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Experiments in ice cream

November 19th, 2007 (01:46 pm)

A few years ago, my parents gave us an ice cream maker for Christmas—a small one, with two one-quart chambers. I use it occasionally, and sometimes experiment with new flavors. This weekend I ran two experiments, and they both came out pretty well.

One was garlic. This started as a rhetorical figure; IIRC, one of the kids asserted at dinner that they liked X, and they liked Y, so obviously they'd like X Y. I pointed out that that wasn't always true, and said something like, "I like garlic, and I like ice cream; but I wouldn't want to eat garlic ice cream". cvirtue wasn't so sure, though; she thought it sounded like a good idea, so I promised to try it sometime.

It turned out pretty well. The important thing to remember: roast the garlic; that mellows the flavor to the point where it meshes well with vanilla ice cream. The Joy of Cooking didn't have anything on roasting garlic, but I found good instructions online: peel off the outer skin; cut off the tips; bake it about 30-35 minutes at 400°F; when it's cooled, peel the cloves. I then chopped up the cloves (in a little miniature Cuisinart), smashed them, and put them into the ice cream about 10 minutes before it was finished (put stuff in earlier than that, and it just sinks to the bottom). The result was...well, most likely, you'd like it if-and-only-if you like roast garlic. It was a different experience than most ice cream; it was more...well, I hate to say it, but more sophisticated. :-)

The second experiment was cranberry ice cream—somewhat less daring. I took some dried cranberries and cooked them in sugar water at medium heat (much like making cranberry sauce, but without pectin—I was basically imitating what I saw cvirtue do last Thanksgiving). That gave me something like a thin cranberry jam, with berries in it—which, again, I put into the ice cream 10 minutes before it was finished.

The cranberry turned out very well—none of this "sophisticated ice cream" stuff. :-) One thing I'd do differently next time: take the liquid of the thin cranberry jam and pour it into the ice cream maker first, when the whole thing is liquid; then add the chunks near the end. Putting them all in together was a problem because the liquid thinned out the proto-ice-cream, and it didn't have time to thicken up again.


Posted by: JT (learnteach)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Too much work!

Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil. Sprinkle some olive oil on top. Bake. No, wait, oil then foil. Yeah. Throw in the oven with something else, then, when the other thing is done, take out garlic. Squeeze out the garlicky goodness!

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Too much work!

Huh—I thought the instructions to peel it were because the papery skin would scorch. Maybe the oil prevents that? (I did put oil on it.)

Posted by: JT (learnteach)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Too much work!

The aluminum foil more or less prevents that. But scorched isn't that bad, either....

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Too much work!

I wouldn't peel it first, because it is so much easier to peel after roasting

Wasn't a problem; the outer layer comes off pretty easily.

the paper skin is a precaution against sticking.

I suppose I was protected because I had it in a glass dish.

You can even just whack the top off the garlic, and roast the entire bulb at once.

Yeah, that's what I did.

To remove the garlic, grab the cooled roasted bulb, and squeeze the heck out of it. The cloves squeeze out.

That would have been easier.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)

Our only other sweet-and-garlic experience had been garlic chocolate, in, where else, Gilroy CA. It was horrible. Really, truly.

The ice cream was good. I don't think it was "sophisticated" ie, degenerate. But maybe someone else (not in our family) should try it and see what they think.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
Sweet chocolate and garlic

I can't imagine that sweet chocolate and garlic would be terribly good.

I suppose it could be, if done well. Use good chocolate, roast the garlic, blend it into the chocolate, serve it fresh.

The stuff in Gilroy didn't do any of these. It was cheap chocolate, with a separate layer of chopped (not roasted) garlic, and it certainly didn't seem fresh. Think of a York Peppermint Patty gone horribly wrong.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet chocolate and garlic

a York Peppermint Patty gone horribly wrong.

Perhaps you and I ate different things at different times? The one I tasted was more like a Nestle's Crunch, with garlic as the crunch. But it was small; the size of a mini Reeses' cup.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet chocolate and garlic

I'm sure we didn't eat different things. But I have a pretty clear visual memory of a side view of the bitten spot, with the layer of garlic inside the chocolate coating.

Posted by: Justin du Coeur (jducoeur)
Posted at: November 20th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)

(Years ago I read an article about a bitter coffee spice rub for a burger - never tried that one.)

Sounds similar to the chicken rub I've been getting from Whole Foods lately. I tried it experimentally, without really looking at what was in it; finding that I liked the dark and smoky quality, I looked and found that the principal ingredient was coffee. Works surprisingly well -- I've served it at a couple of cookouts, and it's been quite popular...

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)

I don't think it was "sophisticated" ie, degenerate.

I meant something like "it appeals more to a mature palate".

Perhaps a better description is that it's got a strong savory component, which is unusual in an ice cream.

Posted by: Alexx Kay (alexx_kay)
Posted at: November 19th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)

I *do* like roast garlic, so that garlic ice cream sounds yummy!

My favorite "weird ice cream recipe":
* Make a bowl of popcorn, butter and salt it as usual.
* Take a quart of vanilla ice cream.
* Smoosh together.
This creates a really interesting mix of flavors, textures, and temperatures. Possibly too 'sophisticated' for most folks, though :-)

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