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Monday, November 22, 2010

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

It's Thanksgiving week and everyone is gearing up for a great Thanksgiving feast!

I love Thanksgiving. It's a great time for families just to get together and share a wonderful meal. We can catch up with everyone, reminisce about the past and look ahead to what could be in store for the future.

I think Thanksgiving sometimes gets overlooked more and more each year. It seems like I hear Christmas music on the radio right after Halloween. Also as I'm driving home I see houses lit by twinkling, colorful Christmas lights. I do understand everyone's enthusiasm for Christmas but can we just hold off until after Thanksgiving?

There is a lot to be thankful for each year and I hope people just don't pass this holiday up, go right to Christmas, buy what they think everyone wants, and not take into account the really important things in life. Are the hours spent at the mall shopping and waiting in long lines time lost that you could be playing with your kids or enjoying an ice cream cone with your friends?

Thank you to all my family and friends. Even if we are not all at the same table this Thanksgiving, I'm glad you have stopped by to read my post. I'm lucky to be touched by you; and you have help make me the person I am.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream


1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cup of pumpkin puree
3/4 cup of sugar
8 oz of cream cheese
2 cups of  heavy cream
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of crushed cinnamon graham crackers
pinch of salt


In a mixing bowl add the pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg. Stir the ingredients together and set aside. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of heavy cream sugar and milk. Dice the cream cheese into little chunks and add to the saucepan. Over medium heat stir the ice cream base until the sugar and cream cheese dissolve.

Add the pumpkin puree into the ice cream base and then stir until everything is fully incorporated. Pour the ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl.  Pour in the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream. Place the pumpkin cheesecake ice cream base in an ice bath for 1 hour then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Mix the ice cream base according your ice cream manufacturer directions.

Once the ice cream is a soft-serve consistency then scoop it out into a freezer safe container, incorporating the crushed cinnamon graham crackers. Let the ice cream set in the freezer for at least 4 hours and then serve.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Coconut Macadamia Nut Fudge

A couple weeks ago, my family spent our summer vacation on Poipu Beach in Kauai. We enjoyed 7 beautiful days in paradise. Sure, we've been to Hawaii before. In previous trips we had spent time amid the hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu and we also have enjoyed the the slightly slower pace of Kaanapali on the island of Maui.

But staying on  Kauai is just pure relaxation. We stayed at the Marriott Waiohai, where each villa is furnished with a full kitchen, which we took full advantage of to make our meals and pretend we were residents in paradise. Our hardest daily decision was do we either go to the pool or the beach. We also got in some sightseeing and there was a reason why they call Kauai the Garden Island -- it is lush and green and you can see beautiful flowers and plants at every turn.

Of course on every trip I need to find a local ice cream shop. On this trip we stopped by one gelato shop, Papalani Gelato and we also visited a  Hawaiian ice cream institution - Lapperts ice cream. Both the gelato and ice cream hit the spot in the warm island breeze. One of the flavors I enjoyed most during my visit to Lappert's was the Coconut Macadamia Nut Fudge. The combination of the sweet and creamy coconut ice cream with freshly toasted and  buttery macadamia nuts and a hint of chocolate fudge satisfied my quest for finding the perfect flavor combination for Hawaii.

So to relive our summer vacation, I decided to recreate a taste of paradise. I present you my version of Coconut Macadamia Nut Fudge.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups of cream
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of toasted coconut shreds
2/3 cups of roughly chopped and toasted macadamia nuts

Heat up the coconut milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir the milk and cream until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to slightly boil. Then temper the egg yolks with the ice cream base. Pour the tempered eggs back into the sauce pan and when the custard reaches 170 degrees F place the ice cream base in a heat proof bowl, add the vanilla extract and toasted coconut shreds, and let it sit over an ice bath. When the mixture has cooled, place in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Follow your ice cream maker instruction for churning.

Once your ice cream has reached a softserve consistency, add the toasted and chopped macadamia nuts. Top off with hot fudge when you dish it up. Sit back and close your eyes and just imagine the tropical breeze blowing and the sounds of the island while you enjoy every scoop of paradise.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Baskin Robbins - Baseball Nut Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Day 13

Baskin Robbins Ice Cream is probably the most recognized ice cream parlors in Southern California. What made Baskin Robbins famous was their 31 flavors selection. At anytime you can go into any Baskin Robbins and choose one of their 31 flavors.

