Friends, this post is fantastic. We’ve got Olivia Waite visiting! I wanted to preface it with what is (obviously the truth) in a positive message first. For me, I’m drinking right now. [Fill glass with ice. Add as much mango absolut as you like, then fill with limeade. You’re welcome.] Life is … is. But this post totally made me smile. And wish I was a) close enough and b) good enough friends to stop by and visit Olivia. And demand ice cream.
Most of the time, I’m not much of a cook, but that’s because one cannot live on ice cream. (Though one has considered trying.) And ice cream is the thing that will get me to spend significant time in the kitchen.
It began with vanilla, the most underrated of flavors. Then strawberry, a delight. Then I got fancier and tried a mint-chocolate-chip recipe. This resulted in a disastrous, drippy brown log studded with powdery pillow mints that was the least appealing dessert I have ever seen in my life. I actually brought it to the party anyway, just to hear others confirm its repellant qualities. By tweaking the recipe, driven by fury and disappointment, I managed to produce a tasty green ice cream with tiny chocolate flakes in it — and then my roommate of the time suggested adding rum.
Her suggestion was inspired. And it started me thinking about ice cream as something other than an innocent children’s dessert.
Further experiments followed with varying success. Pear-ginger sorbet for a vegan friend’s wedding: marvelous! Orange-avocado sorbet: finicky! One batch failed, another was delicious. The whole time I was trolling for recipes on the internet, learning the ways of a new canister-based freezer rather than my old-fashioned ice-and-rock-salt electric churn, and feeling like I’d hit a plateau in terms of my ice-cream-concocting skills.
A chance conversation with the lovely Limecello on Twitter led me to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The flavors were daring and sophisticated — sweet corn and black raspberries! Cherry lambic sorbet! And she had a cookbook full of recipes! I immediately promised myself I’d order a copy from my local independent bookstore the next time I was in.
Then a lightbulb burned out. I went downstairs for a new one, opened a drawer, and as if by magic there lay a copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. An inscription on the inside cover told me it was a bridal gift that I had put away in a flurry of wedding-related stress and promptly forgotten.
I ran back upstairs, gleefully reported to Lime what I’d found, and arranged to try a recipe and blog about my results. I chose the Toasted Brioche Ice Cream with Butter and Jam in honor of my most recent release, Hell and Hellion — released yesterday! — which features a scene where my incubus hero discovers the pleasures of toast with butter.
Readers, this recipe was brilliant. I was anxious at first, since there were so many unfamiliar steps and ingredients. Corn starch and corn syrup? Was I really supposed to bring the cream to a boil? And was butter ice cream really a good idea in the first place? Jeni’s instructions were precise and detailed and I decided to trust her — grinding bread crumbs and clarifying butter and whipping the cream cheese in with the salt. By the time I poured the base into the freezer I was starting to grow optimistic. When I finally added the bread crumbs and raspberry sauce and took a bite, I’m not going to lie: I teared up a little.
This ice cream is thick and creamy and comforting. The bread crumbs add a savory note without being at all gritty. The raspberry sauce is bright and adds just the right balance of tart and sweet. It is the dessert equivalent of a jam sandwich and one of the most wonderfully British things I have ever tasted.
And the best part: I have enough ingredients left over to try a second recipe! As soon as the canister refreezes…
Olivia Waite writes historical and paranormal romance for Ellora’s Cave. She can’t decide which ice cream she wants to make next: Chamomile Chardonnay or Goat Cheese with Red Cherries.
Ms. Waite is also giving away a copy of Hell and Hellion – isn’t that an awesome title? So, what do you think of ice cream? Ever try to make it on your own? Ever have the opportunity to have Jeni’s Ice Cream? I personally have tried, and not done that well, but I don’t have a copy of that cookbook. I have been to Jeni’s before though, and if I could I’d move into one of her shops.
It must be the day for ice cream! Christine blogged about making ice cream today also, and I am getting ready to pull my mocha chip ice cream out of the freezer. With my dudes, I have to keep it simple and basic (they don’t even like chinks in their ice cream FCOL!). We do a lot of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, mocha and I have a great looking strawberry ice cream recipe I’m waiting to try.
Also, I started making my own sauce. Soooo decadent to make it yourself. It tastes so much better.
ACK. That’s CHUNKS. They don’t like CHUNKS in their ice cream. Oy!
Also, YAY!! Your blog finally let me leave a comment!!
My husband is an ice cream addict so imagine his horror when we were told my their pediatrician that our children were allergic to milk and anything with milk in it!
Being propelled to make sure they could have that creamy delight he bought an ice cream maker and made them with coffee rich (the only option at the time back in the early 1970’s). Viola – ice cream they could eat! My younger son also became an ice cream addict and when he was in High School got an after-school job at an Ice Cream parlor where they made their own ice cream on the premises.
Both of them eventually out-grew the dreaded problem of not being to have milk or cream and yes, my younger son is now making home-made ice cream for his own children!
Thanks for letting me know about Jen’s great book “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams” – you just solved my problem on what to get him for his Christmas present! After all you can’t wait too long to start getting your Christmas gifts purchased so you can have the holiday time to read!
I’ve been thinking about getting an Ice Cream maker but I’ve never made my own ice cream. Just had the store bought stuff and I do like my ice cream.
I just made ice cream for the first time in years (vanilla with chocolate chips–I can’t see my kids going for goat cheese or Chardonnay, though I would!). It was delicious, and I am inspired to do it more often. The same day, I blogged about how much I enjoyed the prequel story to Hell and Hellion. I had no idea Olivia and ice cream together was so serendipitous. I might need an ice cream cookbook after reading this. Thanks for a great post, Olivia and Lime! Hmm … limecello sorbet ….
What a fabulous post, I can’t believe how creative people can be. Unfortunately, no milk products for me, so I’ve never had the pleasure of trying home made ice cream. Though, what a perfect gift the recipe book and ice cream maker would be.
Happy release week, Olivia . I loved the excerpt posted at EC.
Nice post. I like ice cream. I haven’t tried to make my own.
I love ice cream! I could probably finish a whole tub by myself *guilty look*. I like vanilla best or french vanilla; i don’t like my ice cream with any bits in them (so nuts or raisins are out). I’ve not tried making my own – so much earlier grabbing a tub from the store!
I love ice cream. The only ice cream I’ve ever made is ice cream from snow. Yummy! Dear hubby and I have talked about getting an ice cream maker, but never have.
Thanks for the comments, everyone! For those hoping to avoid milk products, Jeni’s book has plenty of cream-free sorbet and frozen yogurt recipes as well. I’m a sucker for a good sorbet. 🙂
This is so funny – we just came back from visiting my sister in Columbus, and while there she made 2 flavors of ice cream using Jeni’s cookbook! I don’t remember the exact names – one was strawberry with cream cheese (I think!) and one was peach with almond – but man, they were the best ice creams I’ve ever had. We passed a Jeni’s store while passing through Columbus, but we didn’t have time to stop 🙁 I’ve never made ice cream, but I want to give it a shot, since my husband is an ice cream freak.