“You can`t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream…and that’s kind of the same thing”
The earliest memories of ice cream are the softy cones that I remember having in T.Nagar on the footpath. Soft, sweet, melting, creamy and cold, and stuffed hurriedly in to crisp cones. The exhaustion of the 2 mile walk to get there, the sweltering heat, the jostling crowds are all forgotten for a few dreamy minutes, licking on cold cold ice cream. I remember graduating to the more “pricey” Kwality Walls Chocobars at college and during my post grad days. Something still pulls me to the softy cones in T.Nagar! This trip when we visited India, I simply loved the Naturals Ice Cream that I tasted with my sister S at HSR Layout in Bangalore. My favourite of them all was “Jackfruit” and of course “Tender Coconut”. I loved the tender coconut ice cream with pieces of tender coconut in each and every scoop! My favourite ice cream has been the ones at Ted Drew`s in St.Louis, Missouri. We loved to drive there and order their “concrete” which was so thick, that they would serve it upside down sometimes! I had been wanting to try out my own whacky combinations and recently invested in the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. No, its not just another gadget that’s gonna sit on the that top shelf above the refrigerator. This gives me pure creamy tasty ice creams, which I can make with ingredients on hand, and no preservatives or additives.
Today`s recipe is from this amazing book called Jeni`s Splendid Ice Creams at Home , that uses no eggs but a secret ingredient – Cream Cheese! Her methods are very different and bring out the intermingling flavours very well.
15 Ripe Strawberries sliced.
1/4 Cup Sugar.
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice.
11/2 Cups 2% Milk.
2 Tbsp Corn Starch / Custard Powder.
4 Tbsp Softened Cream Cheese.
1/8 Tsp Sea Salt.
1 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream.
3/4 Cup Sugar.
2 Tbsp Corn Sugar.
1/4 Cup Buttermilk.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine the sugar and the sliced strawberries and bake for about 8-10 mins until softened. When cooled, puree with lemon juice. No need to add any water.
Mix 2 Tbsp of milk with the custard powder and set aside.
In a mixing bowl cream together the room temperature cream cheese and salt. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, add the remaining milk. cream, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a rolling boil and keep it that way for about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the milk+cornstarch mixture.
Bring back to medium low on the stove and boil until slightly thickened. Set aside.
Slowly pour this thickened milk mixture in to the cream cheese bowl and incorporate. Add the pureed strawberries and the buttermilk and blend well.
Create an ice bath with ice cubes and chilled water and keep ready. Pour this ice cream mix in to a gallon ziploc bag, seal it and place in the ice bath.
Now pour this cooled ice cream mixture in to the chilled ice cream container or as per directions given.
Churn for about 20-25 minutes until thick and creamy!
Transfer in to a storage container and freeze for about 4-5 hours.
Remove from freezer and thaw for about 5 minutes before serving fresh creamy strawberry Ice Cream.
This post has been too long in the making and I really had to sit up and look for it in my drafts. I had actually tried making ice cream last summer and I sorely missed not having the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. Every time I go to the store and buy an ice cream tub, even the smallest one lasts for quite some time and we get too bored of it. Not to mention the fact that many brands of ice cream come with gaur gum, xanthum gum, artificial vanilla sweetener and high fructose corn syrup, to mention just a few. I am not too fond of ice cream with the egg base and did not want to sacrifice creaminess – the one requisite for a great tasting ice cream. I instantly knew avocados were the answer. I had already made Eggless Fudgy Avocado Brownies, so figuring this out was not too difficult. I did take help from this website and was very pleased with the results.
Delicious? – Yes.
Eggless? – Yes.
Vegan? – Yes.
Creamy? – Double Yes.
Need an Ice Cream Maker? – NO!!!!
The avocado and the coconut milk take the creaminess to a whole new level. Making ice cream is definitely one that comes out of understanding a few things about the ingredients, ice, temperature, and the level of fat required to make the ice cream, additions to the ice cream and when to add them. There is also always a set off between the amount of fat and the creaminess of the resulting ice cream. There are many websites that give you loads of information,on how to make home made ice creams and I wanted to share this one with you. Finally its always better to freeze the ice creams in a flat container thats not too tall that helps in uniform freezing. How do they sell all those ice creams in tall tubs?
1 Large Avocado mashed roughly.
1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk.
1/4 Cup Honey/ Maple Syrup.