Baskin Robbins has seasonal flavors and one my favorites is their Baseball Nut ice cream. It is vanilla ice cream with swirls of sweet raspberry puree and they added  cashew pieces. Its flavor profile is perfect for the summer definitely on the lighter side of the flavor spectrum and is perfect for those warm summer nights where a light tasting ice cream hit the spot. The raspberry swirl has a little acidity and sweetness to break up the vanilla ice cream and then bits of crunchy cashews add a hint of nuttiness.

If you have a favorite Baskin Robbins flavor please let me know in the comments below.

Enjoy your summer the weather is just perfect outside from some ice cream!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good Humor - Strawberry Shortcake Bar

National Ice Cream Month - Day 11

The Good Humor - Strawberry Shortcake Bar brings back childhood memories of the ice cream truck playing it loud carnival music and long care free summer days.

This ice cream bar has always intrigued on how did construct this ice cream bar? The strawberry ice cream center surrounded by vanilla ice cream and then encrusted by pieces of cake. It is a very tasty bar you really can't taste the vanilla but strawberry flavor is very pronounced and the pieces of cake provides a good texture.

A great ice cream bar to remind you of summer and simpler times.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coca Cola and Vanilla Ice Cream Float

National Ice Cream Month  - Day 10

How can you go wrong when you combine 2 great products? Coca Cola Classic is an iconic symbol of Americana and Vanilla Ice Cream made by Haagen Daz combined to create a fizzy creamy fantastic ice cream float.

The classic ice cream float is so underrated it is always over shadowed by the milk shakes and the malts...but a classic float either made of root beer or Coke is just a treat for the senses. When you pour the Coke Cola over the scoop of rich and delicious ice cream you an instant fizz that you can scoop up with a spoon  and enjoy. Once the fizz is gone you are left with a sweet creamy drink that is filling and satisfying.

It is so simple to make I hope everyone out there will go out and make an ice cream float today!

IT'S IT Mint Ice Cream Sandwich

National Ice Cream Month - Day 9

It's the other San Francisco treat. IT'S IT is a scoop of delicious ice cream sandwiched between to big oatmeal cookies and dipped in chocolate. It is one of the best mass produced ice cream sandwiches I have had. And it is made in San Francisco California.

The ice cream is nice and soft and very minty. As you can tell from the picture it is very green. It does look a bit unnatural but you will soon get over that as  you bite into the smooth minty ice cream combined with a soft chewy oatmeal cookie dipped in chocolate leaves you mouth so rich and tingly.

If you don't know where to get an IT'S IT ice cream sandwich you are in luck. If you order from their website they will be more than happy to ship you a case.  Let me know your thoughts on these delicious ice cream sandwiches.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carl's Jr. Hand Scooped Oreo Cookie Shake

National Ice Cream Month - Day 8

Hand Scooped Oreo Cookie Shake. I was a bit skeptical when I was at Carl's Jr to read "Hand Scooped" but after I placed my order for my shake I saw an employee actually hand scooped 2 vanilla ice cream helpings into my cup, he then added some milk and a few heaping servings of crushed Oreo cookies and off it went under the blender.

The ice cream shake was very good. It has the right amount of Oreo cookies and vanilla ice cream. It was very thick, just the way I like my shakes. I would definitely recommend this if you got a craving for a nice rich, thick and creamy shake. Not bad for a fast food joint.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daisen Choco Monaka

National Ice Cream Month - Day 7

Today  I saw this interesting Ice Cream Sandwich  it was called Daisen Choco Monaka. It has a top and bottom layer of made of  a soft waffle shell and in the middle it was filled vanilla ice cream and a top and bottom layer of milk chocolate.

It was a very interesting combination. I would have liked it more if the ice cream was of better quality. The vanilla ice cream was very icy and so I thought I let it warm up a bit. After a couple of minutes I took another bite and the icyness went away but it didn't improve the quality of the ice cream. The waffle was okay it wasn't very crispy a little soggy and the milk chocolate was crunchy and it was just okay as well.

