27 Dec 2013

Pistachio Ice Cream

I decided to test my new ice cream maker by making pistachio ice cream, which is my favorite flavour. Shelling the pistachios is a bit more complicated than shelling, for example, hazelnuts. Therefore you must have time to make this ice cream (unless you manage to find already shelled pistachios).

Ingredients
250 g pistachios (you can use even more)
3 dl (1 cup) milk
1 tsp vanilla
5 egg yolks
2 dl (0,7 cups) sugar
3 dl (1 cup) whipping cream

(I found only salted pistachios with shells in the nearby supermarket. So, I first had to remove the hard shells of the pistachios.)

Soak the shelled pistachios in warm water for about 15 minutes. After that it is easy to remove the brownish "inner shells". I think the soaking also reduces the saltiness of the nuts.

Bake the shelled, green nuts in the oven for about 15 minutes in 150 degrees C temperature. Let the pistachios cool. Blend them in a food processor until the nuts are in very small bits.

Cook milk, pistachios and vanilla over medium heat, constantly stirring, to simmer. Set aside.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until they form a white, creamy mixture. Sieve the warm milk/pistachio mixture and pour it over the egg yolk/sugar mixture constantly stirring. Then return the mixture to a pot and cook gently, stirring, until the temperature reaches 82 degrees celsius.

Cool the mixture rapidly, preferably in an ice cool water bath. Whisk in the whipping cream and place the mixture in the fridge overnight (or at least for 4 hours).

Whisk the cooled mixture for about 2-3 minutes. Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Or transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze, whisking every couple of hours until it sets.

The taste of pistachio could be a little bit stronger, so I am going to use more nuts next time (300-400 g).  

My ice cream maker made very smooth and even textured ice cream. It was ready in about 30 minutes. After couple of hours in the freezer it was ready to be scooped. The whole ice cream making process shortened about half a day. Now I can make ice cream even on weekdays!

1. shelling the pistahcios, 2. soaked pistachios ready to be baked, 3. ground pistachios, 4. milk/pistachio mixture
5. ice cream mixture, 6. pouring the mixture in the ice cream maker, 7. after 30 minutes, 8. ready for the freezer


25 Dec 2013

23 Dec 2013

Malt Ice Cream and Stout Beer Caramel Sauce

I saw on TV how Jamie Oliver prepared what he called an "epic hot chocolate". Besides milk, cocoa and chocolate, he used cinnamon and Horlicks in it. I thouhgt it might be a good idea to use the same ingredients in ice cream, too. I couldn't find any malted barley in the nearby super market. So, I bought malted rye instead, which is used in making for example "mämmi", Finnish Easter pudding. (I guess you can use Horlicks or Ovaltine instead.)


Malt ice cream, stout beer caramel sauce and ground hazelnuts.
Ingredients
2,5 dl whole milk
2 tbsp malted rye
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
2 tbsp syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 dl brown sugar
6 egg yolks
4 dl whipping cream

Combine milk, malted rye, cocoa powder, syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and constantly stirring cook to simmer. Remove from heat.

In a bowl combine egg yolks and brown sugar. Whisk them until the mixture is fluffy and creamy. Add the warm milk with spices. Then return the mixture to the pot and cook gently, stirring, until temperature reaches 82 degrees celsius.

Cool the mixture rapidly in an ice cool water bath. Then cover it and put in a fridge overnight. Next morning whisk the mixture and put it in a freezer (or use your ice cream maker). After about 1-2 hours it is ready to be whisked. Whisk 1-2 minutes and return to the freezer. Repeat this after an hour and again until it is frozen (3-4 times).

To make delicious sundaes I made stout beer caramel sauce. I found this recipe in Betty Crocker web site.

Ingredients
3,5 dl stout beer
2 tbsp butter (unsalted)
3,5 dl brown sugar
2,5 dl whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

Simmer beer over medium heat about 15 minutes. Stir in butter and brown sugar and cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 112 degrees C (234-235 degrees F). - Betty Crocker tells it takes about 12 minutes, I had to cook over 30 minutes to reach the 112 C temperature.

Remove from heat and slowly add cream, vanilla and salt, contantly stirring. Return to medium heat and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. The mixture thickens a bit. Let the sauce cool about two hours before serving.

Make perfect sundaes using malt ice cream, stout beer caramel sauce, groud hazelnuts and whipped cream.

6 Dec 2013

Traditional Vanilla Ice Cream

During an unhurried weekend I decided try the "traditional custard" method which Felicity Cloake describes in her article "How to make perfect ice cream". This method reminds me of a recipe which is described in Eliq Maranik's book Jäätelö: Viileitä herkkuja jokaiseen makuun (Ice Cream: Frozen Favorites for All Tastes).

Ingredients
2,25 dl whipping cream
3,75 dl whole milk
6 egg yolks (I used 7)
120 g caster sugar
1,5 vanilla pods

Split the vanilla pods and remove the seeds gently with a knife. Cook the whipping cream and milk along with the vanilla pods and seeds just below boiling point. Set aside.

Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until they form a white, creamy mixture. Pour the warm milk (through a colander) over the egg yolk/sugar mixture and stir. They form a bowlful of fluffy mixture!

Then return the mixture to the pot and cook gently, stirring, until the temperature reaches 82 degrees celsius.

At this phase it is adviced to cool the mixture rapidly preferably in an ice cool water bath. When I was preparing the waterbath I remembered that I live in Finland. The temperature outside was just below freezing point. So, I covered the bowl and placed it on my balcony. The mixture cooled down quite rapidly.

After this, I put the bowl in the fidge overnight for the flavours to develop. I learned from Felicity's article that it is also important for the fat droplets to crystallise.

