Sunday, November 8, 2009

Absinthe Ice Cream

I've been waiting for an excuse to make this ice cream for a while now. Every great cake needs a complimentary and equally exciting ice cream at it's side so the fella's birthday was the perfect time to try it out. Especially since I happened to have a dozen egg yolks left over from making the angel food cake which was the exact number of yolks needed to double the ice cream recipe I had my eye on.

No matter how fussy they sometimes might be David Lebovitz's recipes are always spot, I go to his ice cream recipes in The Perfect Scoop again and again because they all work and turn out great even. The bonus is all the ones I've tried so far tolerate substituting in agave nectar for sugar without changing up the recipe portions. So all the hard work of ice baths, tempering eggs, and perfectly heated cream was worth it. Okay the hardest part of the whole experience of cooking for the fella's birthday was to not start drinking the absinthe without him at 3 in the afternoon. The Libertine absinthe at Vom Fass (I'll talk about this addictive store more later) is excellent and worked perfectly in the custard base.

This made the tastiest ice cream ever. Even people who aren't all that into the licoricey absinthe flavor loved the ice cream. It was a huge success if the loud chorus of yummy noises and calls for second helpings were any indication when I served the cake and ice cream. And now I have an excuse to nibble on absinthe flavored ice cream periodically whenever I need a bite of something sweet.

Absinthe Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons absinthe
1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate truffles or chocolate chips

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.

Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Pour the cream into the smaller bowl set a strainer over the top for straining the egg mixture later.

In a small separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

Strain the custard into the cream. Stir in the bowl over the ice bath until cool, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight. Stir in 3 tablespoons of absinthe. Taste, and add another one if desired.

Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last couple minutes of churning and in the chopped chocolate bits.

Original recipe from David Lebovitz's blog.

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