Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ice cream: black sesame and thai tea

when i got my kitchen aid mixer (seven years ago!), it came with two accessory options: pasta maker or ice cream maker. obvious choice: ICE CREAM. since then i've tested out lots of different recipes (traditional custard base, philadelphia style, eggless, non-dairy) and made quite a few flavors (mint, mint chip, vanilla, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, lemon, basil, roasted hazelnut, banana, beer, black sesame, pumpkin, chocolate mint, honey lavender, avocado, kona coffee, malted chocolate...).

my favorite sources for flavors and recipes are: 
* jeni's splendid ice creams at home 
* sweet creams and sugar cones
* we all scream

custard-based ice creams always make me a little nervous--i worry that i'll overcook the eggs and still have trouble using up all those leftover egg whites--so i was most excited about jeni's eggless ice cream recipes (we all scream also uses recipes adapted from jeni's). the base is simple: milk, heavy cream, sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup (i usually substitute with agave syrup), and cream cheese. it freezes well (no ice crystals) and produces a slighty "chewy" consistency more like a thick gelato. it's super adaptable too, which i guess is true for most ice cream bases :P

i don't really buy regular milk unless i need it for baking/ice cream making, so whenever i make ice cream i often end up making more than one flavor because i want to use up as much milk as possible. my most recent ice cream batches were asian-inspired: black sesame with orange blossom water and thai tea.

this is the second time i've made black sesame ice cream but the first time using orange blossom water. it is a VERY strong flavor. it kind of reminds me of incense...not sure if that's a good or bad thing. at first it seemed to slightly overpower the black sesame flavor, but after a few more tastes i think it's a nice complement. that being said, i might use half the amount next time because i would prefer the toasted black sesame flavor to stand out.

whenever i order thai iced tea i drink it way too fast, and i feel like there's always a bit too much ice. no problem with this ice cream. it's super smooth and creamy and fragrant, and a small amount goes a long way. i realized in making it that i really like steeping tea leaves in milk; it smells so nice! (and the bright orange color doesn't even scare me.)

mmm, ice cream. i think the next asian-y flavors i want to try are (milk) oolong and kaya toast. yes?
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:: black sesame with orange blossom water ice cream ::
(recipe from we all scream)

1/3 cup black roasted sesame seeds, toasted and pulverize
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp milk
1 cup milk
1 cup coconut milk*
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup*
3 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
pinch of salt
2 tbsp orange blossom water

* i subbed out the coconut milk for heavy cream because i forgot to get coconut milk; i don't think it affected the texture. i also prefer to use agave syrup instead of corn (it's also what i have around the kitchen).

1. toast sesame seeds in a skillet, stirring frequently, until fragrant. set aside to cool.
2. pulverize the toasted seeds and add to milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup.
3. bring milk and cream mixture to a boil for 4-5 minutes.
4. remove from heat and whisk in slurry of cornstarch and 2 tbsp of milk.
5. return to simmer for 1 minute until thickened.
6. strain into cream cheese, sesame oil, and salt.
7. stick in freezer until chilled, then refrigerate overnight.
8. churn in ice cream maker for about 20 minutes or until thickened.
9. freeze for a few hours.
10. ENJOY!

:: thai tea ice cream ::
(recipe from we all scream)

2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup thai tea leaves
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup

1. heat half-and-half until simmering. do not boil.
2. remove from heat and add thai tea leaves. steep for 15 minutes.
3. strain back into a saucepan, adding heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup.
4. let simmer for about 1 minute.
5. pour into a ziplock bag; immerse in ice bath.
6. refrigerate until cold.
7. churn in ice cream maker for about 20 minutes until creamy.
8. transfer to container with parchment paper pressed on top.
9. freeze for a few hours to set.
10. ENJOY!

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