Summer Bakin, Had Me A Blast

So I took the summer off.  To work and relax and drink rosé with my cat.  That does not mean I wasn’t baking!  I was.  Most definitely.  I also got into arguments about the inherent misogynistic message in Grease but thats another story.

What was I baking?  Tarts and cakes and cookies and so much ice cream.  I didn’t have a hungry audience of half-starved college kids to feed, but I did have a bunch of hungry chefs to feed.  And they appreciated my attempts at interesting ice cream flavors far more than my collegiate cohorts.  The favorite flavors so far?  Honey-Thyme (which interestingly everything thought I had named Honey Time to be clever, but I’m not clever), Basil White Chocolate, Absinthe (which we ate early on a Saturday morning before a huge rush of taco lovers), and the pièce de resistance, Ginger White Chocolate.

The Ginger White Chocolate ice cream uses David Lebovitz’ Ginger Ice Cream recipe and adapts it by cutting down on the sugar and adding in white chocolate.  This helped in two ways.  First off, the ginger flavor becomes stronger, almost herbal (or herbacious), and secondly the white chocolate smooths out the texture while adding in its own hints of vanilla and sweetness.

My boss loved it, I loved it, and my mother loved it.  Winner.

How did Jethro feel about it?

P1020348

All he cares about are belly rubs.

Ginger White Chocolate Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop

3 ounces ginger, unpeeled

2 cups cream

1 cup milk

2/3 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

5 egg yolks

4 ounces white chocolate (preferably Valrhona, but only because I’m crazy), chopped quite small

Cut the ginger in half lengthwise and then cut thin slices, trying to maximize surface area.  Place in a saucepan and cover with water, until the water is above the ginger by 1/2 inch.  Turn the heat to high and boil the ginger for 2 minutes.  Drain the ginger, discarding the water.  Return the blanched ginger to the saucepan and add in one cup cream, the milk, the sugar, and the salt.  Heat until the sugar melts, then turn off the heat and cover.  Let steep for one hour.

When the hour is almost up, place the rest of the cream in a bowl with a strainer on top.  Place the bowl in an ice bath.

Whisk together the egg yolks.  Return the saucepan to the heat and heat the ginger mixture until it starts to steam.  Turn the heat off.  Ladle in some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking the whole time, ladling in about 1 cup in total.  Then put the warmed egg yolk mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly.  Turn the heat to medium, and using a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula stir the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Then pour the mixture through the strainer and into the remaining cream.  Quickly add in the white chocolate and stir until it melts.  Chill the custard thoroughly in the ice bath and then overnight in the fridge.  Churn in your ice cream maker according to its instructions.

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6 comments
  1. Amanda said:

    Welcome back. Honey Thyme sounds amazing. Actually they all did. I hope you had a lovely summer and I’m glad you took some time for yourself to enjoy what you love to do in the way you wanted to do it.

    • Eliza B said:

      Thank you so much! It was definitely nice to bake without taking pictures of everything… But I aim to return for real this time, even if I start slowly.

      The honey thyme recipe is great. Its kinda spicy too, which is interesting since its literally only honey and thyme in there!

  2. Pear said:

    Welcome back!! Nice to have a rest, isn’t it? I was going to leave a comment on your last entry but it got to about novella length so I decided to pause and see when you’d return. Basically–I hope you keep going steadily with your blogging. It usually takes at least 3 years for people to establish their blogs, unless you hothouse it and post new content every day and spend even more time promoting and networking. People can do that if they want, but I feel it’s best to let things grow at your pace as you quite organically develop your voice and your audience. Those are the blogs I actually enjoy reading, to be honest, and I enjoy reading yours.

    I promise myself to update at least once a month. You have creative cooking skills, great stories and a warm personality, so I hope you carry on sharing that with us.

    Also, oh my gosh I really loved Grease when I was 9, and then when I was older and marginally wiser I got round to listening to it again and reading its TV Tropes page and I was kind of horrified at the underlying ideas and at the innocence of my infant self. Yeah.

    Your ice cream flavours sound amazing, especially ginger white chocolate – such a creative & intelligent combination. One day I’ll get an ice cream machine again. The honey & thyme ice cream reminds me of one I’ve always wanted to try, with those two flavourings and crème fraîche folded into the ice cream base. Seems lovely and complex.

    Also, Jethro is basically the perfect cat. LOOK AT THE GLORIOUS FLUFF.

    • Eliza B said:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Yes I feel like I was pressuring myself to blog blog blog and not just blogging for the fun of it, which is what I will do now, when I make something special and document it, or when I capture extraordinary Jethro photos.

      I talked about Grease with a bunch of men and they were all telling me how it wasn’t sexist, even though its clear that John Travolta doesn’t change at all for Olivia Newton-John. Men. Whatever.

      Get and ice cream maker! In the states, the least expensive one also happens to be the best one. They are so useful and fun to have.

      Jethro is wonderful. He’s got a great belly.

  3. So glad you’re back! I actually checked your blog a few times just to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Agree about Grease. Love the ice cream (and David Leibovitz). And also happy to see Jethro…. hurray!

    • Eliza B said:

      I am happy to be back, even if I may be irregular in my postings… Jethro is happy to be back in the limelight as well. He’s really looking forward to another 15 minutes of fame.

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