Posts in Frozen Treats

Rootbeer Float Ice Cream Cake

July 14th, 2015 Posted by Desserts, Frozen Treats No Comment yet

root beer float ice cream cake-3

This ice cream cake was from Father’s Day and I rescued just one slice to photograph for you. It was SO good. The real winner was the cake part! 

So this cake started with a hike in the woods. Joel and I went hiking and we were discussing what to make for Father’s Day. We were having our families over, and of course, our dads, for the Second Annual Father’s Day BBQ. I always like to make the dessert something that the dads really like. My dad always liked making root beer floats (and ice cream in general). So my simple idea was that we just make root beer floats (I’m making several other things… keep it simple, right?). As we’re hiking along, Joel says, “Why don’t you make a root beer float ice cream cake?” And I said. “Wut.” Yes. YES! (can you see why I love this man?)

So my only reservation was the fact that I didn’t really know how to make this dang thing. Joel says, “You’ve got one week to figure it out.” Ha. Thanks. 

I did some research, and we talked it out. Here’s what we came up with. Make a cake, add root beer flavoring to it. Then with the vanilla ice cream, swirl some more root beer into it. As I made each part of this cake, the method evolved.

You can make it with any vanilla cake recipe or even a boxed cake (you’ll need about 2 layers, so keep that in mind when choosing your recipe.) I tried Joy the Baker’s Yellow Cake recipe from her newest book, Homemade Decadence. It was amazing! It’s my new go-to. Totally versatile. Yes, Joy, I will be agreeing that we can just use this cake recipe from now on, thanks! So you can use that or make your favorite vanilla cake recipe. You want to start with a cake batter rather then pre-made cake because you’ll add some root beer syrup to the batter. The Joy recipe made 3 layers, but hey, the other layer went in the freezer and we made some cake and ice cream milkshakes. 

I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of root beer flavor, so I also added a brush of the syrup on to each cake layer as I made the cake and then root beer syrup and root beer into the icing, which I adapted from this recipe for stabilized whipped cream, which I now kinda love and want to make again. 

So here’s the thing you have to do. Start with two bottles of good quality root beer, such as Virgil’s or some similar type with real sugar. Simmer it and reduce it down to about 2/3 of a cup (alternatively, you could use root beer flavoring, at most grocery stores in the baking aisle by the extracts). Truthfully, I think an extract will give you the best flavor here, but the syrup is good too! 

  1. Make your cake. Add 1/3 of a cup of the syrup you made to the cake batter. Let the layers cool and wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then put them in the freezer, at least overnight (you can do this up to a month ahead of time). This will make it easier to cut and spread ice cream on too. 
  2. Make your root beer syrup, let it cool, and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to layer. You could do this 3 days ahead of time. 
  3. Assembly day: start somewhat early in the day assembling the ice cream cake. Let your vanilla ice cream melt for about 20 minutes. Line a metal (metal helps it freeze faster) bread loaf pan with parchment paper, then plastic wrap so that each side has a three inch over hang (this will help you un-mold it after it’s frozen) and start layering.
  4. To layer: Put a layer of cake down first, brush the syrup over it and then brush some straight, un-reduced root beer over that. Then put a layer of softened ice cream down and then put another drizzle of root beer syrup and a little more straight root beer. Freeze about 2 hours or until hardened enough to spread on the next layer. When the two hours are close to up, take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before you want to spread it so it can get melty again. Make the next layer: add the cake, syrup, root beer, ice cream, syrup, root beer and freeze another 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. Make the stabilized whipped cream. Use the overhang of parchment to un-mold the frozen cake and place it on a platter lined with parchment that will fit back in the freezer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of the whipped cream frosting. This is just the base layer. Freeze the cake 15 minutes, then spread on the remaining whipped cream in a nice, thick layer. Drizzle more syrup and root beer over the top and let some of it drip down the side. Make swirl patterns with your frosting knife so that the syrup gets a little mixed into the whipped cream… but kinda resembles that root beer froth… get it??  Freeze until serving time. 

root beer float ice cream cake-2

 

There you have it! To simplify, you could use already baked pound cake, and just brush the syrup over it… but I’ll leave that up to you.

All I know is, the dad’s loved it. 

