Cooking with Bwog: Basics of an Ice Cream Sundae
Written by Bwog Staff
Before running off to get your pumpkin spice latte, consider a chilled treat. This week we want you to put on your summer specs and dial up that radiator for a last toast to summer. In our latest Cooking with Bwog your not-quite-vanilla chef Matt Powell whips together a sensational delight.
This week, we will conquer the basics of a custard base, a simple sorbet, and a caramel sauce to go on top. If you would like to find more toppings, check out last week’s post on fresh whipped cream and chocolate ganache sauce.
Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
(Yields 1 quart)
- 2 C whole milk
- 2 C heavy cream
- 3/4 C sugar
- 5-6 egg yolks (save the whites for some meringues from last week)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (fresh vanilla pods would be preferable, but this is easier and more cost-efficient.)
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and 2 tbsp. of the sugar. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is hot to touch but not boiling. Turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and the remaining sugar until the color lightens, about 1-2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about half of the hot liquid into the egg mixture. Place the saucepan back on the stove, and slowly whisk the egg-liquid mixture into the saucepan. (This step is more commonly known as “tempering.” It is a back-and-forth process of adding hot liquid slowly to eggs, therefore bringing the temperature of the eggs up without scrambling them. If you are not careful, you will have scrambled eggs and the custard will be wrecked. If you have trouble pouring while whisking, ask a friend for help.)
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (but not rapidly) with a wooden spoon. The custard will begin to cook and thicken. Once the mixture is able to coat the back of the wooden spoon without running off too quickly, it is ready. (Careful not to overcook!) Immediately pour into a large metal bowl, preferably a bowl that is set in an ice bath. Add in the vanilla extract and stir the custard until cool. Place in the fridge to chill completely, about 2-3 hours.
- Process the custard base in an ice cream machine or using a low-tech alternative.
This recipe is easier than the Vanilla Ice Cream due to the fact that you don’t have to temper the eggs. Unlike ice creams, sorbets are more water-based and, at times, completely water-based. They’re also usually easier to cook.
(Yields 1 quart)
- 2-1/4 C water
- 3/4 C sugar
- 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably not Dutch process
- A pinch of salt
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/5 tsp. vanilla
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine 1-3/4 C water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Heat over medium heat, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute.
- Place the bittersweet in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the chopped chocolate and whisk together until completely smooth and melted. Stir in remaining water and the extract. Chill in the fridge 2-3 hours.
- Process in an ice cream machine.
You already have the recipes for chocolate ganache and whipped cream, but why stop there? A word of caution, though: Caramel is one of the hottest things you can cook. Don’t even think of touching the sugar when it’s cooking.
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 tbsp. corn syrup
- 3/4 C whipped cream
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup with 3 tbsp. of water. Whisk together over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Once sugar dissolves, stop whisking. Allow the mixture to cook, swirling the pan occasionally. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until the liquid turns an amber color.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream and extract. The liquid will bubbly and steam vigorously, but just keep going, whisking all the while. Once you have whisked in all the cream, return to the heat and whisk until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.
- Allow the sauce to cool and use on top of desserts or store for the future. Rewarm over medium-low heat before using.
Ice cream socialism via Wikimedia Commons