1/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar.
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder.
3 Tbsp Mini Choco Chips.
2 Tbsp Percolated Coffee.
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence.
A dash of salt.
In a blender pop in the mashed avocado, and all the ingredients excepting the chocolate chips.
Blend in to a smooth shiny creamy consistency.
If you don`t want it to be diary free, you could substitute with heavy cream, half and half or whole milk.
Leave out the percolated coffee if you are making this for the little ones.
Do not use 2% as the fat gets to be really low.
Add the choco chips and transfer to a flat container that’s convenient for freezing and scooping.
Freeze for about 6 hours.
Remove from the freezer and allow a few minutes before serving. This is just to facilitate easy scooping.
Top with nuts, hot fudge, chocolate sauce, fruit anything.
Anybody who has lived in Tamil Nadu would know what I mean by Panneer Soda. Its a very sketchy colloquial usage of a sweetened carbonated drink mingled with the aroma and essence of rose. On a hot thirsty day in Madras I would anyday wash my parched throat with Panner Soda than any Pepsi or Coke or Fanta. Memories of this drink are etched in my memory all through my childhood. My days of post graduation at Madurai were filled with memories of Maggi in the nights during long periods of study, steaming hot Idlis from the idli kadai near my hostel, Chilli Parotta from Hotel Guruprasad and Hotel Anna Meenakshi in downtown Madurai, very close to the bus stand. Hot afternoons would always nearly be endured with cold Mapillai Vinayagar Panneer Soda which was available for a rupee in any “potti kadai” !!!
– Image Courtesy – Fitz`s.
In my recent trip back home, I took on every opportunity to have this drink, but hardly had any time. I was craving for panner soda last weekend and TH bought this little crate ofPremium Fitzs Cream Sodawhich is locally made. Normally the cane soda varieties have saccharin which is an artificial sweetner but this particular brand has sweetening from cane sugar. Many times I am of the opinion that real cane sugar is better that so many chemical based artificial sweetners. This is how I made my own Panneer Soda at home! It was almost like back home….as if I were standing in a crowded bus stand, under the hot summer sun, sipping ice cool pannneer soda and quenching one`s thirst!
1 Bottle of Fitzs Premium Cream Soda.
A few drops of Rose Essence.
Take a bottle of chilled Premium FItzs Cream Soda and add a few drops of edible Rose essence.
Give it a quick spin and mix with the stirrer or a straw.
Drink in and enjoy refreshing Panner Soda at home!
It`s very addictive so don`t tell me I didnt warn ya!
Try this easy quick drink at home, on a thirsty day and relive memories of back home!!!
It`s that time of the year when your throat is tempted to reach out and grab bottles and bottles of cold water, lemonade, fruit punches or simply any icy milk shakes. One of the most commonly available fruit at this time of the year is the Watermelon. As the name itself suggests, Watermelon is packed with some of the most important anti-oxidants in nature. It`s also a very good source of Vitamin C as well as Vitamin A.Watermelon has an extremely high water content, approximately 92%, giving its flesh a crumbly and subtly crunchy texture and making it a favorite thirst-quenching fruit.
How to Select a Good Fruit:
The best way to choose a flavorful melon is to look at the color and quality of the flesh, which should be a deep color and absent from white streaks. If it features seeds, they should be deep in color.
Many times , however, we do not have this liberty when purchasing watermelon since it is more common to buy a whole, uncut fruit. When choosing a whole watermelon, look for one that is heavy for its size with a rind that is relatively smooth and that is neither overly shiny nor overly dull. In addition, one side of the melon should have an area that is distinct in color from the rest of the rind, displaying a yellowish or creamy tone. This is the underbelly, the place that was resting on the ground during ripening, and if the fruit does not have this marking, it may have been harvested prematurely, which will negatively affect its taste, texture and juiciness. For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened watermelon and eat it as soon as possible. (Courtesy – Whole Foods).
Watermelon chunks roughly chopped.
1/2 spoon of Roohafza.
1 spoon of Edible Rose Water.
A few shavings of grated ginger.
A few sprigs of mint leaves.
1 spoon of Honey.
Pop all the chunks of watermelon in to the mixer.
Add honey, roohafza, edible rose water, ginger gratings and give it a quick whip.
Pour in to a chilled glass just before serving.
Serve with mint.
Great, Easy and healthy drink for kids in the evenings after school.
