Every Christmas, our friend Brady from Yr Doing a Great Job makes the best edible present: Ancho Chili Pepper Jelly. It’s the kind of condiment that tastes amazing on everything- breakfast eggs, meat, roasted vegetables, tacos, etc. Our small jar is rationed out over the winter months to make it last as long as possible. This year, we begged off another jar so that we could use it as a mix-in for chocolate ice cream. Brady generously shared the family recipe with us, so you can make your own.
We’ve made chocolate ice cream before with different recipes, but the Bi-Rite recipe was the easiest by far and yielded the best tasting and creamiest results. It’s appropriate that we used a San Francisco creamery’s recipe with Brady’s jelly- he’s a Niners fan all the way.
We trimmed a Christmas tree (courtesy of our charming landlords). We checked out the tree at Rockefeller Center with out of town visitors. We finished our present shopping (well mostly). We baked speculos cookies, world peace cookies, and blondies. It was time that we focused our attention on some holiday themed ice cream, and Kira set her sights on a common decoration hanging from most Christmas trees: the candy cane.
Candy Cane Bark Supplies.
As the hosts for a large Thanksgiving gathering this year, we felt responsible to provide as much delicious food as possible. And second to a turkey, the most important part of any Thanksgiving meal is the pie. If pie is the equivalent dessert to turkey, then ice cream is the equivalent to gravy.
Maple Ice Cream atop Pecan Pie
Our Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream with Caramel “Chunks”
Things have been quiet over here. Our ice cream making has been on hiatus this summer as we packed and moved into a new apartment (with a bigger kitchen and plenty of freezer space in the basement!). While we have not been making ice cream, we have indulged in some frozen delights, which inspired the flavor we made recently.
The recipe made with raw fruit (L) and roasted fruit (R)
The bounty of late spring (now early summer) is upon us- the farmers markets are full of all the green vegetables we have been craving this long winter. Rhubarb (along with those oh so trendy wild ramps) is one of the first signs of spring. Luckily rhubarb sticks around long enough to overlap for a brief glorious moment with the advent of ripe strawberries.
Rhubarb stalks have a bright and tart taste which needs to be tempered with sugar to make it palatable. The plant contains the toxin oxalic acid so never eat the leaves! There are luckily smaller amounts of the toxin in the edible stalks. Interestingly enough, its qualities are those of a vegetable, but we consider it a fruit because of how we use it in desserts.
Market fresh strawberries and rhubarb stalks
One of the best pies, in my fair opinion, is a strawberry-rhubarb one. Strawberries are naturally sweet and balance the tartness of rhubarb. The bright red color is cheery and reminds us that warmer weather and longer evenings are on the way. With two fruits and strained yogurt, it’s easy to tell yourself that this is a “healthy dessert” (almost- if there wasn’t two forms of sugar and all the delicious cream).
Fresh peppermint purchased from the farmers market.
The farmers market has been kicking the past couple weeks, and we like cooking things that are in season. We will shortly be working our way through the various fruits that the Northeast has to offer (in various forms), but as of a couple weeks ago fruits were still scarce. The ice cream cake at Allswell inspired us to do a clean, simple, refreshing mint ice cream. After all, herbs are abundant at the market right now.
Mint Ice Cream between Salt & Pepper Mini Chocolate Cookies.
When thinking about mint and mint ice cream, we could not help but think of chocolate and how to incorporate that into our ice cream without taking away from the simple beauty of mint ice cream on its own. Chocolate shavings and mini ice cream sandwiches were our solutions. The perfect recipe for one bite ice cream sandwiches that I adapted from Dorie Greenspan‘s World Piece Cookies for Salt & Pepper Chocolate Cookies follows.
Bags of roasted coffee beans at Porto Rico Importing Co, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Our pal, Brady, has long expounded on the virtues of San Francisco ice cream shop, Humphry Slocombe, exclaiming that we have to vacation there just for the ice cream. Luckily, Mimi told us that they just published a compendium of their recipes, Humphry Slocumbe Ice Cream Book. They make the French style ice cream with an egg custard base, something which we haven’t done so far on this blog. We decided to use one of their recipes as a jumping off point for our own.
This ice cream tastes great with any classic doughnut. This marble cruller is from Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The San Francisco based Blue Bottle Coffee opened a Brooklyn outpost in 2010. While Kira is not a ‘coffee person’, she will indulge in the extremely caffeinated delight that is their New Orleans style Iced Coffee. Humphry Slocombe collaborated with Blue Bottle to dream up a Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, which we use loosely as a starting point for our own New Orleans Coffee Ice Cream.