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"The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz on ice cream


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#31 John DePaula

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:19 PM

I was at Chocolate Arts a couple weeks ago and they had this book on display at the counter. I flipped through it and I just had to have it. All the recipes look amazing. So far I've only tried the chocolate ice cream (French style). It's so ridiculously rich and chocolatey that I can only manage a couple spoonfuls at a time – but in a good way! I'll try the chocolate sorbet next, John.

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That's how I feel about the sorbet - so rich that only a few spoonfuls is enough. Hard to believe that it's sorbet... but as someone pointed out to me, it's milk & cream-free - but not fat free and certainly not calorie free! :laugh:
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#32 John DePaula

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:27 PM

According to reviewers on Amazon, you should (must?) pre-freeze the bowl at least a day before making ice cream.  If that isn't a problem for you, then it looks like a nice unit.

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Mine's like that (Cuisinart ICE-20). If there's room in your freezer, you can just store the bowl in there so it's ready to go whenever you have a craving for homemade ice cream.

I'm going to pick up some lemons on my way home from work and make a lemon sorbet tonight. I still have some of the chocolate ice cream left – lemon sorbet with rich chocolate ice cream is one of my favourite combinations.

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I've had a little cheapo hand crank Donvier for years and I just keep the cannister in a giant ZipLoc bag in the freezer. And it's fine, though I don't think it produces as smooth a result as my new compressor style ice cream maker.

I'm interested in hearing about your Lemon Sorbet results. I had this amazing Lemon Sorbetto in Sicily (Syracuse) and would really like to reproduce it at home. I bought a kilo of Sicilian Lemon puree from Boiron Freres and wonder if David's recipe could be adapted to use it. Or I may just use their suggested recipe which has atomized glucose and stabilizer.
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#33 David J.

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 07:56 PM

I'm working on chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches right now.

I had a real problem with the cookie dough recipe though. It calls for 5 tablespoons of butter to mix in with 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour. My dough was left swimming in butter even after quite a bit of mixing. I had to pour out the extra and towel off the dough before continuing. It couldn't quite take all the 3/4 cup of chocolate chips specified.

The sandwich cookies are cooling on the counter. They are rather crisp, but should soften in contact with the ice cream when left in the freezer for a day or more.

#34 David Lebovitz

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 12:58 AM

I'm working on chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches right now.

I had a real problem with the cookie dough recipe though.  It calls for 5 tablespoons of butter to mix in with 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour.  My dough was left swimming in butter even after quite a bit of mixing.  I had to pour out the extra and towel off the dough before continuing.  It couldn't quite take all the 3/4 cup of chocolate chips specified.

The sandwich cookies are cooling on the counter.  They are rather crisp, but should soften in contact with the ice cream when left in the freezer for a day or more.

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Hi David J:

You actually are referring to the recipe for the 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough' under the 'Mix-Ins' chapter, which are soft nuggets of dough intended for adding raw to a finished batch of ice cream, rather than baked into cookies. The instructions don't advise baking them.

The recipe for 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies' is on page 224, in the 'Vessels' chapter. There's a photo there as well.

(You can perhaps crush the cookies you've baked into crumbs, press them into a pie dish and fill it with ice cream to make an ice cream pie!)

David L.

Edited by David Lebovitz, 12 May 2007 - 02:41 AM.


#35 foodie52

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 05:03 AM

Hi David! Looking forward to your Austin visit!!!

(You came to my birthday party 5 years ago after a class...)

#36 David J.

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 07:43 AM

I'm working on chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches right now.

I had a real problem with the cookie dough recipe though.  It calls for 5 tablespoons of butter to mix in with 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour.  My dough was left swimming in butter even after quite a bit of mixing.  I had to pour out the extra and towel off the dough before continuing.  It couldn't quite take all the 3/4 cup of chocolate chips specified.

The sandwich cookies are cooling on the counter.  They are rather crisp, but should soften in contact with the ice cream when left in the freezer for a day or more.

