Springtime is in the air. It was about 75 degrees today and sunny. The kids are out running around all over the place and people are all out enjoying the weather. Flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping, and so on and so forth. I'm sure there are happy couples frolicking or whatever it is they do in movies and such when it's nice out.
You know what that means right?!!?!?!?!?!?!
My allergies are kicking up, it's unbearably hot in my office (it cools down to a chilly 78 degrees overnight) and, most importantly, I have taken out my ice cream maker!
First up, Chai Tea Ice Cream. My recipe is an adaptation of this recipe from Simply Recipes.
10 black peppercorns
2 1.5" cinnamon sticks
all spice (maybe 1/2 a tsp of some old allspice, so it'd be about 1/4 tsp? of fresh stuff)
12 cardomom seeds
1/4 cup black tea, I used Assam
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste
Coarsely grind the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Add these, the all spice and tea to a pan with the milk, 1 cup cream and sugar. Slowly heat to a simmer, then turn off and let it steep for about 30 minutes, stir once or twice to make sure everything is wet and infusing.
Put the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly strain the milk mixture into the egg yolks, straining out the tea and spices. Stir the egg yolks while streaming in the milk to temper them.
Pour this mixture back in the pan and cook slowly until it coats the back of a spoon.
Put the cup of cream remaining in a bowl and pour the tempered mixture in and stir. Chill the bowl for a few hours or overnight. Stir in the vanille paste. I suppose you could use extract or steep a vanilla bean in the base.
Now Elise at Simply Recipes didn't grind the spices. I left out the stare anise since I don't have any. I also used a gunpowder tea, whereas I assume her recipe uses a loose leaf tea so I probably ended up with more tea-ness than hers did. The base, before you pour it into the other cup of cold cream, was incredibly dark and I was a bit concerned that I may have had too much spice and/or tea. Her recipe called for 3/4 cup sugar but I used 1 because my standard is 1 for my basic ice cream base, that doesn't have any sweet add-ins, like fruit. Of course my base also uses 4 cups of milk/cream but I didn't look at her recipe until after I had added the sugar and of course it was too late then. I also added the vanilla paste because I add it to pretty much everything sugary that I make. Mine has a very strong chai flavor. Very strong. Next time I'll probably cut back the tea a bit. Also, I maybe didn't wait long enough for the bowl of my ice cream maker to freeze. It was solid, but just barely when I started the churn, making for a very dense ice cream.
My next ice cream was Nutella Ice Cream from Chocolate and Zucchini
1.5 cups Nutella
1 can evaporated milk
Heat the Nutella and evaporated milk for a minute or so in the microwave. Stir until fully integrated, heat more if needed to get it uniform.
Churn in your ice cream maker.
Can this recipe get any simpler? I don't think the churning process did anything. I didn't gain any significant volume. There were some air pockets in it, I would say those came from the churning process. Next time I'd just melt everything together, let it come to room temp and freeze. All the fat and whatnot in the Nutella must keep it soft. I actually used the rest of my jar of Nutella and then some Whole Foods brand version of the stuff. I can't say I can tell the difference between the brands. I'd read on some blogs about some with 40% or something hazelnut and much less sweet and stuff but the Whole Foods one is just as sweet as the Nutella one.
On the plus side, the temps dropped to about 55 from the time I started this post (Saturday) and finished (Sunday) making the ice cream. And it's been rainy most of the day.