Sprinkle Me

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Suga suga…

Cookies and ice cream are probably the best pairing next to cheese and wine. My favorite store-bought cookie as a child were the Mother’s Circus Animal Cookie Parade. I’d dig through the bag and just eat the frosted- and sprinkle-clad, buttery shortbread cookies, discarding the rest. For A Streetcar Named Devour’s 4th Birthday (GASP! It’s already been 4 years?!) I wanted to create a spin on an old-school favorite and make an ice cream that tasted like those pretty pink-and-white cookies.

cakebites

sprankles

This recipe includes real frosted vanilla cake bites (leftover birthday cake cut into bite-sized pieces) with a great vanilla ice cream base recipe from David Lebovitz’ must-have book, The Perfect Scoop, and, of course, sprinkles. And lots of ‘em.
Happy Birthday, Streetcar!

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Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Yields: About 1 quart
Adapted slightly from The Perfect Scoop

INGREDIENTS
1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups leftover cake, cut into bite-size pieces and frozen thoroughly** (If you don’t have any leftover cake on hand, go to the bakery section of your local grocery store and you’re sure to find birthday cupcakes and small cakes available.)
1/4 cup Jimmy sprinkles

METHOD
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar into a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for about 1 hour.

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, frozen cake bites, and sprinkles. Refrigerate overnight to chill thoroughly.

**Cook’s note: It’s important to freeze your cake pieces beforehand, so that the pieces don’t soften once incorporated into the ice cream base. I like to first freeze the cake slices (and securely wrap them in plastic wrap) for about 3 hours, then cut them into the bite-size pieces, then return them to the freezer (again wrapped in plastic) before adding to the ice cream. 

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A Fine Farewell

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I first made these rasta-style popsicles last year as a surprise farewell treat for my sweet roommate and friend, Gina, who was moving out of our Oakland abode for an amazing teaching job. The popsicles were devoured after we had yummy Shan Dong take-out while watching Cry Baby. (Perfect night in, right?) She and her circle of friends from college started photographing every collective red, yellow and green sighting on their Instagram accounts and hashtagging them with “#jahworksinmysteriousways.” (And it turned out that the clever man who coined that hashtag is now my current roommate, Brian.) So I thought it would be a cute (and tasty!) idea to make her these vegan “Jahsicles.” I later posted a pic of the popsicles on my personal Instagram account and it became the 300th #jahworksinmysteriousways post! Next level! (The hashtag has more than 500 posts to date.)

How fitting is it that while I type this, I find that this recipe has gone full-circle? Looking around my bedroom, it is now filled with my boxed-up belongings, as I, too, am in the process of moving out of the house. To new adventures! (And yummy popsicles!)

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Roasted Strawberry Base
Recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker 

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound strawberries, stems removed and halved
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
7 ounces cultured almond milk yogurt (I used Amande)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place your strawberries in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Stir to fully incorporate. Place the strawberries onto a baking sheet tray and into the oven to roast till they’re softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the roasted strawberries into a food processor. Add the sugar and lemon juice and blend till smoothie-like. In a separate bowl, using a rubber spatula or spoon mix the yogurt and vanilla extract, adding the strawberry puree. Refrigerate.

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Mint Lime Coconut Base
Recipe slightly adapted from Kitchenette Blog

INGREDIENTS
7 ounces canned coconut cream
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup lime, juiced
1/2 bunch mint, picked
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

METHOD
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend till smoothie-like. Refrigerate.

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Pineapple Coconut Base

INGREDIENTS
1 cup (8 ounces) frozen pineapple chunks
7 ounces canned coconut cream
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

METHOD
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend till smoothie-like. Refrigerate.

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POPSICLE ASSEMBLY
Once all of your bases are made, gather three liquid measuring cups (this makes it easier to pour) or cups (if you don’t have more than 1) and place each flavor into a separate cup. Pour a third of the strawberry puree into the bottom of each popsicle mold. Freeze the popsicles for about 30 minutes to an hour to set the puree before adding in the next base. Once set, pour in a third of the mint lime coconut base into the molds. Freeze for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the base is set. Then pour a third of the pineapple coconut base into each mold. Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

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Crunch Time

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One of my fondest memories as a kid were frequent outings with my family to get ice cream at Thrifty’s. Those cylinder-shaped blocks of ice cream that were scooped atop another were irresistible. My parents would ask me how many scoops I wanted, and I’d always ask for two. Ice cream was a lot cheaper back then–.59 cents a scoop. My dad remembers them being .10 cents a scoop at Thrifty’s when he was a kid. Now, Thrifty’s sells their ice cream for about $1 a scoop. Oh, how times have changed. But my love for their Chocolate Malted Crunch ice cream has not. Those little bits of chocolate chips and mini crunchy malted bits in the creamy malted chocolate ice cream were to-die-for! The weather has been heating up here in the Bay, so my best attempt at recreating this retro favorite was very fun and hugely successful.

