Suzi's Blog

Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest and Poppy Seeds

No, that title is not a mistake. It’s a step down a new ice cream path that you will find absolutely rewarding. Jeni Britton Bauer is an Ohio legend. She has created an ice cream empire based on loyalty which in turn comes from two things: exceptional quality and amazing creativity. Her commercial success has led to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, a book that just may be the best ice cream source ever.

The book is outstanding for two reasons. First, it offers recipes for some of her amazing flavors. Beyond this Beet Ice Cream you’ll find:

  • · Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry
  • · Salty Caramel
  • · Cranberry Royale Sorbet
  • · Gorgonzola Dolce

And many, many more

Second, Jeni has worked these recipes so that they are home-friendly. The only drawback is deciding which to do first, and then realizing that you’ll probably burn out your ice cream machine this summer and you make one after the other.

It’s the ingredients that attracted me to this book, beyond the fame that precedes Jeni. When you see Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest and Poppy Seeds, what can you do but stop and ponder. Is that real? What will it taste like? What will it look like? And there are NO eggs here, so how thick and custardy can this be?

And the answers are: all good. It’s really, really good. That beet taste is different. The consistency is thick and creamy, despite no eggs. You’ll be amazed at the influence of the mascarpone. This would be the perfect palette cleanser to have between say the salad and main protein course of a formal dinner party.

This is July 4th weekend in the United States, and it’s a big red, white and blue holiday. The hot-pink-red color of this ice cream is perfect. We’re going to adorn it with blueberries and whipped cream.

Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest and Poppy Seeds

Yield: 1 quart

Roasted Beets Ingredients:

  • · 2 medium red beets
  • · 2 tablespoons sugar

Ice Cream Base Ingredients:

  • · 2 cups whole milk
  • · 2 ounces [1/4 cup] mascarpone cheese
  • · ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • · 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • · 2/3 cup sugar
  • · 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • · Zest of 1 orange
  • · 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • · Poppy seeds for garnish

Preparation:

The Beets:

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Wrap the beets in a sheet of foil and bake them until very soft, about 1 hour. Let the beets cool slightly, then peel them while still warm. Cut into chunks and puree in a food processor. Force the puree through a sieve. Combine ½ cup of the warm beet puree with the sugar. Discard any extra beet puree. Set aside to cool.

The Ice Cream Base:

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the mascarpone, beet puree, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup and orange zest in a 4-quart sauce pan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.

Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium –high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone-beet mixture until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag into the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freezing:

Remove the orange zest and pour the ice cream base into the freezer canister of your ice cream machine. Add the poppy seeds and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container. Sprinkle with a few poppy seeds to garnish. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, about 4 hours.

Source: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

Chocolate Gelato by David Lebovitz

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If I say “Paris” what pops into your mind. The Eiffel Tower? Notre Dame? A special restaurant?

For me, it’s a little bridge from one big island to a smaller one. The original Parisians, before the Romans came, were the Parisii and they lived on the islands in the middle of the Seine. Parisii and Romans are gone, the islands have been “modified” extensively with landfills.

But the two big islands are there: the Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis. Notre Dame is at the far eastern end of Cité. Just behind the cathedral there is room for some gardens and then a little bridge that slopes down to Ile St-Louis. Just over the bridge and to the right is my favorite outlet of Maison Berthillon, probably the greatest ice cream store in the world. I realize I have just insulted people across the United States. I have visited many of the local — and seasonal — ice creams institutions that are the basis of intense civic pride and sometimes fisticuffs. I’ve seen fights break out over discussions of ice cream in Massachusetts. Berthillon is better.

Yet even in Paris, there is an insidious and possibly relentless change. On our last visit there, Suzen and I noticed some new stores that had lines extending out onto the sidewalk. The lines were filled with people standing on their tiptoes, gesturing, and talking. What could it be? We got in line. We got to the counter. Gelato? In Paris? Heresy?

No. It’s a deserved phenomenon and a delicious one, too. Could this gelato be better than Rome? No worse than a tie.

When Suzen wanted new desserts for this summer, she turned to the “The Ice Cream Bible” also known as The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, an American expert on desserts who of course lives in Paris.

His chocolate gelato is simply the best, the best you will have ever had. It is smooth, rich and filled with chocolate flavor. Use the freshest milk, cream and eggs you can find. The best chocolate and new cocoa. This recipe will simplify your life: it is the only “chocolate ice creamy” thing you will ever want again.

Oh, in the picture above is some mint and a very dense chocolate cookie. The mint you can handle. The cookie recipe is next.

Chocolate Gelato

Yield: Serves 1 or more depending on level of selfishness [aka 1 quart]

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top the bowl.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stirring the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz