Posts Tagged 'Ice Cream'

Ice Cream Truffles

Here’s another easy, make-ahead dessert for Valentine’s Day (or any day, really). Combine your sweetie’s favorite ice cream with their favorite candy bar and serve up some customized ice cream truffles.

Ice Cream Truffles
Adapted from Real Simple

1 1/2 quarts ice cream (I used Breyers Smooth and Dreamy Chocolate Chocolate Chip)
8 – 12 ounces candy bars, chopped or processed in the food processor (smaller ice cream shapes will have more surface area and will require more candy; I used 4 ounces each of Butterfinger and Take 5)

For round truffles:
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or foil.  Freeze for 10 minutes.  Remove one sheet.

Using a melon baller or ice cream scoop, scoop the ice cream and place individual balls on baking sheet.  Return sheet to freezer.  Repeat this process with second sheet.  Freeze the balls for 30 minutes, or until firm.

Place the chopped candy on a small plate.  (Use multiple plates for multiple candies.) Working with 1 baking sheet at a time, roll the ice cream balls in the toppings, using your hands to gently press in the toppings.  Freeze for 30 minutes before serving. For longer storage, place in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze.

For heart-shaped truffles:
Allow ice cream to soften on the countertop until it has a spreadable consistency (or microwave on low until spreadable).  Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment or foil.  Place ice cream in baking pan, smooth top, and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 6o minutes, or until firm.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or foil.  Freeze for 10 minutes.  Remove one sheet.

Remove ice cream from freezer.  Remove plastic wrap.  Invert over a cutting board and peel away parchment or foil.  Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (mine was 2 1/2 inches wide at its widest point), cut heart shapes and place hearts on baking sheet.  Return sheet to freezer.  Repeat process with second baking sheet.  If desired, scoop ice cream scraps into balls and place on baking sheet as well.  Freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm.

Place the chopped candy on a small plate.  (Use multiple plates for multiple candies.) Working with 1 baking sheet at a time, gently roll the hearts (and balls, if you scooped the scraps) in the toppings, using your hands to gently press in the toppings.  Freeze for 30 minutes before serving.  For longer storage, place in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze.

Ice Cream Truffles

The easy way...

Individual Ice Cream Truffle

Take 5... Yum!

Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Truffles

The hard(er) way...

This is one of those recipes (though it’s barely a recipe, I’ll admit!) that really can’t go wrong as long as you start with delicious ingredients.  Plus, I love that the work is already done and these truffles will taste just as good after dinner on Tuesday as they did the day I made them.  Happy (early) Valentine’s Day, everyone!

TIPS:  I suspect that drier candy bars (like the ones I used, or Heath, Toblerone, etc.) work best with this recipe because they won’t bond into lumps due to an excess of caramel, peanut butter, or other delicious ooey-gooey elements.  If you try a gooey candy bar with these, though, let me know how it goes.  Also, I initially intended to make mini heart truffles, but my mini heart cutter was too shallow to cut through the ice cream in the 8 x 8-inch block.  If you want to make minis, put the ice cream in a 9 x 13-inch pan instead.

Recipe link: Ice Cream Truffles

Guinness Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce

St. Patrick’s Day is long gone, but I’m posting this one anyway. 🙂

Want to get an extra dose of love and admiration from the Guinness drinkers in your life (or anyone who appreciates gourmet ice cream, for that matter)?  Make them Emeril’s Guinness Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce.  It’s simple, delicious, and actually doesn’t taste overwhelmingly like beer.  Here’s how I made it.

For starters, the recipe says to simmer 12 ounces (1 bottle) of Guinness stout (not draught) in a large saucepan over medium heat until it’s “reduced by 3/4 in volume.”  The recipe also said this would take about 8 minutes.  Since 3/4 is 75% and I started with a 12-ounce bottle, I interpreted this as reducing the beer to about 3 ounces.  (Does anyone disagree?)  I have to say this took way longer than 8 minutes; it was more like 20.  Once the beer was reduced, I set it aside.

In a separate medium saucepan, I combined 2 cups of heavy cream, 2 cups of whole milk, and 3/4 cup of sugar.  I split a vanilla bean down the center, scraped out the seeds with a knife, and then added both the seeds and the empty bean to the saucepan.  I brought the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat and then set it aside.

In a medium bowl, I beat 6 egg yolks (room temperature) with a whisk and then whisked 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks.  Whisking constantly, I gradually added the egg-cream mixture in a slow, steady stream back into the saucepan of hot cream.  I put the saucepan back over medium-low heat and cooked it, stirring occasionally, until the mixture was thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and about 170°F on an instant-read thermometer.  (The recipe said this would take about 5 minutes; I was there at 4 minutes.)  I removed the mixture from the heat, strained it through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container, covered the surface with plastic wrap (make sure the wrap is actually on the surface of the liquid to prevent a skin from forming), and chilled the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

When the 2 hours had passed, I removed the chilled cream mixture from the refrigerator and whisked in the Guinness reduction.  I poured the mixture into the bowl of my ice cream maker and ran it until the ice cream was thick and frozen (about 30 minutes).  Then, I transferred it to an airtight container and froze it until I was ready to serve it.

Before serving, I whipped up a half-recipe of the Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce to go on top.  In a medium saucepan, I scalded 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of honey.  (See tip below if you’re not familiar with scalding.)  Meanwhile, I placed 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  (The recipe said to use finely chopped chocolate; I used Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips.)  Once the cream was scalded, I poured it over the bittersweet chocolate, let everything sit for 2 minutes, and then whisked the chocolate and cream until a smooth sauce formed.  (Admittedly, my cream was not hot enough – perhaps because I used chips instead of finely chopped chocolate – to completely melt the chocolate.  I had to microwave it on high for 30 seconds before I could effectively whisk it all together.)  Once I had a smooth sauce, I whisked in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and let it stand until it was cool but not firm.  I served the sauce over the Guinness ice cream.

Guinness Ice Cream

The ice cream was really delicious, but here’s the deal:  It’s much, much better when it’s fresh from the ice cream maker.  When Dr. O and I tasted it before I placed it in the freezer, it was smooth, creamy, and very vanilla-y; you got a taste of the Guinness on the tail end of each bite.  Mmmmm.  After we froze it, though, it lost some of that creamy texture (this stuff froze hard, let me tell you) and ice crystals developed.  I also felt like it was harder to taste the Guinness after the freeze.

The chocolate sauce was also delicious, but it wasn’t what I expected; it was super thick, like hot fudge sauce you might buy in a jar.  The term “pourable” doesn’t really apply.  There was some debate in the recipe reviews about how much chocolate was actually supposed to go into the sauce (20 ounces or 2 ounces?), but every version of the recipe I could find online said 20 ounces.  I’m sure it would be pourable with 2 ounces.  Plus, putting the chocolate sauce on top of the ice cream completely obscured the Guinness flavor, which isn’t a plus in my book.

SO, if I were to make this again (and I would), I would eat it straight from the ice cream maker.  With the awful noise mine makes while it’s churning, this makes entertaining with the ice cream a near-impossibility, but it would still be fun to eat with Dr. O or with friends I feel absolutely no need to impress.  (You know who you are!)  I would also try the chocolate sauce again with 2 ounces of chocolate instead of 20, just to note the difference.  The ice cream doesn’t really need it, though.

TIPS: To scald something means to heat it to just below the boiling point.  When heating the cream and honey, wait until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edges of the liquid; this is the point when you should remove it from the heat source.

Recipe link: Guinness Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce

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