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Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream

Hazelnut praline

My family is ice cream fanatic.  Thankfully I make my own ice cream and not buy them because if I do, I would certainly go BROKE!  I’m not kidding…every night after dinner, the first thing my kid would say is: “Mummy, can I have ice cream”…very shortly, I hear a parrot-like voice “Can I have ice cream”.  Yes, both the older children have sweet-tooth, just like my husband.  Is that a good thing? Definitely NOT! I’m not in favor of having sugar down-ed into my kids’ body (especially since I’m researching on Diabetes and know about all the “harms” of the condition).  So instead of consuming store-bought ice cream, I get them to eat homemade ice cream, which I have to say has only honey, thank goodness, and very little of that!

Anyway… I have made the plain ice creams for a long time, like vanilla, chocolate, blueberry, strawberry, peppermint, chocolate chip, vanilla with marshmellow, chocolate with nuts, and seriously, it’s getting boring! Even for me, who hardly consumes the ice cream.  It’s about time that I venture into the more exotic flavors.  But, I can’t seem to find recipes that intrigue me enough to make those ice creams.  For weeks I’ve been searching until recently, I came across thelittleloaf blog. My eyes lit up when I saw the Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream because I had all the ingredients needed!  I literally sat up in my chair and after looking at the recipe, I knew this was the next flavor of ice cream that I would make!  No regrets completely!

For those who do not drink (like myself), please go easy on the alcohol because even with the amount that I put in the recipe, I felt a little dizzy after having my ice cream (No kidding!).  My help started flushing right after finishing the ice cream and even felt a little quizzy.  But it was a hit with my son, thankfully he didn’t have more than just 1 spoonful of ice cream, else I really wouldn’t know what’s going to happen to him!  For a hubby with a love for alcohol, the ice cream was way too mild for him, though he liked it nonetheless.  Basically, for people who like alcohol, you can tune up the amount used in the cream for sure.  For those who would just like a very slight kick, the amount I used was sufficient.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream Recipe

Hazelnut praline

100g golden caster sugar
100g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (this is way more than what was recommended by thelittleloaf, but being a nut lover, this was just sufficient)

1. Melt the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Keep stirring the melting sugar to ensure that all the sugar melts evenly.  Remove from heat once all the sugar has melted (be careful not to burn the sugar, else it will start to taste bitter).  Once the sugar is a deep amber colour, then remove from the heat and stir in the chopped hazlenuts.

2. Pour the nutty praline in an even layer over a lined tray and leave to cool and harden. Once completely cool, blitz it coarsely.


Ice cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup milk
6 medium egg yolks
1 round tablespoon honey
4 tb Amaretto
1 portion of hazelnut praline (from above)
1/3 ts vanilla essence

1. Warm milk, heavy cream, honey, Amaretto.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir (over an ice bath) until cool.

4. Add in vanilla essence

5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight). Freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker.  Freeze.  If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not.  Click here to find out how.

6. Just before the ice cream is ready, add in the praline and allow to churn until well mixed. Pour the ice cream into your desired container and let it freeze before serving.

Note: Because there is alcohol in the ice cream, it might not “harden” into the same texture as ice creams without alcohol.  But do not worry, it will still be nice and soft despite it being straight from the freezer.

Enjoy =)

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Black Sesame Ice Cream

Eversince I had my first black sesame ice cream at a japanese restaurant, black sesame ice cream has a special place in my heart.  The interesting thing about black sesame ice cream is that there’s a very unique taste to the ice cream – a little roasted flavor to go with the sugary cream.  What a winner.  Since then, I’ve never failed to have black sesame ice cream whenever I have space left over at Japanese restaurants and if they have the flavor available.  Hmm…hmm…hmm…  About a year ago, I found that Haato, an ice cream palour opened at Thomson and guess what, they sold Black Sesame ice cream! Their Black Sesame ice cream is good….not too sweet and very creamy.  They have all the plus points.  The only issue I have with them is that the ice cream is not cheap at all.  It’s almost $5 for just 1 cup of ice cream.  When I’ve been good, I do treat myself to their ice cream, but I can safely say that (being thrifty), I’ve only allowed myself to splurge on their ice cream 3-4 times.

