Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream and Cookies

Today is a special day. Not only is it the 29th of February, a day only occurring once every 4 years. It’s 2/29/2012, a day that will occur only once; a day filled with peace,  love and happiness. To that end, I present Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream. What’s the special occasion? Eating this ice cream, of course.

Paul loves white chocolate. I often find him in the pantry eating my white chocolate chips. True story! I know white chocolate brings out strong emotion in people and divides people into different camps. You love it, you hate it, or you like it okay. I’m in the third group but I find myself baking with it more and more. You’re welcome, Paul. ;)

I churned up a batch of David Lebovitz’s White Chocolate Ice Cream from his book The Perfect Scoop. Since white chocolate is the main attraction, I used my block of Callebaut. No chips here. This is a repeat recipe. I’ve made it once before. Again, you’re welcome Paul. My repeat list is very short.   This time I swirled in some biscoff spread because it’s oh so good and since we discovered it we’ve been using it in everything.

White Chocolate Ice Cream

From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place the white chocolate  in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate.  Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I baked up a batch of Alice Medrich’s Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk  Cookies from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy to go with the ice cream. These are  a little different than other versions because you grind up rolled oats and add them to the batter. It makes them taste a bit nuttier and heartier than the traditional version. Very tasty. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photos by Paulrus

{twd} Ice Cream! Yum Yum.

Yes, this week Tuesdays with Dorie is “baking” ice cream. And it’s so yum. Burnt Sugar Ice Cream to be exact. Which pretty much is caramel ice cream. So good. I also made David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe HERE) from his new book Ready For Dessert which “they” say are better than the Thomas Kellar Chocolate Chip Cookies. Sorry, Lebovitz. The Kellar cookies are better.

Thanks to Becky of Project Domestication for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, please visit her blog or buy the book. Fun fun! This ice cream is GOOD. Unfortuately, I have 4 different ice creams in my freezer right now. Since I got rid of my main ice cream eater last year they tend to stick around. Who wants to come over for an ice cream social???

{sms} mini strawberry rhubarb cobblers

With apologies to Tracey, I only made a third of the components of this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie. It was supposed to be a biscuit-topped cobbler in a pie crust. I didn’t make the pie crust and I’m not a fan of biscuit toppings for cobblers. I made the strawberry-rhubarb filling though!

For the the cobbler topping I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything and I made 1/2 the recipe of the filling which I baked in mini-ramekins. I ate mine with Fresh Ginger Ice Cream a la David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. It was the perfect dessert for a warm lazy Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for hosting this week. Check out her blog for the recipe and  her fabulous content/pictures. She’s also one of my blogging friends, although I admit I haven’t been active in the food blogging world as of late.

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Star Cookies and Eggnog Ice Cream

You probably all don’t know this, but I just got back from vacation. :P And on this vacation I bought vanilla beans. A lot of vanilla beans. Although most of the beans I bought came from Taha’a, French Polynesia, I also bought some in Vava’u, Tonga.

The quality of the Tongan beans doesn’t compare to the Tahitian ones and my Polynesian friends scoffed when I showed them my purchase. Visually  I knew the quality wasn’t there, but they smelled like vanilla and the price was right–10 beans for $5. I figured I could use them when vanilla isn’t the star of a recipe or maybe to make vanilla sugar.

Last Saturday, I invited my intrepid pastry sous-chef Diego over to help me get back into the post-vacation baking swing of things. When I asked him what he wanted to bake, he told me ice cream. Okay, not really baking–but I heart ice cream so all is good. We flipped through The Perfect Scoop looking for a recipe I hadn’t made and had all the ingredients. We came upon Eggnog Ice Cream. Not only did it meet my criteria, it was also seasonally appropriate. Score!

{I realize Diego is holding a duster and not a whisk in the above picture, but he also likes to clean in addition to baking.}

The original  recipe calls for vanilla extract, but I decided to test out my Tongan beans and used two of them instead. The ice cream is wonderful. Not only is it perfectly creamy, it packs a punch of flavor with the perfect combination of vanilla, nutmeg, and booze. Oh, yes–not only do I heart ice cream, I heart boozy ice cream most of all {see: Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, Tiramisù Ice Cream, Prune-Armagnac Ice Cream}.

You can find the recipe for Eggnog Ice Cream HERE. Note: To sub the vanilla beans, I scraped the seeds into the sugar and rubbed them with my fingers until the sugar was moist and fragnant. I then added the milk and 1/2 the cream into a medium saucepan with the sugar and vanilla seeds and pods. Once heated, I let it seep for 30 minutes and then proceeded with recipe as written.

I paired the ice cream with a cookie in which vanilla beans are the star (ha ha) of the show: Tahitian Vanilla Bean Star Cookies. The recipe comes from the Sunset Magazine 2009 Holiday Cookbook special issue and doesn’t specify what type of bean, so use what ever type you have on hand.

The cookies are simple butter cookies with the ingenious addition of a vanilla bean. No need to refrigerate before rolling and cutting, so if you are a speedy baker you can have cookies in less than an hour. {I am not a speedy baker}. I may change the name of these cookies to Tahitian Vanilla Bean Bliss Bites. These are now my go to roll and cut sugar/butter cookies. YUM.

You can find the recipe for Vanilla-bean Cookies HERE. {Note: I also used the scrape seeds directly into sugar and rub method here. I find this a better method for mixing the seeds into the sugar.}

Rice Gelato

Last year, while on Taha’a, I bought a bunch of Tahitian vanilla beans. I used my last Tahitian bean to make the Rice Gelato from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. Today, I’m back on Taha’a (80% of Tahitian vanilla beans grow on this island) and stocking up on vanilla beans. I think I will buy twice as much as I bought last year because this will be my last trip to the region for quite awhile (if ever again).

This recipe was definitely worth using my last bean. In addition to vanilla, the gelato is flavored with orange zest and tastes like frozen rice pudding. You can find the recipe HERE.