Monday, August 20, 2012

Two Ice Creams: Bailey's Chocolate Chunk and Roasted Banana with Nutella Flecks

My dietetic internship may have been just stressful enough to keep me off of here, but I am not going to let graduate school take my blog away from me. Needless to say, I graduated! No, not back in May, but after the summer session. I have been thoroughly enjoying my couple weeks off before I jump back into the academic world.

What better way to celebrate summer but to make some decadent ice cream?

Bailey's Chocolate Chunk
Roasted Banana with Nutella Flecks

The first is a traditional custard-base flavored with Bailey's or whichever Irish cream you prefer...I used Ryan's...shhhh....

The second is more of an ice milk since it has no cream.

So here we go!

Bailey's Chocolate Chunk, adapted from She Makes and Bakes
Makes about 2 quarts

For the ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 cup sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, Bailey's, milk, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Let it boil for one minute.

Let me interject here. I'm not sure if I can think of a time I have made ice cream with this method without it boiling over. It just takes so darn long for the cream to heat up that I start getting lackadaisical about it and before I know it I hear the dreaded fizzing of cream burning on my electric cooktop. So, speaking from experience, here's what you do if that happens:
If the handles don't have cream bubbling over them, grab the pot and move it off the heat. If the handles are covered, then use hot pads or paper towels or your apron. Turn off the heat. Then take a super quick estimate of however much spilled over...mine's usually about 1/2 - 1 cup. Then use rags or paper towels to wipe up the mess before it hardens. The leftover scum will have to wait til the cooktop cools down. Then add half milk and half cream back into the mixture, use a different burner, and watch it like a hawk until it boils.

So while the milk mixture is heating, whisk together the egg yolks, the other 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until thick and pale. After it has boiled for one minute, slowly pour a steady stream of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This is called tempering. Once you have poured 2/3 of the Bailey's mixture into the eggs while whisking, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the pan and reheat over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for a few minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and pour it into a large bowl.

Now, if you did a poor job of tempering, you'll have some scrambled egg bits in there and you'll want to strain it as you pour it into the bowl. Also, I like to set the bowl in an ice bath to help it cool down faster. Once it's cooled off for a bit (maybe stop and stir it a few times every so often), cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to cool for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Once the ice cream mixture is cold, churn it according to the manufacturer's directions. During the last few minutes of churning, sprinkle in about 4-6 oz chopped dark chocolate. Scoop the ice cream out of the maker and into a bowl. Freeze it for several hours or overnight before serving. 

Alright, still with me? Just one more! This one was a little easier.

Roasted Banana with Nutella Flecks, adapted from Chocolate and Chillies

4 bananas (ripe but not overly ripe), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 cups 1% milk (The recipe called for whole, but I only had turned out great...and healthier)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. While oven is heating, place the sliced bananas, brown sugar and butter in a baking dish. Toss well. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once, or until bananas are browned and cooked through.

Scrape the bananas into a food processor.  Add milk, sugar, vanilla and coarse salt.  Process until smooth.  Transfer the mixture into a bowl and store in the fridge until chilled (about 3 hours or overnight).  Once chilled give it a quick whisk and process according to your ice cream maker's instructions. While it is churning, heat up about 3/4 cup Nutella in the microwave just until melted. In the last few minutes of churning, drizzle it in! Freeze about 2-4 hours.

If it is in the freezer for longer than this, it will become rock hard due to its low fat content. So you may want to plan to let it sit out for about 30-60 minutes before serving.

Surprisingly, the Roasted Banana Ice Cream was everyone's favorite. I say surprisingly because the Bailey's Chocolate Chunk is richer and has a better mouth feel. But if I make a healthier option that people actually prefer?? I'd say that's a dietetic success.

Can you spot me?? :)

Wish me luck as I start classes on Wednesday and study for the RD (Registered Dietitian) Exam!