It’s farmers’ market season in Regensburg. One of the things I look forward to every year are the tiny little “Forest Blueberries” — Waldheidelbeeren — we can (sometimes) find at the Donaumarkt. They make for a nice sauce, perhaps to use with a lovely brunchy plate of crêpes.
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie. Moving to Germany and having to make the puree ourselves (really, it’s not that hard) has raised my appreciation for that pie. It’s strongly connected with the season…but wouldn’t it be nice to have a slice in July? Continue reading Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
This is a milk chocolate flavor. I love that there’s no “don’t let it boil” admonishment and no eggs involved (which you have to cook, but not cook into scrambled eggs while shooting for custard). Go for a nice 50%-70% cocoa content in the chocolate bar. It doesn’t have to be richer than that.
We did the variation that David Lebovitz mentions on his site (resulting from a typo in the book, originally) and are sticking with that because of the extra smooth and dense texture, and a more intense chocolate flavor (owing to the reduced sugar) — more like a chocolate gelato than homemade chocolate ice cream.
Extra trickiness for European kitchens: you need ice (yeah, frozen water) around to make an ice bath near the end of the batter preparation. I’m not sure what other methods you could use to lower your batter temperature while keeping it pourable, but if you have some ideas, please share them in the comments! Before we got our stand-up chest freezer, we never had room in our two midget fridges to keep ice cubes around at the ready. But now we do.
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
4 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream — we used whipping cream (Schlagsahne)
1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk
1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
2 tablespoons (60 gr) light corn syrup
1/3 cup (35 gr) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
3 ounces (85 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make a slurry by mixing a few tablespoons of the milk with the corn starch in a small bowl, until smooth.
In a 4-quart (4l) saucepan, heat the rest of the milk, cream, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup. When the mixture comes to a moderate boil, whisk in the cocoa powder, then let it cook at a modest boil for 4 minutes.
After four minutes, whisk in the corn starch slurry then continue to cook for one minute, stirring constantly with a spatula, until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate and salt, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Make an ice bath: Find a smaller metal bowl that will fit into a larger metal bowl. Add ice, along with some cold water, to the larger bowl then set the smaller bowl into the ice. Pour the ice cream mixture into the smaller bowl and stir until completely cool.
The original recipe suggests pouring the batter into a zip-top bag and then submerging the bag in an ice bath for 30 minutes, and we tried this, but it was a PITA to get the batter out of the bag and into the ice cream dasher. And you waste a zip-top plastic bag in the process (either because you cut the corner to squeeze it out, like a pastry bag, or because it’s impossible to get all the batter out of the bag for any possible reuse).
Next time, we’ll use the alternative method with the two metal bowls he mentions (above).
Pour the now-cooled batter into the canister of an ice cream maker, then freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a shallow container. This is a good time to sprinkle stuff on top. We used chocolate shavings, but I think we’ll go with slivered almonds next time for a contrasting flavor. Freeze it for a few hours. Portions will be necessarily small (we’re talking about less than a quart here), but that’s OK given the richness.
For Christmas this year my sister and brother-in-law gave us an attachment for our KitchenAid mixer which had been on our list for quite some time: the ice cream maker. We’d been having problems with store-bought varieties going soft on us — even the upscale brands like Mövenpick and Langnese.
So we thought we’d give it a go making our own ice cream. Sis & BIL were kind enough to provide the necessary equipment (accordingly, they got some sausage-making attachments from us)… or so they thought! The box and instructions inside it both state that the KICA model Ice Cream Maker Stand Mixer attachment is compatible with all [emphasis mine] KitchenAid brand stand mixer models.
Lo and behold, after returning to Regensburg from Michigan, it was not so. Obviously there are different stand mixer versions (owing to different electrical systems around the world), but they don’t all have the same planetary drive hardware, which is critical to the design of the KICA “dasher” (the paddle which churns the ice cream batter for you).
We weren’t the only ones to have discovered this. Google searches quickly brought us to mobileliving.info‘s post on exactly this topic. We didn’t really want to shell out for replacement parts without an assurance from KitchenAid that we wouldn’t be voiding the warranty, so we tried our luck contacting KitchenAid through three avenues:
Live customer chat with KitchenAid USA was a bust; since we live in Germany, we were referred to the support avenues on kitchenaid.de. I gave it an honest try, but the only contact method was via telephone, and I was not willing to call them. Fortunately, we got answers back both via Twitter and email, and Cheryl C., KitchenAid’s Digital Detective, was immediately on the case. Just twelve days later the replacement parts we needed to make our cool, creamy dreams come true arrived, and everything worked just as (originally intended).
Today was the testing of the first batch. Absolutely yummy! Big, big thanks to the Schwester+BIL and Cheryl C. for making that customer reputation well-deserved!
Yesterday, we needed an ice cream fix. Our favorite Eisdiele, Diba, next to the Pustet Passage, was closed, despite business hours posted in the window that declared them open and ready to satisfy us. We shuffled over to Neupfarrplatz and tried to hit up Gellini instead — no love there, either.
Then today Tammy tried to walk in at a hair salon at 8:00 a.m., since they were supposed to be open, according to their hours — no dice…at least not for a couple hours. This evening, marking the one-week anniversary of our first day back at work and home after the cruise, we were planning on hitting our favorite local Greek restaurant (not, as you might think, because it’s so authentic, and/or we had so much Greek fare while abroad, but rather just because it’s tasty). I met her there directly after work. And guess what? They were closed, contradicting their posted business hours and messing up our dinner plans. Surprise.
About the only thing that has been unexpectedly open lately has been the tower of the Dreieinigkeitskirche (church of the Holy Trinity) around the corner from us, between Bombay Express and the Thai joint, Havan Bistro. Even after nine o’clock last night, they were open for visitors to climb up the I-don’t-know-how-many flights of stairs and take the city by the light of the full moon and gentle late summer breeze.