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Hi David J:

You actually are referring to the recipe for the 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough' under the 'Mix-Ins' chapter, which are soft nuggets of dough intended for adding raw to a finished batch of ice cream, rather than baked into cookies. The instructions don't advise baking them.

The recipe for 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies' is on page 224, in the 'Vessels' chapter. There's a photo there as well.

(You can perhaps crush the cookies you've baked into crumbs, press them into a pie dish and fill it with ice cream to make an ice cream pie!)

David L.

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Hi David,

I guess I wasn't clear, I made both the 'Mix-Ins' Cookie Dough and the 'Vessels' sandwich cookies. I baked the sandwich cookies and they came out hard rather than soft (even after trimming the baking time by several minutes), but I understand that they will soften when in contact with the ice cream. Did you mean to have them cool off crisp or still be a bit soft?

The 'Mix-Ins' cookie dough didn't absorb all the melted butter you called for. I don't know what the problem was, but I had a couple tablespoons that I had to pour out after several minutes of mixing.

I finished the ice cream last night and mixed the dough pieces in before putting it in the freezer to harden up. I'll see how that turned out in just a little bit.

David

#37 apronstrings

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 07:54 AM

I have made the Chocolate Sorbet several times. It's heavenly. Thinking of adding some mix-ins next time, but would that be gilding the lily?

#38 John DePaula

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 02:51 PM

David, I've always enjoyed the pix on your blog and flickr; they're really professional in quality. I'm curious why you didn't do the photos for the book yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with the Lara Hata photos - the cover photo is killer, by the way!

Edited by John DePaula, 12 May 2007 - 02:53 PM.

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#39 djyee100

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 04:03 PM

There was an interesting article in the NYTimes a while back about the new ice cream machines that are self-refrigerated, and were affordable. I don't have the link, but if you're in the market for a new machine, you might find it helpful if you search it out.


The article is entitled, "Test Kitchen: Churning Out Ice Cream..." by Denise Landis, published August 16, 2006. It is available on the NY Times website at http://select.nytime...DA10894DE404482

The article will cost a small fee to view unless you have a subscription.

I thought the article was helpful and informative.

BTW, I went looking for The Perfect Scoop at my local Barnes & Noble, and the cookbook wasn't in yet. Argh!

#40 emmalish

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 06:39 PM

I'm interested in hearing about your Lemon Sorbet results.  I had this amazing Lemon Sorbetto in Sicily (Syracuse) and would really like to reproduce it at home.  I bought a kilo of Sicilian Lemon puree from Boiron Freres and wonder if David's recipe could be adapted to use it.  Or I may just use their suggested recipe which has atomized glucose and stabilizer.

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I'm eating some right now. It's wonderfully tart with strong lemon flavour – not overly sweet. It's amazing that a few lemons, a bit of sugar, and some water can create such a delicious treat!

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#41 emmalish

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 08:18 PM

I made the Philadelphia style chocolate ice cream tonight. I was a little worried about all that unsweetened chocolate, but it all made for a really intense chocolate flavour. I confess I was lazy and didn't put the mixture in the blender before chilling it (it looked smooth!), so there's a bit of a grainy texture, but the flavour is still amazing. I'll know not to cut corners next time I make this. I'll definitely be making this one again!

I think I'll try the chocolate sorbet next (although I have three containers in the freezer right now, so I'll need to wait awhile before I try the next recipe).

Edited by emmalish, 14 May 2007 - 11:34 PM.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#42 David Lebovitz

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 04:10 AM

John: Thanks for the compliments on my photos. We used a professional for the book since ice cream is notoriously tricky to shoot. The stylist was just as critical and George Dolese is one of the very best in the business.

Emmalish: Yes, I don't like to have another piece of equipment to wash either! But when using unsweetened chocolate, which is usually grainy, I find it's necessary to whiz the mixture in a blender.

And thanks for posting that link to the NYTimes article.
I remember it being pretty informative.

(Sometimes you can search on Google and find the article 'cached' as well.)

