bacon-brownie ice cream

In guest on February 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm

this daring guest blog is from one of my favorite foodie couples. before proceeding, you should know that he and i were lucky enough to get to do a blind tasting (as in, before we knew the secret ingredient) and we couldn’t put our finger on it. that’s the joy of this ice cream – you taste something different, something interesting… something a little salty… but it doesn’t scream BACON in your face. however, if you are just not that kind of brave, use the same technique with your own favorite flavor.

with the weather reports predicting the snow apocalypse leading into the weekend, k [not to be confused with ms. akp. you might remember k’s wacky garlic chopper in one of our earliest guest blogs] and i realized we needed to stock up on some essentials:  water, pasta, wine…and ice cream.  rather than buy a pint at the store, we decided to take another crack at the homemade stuff.  with three successful attempts under our belts (coconut lime, raspberry chocolate chip, and hazelnut) we felt ready to expand with something a little whacky:  bacon brownie ice cream.

we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the ease with which we’ve been able to make ice cream by hand.  to make the base, start by heating 2.5 cups of heavy cream in a medium saucepan over med-high heat.  make sure not to boil the cream.  while the cream is heating, beat four egg yolks with one cup + one tablespoon of sugar in a mixing bowl using a hand blender.  beat until smooth and pale.

when the cream is ready, beat it into the sugar/egg yolks.

return this mixture to the heat and bring to just under a boil.

at this point, you have the base for your ice cream.  the basic recipe says to pour the base into a glass bowl, let cool to room temperature, then freeze half-way, beat the half-frozen mixture, then freeze completely.  you have a couple of opportunities to incorporate other flavors and components into the base.

anything that you want to have mixed throughout, unavoidable in any bite, you should incorporate while the base is still warm.  when we made the raspberry chocolate chip ice cream, for example, we made a raspberry syrup that we then beat in with the warm base in order to give the whole thing raspberry flavor and a nice pink hue.

anything solid that you want to remain somewhat inconsistently mixed throughout the base, should be folded in when the base is half frozen.  for example, we added the chocolate chips and whole, frozen raspberries into the raspberry ice cream base once it was half-frozen.

in order to infuse the bacon flavor in the current batch, we implemented a technique that we had experimented with when making the hazelnut ice cream – steeping.  after bringing the eggs/sugar/cream base to just under a boil, we removed it from the heat and added about 8 half-size strips of bacon.

we cooked the bacon off before starting the ice cream base and it was therefore pretty grease-free by the time we added it to the ice cream.  it actually didn’t infuse as much bacon flavor as we would have liked, so we quickly cooked off four more strips, barely dabbed the excess grease with a paper towel and added them to the base while they were still hot.  that did the trick.

we let the bacon steep for about 15 minutes, tasting periodically.  when the bacon flavor was where we wanted it, we removed the strips from the base and froze it half way.

while we waited, we diced thawed brownies into bite-size bits.  after beating the mixture, we added the brownie bits and returned the bowl to the freezer until it was completely frozen.

voila.  bacon-brownie ice cream!

i gotta say, it was pretty awesome.  the saltiness that the bacon brought to the party balanced well with the sweetness of the base and brownies.  all in all, the experiment was a success.  24 hours later, half of the batch is already gone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: