Chocolate-Blackberry Ice Cream

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I think I’m finally becoming a true Texan.

Not to say that I haven’t been an ACTUAL Texan these years, but let me tell you… I HATED Summer. Loathed it, even. I yearned for that week of Winter. For years I’ve loved Winter more than any other season. Now I find myself looking forward to the warmer weather.

Ok. Maybe it’s not the actual warm weather I’m looking forward to, but instead everything that warm weather brings with it.

Summer fruit, hello! Shorts. Beautiful flowers. Bright, sunny days. Laying poolside with a margarita in hand. Campfires and s’mores. Weekends at the river. And most importantly… ice cream.

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Any and all ice cream. It’s a must down South, it’s kinda hot. Take it from a girl that could get perfectly ripened peaches a month ago. Maybe I should make some peach ice cream next!

But for now, I’m sharing a strange pairing with you: blackberries and chocolate. It works. Use amazing chocolate and ripe blackberries, and a splash or two of heavy cream and never look back.

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Chocolate-Blackberry Ice Cream
Yields about 3 cups of ice cream

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 Tablespoons (40 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
2 cups (240 g) blackberries, fresh*
small pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoons dark rum, optional

* I used fresh blackberries but frozen berries should work just fine. I would suggest to let the berries sit in it’s bath a bit longer.

Instructions:

Measure the heavy cream, cocoa powder, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan and whisk to combine (to make things easier I set my saucepan on my scale and measured all ingredients in it to save dirty dishes).

Set the pan over medium heat and, whisking frequently, bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil. My mixture was pretty thick to start out with, but this is OK, it will thin out once it heats. Turn off the heat under the pan, add the vanilla extract and dark rum and give it a good whisk. Then add the blackberries. Cover the pan and set aside for 10 minutes.

Puree the mixture in a blender, immersion blender or a food processor, making sure that there are no large clumps of blackberries left. Strain mixture into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (overnight is good). The mixture will be thick – almost like pudding – once chilled.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to airtight container and store in your freezer. Top with whipped cream, a healthy dose of unhealthy toppings and dive right into Summer!

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Adapted from The Perfect Scoop via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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As I’m sure I’ve said a billion and one times, I’m from Houston. And here in Houston, there really isn’t such a thing as Autumn. In my opinion, 80-something degree weather isn’t reminiscent of Fall.

But this isn’t me complaining (…yet, give me a few more weeks) but rather relishing in these last few weeks of warm weather.

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The last few weeks of shimmering, golden sunlight gently falling on your sleepy face, peeking through that tiny slit in your curtains that, if it were not for the sun, you’d never notice. The last opportunities to walk around the flea markets hand-in-hand with your husband as you point out all the fluffy, adorable puppies that you demand he buy you, but he never does. The last chances to simply stand outside, stretch and breathe in deeply, inhale the warmth of the sunlight. The last moments to enjoy wearing your favorite feminine, flowy, flowery (alliteration!) tank top before you sadly (and begrudgingly) have to banish it for a few months.

And the last few excuses you have to make delicious, creamy ice cream that reminds you of far away islands.

This ice cream is creamy, flavorful and chocked full of graham cracker goodness. And it’s super simple to whip up. Make this before it’s too late ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Cooking Light via Good Life Eats

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup lime juice*
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 graham cracker sheets, coarsely crushed

*Note: I used fresh squeezed lime juice but the original recipe states that bottled lime juice can be used. Just be sure that it is as fresh as possible.

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk; whisk to combine.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment and let it run for the suggested 25 minutes and my ice cream was not what you would consider soft serve, so I let it run for another 10 minutes until it became more solid.

Stir in the crushed graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges or lime zest if you wish.

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Ahhhh, who am I kidding? I love ice cream so much that I’m sure I’ll post more in the Winter months. After all, I am the loon who drinks hot cocoa and eats chili in the Summer and craves ice cream in the Winter.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

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I was never a big fan of strawberry ice cream. I was the one who dug out all the chocolate ice cream from the neapolitan mix and left the other two flavors alone and lonely. Yep, that was me. Unrelenting. It’s not that I hated strawberry ice cream (or vanilla for that matter) but it just wasn’t my favorite by any stretch of the imagination. So there it sat with it’s partner in crime, Vanilla.

But this strawberry ice cream… I will eat by the quart, huge spoon in hand. Happily, willingly and blissfully. It is bursting with fresh berry flavor, lightly sweet, and completely enamoring.

