Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream

This roasted strawberry ice cream is my absolute favorite. It is by far the best ice cream I have ever tasted in my life. The texture is perfect, the color is perfect, the consistency is perfect, and most important of all, it taste delicious.

The technique to make the strawberry flavor way more intense than a commercial ice cream, is to roast the strawberries with balsamic vinegar and sugar, to caramelize the fruit. It is better to roast them because it prevents any ice crystals to form because if you do not roast the strawberries, all the juices will crystallize when you freeze the ice cream, leaving you with ice crystals in your supposed-to-be-creamy ice cream. So, roasting the strawberries removes the liquids. The balsamic vinegar adds a deep flavor to the ice cream and the caramelizing part happens with this and the granulated sugar.

For the vanilla base, when you cook it on the stove top you want to get the right consistency, otherwise it won't thicken and your ice cream won't look like ice cream. Click here for the original recipe by Raiza Costa's blog, Dulce Delight and check out her amazing videos! =)

for the strawberries
1 pound fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Clean the strawberries, but leave them whole. Place them on your Silpat on a baking sheet and coat them with the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are very dark color and will be mushy. Depending on the size of your strawberries, the bigger they are, the more you have to bake them.

Collect all the strawberries and the juices released from it. Mash it with a fork or a masher, leaving the size of the chunks you want. Add the corn syrup. It is important that you add the corn syrup so don't leave it out! It won't leave any grains in the ice cream. Then, chill in the refrigerator. 

for the vanilla base
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean 
5 egg yolks
100 grams granulated sugar

In a large pot, big enough to hold all of the ingredients, combine the whole milk, heavy cream, and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a boil. This process allows the vanilla to infuse the milk with its flavor. When it starts to boil, turn off the heat, and cover the pan with a lid.

Whisk to break the yolks and add the sugar. Whisk until it becomes a pale yellow. Put the yolk mixture close to the milk, still on the stove top. Bring the milk, again, to a boil. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring a little bit of the hot milk into the yolks and whisk nonstop, so you don't end up with scrambled eggs. Keeping on pouring the hot milk into the yolks until about half of the milk is incorporated into the egg mixture. Bring the eggs back to the pan on low heat and keep stirring. The motion with your arm should be an 8 pattern. The lower the heat is, the creamier your ice cream will be. Do not stir quickly; aggressive stirring upsets the egg and your custard will be runny. Stir gently. 

To test if your custard is ready, lift your spatula. If the custard is dripping and has not coated the back of your spatula, it's too runny and needs more time to cook. If you can draw a line with your finger on the spatula and it forms a clean channel, it's ready.

Sieve the custard and immediately place over an ice bath. Keep stirring over the ice bath until there is no more steam. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The more you leave it in the fridge, the more mature it will get; at least 3 hours but the best way to make it really mature is to refrigerate it overnight. 

FREEZING THE ICE CREAM: Add the cold strawberries to the cream and mix to combine. With your ice cream maker running (or, depending on the manufacturing,...) pour it in and mix. After a while, your ice cream will gain body and volume, about 20 minutes. Put it into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer.

Once your ice cream is firm, take it out of the freezer, and serve! 

Bon app├ętit!

NOTE: Remember to always use fresh and good ingredients since the recipe only requires few items, every little thing will strongly affect the final taste. Try to use whole milk, because it adds more fat, which makes the result of your ice cream even more delicious.

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