Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Ice Cream Season

Well, it's about that time of year again, when I start getting ideas in my head for ice cream, and my wife starts getting sick of me making it somewhere around the 3rd or 4th batch. In the past, I've posted a few ice cream recipes:

My favorite by far is the ginger lemongrass, with the pumpkin Nutella right behind. Now I have some more flavors that I wanted to play with, but I wanted to get peoples' opinions on them:

goji berry (aka wolfberry)
I already have some dried goji berries rehydrating in the fridge, and I plan to make the ice cream base tonight and churn it tomorrow night. The idea for this was from my buddy Otto, so assured me that wolfberry ice cream would be a fabulous flavor, but who then refused to try any of the berries that I bought for it. We decided to try pureeing them in milk, which would make little specs of berry that looked like the little specs of vanilla seed in vanilla bean ice cream, and then letting them soak in the milk for a while before making the whole thing into ice cream. Time will tell if that was a good idea or not.

achiote guajillo (together as a base flavor)
The achiote guajillo flavor probably sounds pretty odd, especially to those who know what those two ingredients are. Achiote (aka annatto) is frequently used as a savory ingredient in various Latin American dishes, but it's also commonly used in butter and margerine, to keep a consistant color through the seasons. That said, I thought its subtle flavor might pair well with frozen, sweetened cream. But to back it up, I thought about using my favorite chile, the guajillo, which has a deep, almost brooding flavor. It's also relatively mild, especially when mixed with dairy, which tends to soften the heat of chiles even more. I might note that chiles are a type of berry, and who hasn't heard of berry ice cream, most noteably strawberry? I think it has the chance to be a suprisingly tasty flavor.

I'm not talking about swirls of Nutella this time, I'm talking about using it as a base flavor, just like chocolate is the base flavor in chocolate ice cream. I think it could probably pull off being its own flavor, but I also think that folding in cashew pieces might be a step in a very nice direction. I also thought about folding in marshmallows, but at that point it's turning into Rocky Road ice cream, and I'm just not about being a follower. I think the cashews alone would be most excellent.

cashew butter
Speaking of cashews, I think that cashew butter (the cashew version of peanut butter) would also make an excellent base flavor. It would be a little bit richer, setting a nice tone for something else. The only problem is, I think that something else would be needed. I tend to think that cashew butter on its own would be kind of boring. It needs something else to strike a nice flavor chord. I just don't know what. Ideas?

As you can see, the flavors that I like to experiment with tend towards the exotic end of the scale. It's not that I don't like the standard flavors, don't get me wrong. But let's face it, there are already a lot of excellent vanillas out there, and not much need to improve on them. I probably will come up with my own version at some point though, just to have it. But what I'm looking for now is something a little less ordinary. Anyone have any flavors or flavor combinations that they think might be worth trying out?


  1. What about dark chocolate, ancho and pecan?

  2. Jason, I like the way you think. That sounds like a really killer combination.

  3. Since I am no chef by any means (I do bake bread and cookies and the like) I am anxious to know if you end up doing the dark chocolate, ancho and pecan ice cream - I would love to make some.


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