Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two Scoops and Three Thousand Tasting Spoons

I made two different types of ice cream last night and froze one of them this morning. My book club is going to eat well -- these two flavors are to accompany another member's molasses cupcakes!

I used a base from Gelato, Sorbet, and Ice Cream by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern with stunning photos by James Merrell.

I divided the mixture into two parts as they suggest in the book, and to one I added 1 tsp of cinnamon and about a half a cup of red hots. To the other I added 1 cup of cherries, a quarter cup of cherry syrup and about a teaspoon of Trader Joe's awesome vanilla bean paste.

One thing I hate about making custard based ice creams is the vague "coat the spoon" direction. What the heck does this mean? I am never sure it has coated the spoon and then I get that scrambled egg thing -- which isn't the end all be all. I just learned in David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop that you can put the warm scrambled eggs in a blender to save the mixture. I have also in the past poured the mixture through a strainer.

Another thing Lebovitz did (man, this may be my new favorite book!) was give me a good description of the coated spoon thing. A couple of tips I picked up:
  1. your finger leaves a definite trail in the custard
  2. an instant read thermometer should read between 170°F and 175°F (they'll scramble above 185°F)
Red hot ice cream still needs to freeze but I will write in a couple of days about the final outcome as well as the group's reviews and hopefully post pictures as well!

In the meantime, here is a link to and an image of some super cool tasting spoons my sisters bought me for Christmas! Aren't they pretty? Not sure what I am going to do with three thousand spoons, especially since I also like to recycle, so despite my husband's protests, these will go in the sink to be washed and reused, but they certainly are pretty and will come in handy at the annual ice cream party I have!

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