Sunday, March 18, 2007

Unorthodox Ice Cream: Cardamom

Sunday morning breakfast.

Cardamom Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk
1 Tbs. vanilla bean paste (I -love- this stuff), or 1 vanilla bean
6 whole cardamom pods, smashed
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Put the milk, or light cream, vanilla bean paste and crushed cardamom pods into a heavy pan and bring slowly to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let infuse for 20 minutes. Take out the vanilla bean and scape the seeds into the liquid. Strain out cardamom pods.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Gently reheat the milk or cream and beat a little of it into the egg yolks. Pour the egg mixture into the cream and return the pan to a low heat. Stir until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; it will take several minutes. Do not let it boil, or you'll get pieces of scrambled egg.

Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir until it has almost cooled. Whip the whipping cream lightly and fold it into the custard. Add the 1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom. Freeze in an ice cream maker.

I originally made this ice cream with 8 smashed cardamom pods and 3/4 a cup sugar. It was delicious. However, it was as sweet as typical store-bought icecream, and I generally prefer desserts more nuanced. Tweak as you please!

The texture of this custard-based ice cream was everything I'd dreamed. The yolk rendered the final product exceptionally smooth and rich.

So what next? I've had spectacular rose- or lavendar-flavored ice creams; a jasmine green or black tea ice cream would be divine; and I've heard intriguingly positive feedback about avocado or olive oil ice cream. So much room to play! Thank goodness the weather is getting warm and a constant supply of (deviant) flavors is prerequisite.


Kit Chen said...

ooh... kind of unrelated because its not actually an ice cream flavor, but I was wondering what the following combination would taste like:

a subtly flavoured vanilla ice cream (maybe with some poppy seeds?)
topped with fresh strawberries, a syrupy balsamic vinegar, and cracked black pepper.

neither the ice cream nor the topping is an original idea... but put it together? Perhaps its time to admit defeat and go to bed.

also, probably a miss, but a sweet basil sorbet?

Another idea about toppings --
raw organic wildflower honey swirled into a vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with candied lavender bits?

Another probable miss-- but I've heard of people using the flesh (no seeds) of sweet summer tomatoes in cake (more like a summer bread pudding). Perhaps you could try using it like a fruit to flavor an ice cream? I've seen it in sorbets....

Monica said...

marscarpone ice cream with fresh berries and chocolate shavings; or lemon-poppyseed icecream; or...

Kit Chen said...

just logging our convo for posterity

olive oil topped with candied herbs (lemon thyme, rosemary, basil, lemon zest?)

almond and poppy seed ice cream

anise flavored with candied almond slivers

Kit Chen said...

actually... this is super asian and super contrived too...

but taro coconut milk ice cream with tapioca "bubbles". @_@

Monica said...

and lemongrass with thai basil and creme de coconut (fresh), and anise with candied almond slivers, and...

Monica said...

mango-lime-chile...with mint and sashimi garnish???
savory ice creams are very in with the gastro-experimental sort

Kit Chen said...

mango lime chili
with salmon sashimi and mint (or shiso) garnish

Kit Chen said...

hahah.. you beat me to it!

Kit Chen said...

you know...
I did a little web crawling to look for japanese ice cream flavours.

Raw horse meat with frozen chunks of horse folded in.

Rich and meaty!
Makes you "strong" if you get my drift.

Makes me wonder if they could make testosterone spiked ice cream for a libido kick. Now THATS an aphrodesiac!

Aron said...

oi. testosterone ice cream? on the subject of cardamom, try cardamom-orange peel or cardamom-banana. i made a delicious dessert by breaking a banana into chunks, sprinkling raw sugar on top, frothed milk (in a cappuccino cup), and powdered cardamom. yum.

Monica said...

maybe we could make savory truffle ice cream. not quite testosterone, but the male pig pheromone smell-alike qualities of truffles might come close.

Kit said...

i almost feel like truffles should have to be served at room temperature or warm lest the cold numb the tongue to the earthy headiness of it.

However, I was remembering also that one of my most favorite things in the world is truffle infused mashed potatoes....

and that I can eat potatoes at almost any temperature and be happy.

And then that train of thought led me to wonder if mashed potatoes would make a good addition to a savory ice cream?

Perhaps even as a base for a sharp cheddar flavor... or even truffle?

Kit said...

but then that lead me to think of thomas keller's salmon coronets in which he used ice cream cones as the inspiration to make crispy thin twill cookies filled with creme fraishe and topped with a tiny "scoop" of salmon tartare with chive garnish.

Anyway, here's an adaptation:
palm-sized parmesan "crackers" (baked parmesan cheese rolled into cones).
Filled with truffle infused smooth mashed potatoes (the consistency of soft serve ice cream), and topped with truffle "jimmies"

Monica said...

divine! let's do it!