Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chocolate-Coconut Sherbet

And now back to the super easy ice cream recipes; this one happens to also be dairy-free with the possibility of a low-fat option. The cookbook description calls it something like Mounds in a cup - if you like coconut and chocolate, you'll like this!

After experimenting with a coconut-based vanilla rum ice cream (recipe still to be perfected), I've realized that great coconut flavor comes from coconut cream, so I might try to make a version of this with coconut cream to replace the coconut milk and sugar components. Meanwhile, I would recommend this as an easy recipe that is refreshing, but a little icy and very sweet. To be eaten in small amounts, or paired with a creamier, less-sweet ice cream like the caramelized white chocolate recipe I just posted.

Chocolate-Coconut Sherbet
from David Lebovitz' Ready for the Dessert

1 C water
1 C sugar
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 C canned Thai coconut milk (low-fat will make this icier)
1-2 T dark rum (dark rum has a more caramelly flavor than light)

In a medium saucepan, heat the water and sugar til boiling. Stir to dissolve. Whisk in the chocolate off the heat until completely melted. Stir in coconut milk and 1 T rum.

Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add 1 T rum if desired.

Refrigerate until completely chilled, then freeze in ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caramelized White Chocolate Ice Cream

Caramelized white chocolate has become something that I regularly crave (I'm not the only one who gets food cravings out of nowhere, am I?), ever since I found how easy it is to make and how addictive it is to eat. The task ever since that discovery has been finding ways to employ it in desserts - making it into ganache, filling macarons with said ganache, replacing butterscotch chips with it in oatmeal scotchies...and now ice cream, thanks to David Lebovitz who introduced me to the idea in the first place.

This is the first proper ice cream I've made in my machine since I got it (proper ice cream being one with cooked egg yolks), so I was a little bit nervous. The process is simple, but the part I found least straightforward was determining whether or not the cooked mixture was thick enough. The accuracy of my judgment of thickness will develop as I practice more recipes, but with this one it worked well enough - the recipe says to cook it until it coats your stirring utensil, so I made sure to see how the mixture looked on the spoon when it first started to heat up (it slipped right off the wooden spoon), in order to be able to compare against what it would look like when "coating" the spoon.

It really had the nice flavor of the caramelized white chocolate, with teeny bits interspersed throughout to make the texture more complex. This is a very rich ice cream.

Caramelized White Chocolate Ice Cream
Taken from David Lebovitz' recipe here.

8 oz caramelized white chocolate*
1 C heavy cream
2 C whole milk
1/2 C sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt
5 large egg yolks

Mix the still-warm white chocolate in a medium bowl with the heavy cream. Set aside with a mesh strainer over it.

In a saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, and salt together. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then whisk half of the warm milk mixture into the yolks. Pour the warmed yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the stirring utensil.

Once it's thickened, pour the mixture directly through the strainer into the white chocolate/heavy cream and stir until smooth. Put the bowl in an ice bath, and continue stirring until it is cool.

Chill completely in the refrigerator, and then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

*Permit approximately 20 minutes to caramelize the white chocolate: spread the white chocolate chips or evenly chopped white chocolate in a roasting pan in the oven at 250 degrees, stirring every 8-10 minutes. It will be done when it's browned evenly (but not burnt) and starts to liquify. Use the caramelized white chocolate in the ice cream mixture while it's still warm.