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I never know when certain fruits and vegetables are in or out of season. I just buy what looks good and what I like to eat but never really pay attention to WHEN I buy it. But one thing I do know is that strawberries are Summer fruit. Strawberries are fruit, right? Sheldon Cooper says they aren’t. But I digress…

When Summer ends, I mourn the loss of fresh, tasty strawberries.

Since it’s still Summer in Texas (and, unfortunately, will be for quite some time) I’m going to go ahead and post this amazing ice cream. I sincerely hope that delicious strawberries are still available where you are. If they aren’t, I’m pretty sure you can use frozen berries, thaw and drain them.

Give strawberry a chance, please make this.

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Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Adapted slightly from here

Ingredients:

1 pound strawberries, washed and stemmed
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a medium bowl, lightly mash strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and the tablespoon of lemon juice. Toss to combine and set aside. Alternatively, put this in your food processor and pulse a few times just to cut up the fruit. You do not want a smooth puree.

In a saucepan, stir together cream, remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, and salt. Bring the cream mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then take the pot off the heat. DO NOT take your eyes away from cream on the stove, ever. It can go from merrily bubbling to overflowing mass in 0.3 seconds.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly add a ladleful of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the pot of cream and whisk until incorporated. Bring the liquid back to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 5 โ€“ 6 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl.

Puree the strawberry mixture in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Stir the strawberry puree into the cream mixture until completely incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming while cooling. Place bowl in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to cool completely โ€“ at least two hours.

After it is well chilled, freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions. Or make it without an ice cream maker a la David Lebovitz.

Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet – TWD

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Usually when any of my friends ask me anything about baking, cooking or ingredients, I have some sort of well thought out answer and even other suggestions just in case. That makes me feel like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. It makes me feel smart.

But every now and then I’ll learn something new that makes me feel, for the lack of a better word, dumb.

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I didn’t know that there was such a thing as chocolate sorbet. I knew there were strawberry sorbets, and lemon sorbets and all kinds of other fruity sorbets. I thought sorbets were a fruity thing. Turns out… that’s not true. So I felt anti baking savvy.

But now I know. I’m a bit wiser, I’ve learned something new. Silver lining, I’m a big fan.

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This sorbet is not for the faint of chocolate hearts. It is very rich, delectably creamy and sinfully chocolatey. If you’re going through a heat wave (like we in the South are) this is the way to get your chocolate fix without having to turn on your oven!! Whew!

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Simple, quick, chocolatey and cool. A must make. I added some peppermint extract (about half of the recommended amount) and contemplated adding in chopped mint candies but decided against it at the last minute. So tasty!!

Head over to Steph’s beautiful blog, A Whisk and A Spoon for the recipe (or click here).

Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream with Salted Bourbon-Caramel Sauce for Sundae Sunday!!

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Did you ever have ice cream socials in school? I did. I was lucky, I had them in elementary school and my last one was in high school. To the teachers, it was a comfortable social setting for all the kids to get to know one another. For me, it was an excuse to have copious amounts of ice cream with sprinkles while hanging out with my friends and ditching class with permission ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was a good kid.

Now I am…. a bit older, and I am honored to join in on an online ice cream social with some Twitter friends. Any excuse to make ice cream, right? Not only did I get to make and post about ice cream, I get to see the amazing creations of my twitter peeps AND eat the ice cream that I made.

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And with triple digit weather around these parts, my inner peace really needed the calming qualities of ice cream…. and bourbon. I’m still a good kid ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you know me at all, you know that I couldn’t just make any ole ice cream, I had to go all out. I scoured my bookmarks and came across this recipe that I had long forgotten about, checked that I had all the ingredients and I was off. And I can’t be happier with how it turned out! The ice cream is creamy and delicious, the sauce compliments it wonderfully, and the toffee adds texture! Win-win-win.

Now if only this ridiculous heat wave would GO AWAY, life would be pretty much perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

I am honored to have participated in Sundae Sunday along with some great company. To see the entire line-up of amazing treats from amazing bloggers, head on over to Di’s blog, or click here to be taken directly to the post.

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Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes 1 1/2 pints

Ingredients:
1 cup Bourbon (you can probably dial this down to 3/4 cup if you aren’t a huge fan)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used a bit of vanilla bean paste as well)
2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk

Directions:
1. Pour the bourbon into a saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil until liquid is reduced by one fourth, about 6 minutes. At this point you’ll notice the strong scent of the bourbon. Don’t inhale too deeply, you’ll get drunk. Just kidding.

2. Add vanilla and cream, and heat over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 150 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, and pour the bourbon cream into the eggs in a thin stream, whisking until the liquids are combined. Return the mixture to the pan, and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the candy thermometer reaches 175 degrees F, 3 to 4 minutes. Add milk. Transfer the ice cream base to a container with a lid, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Don’t expect this to be very thick, it will be quite thin for an ice cream base.