Definitely an interesting concept for an ice cream sandwich but taste and quality wise it doesn't hold up very well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Almond Crunch

National Ice Cream Month - Day 6

Today I needed some coffee to make it through. I decided on the Haagen-Dazs  Coffee Almond Crunch. The ice cream bar had a good coffee flavor definitely on the safer side of things. When I make my coffee ice cream I like it to have a little more buzz a little more darker bolder flavor. I can see why Haagen-Dazs didn't want to make the coffee stronger because the ice cream bar was covered in milk chocolate with bits of roasted almonds and toffee. A bolder coffee flavor could easily overwhelm the rest of the components. 

The ice cream was smooth and the chocolate coating was thick and when pared with bits of almonds and toffee it provided a good crunch. You certainly can't go wrong with a Haagen-Daz bar on a nice summer day.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Stay cool and don't forget to eat your ice cream!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thrifty Mint Chip Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Month - Day 5

For todays post I made a trip down to the local Rite Aid where they still have a Thrifty Ice Cream Scoop Counter. Thrifty brings back my earliest memory of eating ice cream back when I was just a kid and didn't know the difference between Sorbet, Gelato, and Super Premium Ice Cream. The only thing I cared about was that  I was going to get some sweet and delicious ice cream. What more can a kid want?

For those of  you who don't know about Thrifty Ice Cream it use to be part of Thrifty Drug Stores that was later acquired by Pay Less Drugs and now they are a part of Rite Aid. I remember single scoops of ice cream being only a quarter and that was probably why their ice cream so popular and accessible. One of the unique things about eating hand scooped Thrifty ice cream is the way it is served.

The Rite Aid clerks use a special cylinder ice cream gun that they just dip down into the ice cream counter and and then they squeeze the scoop onto your cone or cup. Not your traditional ice cream scoop. I think it makes licking the ice cream easier.

No matter what flavor combination I have made or tried Mint Chip will always be my favorite. I just can't get enough of that cool minty ice cream with pieces of dark chocolate melting your mouth.

Do you have a Thrifty's ice cream memory that you would like to share?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chocolate Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Month - Day 4

Happy 4th of July. It was a great day of enjoying time with family and friends.

I made a simple Chocolate Ice Cream to celebrate the day.

1 cup of milk
2 cups of heavy cream
6 tsp of cocoa powder
6 oz of semi sweet chocolate
4 egg yolk
pinch of salt

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Apple Crumble A La Mode

National Ice Cream Month - Day 3

We are spending the 4th of July on the Central Coast this year. I was lucky enough to be able to spend my collage years here. Nothing beats the SLO life. I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and one of the best places to eat is the Apple Farm Inn. It just a nice comfortable country style restaurant that serves home style food with a great family friendly attitude.

I took my wife to lunch here to day  and after our lunch and in the spirit of National Ice Cream month we ordered an Apple Crumble A La Mode. The Ice Cream on the Apple Crumble was a very nice Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. You just can't really go wrong going a la mode because everything taste better with ice cream.

Comeback tomorrow and see what I post for the 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ciao Bella - Chocolate Alba Hazelnut Gelato

National Ice Cream Month - Day 2

I hope everyone is enjoying National Ice Cream Month. I'm doing my first ice cream review on this site. Up until this point all the ice cream I have featured has been ones that I have made. It feels odd writing about another ice cream but I'll give it my best shoot. 

Ciao Bella technically isn't ice cream it is Gelato.  This gelato has a great chocolate flavor and a nice subtle hazelnut finish. The chocolate flavor isn't your ordinary milk chocolate it has a deeper flavor almost leaning towards dark chocolate. The hazelnut flavor was spot on they even added bits of roasted pieces of hazelnut so that you get that extra bit of nuttiness in every bite. 

The gelato texture was very smooth, I let the container rest for a few minutes during that time  I snapped some photos. Gelato is typically served a little warmer than ice cream since it doesn't have as much butterfat as regular ice cream. Since your serving it a little warmer you tongue will get to experience the flavor more and your taste buds won't freeze up and go numb.

This was my first time trying Ciao Bella gelato and I was very pleased. I'd definitely get this again when I need a Nutella fix.

Let me know if you have any suggestion for other ice cream to try. I'm always on the look out for great ice cream!