Two scoops, please.

Two scoops, please.

And because I love a good ice cream sandwich (who doesn’t?), CLICK HERE for my Whoppers Cookie recipe. These cookies are good on their own, too. Just sayin’. Then follow this LINK for NSFW ice cream sandwich assembly pics.

Chocolate Malted Chip Ice Cream
Recipe slightly adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Yields 1 quart

Ice cream mis en place

Ice cream mis en place

INGREDIENTS
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided (chocolate chips work, too)
1 cup whole milk or heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup brown sugar (I prefer it taste-wise to white sugar)
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups malted milk powder (Please please please use real malted milk powder! Many brands like Ovaltine contain added sugars and don’t produce the same results. The original recipe called for 1 cup of the powder, but I found that adding a 1/2 cup more produced better results.)***

METHOD
Combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the cocoa powder in a medium-size saucepan and whisk together until there are no lumps.

Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 30 seconds whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add in half of the chopped chocolate (2 ounces) and whisk till it’s completely melted and smooth. Stir in the other cup of heavy cream and pour into a large bowl, using a rubber spatula to scrape all of the mixture from the saucepan.

Properly tempering the eggs into the milk reduces clumps.

Properly tempering the eggs into the milk reduces clumps.

In the same saucepan, warm the milk, brown sugar and salt. In a separate medium-size bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add a cup of the warmed milk to the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the yolks. Once the egg yolks have been tempered, add them to the saucepan and whisk on medium heat. Continue to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the egg mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency and coats the back of the spatula.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer and str into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract and malted milk powder, whisking until the mixture is completely combined.

Cool the chocolate custard base in the refrigerator till it’s completely chilled. This should take at least 4 hours.

Almost there!

It’s happening!

Pour the chocolate malted custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While churning, add in the remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate to the mixture.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap atop the churned ice cream mixture to avoid freezer burn or forming ice crystals while it freezes.

If you ask me, I'm ready

If you ask me, I’m ready

***COOK’S NOTE: So what is malted milk powder? Besides its use as a base for beer and whiskey, malt is used to add a sweet, nutty flavor. It’s a grain (oftentimes barley) that’s sprouted and quickly dried. The grain is finely ground with the addition of wheat flour and powdered milk.

Flavor of the Week

Now in season: strawberries!

Now in season: strawberries!

When I worked as a Pastry Chef Assistant, I had the pleasure of making ice cream and sorbet bases daily. And when I say pleasure, I mean it. Ice cream and sorbets are a fairly easy sweet treat to make at home. And quite honestly, with all the ingredients listed on many store-bought ice creams–preservatives, additives, and chemicals one can’t even pronounce–it’s actually healthier (and perhaps safer) to consume those of the homemade variety. Wouldn’t you agree?

Now in season, strawberries are ideal for this warm weather, so sorbet is in order!

Ooh, and for a cool (alcoholic) refresher, you can add a scoop of the sorbet to a flute of sparkling wine (Prosecco works well) for a Bellini-style cocktail.

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Warning: Consumption of strawberries before making sorbet is often unavoidable!

Strawberry Sorbet
Yields about 1 quart

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces or 1 pound) strawberries, stems removed and quartered
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice (I used grapefruit juice and it tasted great!)

METHOD
Place the water and sugar into a small saucepan stirring to just combine. Heat over medium-high and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. You’re basically making a simple syrup, so heat the sugar water till it’s a slightly syrupy consistency. Turn off the heat and transfer the simple syrup into a small bowl and into the refrigerator to cool.

While the simple syrup cools down, wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Cut the strawberries into quarters. Place strawberries into a food processor or blender and blend till the fruit is completely broken down, adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.

Seriously so good

Seriously so good

Transfer the strawberry gazpacho to your ice cream maker, adding in the simple syrup. Churn the strawberry soup according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions. (My Hello Kitty Ice Cream Maker processes the mixture for 40 minutes.)

Sorbet before

Sorbet before

Sorbet after

Sorbet after

Once the mixture has been churned completely, place a sheet of plastic wrap just pressing the top of the sorbet to avoid getting ice crystals while freezing. Place into your freezer for at least 4 hours or until firm.

If I could escape...

If I could escape…