Since books published in America are usually 50-200% more expensive in Europe (The Bread Bible would have cost me $51 here, as opposed to $25 in the US), I often wait for a generous and strong visitor to truck over a pounds and pounds of new reading material. But this time I couldn't wait. I paid the extra $10 and ordered The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz from Amazon.de and I am one happy cook. Besides the inspiring array of ice cream and sorbet recipes, the toppings and mix-ins recipes practically had me swooning.
I started with Butterscotch Pecan and wow, the flavor packs a punch. The texture was fantastic and I loved the butter flavor - so much more intense and real than anything I've ever had at an ice cream parlor. But something was a little off. I think perhaps it was the extra dark (practically black) brown sugar I used - a bit too molasse-y.
In a last ditch effort to gain another 30 pounds before my baby comes in July (to match the weight of my first pregnancy), the very next day, I tried the basic Chocolate Ice Cream recipe. But I didn't let my ice cream maker freeze long enough (I knew it but I did it anyway - will I ever learn?); thus the ice cream was more like ice cream soup. Of course, this didn't stop me or my son from slurping down a couple "scoops" worth. But the flavor is very promising. So I'm freezing everything again tonight and I'm going to process it again tomorrow. I can't wait to eat it for real.
Next on my list is Fresh Mint Stracciatella (aka Mint Chip), my favorite flavor when I'm pregnant.
Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream Recipe
5 TB butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Buttered Pecans (recipe below), coarsely chopped
1. Melt butter in medium saucepan, then stir in the brown sugar and salt. Whisk in 1 cup of the cream and milk. Warm this mixture. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup cream in a separate bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
2. In a separate bowl, whish egg yolks until combined. Slowly pour warm brown sugar mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly (careful not to scramble them). Scrape warmed yolk back into saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 160-175F. Pour mixture through strainer into reserved cream and stir to combine. Add vanilla, then stir over ice bath to stop cooking.
3. Cool mixture thoroughly in fridge (under 40F is best) then freeze in your ice cream machine according to the instructutions. Add pecans in the last minute of churning.
1.5 TB butter
1.5 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Preheat over to 350F(175C). Melt butter in skillet. Toss pecans until well coated, then sprinkle with salt. Spread evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven for about 10 minutes, stirring once during baking.