Next morning I put the mixture in my freezer and whisked it at 1-2 hour intervals until it was frozen enough to be left alone.

In the evening I made a delicious sundae with vanilla ice cream scoops, hazelnut cake, cranberry jam and mini gingerbreads.    
    

4 Dec 2013

Hazelnut Cake

A lot of egg yolks is used when traditional ice cream is made. So, what to do with the egg whites which are left over? One alternative is this Nigella Lawson’s hazelnut cake, where you can use as many as 8 egg whites. Seven small/medium size egg yolks can easily be used when making vanilla ice cream. And the cat hanging aroud in the kitchen definitely deserves one.

The following recipe is a combination of recipes I found in web sites How to eat, Nigella style – now in India and The new Nigella

Ingredients
8 egg whites
0,5 tsp salt
250 g hazelnuts
300 g sugar
85 g flour

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Spread the hazelnuts over a baking sheet and bake them for about 12 – 15 minutes, until they are golden and their skins begin to crack. Wrap the warm nuts in an old kitcen towel and rub them to loosen the skins. The nuts are quite clean after rubbing but you can finish the work with your fingers. 

Then place the nuts in a food processor along with the sugar and grind into dust (mine was quite coarse).

Whisk the egg whites with 0,5 tsp salt into stiff peaks. Fold the hazelnut-sugar mixture into the egg whites. Sift the flour into the mixture gently folding.

Pour the mixture into a buttered cake tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes at 175 C.

I don’t know if my cake raised enough, but I think it is a nice firm cake, easy to cut, nice to eat and it tastes delicious!

1. Rubbed hazelnuts, 2. Hazelnut-sugar mixture, 3. Folding hazelnuts into the egg whites, 4. The Cake!
 

29 Nov 2013

It's so fluffy!

Felicity Cloake writes in The Guardians' blog Word of Mouth under a header "How to make perfect ice cream". She is testing in her kitchen various ice cream recipes to find the perfect one: fresh, light but rich. Particularly "the mousse method" catched my attention. The rich and delicious ice cream is said to be made without further whisking during the freezing period. This sounds like an every day ice cream, so I definitely had to test it:

First you whisk (lightly) 2 egg yolks (I used 3, because the two egg yolks weren't enough to be whisked in a large bowl). Then you heat 125 ml water and 50 g sugar and pour it on the beaten egg yolks, constantly whisking. A miracle happens: this small amount of ingredients forms a bowlful of fluffy, light mousse!

Now, you beat softly the whipping cream (add one tea spoon of vanilla) and fold the two together. In this phase it is easy to believe that no further whisking is needed during the freezing.

After a couple of hours in a freezer, the ice cream is ready to be scooped. It is so fluffy and forms perfect scoops. It tastes creamy. It is not exactly ice cream, but a proper weekday delicacy.

During the coming weekend I have to test the traditional custard method, which Felicity writes about...


1. the fluffy mousse, 2. softly whipped cream, 3. folding the two together, 4. scooping the delicacy

24 Nov 2013

Gigerbread Ice Cream

Christmas is near. Christmas decorations are, one by one, finding their places aroud the house. I bought some blue and white hyasinths and I hope that they flourish by the 6th of December (Independence Day in Finland). I decided to add some more christmaslike fragrance by making ice cream with gigerbread spices:

Ingredients
2 dl (3/4 cups) whole milk
2 tbsp dark syrup
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp ginger
6 egg yolks
2 dl (3/4 cups) sugar
4 dl (1 2/3 cups) cream

In a pot combine milk, syrup, cocoa powder and spices. Constantly stirring, cook to simmer.

Let the mixture cool.

In a bowl combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk them until the mixture is creamy and white. Add the warm milk with spices. Then return the mixture to the pot and cook gently, stirring, until temperature reaches 82 degrees celsius.

Cool the mixture in fridge and then put it in a freezer (or use your ice cream maker). After about 1-2 hours it is ready to be whisked. Whisk 1-2 minutes and return to the freezer. Repeat this after an hour and again until it is  frozen.

To make beautiful sundaes I baked some gigerbreads, too. I used a recipe I found in Kinuskikissa internet site. I used gingerbread moulds but also made some sticks of different shapes. I think they are funny and very suitable for sundaes. To add colour, I spooned some whipped cream on top of ice cream, then added a couple of cranberries. Merry (soon to be) Christmas!

Gingerbread "decorations".
   


Frozen Yogurt

I find the resipes for frozen yogurts most interesting. There is an huge variety of the basic ingredients and preparation methods. Still, it seems to be easier to make frozen yogurt than ice cream. At least it is faster. My first try was based on a recipe I found in Yogurt from Home web site. I used Bulgarian yogurt, strained in fridge overnight. So here is how I made my Vanilla Frozen Yogurt:

Ingredients
1,5 dl (2/3 cups) sugar
3,75 dl (1,5 cups) milk (I used whole milk)
1 egg
500 g Bulgarian yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

Scoop the yogurt in a colander wich is placed on top of a bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in a fridge overnight (or at least for 4 hours).

In a heavy pot, combine milk, sugar and egg. Constantly stirring, cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens a bit (temperature reaches 82-85 degrees celcius).

Let the mixture cool, then blend in yogurt and vanilla. First place the mixture in the fridge. After it is cool put it in a freezer. Let it freeze for about two hours. Remove from the freezer and whisk for a while. Place back in the freezer and after an hour whisk again. Repeat until the mixture is too hard to whisk. I found the frozen yogurt very tasteful when it was still a bit soft.  

It tastes delicious, you should give it a go!

1. Milk, sugar and egg combined, 2. strained yogurt, 3. whisking it all together, 4. nearly frozen yogurt