Day 240 – Nitro!

Tonight ended really well… and I now know exactly what my next ice-cream-making purchase will have to be.

Dinner was a very solid Indian performance. But no dessert. So we wandered the streets of Melbourne in search of something good. It is remarkably hard to find just-desserts in Melbourne; clearly they aren’t very desserty people down here.

However…

When they do dessert, they do it spectacularly.

Stand Back! They are Going To Try Science!
Stand Back! They are Going To Try Science!

This gelato shop makes the gelato from scratch right in front of you. With Science! And Liquid Nitrogen!

Goopy delicious ingredients go in the mixing bowl. Mixing bowl starts. Liquid nitrogen gets poured in. Instant ice cream.

Day 227 – Broken Ice and Bells

Please be gentle with me weekend!

As it stands I have to re-do the Elderflower/Lime ice cream a *third* time. I had neither realised nor credited the critical importance of sugar to sorbet. Apparently it spells the difference between nice scoopable sorbet and big chunks of chisel-only ice in the freezer.

There is so much yet to learn.

I just had a semi-nap through part of Nerdist, which means that A: I feel slightly more human, B: I missed part of the discussion with Broken Bells. I enjoyed the track closing the episode. I’ll have to take some time to listen to a whole album this weekend.

spotify:track:5gPrOspTrxMNKKL44h40O2

Even so, I think I’ll sleep early. I want to wake well-rested tomorrow, then return home well-wasted from the gym and take it from there.

Day 226 – Fatigue

Still not getting to sleep at a reasonable time.
It’s not that I’m not tired, but my brain is too alert and swirling with ideas.

Maybe this is just like how it can be hard to fall asleep when a problem is still stuck in my head. When that happens I’ve had a lot of success with writing everything down that I might worry about forgetting and then it just allows itself to switch off.

Maybe something similar applies here.

Tomorrow evening I will start putting all my ideas somewhere that I will not forget them. Fingers crossed that’ll help.

And in between I make ice cream.
Sin will be over to make Port Pears with me.
There will be pictures.

There won’t be samples.

Sorry.

Day 222 – Carrot Cake!

I dozed my way through a large chunk of today. No idea what’s gotten over me.

I did manage more ice cream between naps. I really like how easy the new machine makes it to decide to do another experiment. Immediate gratification FTW.

Today’s recipe was an interpretation of “carrot cake ice cream” as suggested by Abbey. The frosting turned into the base, and the base into garnish.

First: bake 1 carrot cake, slice it into small pieces.

Proto-Ice-Cream
Proto-Ice-Cream

Next: mix 500ml cream cheese + 300ml cream + lots of Frangelico. Place into ice cream maker and run for 20 minutes. Add pieces of carrot cake into the mixture. Run for another 20 minutes.

Finally: decant into container, and decorate with walnuts on top. Freeze.

The mixture tasted okay, but I haven’t tried the finished product yet. Not the biggest fan of cream-cheese-based-desserts, but the Frangelico makes up for a lot. Tasting notes later.

More sleep now?

Day 221 – Today’s Recipes

Technically speaking, neither of the mixtures I prepared today qualify to be called ice cream as such.

First experiment was Banana-Froyo, just out of curiosity for how well it’d work. Simply tip a tub of 5AM Vanilla into machine. Let run for 20 minutes. Slice one banana into small pieces. Mix banana in. Let run for another 20 minutes. Done!

This recipe worked out really well, and is very low-effort.

Second experiment was the Elderflower/Lime Sorbet suggestion from the competition. I’m not sure how it worked out yet; sorbets are a little tricky. Create 1l of Elderflower cordial mixture, using about 150-200ml of cordial syrup. Squeeze and strain two limes into the mixture. Put into machine. Let run for about 60 minutes.

Sorbets like this do not set as well as I’d like. At some point the entire contents end up rotating with the paddle, meaning not a lot of mixing is going on. It tends to leave residue of unfrozen mixture.

Still, taste-test of the mixture have proven it has a nice flavour.
I just keep my fingers crossed it sets in the freezer in a fashion that is still scoop-able.

Day 220 – Plans and Schemes

It’ll feel strange to have a weekend with no Wet’n’Wild in it.

This weekend I’ll be doing whatever I can to help with the bathroom renovations. I’m going slowly insane without a shower at home. If I start gibbering in the coming weeks you’ll know what’s going on.

There will also be a jigsaw in this weekend. A puzzle that is; family gatherings over puzzles are too far in the past. I get a bit OCD over puzzles, but it’s a great way to let the impulse run its course in a controlled environment. You might want to give it a try yourself.

And I’ll be making some ice cream.

Today I at long last handed Peter his winnings. I still need to work out when Sin has time to come over and make Port Pear Ice Cream with me.