#43 cookman

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:31 AM

I think I'll try the chocolate sorbet next (although I have three containers in the freezer right now, so I'll need to wait awhile before I try the next recipe).

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I just made the chocolate sorbet, using a high-quality cocoa and bittersweeet chocolate. It's fantastic--easily the best recipe I've had for chocolate sorbet!

#44 emmalish

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:34 AM

Hee! Yes, I've learned my lesson, David. Next time I'll know better! (seriously, it looked smooth!) But in the meantime, this one is still edible. And again, it pairs beautifully with the lemon sorbet (which I will be keeping a steady supply of in my freezer all summer).

Every time I flip through this book, I see another recipe I can't wait to try. The pink grapefruit champagne sorbet sounds amazing.

I just made the chocolate sorbet, using a high-quality cocoa and bittersweeet chocolate. It's fantastic--easily the best recipe I've had for chocolate sorbet!

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Oh yes, I meant to mention the chocolates I used – Scharffen Berger cocoa and Valrhona unsweetened in the Philadelphia style, and SB cocoa and Guittard bittersweet in the French style.

Edited by emmalish, 15 May 2007 - 09:30 AM.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#45 John DePaula

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:27 PM

Ok, so I just finished making the base for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream. I know it's not actually in the book, but I think it is relevant and on topic.

The custard must cool in the refrigerator for 8 hours, so I'll process it tomorrow. I'm a little concerned that it may not be sweet enough. This is just the base without the caramel praline included yet. The caramel was dark, and just beginning to smoke as instructed, but not burned. Hmmm... David suggests to mix in some Dark Chocolate Truffles for a variant. When I first read this, I thought it might be too cloying, but now I think they may be essential. Luckily, I have some dark chocolate truffles on hand... :rolleyes:

I think the truffles would be a good addition but as a separate experiment I may try to marble it with some leftover dark chocolate ganache squeezed from a piping bag.

I'll let you know how it turns out!
John DePaula
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#46 John DePaula

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 03:03 PM

I processed the Salted Caramel Ice Cream today and it is, in fact, too bitter. I guess I must have cooked the caramel too long.

By adding the dark chocolate ganache, and then some white chocolate chips, it helped to sweeten it up a bit and mask the bitterness.

I thought this one would be one of my favorites but I think that's going to be the Chocolate Sorbet.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#47 Tri2Cook

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:04 PM

I processed the Salted Caramel Ice Cream today and it is, in fact, too bitter.  I guess I must have cooked the caramel too long.

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Except for a few situations (mostly savory), I almost never cook caramel as dark as recipes looking for "on the edge of burnt" tell me to. I'm not big on bitterness as a dessert component. There's probably a pastry instructor somewhere that wants to thwack me on the head with a wooden spoon for that but that's how I do things. So far, nobody has ever said "ya know, that caramel really should be more bitter".
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#48 John DePaula

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:12 PM

I processed the Salted Caramel Ice Cream today and it is, in fact, too bitter.  I guess I must have cooked the caramel too long.

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Except for a few situations (mostly savory), I almost never cook caramel as dark as recipes looking for "on the edge of burnt" tell me to. I'm not big on bitterness as a dessert component. There's probably a pastry instructor somewhere that wants to thwack me on the head with a wooden spoon for that but that's how I do things. So far, nobody has ever said "ya know, that caramel really should be more bitter".

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Yes, I agree. I like caramel a lot but I think I just cooked this one a bit too far. Next time, I'll stop cooking much sooner.
John DePaula
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#49 chezcherie

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:27 PM

Ok, so I just finished making the base for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream.  I know it's not actually in the book, but I think it is relevant and on topic.

The custard must cool in the refrigerator for 8 hours, so I'll process it tomorrow.  I'm a little concerned that it may not be sweet enough.  This is just the base without the caramel praline included yet.  The caramel was dark, and just beginning to smoke as instructed, but not burned. Hmmm...  David suggests to mix in some Dark Chocolate Truffles for a variant.  When I first read this, I thought it might be too cloying, but now I think they may be essential.  Luckily, I have some dark chocolate truffles on hand...  :rolleyes: 

I think the truffles would be a good addition but as a separate experiment I may try to marble it with some leftover dark chocolate ganache squeezed from a piping bag.