I'll see you tomorrow. Who know what I have in store but I'm pretty sure it will be delicious.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mocha Almond Fudge

Happy National Ice Cream Month!!

July is here and summer is getting into full swing. It is my personal goal to post each day this month. The topics may vary but I have an idea that it will be mostly about the ice cream I am eating that day.  Yep you read it right I'm going to try and eat 31 days of ice cream this month.

I'm starting it off today by celebrating National Ice Cream month with my co-workers. I made a Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream that we all got to enjoy and a great break from the daily grind.

A little twist with Mocha Almond Fudge. I made it with Starbucks Via Instant Coffee - Bold Italian Roast. It turned out really well a great alternative if you don't have time to steep the coffee beans with you ice cream base.

2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of milk
4 egg yolks
2/3 cups of Sugar
2 individual packets of Starbucks Via Italian Roast
8 tsp of dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup of toasted sliced almonds

The pictures will probably be not as good as my normal post, I'll be shooting most of the pictures with my iPhone 4. But I think you will get the hint and hopefully it will make me a better food photographer.

I hope everyone takes part in National Ice Cream Month go out and enjoy some great quality ice cream. Support a local  ice cream parlor or even attempt to make some homemade ice cream.

Let me know if you have any ice cream questions or suggestion.

Thank so much for visiting and I'll see you again tomorrow!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crème Brûlée Ice Cream

Crème brûlée ice cream is two great desserts in one. Crème brûlée is a fantastic dessert just by itself. It is a rich, creamy custard that is usually vanilla-flavored. Right before it is served, a thin layer of sugar is spread over the custard and a mini torch is used to melt and caramelize the sugar. This ice cream flavor has been on my "to make" list for awhile. Last Friday, my wife and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary; and one of her requests was for me to make a Crème Brûlée Ice Cream. I was more than happy to grant her wish.

When you eat crème brûlée you have to break through the caramelized sugar layer to scoop into the creamy vanilla custard. In each bite, your mouth will have the soft silky custard texture and the crispy crunchy caramelized sugar -- it a great contrast to each other. The key to the ice cream is to replicate that crunchy caramel sugar topping to give you that distinct crème brûlée flavor.

To create my rendition of crème brûlée, I start off with a very custardy ice cream base.


7 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
1 pinch of salt
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Begin the base by warming the milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, sugar, salt and vanilla bean in a sauce pan over medium high heat. I basically doubled the amount of eggs I would normally use to create vanilla ice cream to give it a more custardy flavor. Once the milk and cream mixture comes to a low boil, temper the eggs yolks with the milk and cream. Pour the ice cream base back into the sauce pan and over medium heat bring the mixture up to 165 degrees, using an instant read thermometer. Make sure to stir the ice cream base constantly so that the custard doesn’t clump up and start sticking to the bottom of the sauce pan, which will ruin your ice cream base. Once the ice cream base reaches 165 degrees, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe bowl. Add in the remaining cream and vanilla extract and the place the ice cream base on an ice bath for 1 hour. This will help stop the cooking process on the ice cream base and keep it nice and smooth. Refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 4 hours. Then follow your ice cream maker instructions.

To replicate the crunchy caramel sugar topping, caramelize 1/2 cup of sugar in a small sauce pan. When caramelizing sugar, remember to give it your full attention, because it can quickly burn and then your caramel is ruined. Let the sugar melt over medium high heat and constantly stir the sugar. When the sugar starts melting, it will slowly start to caramelize and turn brown. Once it reaches a nice amber color, pour the caramel over a piece of aluminum foil. You want to make the caramel as thin as possible so it will be easier to crumble into the ice cream later. Let the caramel cool for a couple of hours. You can make this ahead of time so that when your ice cream is done churning, you can mix the caramel pieces.

Once have your ice cream churning in the machine, now is a good time break up the caramel into tiny pieces. To do this I peeled the caramel away from the foil and then put the pieces in between wax paper. I then used a meat tenderizer to shatter the caramel into tiny pieces. Place the shattered caramel pieces into a bowl. Once the ice cream has reached a soft serve consistency, scoop the ice cream into a bowl and then combine with the caramel pieces. For 1 pint of ice cream, I used 3 teaspoons of caramel pieces. I feel that this is a good ratio; but if you like more or less caramel pieces, it is totally up to you how much to include. You can reserve large pieces of caramel for garnishing your ice cream.