Since I started making my own ice cream, I never did dare to even think about making Black Sesame ice cream.  I dont’ know why.  But when I found a recipe for this ice cream at Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings, I jumped at the opportunity to make it!  The only unfortunately thing was that I could not find the Black Sesame paste from Phoon Huat as he’d suggested, since they no longer carried this product.  =( …now I wouldn’t be able to make this ice cream.  After multiple trials, I think I’ve finally mastered my favorite version of this ice cream!

Black Sesame Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 tb black sesame paste
1 tb honey
1/4 ts salt
6 egg yolks


Black Sesame Paste

1 packet of black sesame seed
Butter
Sugar

1. Toast the blended black sesame seeds in a saucepan until you smell the fragrance bursting from the seeds.

2. Cool the toasted seeds.  Grind the toasted seeds as fine as possible.

3. Cook the black sesame powder with butter and add sugar to taste.

4. Keep working on the mixture until it becomes a paste.

Ice Cream

1. Warm milk, heavy cream, honey, black sesame paste and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir (over an ice bath) until cool.

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight).  Strain the black sesame seeds and freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker.  Freeze.  If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not.  Click here to find out how.


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Coconut Ice Cream

Yes, I’m close to delivery, and hence my constant intake of fresh coconut juice.  According to nurses and massage ladies, taking coconut water during the last few weeks of pregnancy helps to “clean” the baby and reduce the level of jaundice of the baby.  How true?  I have no clue.  But, I love the fresh sweetness of coconut juice, so why not indulge a little?  I’ve been having 1 coconut daily to the point that my fridge is stacked up with coconut flesh!!! Initially, my helper has been excited to have all the coconut flesh.  She’s been making her Philippino-styled coconut snacks using the uneaten coconut flesh.  But having to make it everyday and eat it everyday, everyone will reach their limits.  So she’s decided to just leave the coconuts in the fridge!  What a waste!!!

Besides, after making the red bean ice cream, I still have 1/2 a litre of coconut milk sitting in my fridge.  I figured that I should make use of it before the coconut milk gets bad. So here are all the left overs, and I managed to create a really subtle and nice coconut ice cream! hmm…mmm…the rich creaminess of the coconut milk, together with the fresh coconut pulp was really delicious!  Not forgetting the gula melaka that was added in.  This is the first time that I’m actually using gula melaka, and it turned out that gula melaka is not as sweet as honey, so I ended up putting in more “sugar” than the usual amount.  But, oh, the combination really brought out the taste of the ice cream!  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as my family did =).

Coconut Ice Cream

1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup gula melaka
6 egg yolks
1/4 ts vanilla essence
3 fresh coconut pulp
pinch of salt

1. Place milk, heavy cream, coconut milk, salt and gula melaka into a saucepan and heat up the mixture.  Warm the mixture to allow the gula melaka to dissolve.  Do not let the mixture bubble because the milk will start to curdle.

2. Whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over low heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer.  Stir in the vanilla essence and let mixture cool.

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight).

5. Prepare the coconut pulp by cutting it into bite size.  Dry the coconut pulp as much as possible.  The pulp is usually very wet (having it wet will mean that your ice cream will turn out really icy around the pulp, ruining the texture of the ice cream.  Hence it’s important to dry the pulp as much as possible.  Since the weather has been so hot, it’s great to dry it under the sun!  Just beware of the birds!).

6. Freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker.  If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not.  Click here to find out how.

7. Just before the ice cream is done churning, slowly drop the semi-dry coconut pulp into the ice cream maker.  This way, you’ll get some pulp with every scoop of ice cream!!! Yum!!!

8. Let the ice cream harden in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

A scoop of refreshing coconut ice cream is perfect for hot summer weathers! Enjoy!

  


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Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

It’s been a long drought.  I know.  Not that I’ve not done any cooking, but I’ve been so tied down with work, that I hardly had the time/chance to sit down and type in anything.  In fact, I dreaded having to type anything, since I’ve been busy ploughing the keys on my computer to churn out manuscripts. Ok, enough about work.  Now is the time for me to share some of the nice recipes that I’d come up with.  I wish I was recipe creator, but seriously speaking, that is way much hard work.  I’ve been a fan of the FoodNetwork Asia channel and seriously, I wonder to myself how the chefs just keep coming up with new ideas for food EVERYDAY!?!?  Then I chanced upon an article that talked about how chefs have a team of people (minion chefs) who experiment with food flavors and recipes and it’s them who come up with some of the new ideas.  Wow…so behind every successful chef, there are many many minion chefs.  Amazing.  So maybe that is a perfect explanation why I’m not that successful with coming up with new flavors! Haha…ok, but I digress.

