Archives for category: Fun Failures

Note: I started this post like 3 months ago but I didn’t want to post another Fun Failure so soon after the Pumpkin Ice Cream Incident. In the meantime I’ve had a chance to redeem myself, so hold on to your hats, this is a long one. Skip to the end of you just want a recipe for a good appetizer / snack.

The first time we discussed Style vs Substance I talked about the importance of food looking good when plated and especially when photographed. Today we’ll talk about the flip side, developing flavors.

A few weeks ago there was canned crab on sale. Being a rather impulsive shopper I snagged a can and picked up a few extra items over the next few weeks until i had the makings of one of my favorite foods, Crab Rangoon. A properly made crab rangoon is magic; you get the crunch of the wonton wrapper yielding to the soft velvet of warm cheese, the tang of scallion and soy cutting through the slight sweetness of crab meat and cream cheese.

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I suffer from chronic indecision. I have so many good ideas that I start to lose track and they all converge together like some kind of evil idea transformer that just gets bigger and bigger and turns on me to bite me in the ass.
That happened today.
I’m currently looking at a gallon of freshly churned ice cream. Don’t get excited. Its not that good.

Lets start at the beginning. For Thanksgiving I made pumpkin ice cream. Everyone said it was delicious but i’d eaten my weight in Mac & Cheese and didn’t have any. For Christmas my folks gave me an ice cream maker (thanks Mom & Dad!). I’ve  been kind of trying this Paleo Diet thing, to moderate success. I had a brick of fat-free cream cheese in the fridge that needed to get used before it went bad and a hunk of fresh ginger languishing in my produce bin.

To recap, these are the lego bricks in our house of horrors:

  • Canned plain pumpkin, NOT the pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling from the original T-giving triumph
  • Cream cheese
  • New shiny kitcheny gadget
  • A dairy free, sugar free diet
  • Fresh ginger root

Do we see the problem, friends? That’s a lot of conflicting flavors and ideas.  Fearless and heedless of any sort of common sense, I trudged ahead, seeking and finding three recipes that would become the foundation for this adventure.

Paleo Ice Cream: http://cavemanfood.blogspot.com/2009/06/coconut-milk-ice-cream.html
Cheesecake Ice Cream: http://www.recipesecrets.net/blog/recipes/copycat-baskin-robbins-cheesecake-ice-cream/
Pumpkin Ice Cream: http://www.ehow.com/how_7005_make-pumpkin-ice.html (NOT the recipe I used in November)

Bits and pieces, this and that, and this is what we ended up with:

2 cans Coconut Milk
2 eggs
1 c light brown sugar
1 c solid pack pumpkin
8oz fat free cream cheese
Grated ginger (1 1/2 tbsp?)
Lemon zest
Ground cinnamon

Start by making the custard base on a double boiler with the coconut milk, sugar, and ginger. Temper in the eggs.  Pour heated mixture over cream cheese and pumpkin, and let sit to the cream cheese softens a bit. Cream with hand mixer, cool the whole schmegeggie in the fridge for a few hours, then churn in your fancypants ice cream machine.

Looks good, eh?

Mmmm, Melty....

What? Doesn't everyone eat their treats out of a wine glass?

Pros:
Creamy texture, nice mouthfeel.
Not overly sweet with a lingering heat from the ginger at the finish.
Scoops easily.
Smells wonderful and has a pretty peachy color.
Pumpkin flavor present but not overwhelming.

Cons:
TOO creamy – it doesn’t ever really melt. I just kind of sits there and turns into this lukewarm pudding type situation.
May be too salty for some; not enough sugar to cut through the salt of the cream cheese.
Conflicting flavors – the heat of ginger could compliment the brightness of a lemon zest or the earthiness of the cinnamon, but the flavors progress cinnamon>lemon>ginger, which confuses my brain.

I think that a pumpkin ice cream with coconut milk instead of heavy cream would be quite nice, giving it a lightness that would carry through well from winter until the spring chill is gone.  I definitely want to try the cheesecake ice cream again, because it’s my favorite, but it needs sweetness and texture. Perhaps white sugar or stevia instead of brown sugar, which I find to be too earthy for dairy, and some coconut flakes or chocolate covered graham cracker crumbles.
Anyways, it was fun to try.  And if anyone wants to taste for themselves, stop by. I have a gallon, minus two scoops, of fresh churned ice cream taking up space in my freezer.

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