Scooped again: raspberry white chocolate ice cream
Damn you, Judiaann Woo! Sticky toffee pudding ice cream was, is, and forever will be my brilliant idea. And yet I wake up one Sunday morning, flick on my computer, and discover that you've taken sticky toffee pudding ice cream, entered it in a competition on Food Network, and -- here's the kicker -- won!
That's right, and now Häagen-Dazs is releasing sticky toffee pudding as a limited edition ice cream available only until January. I'm not bitter, oh no, though I have to admit some disappointment at the fact that Häagen-Dazs has released the flavour only in the United States.
In all fairness, her idea of sticky toffee pudding ice cream varies considerably from my own. Whereas I created a custard infused with sticky toffee pudding, hers is basically a vanilla ice cream studded with hunks of sticky toffee pudding and "swirled with a sticky toffee sauce." You know, that does sound good.
Now if I can just find a way to get my hands on some....
Some of you may be wondering why a post about raspberry white chocolate ice cream begins with a rant about the fate of my sticky toffee pudding ice cream. Well, it occured to me that I was being something of a hypocrite. You see, I often make flavour combinations developed by others (not coincidentally, either, like Judiaan Woo). Truth be told, whenever I discover a taste I really love, I waste little time trying to invent a homemade version.
One of my ongoing challenges is developing a satisfactory homemade version of my favourite flavour from my favourite ice cream parlour in Toronto: raspberry white chocolate from Ed's Real Scoop. I've raced through the city streets in an effort to get my freshly procured pint safely stowed in my freezer, and I have a special respect for those friends whose driving prowess ensures minimal travel time between Ed's and home (you know who you are!).
Ed's Real Scoop is one of a handful of ice cream parlours in Toronto that care enough to make their own ice cream, and it shows. All of its ice creams are rich, silky smooth, and packed with flavour. The reason I will eat any Ed's ice cream is, above all else, texture -- I've never had an Ed's Real Scoop ice cream that didn't have the dense, creamy mouthfeel all great ice creams possess. With signature flavours like pumpkin, creme brulee, and raspberry white chocolate, the taste is an amazing indulgence as well.
Many months ago, I spoke to Ed himself in the hope that he might guide me further down the path towards ice cream enlightenment. If you're envisioning some kind of interview or lesson, don't; instead, picture an ice cream junkie making a mid-afternoon phone call on a cool, wet spring day. To Ed's credit, he answered my questions as best he could.
Here are some important pieces of advice:
1. Limit fat content to the low teens. An ice cream made only with 35% heavy cream is going to be heavy on the palate. Conversely, lower fat ice creams tend to be icey.
2. Substitute a little corn syrup for some of the granulated sugar. This softens the texture of the ice cream by lowering its freezing point.
3. Freeze ice cream as quickly as possible. This limits the formation of ice crystals, the greatest enemy of texture. A blast freezer that can freeze a multi-litre drums of ice cream in minutes works best, but it costs tens of thousands of dollars. My homegrown solution is to crank my freezer a few hours before churning. (Remembering to reset it then becomes the real challenge).
How well did I apply this advice to my own version of raspberry white chocolate ice cream? Poorly. My version tastes wonderful -- if anything the raspberry flavour is even more pronounced, probably because I used raspberries picked fresh from a friend's parents' backyard. Generous chunks of Valrhona white chocolate offer a bit of crunch before melting into a rich treat on the tongue, and the brilliant pink of my version adds a visual kick lacking in the subdued tones of Ed's version (see the pictures above - the bright ice cream is Hogtown-style; the pastel is Ed's). And yet the texture my ice cream is wanting: a little icy and overly grainy. I suppose I should adjust my recipe to lower the fat content and incorporate some corn syrup.
I guess what I'm trying to say is: given the choice, I'd still choose Ed's raspberry white chocolate ice cream over my own.
Though I'm sure I'll never say the same thing about my sticky toffee pudding ice cream.
Raspberry White Chocolate Ice Cream
1 cups, 35% cream
1 cup, 2% milk
1 tsp, vanilla extract
100 g, sugar
200g (1 pint) raspberries
100 g, chopped white chocolate
Combine heavy cream, milk, extract, and sugar, and heat to 175F/79C. Add raspberries to the cream mixture, and mash.
Strain mixture and chill.
Prepare per maker's instructions. When ice cream is ready, add white chocolate chunks. Turn machine on to mix white chocolate into ice cream.