Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carrot Cake

Rating: ****
Nickname: "The Carrot and the Stick"

I made a couple batches of ice cream for my moving day last weekend, as an incentive for the lovely friends and family who helped out. One was chai, a known favorite, and the other was Cheryl's suggestion for carrot cake ice cream, for which we used this recipe from the LA Times. The only modifications we made were not soaking the currants in whiskey, and adding 1/2 cup of milk (since we were that much short on the sour cream).

The candied pecans were extremely tasty, and had the most effect on the overall flavor. The cream cheese, sour cream, and lemon in the base made it more reminiscent of cheesecake than carrot cake, but I don't mind that at all, since cheesecake is awesome. The carrots themselves didn't actually come through very much in the taste, strangely enough (even with 2 cups of them). We had grated them, rather than dicing, thinking smaller would be better for going into ice cream. But maybe having slightly larger chunks would have been better. Still, the ice cream as a whole is very good, and very interesting, since there's so much going on in it.

One thing to note about making ice cream with so much cream cheese and sour cream in it: the base is so thick that it doesn't churn very well on its own. (You can see how thick it is in this photo, before it's even frozen, when we're just trying to pour it.) It very quickly seizes up into a giant lump in the middle and then just sits there. But luckily, this recipe has a lot of add-ins, so we just added those sooner rather than later, and that loosened in up enough to churn properly.

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