This post came up purely as a challenge from my dear old cousin.  We were having lunch at a nice quaint Fusion restaurant and I had ordered Tiramisu desert.  The cream came frozen, and tasted like ice cream.  But you know that it’s cream, it’s not thick, but of course the kids LOVED it to bits.  Then came the challenge “Do YOU know how to make Tiramisu ice cream cake?”  “I’d never tried making it” was my only reply.  It ended right there.  It so happened that we were going to celebrate my son’s birthday.  So, I figured, I’d take up his challenge and make a Tiramisu Ice Cream cake!  So there you go.  I couldn’t get the cake right and had to try it a few times, but the results – WORTH it!  I sure hope that you’ll enjoy the cake as much as my cousin/husband/guests did.  It was certainly a fun experience and now my world of ice cream has opened up to ice cream cakes as well! Yoo hoo…cheers to challenges!

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

Cake

4 egg yolks
70g castor sugar

Whisk until ribbon stage (A)

4 egg whites
40g castor sugar
1/4 ts cream of tartar

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add sugar and Cream of tartar and beat until stiff.

80g cake flour
1/2 ts baking powder

Sift together

1/4 cup oil
2 tb milk

1/2 ts vanilla essence

Heat oil and milk in microwave until boiling.  Stir into A with a balloon whist, followed by vanilla essence and sifted flour.  Fold 1/3 of egg whites into this mixture and then fold this mixture into the remaining egg whites.  Pour into tray and bake in preheated oven at the lowest rack (160 deg C for about 50 mins).  When baked, detach the cake from the sides of the tin and turn out.  Place on rack to cool.
Tiramius Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups milk
500g mascarpone cheese
4 egg yolks
1/8 cup honey
2 tb Kahlua

200 g chopped dark chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 ts coffee granules

1. Place milk, mascarpone cheese and honey in a saucepan and heat up the mixture.  Do not let the mixture bubble because the milk will start to curdle.

2. Whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.  Add the Kahlua.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over low heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and let it cool.

5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight).  Freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker.  If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not.  Click here to find out how.

6. While the churning, prepare the chocolate-coffee swirls.  Heat chocolate, heavy cream and coffee granules until the chocolate has completed melted and mixed well.  Let the mixture cool and allow it to thicken.

7. Assembling the ice cream cake.  Line the tin with cling wrap to allow easy removal of the ice cream cake once the cake has set.  Cut the cake into 2 layers and place the first layer at the bottom of the tin.  Spoon the churned ice cream onto the cake layer, followed by the chocolate sauce.  Use a stick to swirl the chocolate.  Repeat the process again.  Cover and place the ice cream cake into the freezer.

8. Before serving the ice cream, remove the cake from the tin, dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder and your guests can enjoy the Tiramisu ice cream cake!  Bon Appetit!!!

Adapted from: Michelle Southan

  

 


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Churning Ice Cream

When making ice cream, in addition to the amount of sugar that is put into the cream mixture, the next most important trick to making good ice cream is the churning of the ice cream.  Many a times, when writing up the recipe of ice cream, people get fixated on the ingredients that go into the cream mixture, and just indicate “churn ice cream as per manufacturer’s instructions”.  How many times did your ice cream turn out “wrong” even though you followed the recipe right to the drop? Has your ice cream turned out so hard to the point that it’s impossible to scoop?  Or does it melt so quickly after you’ve scooped it up that it’s turned into cream just as you’re serving your guests?

For me, it has failed several times…or maybe should I say my ice cream had been unsuccessful several times.  And despite the fact that my cream mixture was exactly the same, I found that the texture of the churned mixture makes a big difference to the success of the ice cream.  So exactly how long should you churn the ice cream mixture?

Ice cream maker: You should churn the ice cream until the mixture resembles candy floss that is stuck to the stick.  You should continue to churn the ice cream until the cream mixture has risen to the top of the ice cream maker’s paddle and beyond.  And it does not matter if it has been 20 mins (as per the instructions), or if it’s 1 hour or longer (as long as the bowl holding the cream is still COLD).  When the cream mixture is able to obtain that consistency, with the right recipe, you can be sure that your ice cream will be a success.