Rootbeer Float Ice Cream Cake
 
Recipe Type: Ice cream cake, Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • Your favorite vanilla cake mix, or Joy the Bakers Yellow cake
  • 2 bottles good quality root beer
  • 1 carton Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream
  • 1 ½ cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cold water
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Make the syrup: simmer two cups of the rootbeer and reduce it down to about 2/3 of a cup (alternatively, you could use roughly 2 tablespoons root beer flavoring in the cake, available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle by the extracts). You want to save the extra syrup and any extra root beer (you can allow it to go flat) for brushing on the layers, and adding to the frosting.
  2. Make your cake. Add 1/3 of a cup of the syrup (or 2-3 tablespoons extract) you made to the cake batter. Let the layers cool and wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then put them in the freezer, at least overnight (you can do this up to a month ahead of time).
  3. Assembly day: Let your vanilla ice cream melt for about 20 minutes. Line a metal (metal helps it freeze faster) bread loaf pan with parchment paper, then plastic wrap so that each side has a three inch over hang (this will help you un-mold it after it’s frozen) and start layering.
  4. To layer: Put a layer of cake down first. Be sure to fill the bottom of the pan. I set the pan on top of the cake and then used it as a template to see where I needed to cut, then placed the cake snuggly in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Brush the syrup over your first cake layer and then brush some straight, un-reduced root beer over that. Then put a layer of softened ice cream down and then put another drizzle of root beer syrup and a little more straight root beer.
  6. Freeze about 2 hours or until hardened enough to spread on the next layer. When the two hours are close to up, take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before you want to spread it so it can get melty again.
  7. Make the next layer: add the cake, syrup, root beer, ice cream, syrup, root beer and freeze another 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  8. Make the stabilized whipped cream. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small, microwave-safe bowl and let sit 1 minute or until absorbed. Microwave gelatin on high 20 seconds; it should finish clear. With mixer, using the chilled whisk, beat the cream until peaks just start to form. Gradually add sugar. While mixer is running, slowly pour in gelatin mixture. Add vanilla, 2-3 tablespoons of reserved root beer syrup, and finish beating when stiff peaks form. Use the overhang of parchment to un-mold the frozen cake and place it on a platter lined with parchment that will fit back in the freezer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of the whipped cream frosting. This is just the base layer.
  9. Freeze the cake 15 minutes, then spread on the remaining whipped cream in a nice, thick layer. Drizzle more syrup and root beer over the top and let some of it drip down the side. Make swirl patterns with your frosting knife so that the syrup gets a little mixed into the whipped cream (optional). Freeze until serving time.
 

 

 

 

Seville Orange Ice Cream

January 23rd, 2015 Posted by Desserts, Frozen Treats No Comment yet

seville orange ice creamThis is magic ice cream. It’s magic because you don’t need an ice cream maker! Nigella Lawson dreamed up this recipe, in her book Nigella Bites. Seville oranges are in season usually around January. They are very bitter, bracing and just perfect in this ice cream.

seville orangesIf you can’t find these particular oranges, Nigella suggests an “eating” orange, which I assume is a navel or any kind you like to eat, and some limes. It won’t quite be this ice cream that is magic, but it will still be delicious and ease the gray of a dreary winter day. 

seville orange ice cream

From Nigella’s website

Seville Orange Ice Cream
 
Recipe Type: Ice Cream, Desserts
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 seville oranges (or 1 eating orange and 2 limes)
  • 1 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 wafers (to serve–optional)
Instructions
  1. If using Seville oranges, grate the zest of 2 of them. Squeeze the juice of all 3 and pour into a bowl with the zest and sugar. If you’re going for the sweet orange and lime option, grate the zest of the orange and one of the limes, juice them and add to the sugar as before.
  2. Stir to dissolve the sugar and add the heavy cream.
  3. Whip everything until it holds soft peaks, and then turn into a shallow air-tight container (of approximately 8 cups) with a lid.
  4. Cover and freeze until firm (from 3 to 5 hours). Remove to ripen for 15-20 minutes (or 30-40 in the fridge) before eating.
  5. Serve in a bowl with wafers or however you like.
 

 

Salted Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

July 2nd, 2014 Posted by Desserts, Frozen Treats 3 comments

Salted Chocolate Mint Ice Cream by Sugar Pickles

Thoughts about ice cream:

Memories from my childhood come to me like pockets of hot steam in a hand pie. They are distinct, clear, and separate. I don’t have a flow of what happened when, or what happened after. It’s more like in the middle of the day, of doing something else, a memory will come and it’s as clear as the day it happened. I only get a glimpse sometimes. I don’t know why memories of my childhood are like this, I don’t have a memory or brain condition (that I know of). I’m just not great at keeping chronological events from getting muddled.

When I do remember, I can’t shake those memories for days. This time, it was ice cream.

We were camping. The smell of pine all around. I was sitting on top of the hand crank ice cream maker while my brothers and cousins took turns cranking. The crunch of the rock salt was a roar, all the laughter and talking was sailing above it, and everyone was standing around waiting for it, even the adults.

Ice cream really has a special place in my heart. It was almost a nightly tradition, a contest, an expression of creativity and a family bonding act. But this was nothing like the tube of Neapolitan that got pulled out of the freezer for friday movie night. This ice cream was special, everyone getting a small soft mound in their paper cups. This ice cream tasted richer, stronger, and lasted longer on my tongue.

When I tasted that hand cranked ice cream, I think I began to understand what a reward for hard work could be. Doing something by hand can result in a really, really good thing.

