Photo by ArtsySF and used with her permission.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Welcome All Newcomers

Hi everybody. I have been working slowly on this blog for a while now perfecting its content. I have just begun to advertise it to other bloggers, cooking groups, and list servers.

With all this new traffic, I feel obligated to mention a bit about my vision for this blog. Feel free to take any recipe from here and try it out. I want to hear about your results. If you think it can be better, please offer your suggestions. I take criticism well and look on it as an opportunity to improve my skills. A lot of my recipes are not mainstream so I appreciate responses that will help me develop flavors with more mass appeal.

If you decide to take my recipes and share them with others, please give me credit and point them to my blog. I would also appreciate you dropping me a private note letting me know you gave my recipe to someone.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mango-Lime Ice Cream with Gingered Carrots

I know I promised you a recipe for an alternative ice cream base, but circumstances required that I make this one instead to compliment an Asian themed meal.

I happened to go through Daniel Boulud’s Braise. Inside was a recipe for Mangos and Carrots with Honey and Ginger-Lime Whipped Cream. Carrots and Mangos make strange bedfellows, but who is this fellow to question Daniel Boulud? Intrigued by the flavor profile, I set about translating his recipe into an ice cream.

I have made mango-lime ice cream successfully in the past to rave reviews. Mangos have an affinity for lime. Achieving the right balance of the two ingredients leads to a more intense mango flavor than without the lime. The stumbling block was how to handle the carrots. Originally, I thought about making and Indian halwa and serving it as a sauce over the ice cream, but the meal was Chinese Fusion. So I decided to candy the carrots in simple syrup and ginger. After test freezing a few pieces of carrot overnight and finding that they remained soft I opted to incorporate them into the ice cream. The contrast between the yellow base and the orange carrots was striking and made for a more dramatic composition on the plate.

The results were favorable for the dessert, but I will revisit this ice cream again and probably change some of it. For instance, I left out some of Boulud's ingredients such as the star anise and honey. Also, instead of adding almonds to the ice cream I chose to make almond financiers. Perhaps almond extract or some toasted almonds would work well inside the ice cream. Since this blog is about ice cream, I will not post the financiers recipe. You can find it in Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration: New Approaches to Chinese Cuisine. The financiers were easy to make and yielded a light cake with a subtle almond flavor. I thought they did better after being refrigerated for 24 hours before being reheated and served.

For the base:

2 cups whole milk
2 cups cream
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3-4 ripe mangos
pinch of salt
Zest of 3 limes
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 lime)

1. Put the milk, cream, ½ cup of the sugar, and the lime zest into a pot and bring to a slight simmer stirring occasionally.
2. As the milk and cream are heating, place the egg yolks into a bowl with the other ½ cup of sugar and salt and beat until it is a pale, frothy liquid.
3. Once the milk/cream mixture is simmering, remove it from the heat and temper the egg mixture by adding a small amount of the hot milk/cream and stirring thoroughly. Repeat this process a couple of more times to ensure that the eggs have warmed up. You should use about 1/3 of a cup of hot cream mixture in total. Then pour the complete egg mixture into the cream pot.
4. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly until the custard reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Remove the pot from the heat let sit for 10 minutes or so to steep the lime zest.
6. Cut up the mangos, add the lime juice and puree until smooth.
7. Strain the warm custard through a sieve and add it to the mango puree. Stir with a whisk until thoroughly blended.
8. Cool the custard to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.

For the carrots:
8 oz carrots
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 2” piece of ginger

1. Put the water and sugar into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. While waiting for the pan to boil, cut the carrots into small dice. Peel the ginger and cut it into 8 pieces.
3. Once the water is boiling, add the carrots and ginger. Bring everything back to a boil then put the temperature to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

Finishing the ice cream:
1. Before freezing in your ice cream maker, stir the custard to ensure that the contents are well blended.
2. Freeze in your ice cream machine.
3. About 2 minutes before freezing is complete, pick out the ginger, then using a slotted spoon to avoid adding too much liquid, add the carrots to the ice cream.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do You Like My New Header Photograph?

This picture comes courtesy of Marjie who goes by the screen name of ArtsySF. She has a great eye, especially when it comes to color. Please check out her Flickr account and let her know if you like what you see. You won't quite find this photo on her site, I had to edit it to fit comfortably on the screen. The original photo is even more tasty.

I know it has been a while since I posted anything new. Life is really getting the way right now. Plus, I made a new recipe and it didn't work out. The flavor was great, but it had too much fat (yes it is possible). I won't give away too much now, other than to say that it is a departure from my standard base. Hopefully I'll be able to try again this weekend and give you a great recipe next week.