Sunday, June 14, 2009

Duo: White Chocolate + Strawberry

Rating: ****

I made these two ice creams for Cathy's birthday party yesterday. The white chocolate recipe was from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, and used 12 oz. of white chocolate, and no other sugar. The strawberry was straight out of Ben & Jerry's, and used strawberries from the Santa Cruz farmers market.

I thought the white chocolate was a bit odd. Mom said I could have used a better quality white chocolate, so that might have been it (but I was just using up some that she had bought, so hmph). The strawberry tasted excellent, though we had considerable freezing problems. The ice cream maker had been back in the freezer overnight, but still somehow hadn't gotten fully frozen. We kept putting it back in the freezer, ice cream and all, and re-churning it at intervals, but it never got beyond thick slush before it was time to eat it.

Luckily, this turned out quite well anyway. We served it all up as scoops of white chocolate ice cream, with a sloshy dollops of strawberry covering it. Yum!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Purple Yam with Marshmallow Swirls

Rating: ***
Nickname: "I Yam What I Yam"

Purple Yam! Well, this is one of the more amusingly weird ones I've made in a while. The inspiration for it came from sweet potato marshmallow casserole, which I thought was very strange the first time I saw it, though I loved it once I tried it. Cheryl had the idea to use purple yams instead of regular orange ones because... well, because they're awesomely purple, I suppose. I'm sure most of us don't get enough purple in our diets.

However, I'm afraid we went a bit overboard in the yam department. I'd gotten a big one -- over a pound, I think -- and we didn't think not to use all of it. Half to 3/4 of a pound probably would have been better. But anyway, we steamed it, then used electric beaters to mash it up with the cream, sugar, and vanilla. It seemed to be okay when we put it in the fridge to cool down, but when we took it out we found it had nearly solidified. We beat in more milk until we could pour it into the actual ice cream maker, but it just firmed right back up again. So it was getting colder, but not really churning much -- it was just like a big lump of mashed potatoes thumping around in the machine. Which meant it didn't really need to be in there, so we just took it out to put in the freezer.

Purple Yam Ice Cream We made the marshmallow sauce from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, and cooled it in the fridge while making the ice cream. That made it cold enough but still pourable, so it could be swirled in with the ice cream. Cheryl gets credit for the better swirl method -- after putting the ice cream in a container, she made a spiral trough in it and spooned the sauce in. Much neater than just trying to mix it, and easy since this ice cream holds its shape so well.

Anyway, I only rated this a 3 because, while it is sweet and yummy, it's still much more like eating mashed potatoes than ice cream. I'm sure it could be a 4 if we'd planned the proportions better.

Alternate nickname: "I Yam 30" (since this was my birthday ice cream).