Salted Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Today I might not use a hand crank ice cream maker, but everything about this ice cream is worth the wait. Creamy, minty, with just the right amount of salt. The chocolate candies are like Andes mints all grown up. The fresh mint is perfect, and the rich eggy ice cream base is something to get lost in.

You know, though all this remembering, I can’t get over how my dad lugged that clunky hand crank ice cream maker to the middle of the woods, giving up valuable trunk space. It’s proof that I’m his daughter. Now that I think of it, it’s a perfectly practical thing to take camping.

Salted Chocolate Mint Ice Cream
Makes about 4 cups. 

A few notes about this recipe: 

This recipe is adapted from Kathy Casey’s book, Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, a charming book about the great northwest; including Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Southern Alaska. I highly recommend it. 

The second thing I wanted to tell you is that I used an ice cream maker attachment to my Professional Kitchenaid Mixer. I store the ice cream bowl in the freezer so that it’s at the ready for any emergency ice cream making. If yours is stored elsewhere, you’ll need to freeze it over night to achieve the desired results–that being, ice cream that is actually frozen. 

The recipe for the salted mint chocolates you’ll make for this provides you with lots of extra candies. You’ll find them useful for a midnight snack. Adding the entire pan might be over kill (if there is such a thing), so about 1 cup for the ice cream is excellent. The candies can be made ahead of time (up to a month, I’d say) and stored, already chopped, in the freezer in a plastic bag. The ice cream base can also be made up to a day ahead of time. 

When making the ice cream base, tempering the egg yolks is extremely important. It is crucial that you do not get impatient (just think of those hand crank days). Slow and easy is the key to a silky smooth ice cream. Sometimes employing a helper to whisk or pour is just the ticket to relieve the pressure from your shoulders. If you do get small lumps, you’ll strain the ice cream later, so it’s not quite the end of the world.

First: make the candies.

Chocolate Mint Candies:

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Directions for the candies:

Put metal sheet pan with sides (like a jelly roll pan) in the fridge or in a cool part of the house (even a basement or garage depending on the time of year).

Melt the chocolate, butter, and salt in a double broiler. When the chocolate is mostly melted, add the peppermint extract.  Remove the pan from the heat and sift the confectioners sugar over the bowl of melted chocolate, then whisk until well blended. Pour into the cooled sheet pan and spread it out until it is mostly even thickness (it might not cover the entire pan).

melting chocolate over a double broiler

Salted Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Salted Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Let it cool in the fridge or put it in the freezer until hardened. If it is a warm day or your kitchen is warm, the freezer is your best bet. This chocolate candy melts very easily.

Leave the chocolate candy tray in the freezer until chilled. Just before preparing the ice cream maker, remove the pan from the freezer and give it a decent smack down on your counter top. It should break into pieces. Chop each chunk into rough pieces or perfect squares, whatever gives you the most delight. Store in the freezer until you are about 5 minutes before the end of churning the ice cream.

hardened candies

salted chocolate mint candies

salted chocolate mint candies ready

For the Ice Cream: 

4 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

6 egg yolks

1 cup chopped mint candies, in jagged pieces is fine

Directions for the ice cream:

In a heavy bottomed medium sauce pan, combine the cream and sugar. Tear the mint sprigs to lightly bruise them, and add them into the cream mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Once at a simmer, turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner.

mint ice cream

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Using a ladle, slowly take 1/4 cup-1/3 cup hot liquid and, while whisking with your other hand, stream the hot liquid into the egg yolks. Yes, I’m suggesting that you do two things at once with each hand, and while I realize this might be ridiculous, you might surprise yourself. However, if you find this impossible, simply lower the amount of hot cream to a few tablespoons, spooning this into the egg yolks and then whisking the cream into the yolks. The idea is to do it slowly and gradually.

tempering egg yolks

When you’ve brought the yolks up to almost near the temperature of the hot cream mixture, you can be much quicker about it, switching actually to slowly streaming the eggs into the hot cream, whisking vigorously.

Remove from the burner and set somewhere cooler, to let it come back down to room temperature. This mixture will form a skin on the top if not occasionally whisked or stirred as it cools, so just stop by every once in awhile and give it some love in the form of a stir.  When cooled, place in the fridge in a covered bowl and refrigerate for two hours. You want it very cold when you stir it into the ice cream maker.

After at least two hours, take the mixture out and strain it into a new bowl, using a fine mesh strainer. Discard the recovered mint leaves.  Stir the chopped mint into the chilled ice cream base.

mint ice cream base

 

Prepare your ice cream maker.

Pour the ice cream into the maker, according to the manufacturers instructions. Mine calls for the ice cream maker to running on low while I pour in the base, which gives the churning a running start. Churn for 20-30 minutes, adding in the chopped salted chocolate candies during the last five minutes.

chocolate candies go into the ice cream base

Scrape the ice cream into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer until ready to serve. You could just eat it, out the ice cream maker, with a long spoon and a stupid grin on your face. That’s precisely what I did. Eat this outside, preferably in the presence of pine trees.

 

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