Monday, January 19, 2009

The First Scoop

Excitement! Tonight I completed my very first batch of ice cream, which was a success. The machine: 2 quart Cuisinart ICE-30 BC in stainless steel. The flavour: vanilla bean. I chose this for its classic simplicity and richness. It's the Chanel No. 5 of ice cream. To begin, I whipped together milk and heavy cream, sugar and a surprising amount of egg -- 4 yolks and 3 whole eggs to be exact. It was also the first time I split apart a vanilla bean, which had a strong, fragrant aroma like the smell of fresh coffee beans. I let the milk and cream mixture come to a slow boil then a simmer for 30 minutes. At this point, I noticed the texture was thickening and becoming more clumpy. Is this good or bad? After I combined all the ingredients together, I set the bowl in the fridge to chill overnight. Then I let the machine get to work (albeit quite noisily!).

The next morning, m.creamcone, the name of my ice cream, was born thanks to a fun brainstorm session with my friend Rachel over IM. This evening, the name was seconded by another friend Mike, who I just traveled with to Nicaragua, and he even came up with a future flavour -- Red Bull and Vodka. Very creative!

It's with this kind of creativity that I hope my ice cream will eventually become. My aspiration along the way is to develop a sophisticated palette and create unique flavours with flair and fun. But before that can be, I must perfect the base from which I can experiment with. As mentioned, tonight's first batch was considered a success in that it came out creamy and very edible, however it had too much of an egg-y taste, more like the custard that my mom used to bake. It was also a bit too sweet. (I'm trying another recipe next time and cutting down the sugar). Compared to Haagen-Daz's Vanilla Bean, I have a long way to go but what a delicious and decadent standard to aim for.

I hate to spoil this post with calorie and fat info but I never considered the nutritional value of ice cream. For this recipe: Calories 257 (64% from fat). carb. 19g. pro. 4g. fat 9g. sat. fat 11g. chol. 166mg. sod. 50 mg. calc. 86 mg. fiber 0g. That's why I always choose to ignore.

Now who wants to try some?

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