But I also intend to work out what Carrot Cake Ice Cream is supposed to be, and make it. And I will be making Elderflower/Lime Ice Cream for Amelia.

Not sure what I’ll do with any left-over time.
If there is such a thing.

Also, I left my stray thought at work, so I’ll have to leave thinking it for Monday. I’m not going into work on the weekend to gather my thoughts.

Day 214 – Winners

All the recipe suggestions I received sounded delicious in their own way… with maybe one or two illustrious exceptions.

The following two recipes are the winning suggestions though:

  • Sin with her Port Poached Pear. Vanilla base, with chunks of poached pear & a thick caramel-consistency port syrup swirled through it.
    I’ve never tried a swirl through ice cream so that’ll take some experimentation; I can’t wait to report on how it turns out.
  • Peter with his Amaretto Liqueur and Anzac biscuits.
    I am proposing a substitution of Bitterkoekjes for the biscuits to add a bit of Dutch interest into the mix.

I want to give all the runners-up something for participating though, so I intend to make the following flavours to gift to those that proposed them (at my earliest convenience, which may take a while between all my other obligations; please be patient!):

  • Abbey with her Carrot Cake ice cream, although I’ll have to get a few more details about how that’d exactly work first before I can make it.
  • Lauren with her Chocolate, Fruchocs (whatever they are) and a swirl of liqueur. Maybe Brandy? Unless Fruchocs go better with something else.
  • Christina with her Watermelon, Lychee, Peach and Mango. This sounds very much like a candidate for a sorbet to me.
  • Jonathan with his Nyan Cat Hairball. I haven’t been able to get the suggestion out of my brain since he made it. His other suggestion was more of an in-joke I think.
  • Amelia with her Elberberry Flower & Lime. Which once again sounds like a sorbet with such delicate flavours.
  • Ken with his Peanut Butter & Honey, or possibly the Pavlova with Passionfruit ripple. I also have to make the Anchovy Ripple, but that’s just a long overdue in-joke, so that can keep till all the others have been made.

Day 202 – Sunbeam Give-Away

It’s a Competition.
With a Give-Away.
For FREE!
(Almost)

I recently acquired a superior ice-cream-making solution. As a result I now have two fully functional Sunbeam Snowy ice cream makers that will otherwise have to get sent to a farm up-state.

Snowy

I very briefly considered selling both on eBay.
But then a more fun idea presented itself.

All I want is your tastiest/weirdest/funniest ice-cream-flavour suggestion in the comments below.

Also, for bonus points: indicate if you are willing to prepare the suggested flavour and share the sampling of the first scoop with me so that I can blog about it here. If this is your first ice-cream attempt, I can help with the making of your suggestion.

On Saturday, February 15th (2014) I’ll pick the two suggestions I like most and each will get a Snowy of their very own.

If you just want to take part in making suggestions without being eligible for a Snowy, mark your suggestions with “#nowin”.


And the winners have been drawn now; see Day 214 – Winners.

Day 199 – The Ice Man Cometh

Coffee/Ferrerro by request, and Banana-Choc-Chip for good measure.

I have a birthday party to attend tomorrow, and I had promised ice cream. My holiday has made me very disorganised though, so the cooling elements weren’t in the freezer yet as-at this morning.

In an up-to-that-point unrelated event, some money I wasn’t expecting had made its way into my account from the Netherlands. After about half an hour of research, I had figured out the best model, and I had found a vendor in Castle Hill with stock.

A short road-trip later…

Industrial looking box
Industrial looking box

I am now the proud slave to a 1.5l ice cream maker with compressor. Which means that I do not need to freeze elements ever again, and I can now make as many batches of ice cream in a row as I want/need to.

Russian Nesting Packaging
Russian Nesting Packaging

Apparently this model has been flying off the shelves; if the warehouse was to be believed they had just received a shipment of 200 to keep up with demand.

Square and Foreboding
Square and Foreboding

The machine itself looks very industrial with a minimum of moving/removable parts; it has already proven easy to clean. It also comes with separate paddles for ice cream and gelato, and the recipe booklet has a variety of ice cream recipes that do not even involve eggs, which could broaden my options for future ice-cream-making.

Old and New
Old and New

The new container doesn’t look that much larger than the old, but I used to only be able to make up to 1l at a time. This container should be good for up to 1.5l, but if nothing else it means I can put more solid ingredients into the mix without risk of overflow.

Time is Running Out
Time is Running Out

It took about 40 minutes per batch to cool sufficiently. It didn’t set as firm in the machine as I was used to, but it does seem better aerated. And once it goes through the actual freezer I expect it’ll be more than sufficiently solid. Also, these were lactose-free batches which always are harder to set, so this may actually have worked out perfectly.

I can’t wait to sample the results.

Now I just need to find new homes for the two old machines that are still taking up space. And I wonder how long before I get inundated with ice cream requests.