So the name of this blog is Guilty Kitchen, but lately I haven’t felt too guilty about the loveliness being posted for your enjoyment. I’ve felt pride, and I’ve felt remorse (because there’s no leftovers), but I haven’t felt guilt for a while. Maybe it’s because as I see less and less of my toes, legs, and lower regions, I think to myself, “Damn, that’s going to be hard to get rid of after this baby comes.” Who has time to exercise with a toddler and a baby and a food blog?? Who I ask you? Not me.
Then I went to my 34 week midwife appointment. I was told that I am measuring slightly behind in belly girth and needed to eat more.
Me????? I need to eat more????
This is like telling an alcoholic that just a little shot of bourbon won’t hurt. Food and I are more than just best friends, we’re lovers, but lovers in the Romeo and Juliet kind of way. You know what I mean? Like we have way more reasons to be apart than we do to be together. I don’t think I need to remind those long time readers of my previous weight problems in high school, but if you are new around here…let’s just say I used to take up a lot more room in the atmosphere. Like 60 lbs. more (minus the current baby weight).
Me and food go way back, and I’ll just say that’s it’s a lifelong struggle to not eat everything in site at all times. If you see me at a buffet, just pretend you didn’t okay? What? It’s all you can eat!
In any case, my midwife telling me (in my husband’s presence) that I need to eat more, was a whole new bag of tricks. I was marched right out of there and over to a lovely little local café to grab a large americano with full fat cream and sugar and a side order of sausage roll. It was 5:30pm, and we were on our way home to eat dinner. This was definitely a free pass for not only me, but my husband too, to eat with no holds barred! Bring it on!
So what’s a girl to do when told to eat more? How many calories can possibly be packed into the amount of food I can actual get into my fetus-squeezed tummy? Well, look no further for calorie filled goodness. This is ice cream I would have dug into with a spoon right out of the container when I was single, the kind you eat while watching some horrible chick flick and calling all your girlfriends about jerkwad so-and-so who broke your heart. This is the ultimate cookies and cream ice cream.
I haven’t changed the basic recipe much, I like to be subtle, but what I have changed makes this ice cream just so much better than the one you used to pick out when you were a kid peering into the freezer while standing on your toes.
I’ve used all brown sugar, giving a more caramel colour and taste to the base custard. I dipped half the cookies in chocolate before crumbling them to add more texture and flavour. I used vanilla bean and vanilla extract, two slightly different versions of the same taste to add a depth and variation to that part of the flavour profile. The last thing I did was add a mighty swirl of dulce do leche. This is the best caramel type substance ever, lush and flavourful, easy to make and just the right amount of sweet and salty.
There are many variations on how to make it and some of them involve a very dangerous method of submerging a can in water and boiling for 3 hours. Now, I’m not so much afraid of the can exploding, because as long as it is covered in water, it should be fine. No, what I am worried about is the can lining. Almost every food and beverage item that comes in a can is kept away from the metal of the can with a thin lining of BPA. If you don’t know what that is, see here. When heated, BPA leaches into foods and is then ingested. No thank you! So instead of this method or making it from scratch from several gallons of whole milk concentrated down, I followed the simple instructions of one David Lebovitz. I changed it ever so slightly, but what you get when all is said and done, is a luscious creamy caramel. Combined with a little alcohol to keep it from freezing to a rock hard unscoopable substance and mixed into this ice cream, what you get is pure heaven.
So if you are feeling like you need to gain a little weight or are having a down couple of days or even if you just want to eat really good ice cream, then do not lose this recipe. It’s well worth the effort.
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Servings: 10-12 small bowls
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 10-20 minutes
Freezing Time: Overnight
For the Custard Base:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
note on the dairy: You could go ahead and use any combination of dairy creams and milks that you like, but try to only play with the 2 1/4 cups on top of the 2 cups of heavy cream. If you take away too much of the heavy cream, your ice cream texture will suffer, and you will be left with more of an ice milk with loads of ice crystals. Good combinations would be:
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
3/4 cup milk
7 egg yolks
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz whiskey, bourbon, vodka or other alcohol (optional, best used by those without an ice cream maker)
1. In small bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt. Set aside.
2. In a medium sized saucepan, pour your dairy (heavy cream, half and half, sour cream and milk).
3. Split vanilla bean vertically, scrape out seeds into saucepan, toss in pods and set to medium heat.
4. Once cream begins to simmer, cover and remove from heat. Allow to steep for one hour.
5. Remove pods from cream and reheat to steaming. Gradually pour a thin stream of cream mix into egg yolk/sugar mix, whisking constantly.
6. Using a rubber scraper, scrape the cream/egg mix back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened. (Use the wooden spoon method here: when back of spoon is coated in custard, run a finger down the center. If the custard runs back together it’s not thick enough yet, if it remains separated, it’s ready.)
7. Strain into a bowl and either set that into an ice bath, continuously stirring until custard has cooled or set in fridge, stirring every 20 minutes or so until cooled.
8. When cooled, stir in vanilla extract and alcohol (if using). Cover and leave in refrigerator overnight.
9. For those with no ice cream maker: Place container (preferably metal with lid) in freezer. For first two hours, stir vigorously every 30 minutes. After that stir every hour or so until completely frozen. When almost completely set, stir in mix ins (recipe follows).
For those with an ice cream maker: Follow manufacturer’s instructions for freezing. When almost completely set, stir in mix ins (recipe follows).
20 Oreo Cookies
6oz good quality chocolate (dark or milk)
1. Over a double boiler, melt chocolate.
2. Dip cookies in to coat both sides and lay onto wax paper to set.
3. When completely set, store in an airtight container in fridge until needed.
4. Chop into desired size right before using.
For Dulce de Leche Swirl:
adapted from David Lebovitz
1 300ml can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 oz whiskey, bourbon or vodka (optional, for those with no ice cream maker)
1. In a small glass dish (pyrex, corningware, pie plate, etc.) pour the can of sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and stir and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
2. Set the small dish inside a larger one that is the same depth or deeper.
3. Fill the larger dish with water right up to within 3/4″ of the top of the smaller dish.
4. Set into a 425°F oven and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the shallowness of the dish you used. I used a small corningware ramekin and it took 2 hours for mine to be perfect. Begin checking after 1 hour and continue to check until done.
5. Refill the water as it’s cooking if it gets too low.
6. When cool, add the alcohol (if using) and whisk the dulce de leche until smooth.