Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream

I can’t believe its already November. After my long stint on the East coast, it feels good to be back in SF. Now that Halloween has passed, I’m excited to start counting down to Thanksgiving and Christmas! I don’t know why, but I’m super stoked about the holidays this year. Really, I just want an excuse to eat stuffing and gravy and watch Elf a gazillion more times. Smiling is my favorite.

Red velvet cake ice cream kind of gives off a holiday party vibe. I made this ice cream to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It has bits and pieces of red velvet cake and the ice cream itself is creamy and tangy, just like the frosting you would find with red velvet.

Chris and I went to a wedding this past weekend since getting back from Philly (from another wedding!). It certainly feels like this is the year to get married, but who are we to talk since we are next!

Will + Ro/ Independence Hall/ Reading Terminal Market

We were able to squeeze in some time playing tourist in Philly. We, of course, ate cheesestakes (from Pat’s) and got our history on while admiring the Liberty Bell and accidentally stumbling into Betsy Ross’ house. The wedding was held at the Kimmel Center and it was gorgeous! Our table caught on fire during the reception. I have no idea how but luckily, we didn’t burn down the building…just a small hole in the table. 

Marc & Jeani (& the wedding cake I made!)

The wedding we went to this past wedding was held at the General’s Residence at Fort Mason. I loved the vintage vibe! And because I baked the wedding cake (pumpkin for the top tier, cardamom for the bottom), I was left with more egg yolks. I figured out a system on how to use them all up and by system I mean make ice cream. Pretty much each batch of swiss meringue ice cream equals a quart and a half of ice cream. I find it to be the easiest way to use up all the egg yolks except now my freezer at any given point, is full of homemade ice cream, wedding cake and buttercream. There is hardly any room for the ice cube trays. Ice is overrated anyways.

This was a fun ice cream to make (and eat!). You only need four red velvet cupcakes and you can find a small batch recipe here.

Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream
Makes about 1.5 quarts 
Recipe from My Kitchen Addiction

Get

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 red velvet cupcakes

Make
*Combine the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, but do not allow the mixture to boil.
*Meanwhile, using a stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is light and lemony in color. Add the cream cheese and beat until the mixture is smooth. While mixing, gradually add in about 1 cup of the hot cream. (This will temper the eggs so they do not scramble when adding to the saucepan!)
*Add the tempered egg mixture to the saucepan, and continue to cook, stirring continuously. until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
*Allow the ice cream base to cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap (pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the custard), and refrigerate until cold (at least 2 hours).
*Freeze in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
*While the ice cream is freezing, use a fork to smash the cupcakes. Once the ice cream has been frozen, alternate layering the ice cream into an airtight container with the red velvet cake crumbles.
*Freeze for a few hours in to let it harden.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Ice cream? Isn’t it getting cold?

No! It’s freakishly warm in SF. I do miss foliage, and the crisp Autumn air, and eating freshly made apple cider donuts. But I guess this Indian summer thing is kind of cool.

You know what the opposite of cool is? The Giants 0-5 season.

Is it too much to ask for one win? Just one. Maybe in the next game against the Bears? This is too much isn’t? I don’t even know what to say anymore. The Giants kind of, really suck. I want to think it will get better but I’m sinking into a deep depression and the only thing that can pull me out is this beauty of an ice cream – chocolate hazelnut.

Side note: photographing ice cream is not easy. It’s fairly melty in my sauna of an apartment. But this ice cream doesn’t last long once its out – it’s so creamy and delicious!

The past several days have been interesting to say the least. I made a wedding cake for some good friends who got married in Half Moon Bay. I find myself getting less and less stressed out delivering cakes – yay! (It’s still not easy.) My friends from Boston came to visit a few days later and I got to spend quality time with them. It made me realized how much I miss all of them!

From left to right, top to bottom: wedding cake! / “reunited and it feels so good” /baby noah getting all the attention/ a teensy tiny apple cake/ a naked pumpkin cake. 

I also took a quick trip down and back from Monterey for a baby shower, organized another wedding cake tasting, and spent a day in the hospital. One of my visiting Boston friends went to the ER on Sunday and had to stay overnight. It turns out sometimes food poisoning is not always the cause of throwing up one’s entire stomach contents. Long story short, he is okay and back to his usual spirit.