I really enjoyed this ice cream. The extra rich and creamy vanilla custard with bits of crunchy and toasty caramel capture the essence of a great crème brûlée.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for all of your comments and feedback. It is truly great to hear from you; and if you do try to make this dessert, please let me know how it turns out.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Che Chuoi (Banana and Coconut) Ice Cream

What is che? Che is a Vietnamese sweet dessert soup. Maybe soup isn't the proper description because when we think of soup, it is something savory and very seldom is it sweet.  Che in the Vietnamese culture can be a combination of sweet rice, red beans, mung beans and gelatins, usually swimming in a sugary syrup or in a bath of sweetened coconut milk. Che can be served either warm or cold -- I usually prefer mine on the chilled side. I grew up eating a lot of che. My mom and aunts were experts at making it; and that is part of the reason why I have such a big sweet tooth.

The event Delicious Vietnam is being hosted by A food lover’s journey and Ravenous Couple.   The challenge is to cook a Vietnamese dish or put a spin on a traditional Vietnamese dish. My challenge is to create an ice cream inspired by a Vietnamese dish.

One of my favorite types of che is Che Chuoi, which is traditionally made with bananas, tapioca pearls and coconut milk. The bananas that are used are not your typical store-bought bananas. These are Kepok bananas, which are fatter and not as round or long. They also have a starchier taste, usually not as sweet and are much firmer. You can cook these bananas and they won't get as soft as your regular bananas. You can find Kepok bananas in your local Asian market or even your Mexican grocery store.

Che Chuoi gets its wonderful flavor by simmering the bananas in the sweet and creamy coconut milk and tapioca pearls. The coconut milk gains some of the banana flavor and the banana is softened by cooking in the coconut milk.  This dessert has so much texture going on...the tapioca pearls dancing in your mouth, the soft texture of the bananas and the sweet coconut milk coating your entire mouth. The flavor just lingers on your tongue after each spoonful.

Che Chuoi Ice Cream:
2 Kepok bananas (you can substitute regular bananas)
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
toasted sesame seeds or crushed peanuts for garnish

My Che Chuoi inspired ice cream starts off by simmering coconut milk with the Kepok bananas for 30 minutes on medium heat. Remove the bananas and save for later. Stir in sugar, salt and 1 cup of heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a low boil and then transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Add the remaining cup of heavy cream to ice cream base. Place the ice cream base into an ice bath for 1 hour and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

Follow your ice cream makers instructions. At this time, slice up the bananas into small bite size pieces. When the ice cream reaches a soft -serve consistency transfer the ice cream into freezer safe bowls. Alternate scooping the ice cream and sprinkling the banana pieces. Do this until the bowls are full of the coconut banana goodness. Let the ice cream harden in your freezer for a couple hours before serving.  When serving the dessert you can top it off with some salted, crushed peanuts or toasted sesame seeds, just the like how Che Chuoi would normally be topped off before serving.

Cam on (Thank you),

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries in a Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I'm sensing that the country is now in full Strawberry Season swing. My food blogging friends at Daydreamer DessertsSteamy KitchenWhite on Rice, and Citron et Vanille have recently posted about their strawberry creations. If you have been paying any attention on Taste Spotting or Food Gawker it seems like every other photo contains some form of strawberries. I love seeing everyone's creative take on the strawberry -- it's such a delicate and versatile fruit. 

As with most things in life, simplicity is best. Just let the individual ingredients stand out and shine on their own.  For my latest strawberry creation, I wanted to create something simple that would portray the sweet and lively strawberry flavor in its best light. Just imagine eating chocolate dipped strawberry with a scoop your favorite vanilla bean ice cream. 

In this recipe, I dipped pieces of freshly diced strawberries into melted dark chocolate and froze them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. I then made a simple and delicious vanilla bean ice cream. Just keeping it simple.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries:
1 cup diced strawberries
6 ounces dark chocolate

I diced the strawberries into bite size pieces. I then melted 6 ounces of dark chocolate. You can melt chocolate in your microwave or you can use the double boiler method. If you are using the microwave, I would suggest you do it in 10-15 second intervals and stir the melted chocolate until it is completely melted.