I'll let you know how it turns out!

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when i made this, i found that by the second day, the caramel chunks melted into the ice cream, making it a bit sweeter (even though my caramel was quite dark too). i'd be interested to know if this happens with your batch.
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#50 David Lebovitz

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 01:28 AM

In the Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, the chunks of caramel are intended to meld into little pockets of salty caramel. Some may stay crisp but for the most part, they're gonna melt.

Caramelizing sugar is something, as most of us know, is all about 'technique' rather than a recipe and getting it to the right stage is something you just need to practice. Too little and it just tastes like melted sugar, but too cooked and it tastes burnt. Some folks like a bit of a charred edge to their caramel (Michael Recchiutti calls his 'Burnt Caramel Sauce in fact). And that's the way I like it as well. But the recipe can certainly be customized to your liking. I'm not sure what to recommend if you don't think the recipe is sweet enough since if you add more sugar, it's not going to freeze very firmly. I did end up reducing the fat to compensate for the extra sugar in the mixture and the finished ice cream, once it's spent some time in the freezer after churning, is the perfect texture for me.

Edited by David Lebovitz, 19 May 2007 - 03:13 AM.


#51 Tri2Cook

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 08:02 AM

I made the bases for the Roasted Banana and the Salted Butter Caramel after we closed last night. I haven't run 'em through the machine yet but they taste awesome. I didn't find the caramel lacking sweetness or at all bitter but, as I mentioned, I don't take my caramel to the edge of black very often so maybe that made a difference. The freebie recipes and all the good comments here have sold a book for you, I ordered it this morning. I've never bought an ice cream book before, I like making up my own, so this should be fun.

edit (update): The roasted flavor of the banana is really nice, I let a friend at work try a bite without telling her anything about it and she said "it tastes like banana bread". Good stuff.
The salted caramel, I'm waiting 'til tomorrow to let anyone try it so the praline can settle in a bit but I did take a small taste while putting it in a container and it's really good.
That put me in an ice cream mood so I made a batch of Kona coffee ice cream (my gf is a coffee ice cream addict and prefers it without add-ins so gotta keep her happy) and, since I just happened to be drinking a Guinness, I made a batch of Guinness ice cream with caramelized cocoa nibs too.

Edited by Tri2Cook, 19 May 2007 - 11:26 PM.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#52 takomabaker

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:34 AM

I made the roasted banana ice cream this weekend with great success. I was afraid that my bananas were too ripe, but the ice cream was fantastic. I had a pineapple that was getting overripe, and I made the candied pineapple as a topping. Very, very yummy.

This weekend, for my Memorial Day cookout, I've decided to do an ice cream bar with ice cream and toppings from the book. I can hardly wait to try more. Next is either green tea or lavender-honey.

#53 tejon

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:40 AM

I made the Vanilla Frozen Yogurt a few days ago, and am really enjoying it. The drained yogurt adds a bit of tang and a wonderful, rich texture. I'm thinking of adding some cocoa powder to my next batch to make a chocolate version as well.
Kathy

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#54 bloviatrix

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 07:22 AM

I made a batch of chocolate ice cream. Unlike other recipes I've used, this one calls for both cocoa and chocolate. The result is a very chocolately ice cream. I added peanut butter patties to it to make "peanut butter cup ice cream." Quite heavenly, with good texture.
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#55 Abra

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 10:12 PM

I'm really curious about the folks who had success with the Roasted Banana. Yours didn't get rock hard? Maybe I needed to whip it more?