Lets talk about this ice cream and what it reminds me of – Ferrero Rochers. When I was growing up, Ferrero Rochers were like a goldmine. We rarely had them in the house, but when we did, we would all scramble for them. What I love about this ice cream is that the chocolate and hazelnut is so incredibly silky and smooth. And the chocolate pieces create a nice chewy texture. What better combination than chocolate and hazelnut! I’m going to eat a bowl while watching the Giants win (this is me practicing the law of attraction).
By the way – this is how the ice cream looked after five minutes in my apartment:
Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
Recipe from Completely Delicious

Get

  • 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped, divided (I used TCHO Classic Milk Chocolate.)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts on an even layer on a non-greased sheet pan. Bake the nuts for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let the nuts cool completely, then rub them in a kitchen towel to remove much of the skins as possible. Finely chop the hazelnuts in a food processor.
*Warm the milk with 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture starts steaming, and before it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
*Meanwhile put 4 ounces of the milk chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
*Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through a strainer into a separate bowl squeezing the nuts to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the hazelnuts and return the mixture to the saucepan and set over medium low heat.
*In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. When the hazelnut mixture is warm, slowly add about 1/4 cup of the mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, while whisking constantly. Pour the custard through a strainer into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
*Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate during the last 5 minutes of churning.
*Let the ice cream firm up in the freezer before serving.

Enjoy!

Kahlua Coffee Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

The smell of coffee is probably one of my favorite aromas ever. I’m not addicted to caffeine (that’s what they all say) but there is something divinely intoxicating when you’re enjoying a good cup of coffee. It’s gotta be somewhere up there with chocolate and bacon.

This ice cream is made by infusing two cups of whole coffee beans with milk, cream and sugar. Then adding Kahlua and crushed Oreos. Drool. Can you drool over ice cream? I think I just did.

Last week felt like a circus or zoo. I’m not sure which analogy makes the most sense. It was “crazy busy” to say the least. I didn’t get back from NY until Wednesday which left me with 3 days to finalize the wedding cake for my friends’ wedding that weekend. I also started a new job! But more on that another time. So I was working at my new job and simultaneously working on this wedding cake which was a golden yellow cake with lemon curd and raspberry filling with lemon buttercream.

The wedding was about 2 1/2 hours North of the city in Lake County. We drove up early Saturday morning to deliver and assemble the wedding cake. I did my usual “Dear God, please let us get there in one piece” prayer and I’m happy to say there were no cake mishaps despite the windy and steep roads to the venue. The cake looked beautiful and people seemed to like it. Most importantly, the bride and groom were happy and that’s what counts. Overall, the wedding was a blast!

I’ve always avoided recipes that call for just egg whites, or egg yolks because I never know what to do with the remaining counterpart. But lately I’ve been embracing it.

When you make swiss meringue buttercream, you’re left with a lot of egg yolks. When you make three batches of the stuff, you end up with 18 egg yolks. HOLY SMOKES!

What to do with all these egg yolks? Unfortunately, unlike egg whites, it’s not as easy to freeze for later use because of its gelatinous properties. And don’t let them sit in the refrigerator for too long! A day or two max before they can become contaminated. Here’s what I did with my leftover egg yolks:

Custard – 4 egg yolks; good for cake filling or with fruit

Pate Brisée – 2 egg yolks; good for making homemade pop-tarts or tart shells

Butterscotch Pudding – 6 egg yolks; good for straight up eating

Kahlua Coffee Cookies and Cream Ice Cream – 6 egg yolks

This ice cream is for coffee lovers, for Oreo cookie lovers, for anyone really. I love the chunky texture of the Oreos and the smooth, silky coffee taste – not to mention the coffee aroma! I die.

Kahlua Coffee Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Recipe from Buttercream Blondie

Get

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups whole coffee beans
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 15-20 Oreos, crushed up

Make
*Bring heavy cream, milk, coffee beans, sugar, and salt to a simmer. Take off heat and let simmer for one hour.
*Bring mixture back up to simmer.
*While mixture is coming up to a simmer, whisk egg yolks together in a medium-sized bowl. Ladle in about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Make sure to whisk continuously.
*Pour egg yolk mixture into the pot and stir continuously over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens – about 3-4 minutes. You can test that its done by coating the back of a spoon in the custard and run your finger through the middle of the custard. If a clear path is left then your mixture is ready.
*Add vanilla extract and Kahlua.
*Strain mixture into a large bowl and place over an ice bath to cool down. Discard coffee beans.
*Once ice cream base comes to room temperature, cover and refrigerate overnight.
*Add mixture to ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
*Add in crushed Oreos.