Next, mix in half of your diced strawberries into the melted chocolate. I used two forks to cover and coat the strawberries with chocolate, remove them one by one and place them onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Once you have repeated the steps with the remaining strawberries, place the baking sheet in the freezer. I would suggest you leave it in the freezer for a couple of hours, and then remove the frozen chocolate strawberries from the sheet and place them in a freezer safe container or a ziploc bag. 

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, adapted from the David Lebovitz book The Perfect Scoop:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean pod 
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan heat up 1 cup of the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape out the vanilla bean seeds. Place both the vanilla beans and the pod into the sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a slight boil and then temper the egg yolks with the mixture. Place the ice cream base back in the saucepan and return it to the heat.  Once the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and you can swipe a line on it, remove from the heat. 

Pour the ice cream base into a heat proof bowl and add the rest of the cream and vanilla extract. Stir and place the bowl into an ice bath. Let cool for 1 hour and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Pour the chilled ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer -- the vanilla seeds should be small enough to flow through the strainer. You can rinse the vanilla pod, dry it out and leave it in your sugar jar to infuse your sugar with a beautiful vanilla aroma (great in your morning cup of coffee). 

Follow your ice cream maker instructions. Once the ice cream is at a soft serve consistency, transfer it to a freezer safe container. Alternate a layer of vanilla ice cream with your frozen chocolate-covered strawberries.

Strawberries remind me that spring is here and summer is just around the corner. You'll probably see a couple more strawberry ice cream related posts before the end of strawberry season. Enjoy the sunshine.

If you have any requests, please leave them in the comment section below. 

Thank you. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Salted Carmel Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich

I had a cheesecake craving this week. It all started when I went to the bakery last week and I was all set to order a slice of cheesecake; but, they had completely run out of it. Even though I had already planned my post this week to feature a salted caramel ice cream, when I was in the kitchen, I realized that I still really wanted cheesecake. And that's when the idea hit me: How about a cheesecake ice cream with salted butter caramel drizzles and graham cracker pieces, too? Thinking it through some more, I figured that cheesecake ice cream drizzled with caramel and sandwiched in between a couple pieces of graham crackers would be the best route.

So it was born -- the Salted Carmel Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich. Obviously this isn't your traditional baked New York style cheesecake. The ice cream is airy, sweet and cream cheesy. The salted caramel drizzle brings in a sweet buttery flavor; and the tiny bit of salt enhances the cream cheese flavor of the ice cream.

This cheesecake ice cream is very versatile. You can serve it with fresh fruit. You can even crush up graham crackers and  use it as a bed for your ice cream, then add some fresh black berries (or any other fresh berries you have on hand) to make a totally different dessert. 

Cheesecake Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
8 oz package cream cheese
pinch of salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

The Salted Carmel Sauce can be found on my previous post "Sassy Strawberry."

In a medium sauce pan, heat 1 cup of the heavy cream, milk, and sugar. When the mixture is warm, temper the 3 egg yolks in a separate bowl. Once 3/4 of the mixture has been tempered with the eggs, pour the ice cream batter back into the sauce pan and return to the heat. Add the cream cheese and, if you desire a bit more tanginess, you can include some sour cream. Use a whisk to break up the cream cheese and make the ice cream base smooth. After the ice cream base reaches a low boil, remove it from the heat. Place the ice cream base in a heat proof bowl. Next, stir in the remaining heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract. Place in an ice bath for 1 hour and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Follow your ice cream maker instructions. When your cheesecake ice cream is a soft serve consistency, place the half of the ice cream in a 9x9 inch freezer safe pan.  Let the ice cream set up in the freezer.

To make the ice cream sandwiches, break some of your graham crackers in half and use them as patterns to cut out ice cream squares in the 9x9 pan. Place an ice cream square on top of one half of your graham cracker, drizzle on your salted butter caramel, and then place the other half of your graham cracker on top of your ice cream sandwich.  

You can serve your Salted Caramel Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich with a side of caramel sauce for those with an extra big sweet tooth. 


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