#56 John DePaula

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:43 PM

I made the French Vanilla Ice Cream (p24) for Memorial Day. I served it with homemade sour cherry pie* and, since everyone wanted to try it, some Rhubarb Sorbet. Ok, I admit it David: I’ve been unfaithful to you! I made someone else's Rhubarb Sorbet. But it was for a good reason: One of my guests was allergic to strawberries. So you see, I couldn’t make your Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet (p129). I’ll save that one for another time. Perhaps I could have substituted Raspberries or Loganberries?

Anyway, I thought the French Vanilla was very classic. Smooth and delicious, not too sweet. Lots of little vanilla seeds floating around and a bit yellow from the yolks. Good flavor. This one must be foolproof since I did slightly overcook the custard – it was beginning to break. (I could vividly imagine Didier, my pastry chef at school, grabbing the pot, taking a quick stir, shoving it back at me with the pronouncement: ‘Refais!’ i.e. ‘Remake.’) However, I just soldiered on with the cooling and chilling overnight. As I said, it turned out fine and was very popular with my guests. I really want to compare this one side by side with the Philadelphia-style vanilla.

By the way, someone asked me today what is the difference between ‘gelato’ and ‘ice cream.’ Thanks to David’s book, now I can answer that question with some authority!

*Special thanks to Alana for helping out with a question I had about the pie. It turned out just lovely, Alana!
John DePaula
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#57 John DePaula

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:47 PM

I'm really curious about the folks who had success with the Roasted Banana.  Yours didn't get rock hard?  Maybe I needed to whip it more?

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I haven't made this one yet but Wow! it's right at the top of the list. Especially if I get time to do all of David's suggested pairings for an updated banana split: Classic Hot Fudge sauce, Whipped Cream, or Marshmallow sauce, Candied Cherries and of course, I have to have some toasted pecans.
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Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#58 nduran

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:52 PM

I converted the Vietnamese Coffee recipe to a Thai Iced Tea recipe but I found the amount of sugar brought in by the 1.5 cups of condensed milk to make it a little too sweet and syrupy going down. It also didn't want to freeze and took over 24 hours to really harden. I think I'm going to try it again and swap out half of that condensed milk with regular cream and see how it goes.

The Fresh Ginger recipe came out pretty well, though I let it steep for about five hours rather than one as it just didn't seem to get strong enough for my taste. Still not positive I like the combination of eggs and ginger, but a friend of mine who absolutely despises ginger liked it, so what do I know.

#59 tejon

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:55 PM

I made Salted Butter Caramel ice cream this last weekend. I got the caramel reasonably colored without going to more of a bitter edge (personal preference). The base ended up tasting like a really rich caramel sauce, very smooth and creamy in texture already. Here's what it looked like before chilling:
Posted Image

Once I put the base in the ice cream maker it didn't get as firm a I would have expected, but it did firm up a good bit on sitting in the freezer afterwards. The resulting ice cream was unbelievably good. The only thing I'd change is the amount of salt in the praline. I'm assuming I should have used 3/4 tsp of a coarser salt (which would have been less in terms of actual sodium content) versus the finer salt I used. Next time I make it (which will be soon!), I'll use a rounded 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt.
Posted Image
Kathy

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#60 John DePaula

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 05:12 PM

I made Salted Butter Caramel ice cream this last weekend. I got the caramel reasonably colored without going to more of a bitter edge (personal preference). The base ended up tasting like a really rich caramel sauce, very smooth and creamy in texture already. Here's what it looked like before chilling:
Posted Image

Once I put the base in the ice cream maker it didn't get as firm a I would have expected, but it did firm up a good bit on sitting in the freezer afterwards. The resulting ice cream was unbelievably good. The only thing I'd change is the amount of salt in the praline. I'm assuming I should have used 3/4 tsp of a coarser salt (which would have been less in terms of actual sodium content) versus the finer salt I used. Next time I make it (which will be soon!), I'll use a rounded 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt.
Posted Image

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Oooo that looks just great, Kathy! I did end up enjoying the last batch of this that I made (more than I did at the start) but think I'll prefer to not take it so far, i.e. a lighter caramel, next time.

BTW, I served mine with a scoop of Chocolate Sorbet and it was really good together.
John DePaula
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Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”