Without ice cream maker: If you’re churning the ice cream manually with a handheld/stand-alone mixer, then churn your ice cream as many times as possible within your waking hours.  I used to churn it every 3 hours to make sure that any ice crystals would be broken down in the mixture.  This meant that I’d be able to churn the ice cream at least 5 times a day.  Each time as you churn the ice cream, you want to make sure that you mix up all the cream mixture but at the same time not let it melt into a liquid form.

So good luck to those trying to make ice cream.  Hang in there, with practice, you can only get better =).


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Rocky Road Ice Cream

I had been looking for mini-mashmellows for the longest time.  NTUC, whether Finest or not just didn’t sell it!  I knew Elise was looking forward to eating mini-marshmellows, but what can I do?  Then, as I was purchasing my heavy cream to make more ice cream at Phoon Huat, I saw a poster advertising…guess what… …MINI MARSHMELLOWS!  Yes! I bought a small bag of it and quickly went home to start making my long awaited Rocky Road Ice Cream which I had found from Brown Eyed Baker.  I can’t wait to see the surprises on my family’s faces given that this ice cream has several different “additions”!  Every bite of the ice cream will bring with it different taste and texture…a pure delight to any food connoisseur.  Just looking at the recipe makes my mouth water!

The first time I made this ice cream, I just added sugar to the mixture, which made the ice cream so hard and unscoopable.  This time, I changed the recipe and it turned out great!  Hmm…but wait, I’ll have other renditions of this real soon…

Rocky Road Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
3 tb unsweetened cocoa powder
10 tb bittersweet chocoloate chopped up
1 cup whole milk
1/16 cup sugar
1/8 cup honey
Pinch of salt
5egg yolks
1/4 ts vanilla essence
3/4 cup mini mashmallows
1/2 cup dark chocolate chopped up into 0.5cm cubes


Ice Cream

1. Warm 1 cup of cream with the cocoa powder.  Stir but DO NOT whisk the mixture until the cocoa powder has been thoroughly blended.  Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.  Add in the 10tb of chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in the remaining cup of cream.  Pour the mixture into a bowl scraping out as much mixtrue as possible.

2. Warm the milk, sugar, honey and salt in the same saucepan.  Once the sugar has melted, remove from heat.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate cream.  Add the vanilla extract and stir (over an ice bath) until cool.

5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight).  Freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker.  If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not.  Click here to find out how.

6. During the final whisking of the ice cream mixture, add in the mini marshmellows and chocolate.  Freeze.

Adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker

 


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Vanilla ice cream with choconuts

I’ve finally gotten my ice cream maker! Yoo hoo…this is no doubt THE thing that I’d been waiting for!  It took me 2 years and a broken whisk to decide that it is time to get one.  So far, I have got to say that I love it and it’s a NO regret investment.  At $108 (it was not affected by the inflation!!! What a surprise), I think it definitely does the job that it’s suppose to do.  However, could it have been better?  Maybe.  The amount of ice cream that it can hold/make is really limited, so maybe one with a bigger capacity might have been ideal, but hey, compared to the alternate freezing and whisking, this is a breeze!  So I’m not complaining.

Having said that, I get very anxious as I watch the ice cream churn and I tend to stop the ice cream maker way too early.  Thank goodness, the ice cream still turned out nice…I have to tie my hands up when I make ice cream the next time to prevent them from pressing the stop button.  Geez…

The great thing about my version of Vanilla ice cream with chocolate coated nuts lies in the nuts.  The nuts used were gifts from my Aunt.  All I know is that she got them from Indonesia.  There is a slight tinge of saltiness in them.  But the good thing about them is that they are EXTREMELY crunchy!  This definitely added an extra dimension to the already multi-dimensional flavored ice cream.  Hope you’re able to find such nuts too.

 

Vanilla Ice Cream with choconuts

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 vanilla pod
3/16 cup sugar
3/16 cup honey
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/4 ts vanilla essence


Ice Cream

1. Warm milk, sugar, honey, salt and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.   Once the sugar has melted, cover and remove the mixture from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1/2 hour.  Scrape the vanilla pod and add the vanilla seeds to the milk mixture.

2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

3. Rewarm the milk mixture.   In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.  Add the vanilla extract and stir (over an ice bath) until cool.

5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight).  Freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker.  If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not.  Click here to find out how.

6. During the final whisking of the ice cream mixture, add in the chocolate coated nuts.  Freeze.

Adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker