Tag Archives: ice cream

Yam (no churn) ice cream–yes, yam!

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“What’s this?”
“Yam ice cream”
“Yam?”
“Yes”
“You mean, like, yam?”
“Yes”
“As in, real yam?”
“Yes”


“What’s in it?”
“Well, there’s yam…”

This was the conversation at dinner last night with Mr Gander’s cousin. Thankfully the conversation for the rest of the evening was more erudite.

It was an evening of mildly experimental dishes – being cousin-in-law and a good friend, I could expose him to my wilder flights of fancy without (too much) repercussion. Other close friends have come to expect a menu of surprises whenever they come around. As in, ‘miso surprise!’, ‘stuff with plums’, or, ‘so I wondered what would happen if I did this…’

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The evening started with a gorgeous savoury plum tart, with mascarpone, mille-feuille puff pastry, and a plum-Chinkiang*-coconut-sugar drizzle (because we ran out of balsamic vinegar, but actually was so good I want to make it again). Then, gnudi – made with a mixture of ricotta and goats milk fetta – in a parmesan-enriched broth and a swirl of fresh pesto.

* Chinkiang vinegar: a black vinegar made from glutinous rice. Good quality mature Chingkiang has a complex flavour somewhat like balsamic vinegar.

And then, yam ice cream.

Some time in late January, I got the ice cream making bug. I saw ice creams with goat cheese and honey and pear swirls, popcorn and salted caramel, lamington (on Australia Day). I looked for pure, creamy, black-flecked vanilla, and gelato that was like pure dark chocolate except colder and more ephemeral. Australia was going through a heat wave, people were flocking to the beach, and my mind was buzzing with ice creamy possibilities.

There was a slight snag: we don’t have an ice cream maker. This was a kitchen gadget I never could justify buying. So I began to look for no-churn ice cream recipes.

Many of the no-churn recipes use condensed milk: I think the idea is with enough sugar and fat, the mixture would freeze without forming large ice crystals. But condensed milk has quite a strong flavour, so I needed equally strong or distinctive flavours to counter it. (I also found other varieties of no churn ice cream using different ingredients, some of them are at the end of the post after the recipe)

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Of allergies and flavour

On Sunday, I cooked for a dinner party. My brief for this dinner could have come from Iron Chef: one guest is gluten intolerant; another cannot digest any form of pepper, garlic and onion – that’s no onion, garlic, capsicum, shallots, chillies, spring onions, or anything from the family.

Rather than make a ‘special’ meal for these guests, I had a menu that (almost) could be shared by everyone. The flavours alternated between middle eastern and traditional American-autumnal, but most importantly there was flavour – sweet, creamy, savoury, spicy. Who needs garlic/onion/chilli/gluten anyway?

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Starters:

Popcorn with bacon fat, bacon, and maple syrup 
Cheeses with home-made baguette

Mains:

Maple-brined pork chops with pear chutney
Roasted sweet potatoes with Greek yoghurt and pomegranate molasses
Salad with tahini dressing and crisp chickpea topping

Dessert:

David Lebovitz’s chocolate sorbet

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Hedonistic adult-only ice cream

Ever since two of my friends bought ice cream machines, I’ve been periodically obsessed with the idea of making frozen desserts. Custard base, cream base, milk base, coconut milk base; vanilla, caramel, saffron, lemon, kaffir lime, candied bacon; perfectly satiny smooth mouthfuls of ice-cold flavours seemed just out of reach.

Then, I found David Lebovitz’s no-machine ice cream recipe, described as ‘the easiest chocolate ice cream…ever’. It called for quite a lot of dark chocolate, a very ripe banana, quite a lot of Bailey’s and a decent splash of dark rum. Baileys and rum inspired a spot of talking like an Irish pirate (it was more like an Aussie-Chinese girl trying to talk like an Irish pirate). Irish pirates aside, it was one of the easiest things I’ve ever made – and confirms David Lebovitz is one of my favourite people in the world.

Served up at the food festival dinner party, everyone was enamoured of the intense chocolate flavour. The banana didn’t steal the show, and the Bailey’s and rum mainly intensified the chocolate taste. It was like a chocolate party was happening on every spoon.

This is definitely an ‘after children go to bed, the adults come out to play’ kind of dessert. We’ll be back for more this summer, and I will have a camera ready before dessert is served …

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