Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ginger Ice Cream with Honey-Sesame Brittle

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently made an Ethiopian dinner for friends. While I was planning the meal, I realized I couldn't think of any classic Ethiopian desserts to make because there are none. Ethiopians traditionally don't eat dessert. But I knew my table full of robust Americans (I can say that because I was the most robust of them all), would enjoy a little something sweet. So I thought maybe an ice cream using one of the flavors from the meal would be complimentary. It was right on the money. My guests really enjoyed the assertive kick of the ginger with the sweet, crunchy sesame brittle. It's probably not going to win over the kids, but that's why we keep chocolate ice cream in the freezer (yea, that's right, for the kids).

Yield: 1 quart

Ginger Ice Cream:
3 1/2 oz. unpeeled ginger root, cut into long strips
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Honey-Sesame Brittle:
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup sesame seeds
zest of 1/2 orange

1.      Place ginger strips in small saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the ginger and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Drain the water.
2.      Mix tapioca starch with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream to make a smooth slurry. Add the salt and mix. Set aside.
3.      Combine ginger, milk, remaining 1 1/4 cups cream, sugar, and honey in 4 qt. saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil at medium high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in tapioca starch slurry.
4.      Return mixture to a boil and cook, stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
5.      Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag or 1-quart container and store in fridge for at least 12 hours. If you like a stronger ginger flavor, let it sit longer.
6.      Make the brittle: Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or aluminum foil. Pour honey into a small saucepan and warm, just until liquid. Remove from heat. Add orange zest and stir. Add sesame seeds and mix together until seeds are well coated. Pour mixture into pan and spread to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes (you want the seeds to turn golden brown). Take care to not over cook or the bottom will be dark (and not taste as good). Let brittle cool. Break into small, pea-sized pieces while ice cream is churning, ready to add to ice cream. (I use about 3/4 cup for the ice cream, but use more or less depending on your preference.)
7.      When ready to churn ice cream, pour the ice cream base through a fine sieve to strain out the ginger. Churn ice cream until thick and creamy. Add in small pieces of the brittle while putting finished ice cream into storage container. Freeze ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 4 hours.

barely adapted from food52 (by Jef)
ginger knob
sliced ginger in boiling water
ginger, milk, cream, sugar and honey
mixing tapioca starch slurry
whisking in the slurry
cooled ginger custard in a ziploc

Do yourself a favor and steady your ziploc in
a bowl before you start pouring (you just
know I learned that lesson the hard way).
orange zest
heating the honey and orange zest
stirring in the sesame seeds
raw sesame brittle spread out
baked sesame brittle
breaking up the sesame brittle

I made it the day before and
stored it in a ziploc bag in the freezer.
straining the ginger custard the next day
ginger custard before churning
ginger ice cream
stirring in some sesame brittle
ginger ice cream with honey-sesame brittle
on a spoon
(white on white - great idea for a photo)

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