4. Pour the chilled bourbon custard into an ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturerโ€™s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a container with a tight-fitting lid, and cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap. Put the lid on the container, and freeze until the ice cream has hardened, at least 2 hours. (It will keep for up to 1 month.)

Salted Bourbon-Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I used Lite)
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted, doesn’t matter)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Bourbon

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a low boil.

2. Gently swirl the mixture in a circular motion (do not stir), and allow it to boil down until it is a deep amber color, at least 10 minutes.

3. Carefully whisk in the cream, protecting your hand from the steam. Immediately whisk in the butter. Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth.

4. Stir in salt and bourbon, and whisk again. Remove from heat and allow to cool before using.

Top a few scoops of ice cream with the caramel, stick in some delicious toffee, grab a spoon and enjoy.

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All recipes adapted from Adapted from here

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

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If sitting indian style on my kitchen counter eating a sliver of this goodness while typing out this blog post is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!!

I won’t keep you for long. I am very well aware that you’ve seen the picture and now you want nothing more than for me to NOT run off on a tangent and disrupt you from the recipe… well THAT worked out.

This is essentially a giant chocolate chip cookie baked in a cast iron skillet until golden and irresistible.

I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while and for some reason or another I’ve been pushing it off. Opportunity knocked when Tracey was available for a Twitter bake-along and she was as indecisive as I usually am. But for some reason I remembered this recipe, she was in and we were off.

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A quick mix of the cookie dough, another minute to press the dough into the skillet and it is ready to pop into the oven. The best part about this (aside from the fact that it’s delicious) is that you are encouraged to eat it warm out of the oven!! That’s right, no waiting for it to come to room temperature or to chill.

Also encouraged: plop a giant scoop of ice cream on top and drizzle it with caramel sauce! OR decorate it with yummy frosting and give it as a cookie cake for a special someone’s birthday!!

Either way, this is good stuff!!

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Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
From Martha Stewart

Makes one 10″ cookie / 8 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 9 oz) chocolate chips (I used bittersweet and semisweet)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mix until fully incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute.

Transfer the dough to a 10-inch ovenproof (I used cast-iron) skillet, and gently press to flatten in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. If the dough sticks to your hands try lightly spraying your hand with baking spray and continue.

Bake until the edges of the cookie are brown and the top is golden, about 40-45 minutes. Don’t overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. (My wire rack can’t support my cast iron skillet so I just placed it on pot holders to cool.)

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Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream

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As I sit here and watch TV, it amazes me the things you’ll see.

A woman coming clean about having slept with her sister’s boyfriend and fathered his child and hid it not only from her sister, her fiance but her sister’s fiance as well. SURPRIIIISE.

A tribute to hollywood couples, some of which make me misty-eyed (and make my top list too!)

Ozzy and Bieber in a commercial together. There was also something about 6G?!

And Anne Hathaway being tackled by James Franco.

None of this has anything to do with this ice cream, but eating a bowl while you watch trashy tv couldn’t get any more perfect. Unless you drizzled it with hot fudge or caramel sauce. Just sayin’

This ice cream is so creamy dreamy delicious. It gets its deeper flavor from the vanilla beans and brown sugar. A match made in heaven.

The only odd ball ingredient is the dry milk powder, which is usually sold in bigger than necessary boxes. But have no fear, you’ll be making this ice cream again and again!

Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream
From the Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry skim milk powder
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split & scraped, reserving the seeds & pod

Directions:
1. Fill a large pot with about 3 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Set a large bowl over the top, and check that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water (this is a double broiler or bain-marie setup). (Remove the bowl and use it to combine the ingredients for the ice cream.)

2. In the large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, salt, skim milk powder, egg yolks, vanilla bean and seeds, and vanilla until completely combined.

3. Place the bowl on top of the simmering pot. Be sure the water is simmering, not boiling. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened to nappante (thick enough to coat the back of the spoon), 5 to 10 minutes or approximately 180 to 185ยฐF on a candy thermometer.

4. Cool the custard in an ice bath. Strain the mixture into a resealable container. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

5. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. *

6. Transfer to a resealable container and freeze 4 hours or overnight before serving.

* If you don’t have an ice cream maker but you have a food processor or blender just strain the mixture into your processor bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours. Once it is cooled, stick it in the freezer for half an hour. Pull it out of the freezer and stick it onto the base and pulse it until it looks smooth again. Repeat this process for 2-3 hours. Once it is frozen and creamy, put it in a resealable container and store in your freezer.

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