Chilling the glasses keeps the drink in it also cooler for a longer time for your guests.
Some people do not prefer the aroma and taste of rose. Substitute with ginger and lemon and mint.
Coffee – The name itself conjures up the word “comfort” and all thats nice …Love for coffee has been something that runs in my family. When I was in school, my mom had barred me from having coffee as the staple drink in the morning. When I was into higher secondary, I started on having coffee in the mornings. Maduraiamma would scoop out coffee from the sole coffee canister and press it in to the coffee filter. Thereafter pour piping cups of water and drain out the precocious decoction and collect it in an air tight container vessel which would lock the flavour of the decoction until the next morning. Her coffee was something awesome, the kind that wakes u up and prepares you for the day ahead…. Thick decoction poured in to milk boiled on the stove to perfection with just the right amount of sugar in it. I have never felt the need to add more sugar or to alter the prepared taste of her coffee.
My husband is also a coffee lover and had been wanting to have cold coffee as he was on liquid diet because of teeth extraction. I used to love cold coffee from Geetha Cafe, in T.Nagar. They have a way of making it so deliciously coffeeish with the right amount of ice cream and milk and sugar. They serve in their tall glasses with a lot of cream on top!!!
3 scoops of Trader Joe`s Coffee Ice Cream (Vanilla Ice Cream should do too).
1/8 cup of Coffee Decoction from percolator.
1 spoon of Sugar.
1/2 cup of milk.
Low fat Cream for topping. (Optional).
1/3 spoon of Arabica Instant Coffee Powder for topping.(Optional).
In a blender add the 3 scoops of Ice Cream, Decoction, sugar and half of the milk.
Give it a quick pulse and also make sure that the contents of the blender do not splash out.
This is the reason we are not adding all the milk upfront.
When the contents are well whisked, add the remaining milk and give it a quick pulse.
Pour in to a serving glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkle coffee powder.
If you are using the plain Vanilla Ice Cream then you would need to increase the Coffee Decoction to be added or in turn, add a spoon of Instant Coffee Powder, to the blender, for that coffee flavour.
This week was particularly hot and my daughter was yearning for her favourite Sno-Cones.Of couse she would`nt mind having it even on a cold winter day…but that’s a totally different story altogether. Last weekend when I had been to the store I picked out some colourful Sno-Cone serving cups. It was in colourful plastic and it seemed to serve as a drinking /sipping cup for juices. I was waiting to use them and when S wanted a Sno Cone so I decided to have one for myself.
10 pieces of Ice .
Cotton Candy Flavouring.
Pop 10 -12 pieces in to the mixer and crush the ice and immediately drop it in to a glass or the Sno-Cone Cup.
Dash 4-5 spoons of Cotton Candy Syrup on to the crushed ice.
My favourite store Trader Joe`s had such a lovely huge box of fresh Organic Rose Red strawberries, t hat I could simply not resist picking up a box. My daughter me and keep popping now and then in to the kitchen and eating these delicious fruits. Suddenly S wanted to know If I could make her strawberry milk shake that she could have with a straw. I still had some ice cream and mascarpone cheese in the fridge. So I quickly whipped up this Strawberry Milk Shake.
6 ripe strawberries.
1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream.
1 spoon Mascarpone Cheese.
1/2 cup Whole Milk.
A spoon of sugar depending on the sweetness of the strawberries.
Pop the washed strawberries and the ice cream in to the mixer and pulse it well.
Now add the sugar, mascarpone cheese and give it one more whip.
Now slowly add the required milk and carefully pulse it for a few seconds.
My daughter always enjoys Sno-Cones from the time she had it in the Ozarks ….Her favourite place of course had to be My Grandpa`s Farm on the Katy Trail,which I have already spoken about at lengths in my previous post. Today was a particularly hot day and she wanted to have it – So I decided to make my home-grown version of it….Here it goes…
6 numbers of ice cubes.
3 spoons of Roohafza
A dash of rose water.
Pop the 6 ice cubes in to your mixer and quickly pulse it to get coarsely ground ice.
Drop it in to a glass and pack it in tightly.
Add 2-3 spoons of Roohafza Syrup and allow it to smoothly flow in.
Add a dash of edible rose water and enjoy watching your child delve in to cool rose flavoured Sno-Cone.
Play around with other flavours like lemon, strawberry, raspberry,Cotton Candy etc.