Thursday, June 30, 2011
Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream
You know what vanilla ice cream is good with? Chocolate sauce. A lot of chocolate sauce. Or strawberry sauce. Or strawberry sauce and chocolate chips. Or crushed up Oreos. I have never in my life ordered vanilla ice cream when given other flavor options. Vanilla is absolutely my last pick in the ice cream world. Sorry all you vanilla fans, but I think it's a little boring.
I love ice cream and enjoy it most on it's own. I don't want any pie or cake to get in the way (and in reverse, when I'm eating pie or cake, I don't want any ice cream to compete with my cake or pie). But as with most things in life, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Like ice cream cake (mint chip ice cream with chocolate cake from Baskin Robbins). And I also made an exception when I baked a Plum and Raspberry Pie for Father's Day thinking a nice sweet vanilla would pair well with this (what turned out to be very tart) fruit pie. And it did! (Post on the pie coming in about 2 weeks.)
I will note the 2 issues I had making this. Both are most likely attributable to user error. One, I could not get my custard to reach 180 degrees. It would not budge past 160 on my candy thermometer. After nearly 40 minutes of stirring (when it's supposed to take 10) I decided to call it a day. The mixture had thickened slightly and if the temperature didn't come up after 40 minutes, I figured it never would. Two, I failed to read the entire recipe through before embarking on this the day guests were coming over for Father's Day. It takes 8 1/2 hours to make....which of course I didn't have. I had about 6 hours before dessert was tentatively scheduled to be served and I decided to forge ahead. It turned out great despite the shortened freezing time.
This vanilla ice cream is pretty exceptional. That is saying a lot coming from a chocolate girl. See, this vanilla ice cream is different. It's brown sugar vanilla. And I like brown sugar. So I guess it is safe to say I also like this vanilla ice cream. The brown sugar gives it almost a caramel flavor. I even think this ice cream might make a repeat appearance in my kitchen. But don't be surprised if it's served with a little chocolate sauce and maybe some peanut praline.
Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream
by Melissa Murphy from Sweet Melissa Baking Book
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry skim milk powder
5 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, reserving the seeds and pod
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Bring 3 inches of water to a simmer in a large pot. Select a large bowl and fit it inside the pot so the bowl is not toucing the water. Remove the bowl and whisk all the ingredients together until fully combined. Place the bowl back over the water and stir continuously for 5 to 10 minutes until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and has reached 180 - 185 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a bowl large enough to fit the bowl with the custard mixture. Once custard is ready, place the bowl in the ice bath for 15-20 minutes. Strain mixture into a smaller bowl or container with a lid and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Pour the cooled mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions (mine takes about 30 minutes). Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container with a lid and freeze for another 4 hours or overnight prior to serving.
Yields 1 quart