Enjoy!

Roasted Banana Stracciatella Ice Cream

 

Things that are bananas:

-The London Olympics opening ceremony. Did you see the corgis?!

-Kristen Stewart cheating on Edward with some old man. 

-Last weekend I was preparing to go to Orange County; this weekend, Kabul. 

-This roasted banana ice cream:

Truly bananas.


Before we get to the ice cream, yes, I’m going to Afghanistan. At first I was really nervous and I went back and forth for a couple of days whether or not I would accept this work assignment. After talking to a few people who have been, I felt more comfortable with the idea of going. By no means is Kabul safe but I feel confident in the security efforts of where I will be. I am feeling anxious tonight as I pack and will probably feel really anxious until I get there. I don’t know what to expect. I am excited though for the opportunity. I hope to come back with some great pictures and stories. For now let’s talk bananas!

I had some really ripe bananas this week and I wanted to make something other than the usual banana bread. In comes this roasted banana ice cream. You must love bananas to make this because the banana flavor is very strong. When you roast the bananas it brings out a new dimension and you can definitely taste that in this ice cream. Don’t skimp by using skim milk either! Use whole milk to get that wonderful creamy texture. Also since I like to have a crunch or some kind of texture in ice cream I thought it would be fun to add in chocolate. Instead of mixing in chocolate chips I wanted a finer texture so I thought of my favorite Italian gelato – Stracciatella! 



Stracciatella comes from the Italian verb, stracciato which means “torn apart.” Typically stracciatella is vanilla gelato with shavings of chocolate that appear torn apart or shredded. I wanted to get that same effect here so I melted semisweet chocolate and added some vegetable oil. Then I drizzled the chocolate mixture in to my ice cream maker near the end of the freezing process. It came out really well. It’s the perfect treat before a long journey.  

Roasted Banana Stracciatella Ice Cream
Recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker via David Lebovitz
Makes about 1 quart


Get

  • 3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peels
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • semisweet chocolate (optional)

Make
*Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
*Slice the bananas into 1/2 inch pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring once during baking, until the bananas are browned and cooked through.
*Scrape the banana and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender. Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt, and puree until smooth.
*Chill the mixture for at least 8 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
*Pour mixture in your ice cream maker and begin freezing according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
*In the meantime, melt about 1.5 to 2 ounces of chocolate in your microwave in 15 second increments stirring each time until the chocolate is melted. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil.
*When there is 5 minutes left in the freezing process, drizzle in the melted chocolate to create the stracciatella. Use as much or as little as you want!

Enjoy!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

 

Yay, I just got an ice cream maker!

OK, more accurately it was six months ago and it was a Christmas present. But yay, I finally made ice cream with it!

I think part of me waited so long to open the box because I knew it would be like opening Pandora’s box. And in place of evil would be loads of ice cream pretending to be your friend, acting all pretty, sweet and comforting and then one day you wake up and you can’t fit into your jeans anymore. Yes, I know. It’s not the ice cream’s fault. I am slowly learning about this “self-control” thing.

Truthfully, this ice cream is not that bad for you considering what you find in the supermarket. That’s probably like saying, “This homemade crack is much better for you than the crack you would buy on the streets.” But hear me out. You will not find any corn syrup, xanthan gum, weird dyes, etc here. The ice cream is as pure as you can get. That has to count for something! It is light, not too sweet and bursting with strawberries. The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker recipe booklet where this recipe comes from says this is only 192 calories per serving! Ice cream can be our friend after all, in moderation of course.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Recipe from Cuisinart Recipe Booklet
Makes about 5 cups (ten 1/2 cup servings)

Get

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make
*Put the strawberries into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse strawberries until rough/finely chopped (depending on preference). Reserve in bowl.
*In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine the milk, sugar and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Stir in reserved strawberries with all juices. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
*Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!