White Chocolate Cardamom Ice Cream

Almost nothing in the dessert world beats good home made ice cream. And home made ice cream beats anything I’ve ever had from the freezer section of any grocery store. Mass production is generally the death of creaminess – in part because it usually means they leave out the eggs. The egg custard is what really makes home made ice cream (or small batch ice cream) amazingly creamy and delicious.

I have yet to find a good ice cream parlor in my area, so I suppose I’ll end up making a lot of ice cream as the weather continues to warm up. Fortunately, I had the good sense to purchase the Ample Hills Creamery cookbook when I was in Brooklyn last summer and my friend Rebekkah changed my life for the better by taking me there. These folks know their ice cream. If I couldn’t make it at home (or order it online), I’d have to visit New York a lot more often. Yes, it’s that good.

I made this flavor to eat with my Salted Caramel Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake last weekend, and it was a wonderful combination. Ample Hills’ ice cream is rich, creamy, and the flavors I’ve tried so far have all been really well-balanced.

This calls for fresh-ground cardamom, which I didn’t attempt since I still haven’t gotten around to buying a spice grinder. Next time, I’ll up the cardamom to compensate since it was a bit milder than I’d hoped. The white chocolate really came through, though, and it was a lovely pairing with the cinnamon in the cake. The left over caramel sauce was also an excellent accompaniment to the ice cream.

If you have an ice cream maker, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and buy the Ample Hills cookbook (and some ice cream while you’re at it). I’ll post a couple of the recipes here, but the book is a game changer for home made ice cream.

White Chocolate Cardamom Ice Cream (AKA Cardamom Bliss from Ample Hills Creamery)

Grade: A

  • 1 recipe Walt’s Dream (see below)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cardamom (a heaping 1/2 or 3/4 tsp if not fresh ground)
  • 7 ounces (200g) white chocolate, chopped

The base for a lot of Ample Hills’ recipes is called Walt’s Dream, and the recipe is as follows:

  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (I’m not that fancy, regular granulated sugar works fine)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk powder
  • 1 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks

Prepare an ice bath in your sink or a large heatproof bowl.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, skim milk powder, cardamom and milk. Whisk until smooth (making sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain – sugar will dissolve with heat). Stir in the cream.

Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent sticking and burning, until the mixture reaches 110° (45° C). (This will take 5 to 10 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat.

Next, whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. You’ll need to temper them before adding them to the cream base. To do this, slowly pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture while whisking continually. Whisk until the mixture is an even color and consistency, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture.

Return the pan to the heat and continue cooking, stirring often and scraping the bottom, until it reaches 165° (75° C) (another 5-10 mins).

For the Cardamom Ice Cream: remove the pan from the heat and stir in the white chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and no lumps remain.

Transfer the pan (or pour the custard into a heatproof bowl) to the ice bath and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the ice cream base through a wire mesh strainer into a storage container and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cooled. (Can be stored for up to three days before churning).

Transfer the cooled ice cream base to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

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