freezer.  You don't want them melting too much or they'll lose their shape as the ice cream melts over the edge of the cookie.

Once you have filled all the cookie sandwiches, freeze for at least 30 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer the sandwiches to the wax paper bag or wrap them in plastic wrap.