July 30, 2014 in Food

Cookbook review: ‘Scoop Adventures’

By The Spokesman-Review
 

‘Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States’ by Lindsay Clendaniel
(Full-size photo)

Win this book!

In 250 words or fewer, describe why you love ice cream. Share your favorite ice cream memory. Discuss your favorite flavor.

First prize is a gently used copy of “Scoop Adventures” and publication of your essay in an upcoming Food section. Two runners-up will also see their entries published.

No poetry, please – not even haiku.

Entries must be received by the close of the business day Aug. 6.

Send or deliver your submissions to Spokesman-Review Food Editor Adriana Janovich at adrianaj@ spokesman.com or P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

‘Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream

of the 50 States’

By Lindsay Clendaniel (Page Street Publishing Co., $19.99)

Quick Look: Ice cream enthusiast Lindsay Clendaniel sweetens up summer with this collection of more than 80 recipes, including one from each state.

What’s Inside: “In my world there is always an excuse for ice cream,” Clendaniel writes in the introduction to this book, her first. A pediatric psychologist and self-proclaimed “ice cream nerd,” she began blogging about her favorite frozen dessert in 2009, creating and sharing recipes at www.scoop adventures.com.

Chapters in “Scoop Adventures” the book are divided geographically: “The Sugary Southeast,” “The Sweet South,” “The Scoopable Northeast,” “The Mouthwatering Midwest.” Idaho lands in “The Mountains of Milk and Cream.” Washington and Oregon fall into the “The Wild Wild West.” The final chapter features recipes inspired by the author’s own “ice cream travels.” Most are accompanied by mouthwatering photographs.

Flavors are gourmet, creative and sometimes surprising – Thai Peanut Curry from Kansas, for example – but recipes are relatively easy to follow. They’re meant for small batches made by hand at home. There’s Balsamic Fig from Georgia, Lavender Caramel Swirl from Arkansas, Peach Honey Habanero from Texas, Sweet Basil from New Jersey and Olive Oil Gelato with Sea Salt from North Dakota. Closer to home, there’s Huckleberry from Montana, Le’lemon Berry from Idaho, Brown Sugar Sour Cream from Oregon and Mayan Chocolate from Washington.

I started with Buttered Almond and Rosemary Honey Walnut, moved on to Toasted Marshmallow and adapted the Chai Pink Peppercorn. There were so many more I wanted to try, but ran out of time – and heavy cream: Chipotle Raspberry, Lemongrass, Fennel with Blood Orange Sauce, Pistachio Rose, Mint Julep, Blueberry Mojito, Chocolate Porter, Avocado Lime. The list goes on. And it will likely inspire readers to experiment, coming up with their own flavors and combinations. (I know it did for me.)

At the back, there are tips for techniques and notes on ingredients as well as a listing of websites for all of the participating ice creameries. Clendaniel encourages home ice cream makers to share their finished products. “Love people. Make them ice cream,” she writes.

Better make a double batch.

What’s Not: The Inland Northwest isn’t represented in the book. The Washington state recipe comes from Seattle. Likewise, the Idaho recipe comes from Buhl in the south part of the state.

If only the cookbook came with a pint of freshly made ice cream.

Store-bought ice cream has nothing on the freshly made small-batch kind, made by hand with no preservatives or hard-to-pronounce ingredients.

And if you have an ice cream maker, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

Here are a few recipes from “Scoop Adventures” by blogger Clendaniel, who writes, “Sometimes there is nothing better than a quiet moment with a well-conceived scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.”

Buttered Almond

This buttery, crunchy combination offers a creamy sweetness melded with savory saltiness for a real treat.

1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided

1 teaspoon cornstarch

3/4 pound unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttered almonds (see below)

For the buttered almonds

3/4 cups roasted, unsalted almonds

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch; whisk and set aside. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Bring the butter to a boil and simmer until the foam subsides but the butter has not yet browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for a few minutes, allowing the butter solids to settle to the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour the clarified butter into a container. When there is very little oil remaining, use a small spoon to remove as much melted butter as possible. There should be about 1 tablespoon of butter solids and a small bit of melted butter remaining. Store the clarified butter for future use.

Add the remaining milk, heavy cream and sugar to the butter solids and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour into a medium bowl. Whisk in the salt. Set bowl in the ice water bath to cool, about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and chill overnight.

Make the buttered almonds: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, tossing to coat the almonds. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once, until slightly toasted and aromatic. Let cool completely. Chop before adding to the ice cream.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is complete, gently fold in most of the buttered almonds. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and finish with a sprinkle of remaining almonds. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Tip: Substitute smoked almonds for a savory twist.

Yield: 1 quart

Rosemary Honey Walnut

Rosemary gives this creamy concoction a bright, herbaceous flavor that’s balanced by the sweetness of the honey and crunch of the raw walnuts. I used Wild & Sweet Rich Honey from Spangle that I bought at the Thursday Market in the South Perry District. Next time, I think I might experiment and use the toasted, buttered nuts from the Buttered Almond recipe for a touch of sweet, buttery saltiness.

3/4 cup raw walnuts

1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 3/4 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup mild honey

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a parchment- or silicone-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until walnuts are toasted and fragrant, stirring every 5 minutes. Check the walnuts every few minutes to prevent burning. Cool to room temperature and chop. Store in a covered container until ready to use.

Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch, whisk and set aside. Combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar and honey dissolve, about 3 minutes.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour into a medium bowl. Whisk in the rosemary and salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the rosemary pieces. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is complete, gently fold in the walnut pieces. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Yield: 1 quart

Toasted Marshmallow

This six-ingredient ice cream captures the essence of its key ingredient, the glue that holds together that old campfire favorite: s’mores. These marshmallows are toasted in the oven rather than over an open flame, but the caramelized sugar taste is the same. You won’t even miss the graham crackers or chocolate – although they would make complementary garnishes, like s’mores in a bowl. But resist the urge to add extra toasted marshmallows. Too many more makes the mixture cloyingly – instead of pleasurably – sweet.

7 ounces mini marshmallows

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 3/4 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, allowing the parchment to hang over the edges of the pan. Spread out mini marshmallows on the baking sheet. Bake until dark brown in color, with some marshmallows beginning to burn, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside. Combine the milk, heavy cream and sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the toasted marshmallows. Whisk until the marshmallows melt, about 5 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the vanilla and chill overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Yield: 1 quart

Chai Pink Peppercorn

Adapted from a recipe by Purple Door Ice Cream in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Warm spices blend with sweet, heavy cream in this recipe, complemented by the subtle floral flavor of pink peppercorns. If you don’t have any on hand, you can still make this recipe, leaving out the pink pepperscorns. The result will taste like a cold and creamy cup of spicy chai.

For the chai mix

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground star anise

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the ice cream base

1 cup whole milk, divided

2 teaspoons tapioca starch

1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons chai spice mix (see ingredients above)

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Make the chai mix: Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Make the ice cream base: In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the tapioca starch; set aside. Crush the pink peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or heavy rolling pin; set aside. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and chai spice mix in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the tapioca starch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour into a medium bowl and add the pink peppercorns. Cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, whisk and pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Note: Feel free to use your favorite chai spice mix in place of the recipe above. Use leftover spice mix in tea, hot beverages, on top of cereal, in oatmeal or in any other dish that could use a little sweet spice.

Yield: 1 quart


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