Friday, August 23, 2013

I S'cream for Bi-Rite (Cook the Book August)

This month's Cook the Book cookbook is Bi-Rite Creamery's Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.

In 1972, J.K. received a Salton Ice Cream Machine for her birthday. She hadn't used it since moving to San Francisco (yay! local ice cream!) in 1975, but after a test run with lemon ice, we discovered that it still works perfectly. Well, lime ice. Lime juice was what we had. We weren't going to risk J.K.'s frozen Meyer lemon juice* until we knew for sure the machine was working.

The Ice Cream Machine is no longer manufactured, but it is available on the secondary market. It goes right into the freezer and has a fan that draws the cold freezer air into the machine, so pre-freezing it isn't necessary. The cord is protected with a metal coating so it can have the freezer door closed on it. If you have one packed away but have lost the manual, you can find it here.

We chose the recipe for chocolate ice cream on page 78.
Not too many ingredients
First step:  Whisk the eggs lightly and add  sugar.

Cook cocoa powder with milk, sugar, cream and salt.

Add 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the eggs, slowly, whisking constantly.

Then add the egg mixture back into the cream and cook until thickened.

Strain to get smooth ice cream.

Cool the mixture in an ice bath. We had to jury-rig this part. J.K.'s only large-enough bowl is plastic, and she doesn't keep ice cubes around, so we put a large blue ice in the bottom of the bowl, with a sponge on top of it to stabilize the bowl of hot ice cream base.

And into the metal Ice Cream Machine container to chill in the refrigerator.

When it was cold enough, we placed the container in the machine and the machine went into the freezer for 90 minutes.

The finished ice cream has a light color, but the flavor is very chocolate! It was also very soft at first, but firmed up after a few more hours in the freezer.

Here's our ice cream sandwich. The ice cream was a little hard for our soft cookie, but we squished it back together easily enough.

We also made a pear sorbet, which had a more granular texture than the lime ice. We had to improvise on the recipe, starting with the recipe for Mango Sorbet on page 205. This cookbook's sorbet recipes use already-prepared simple syrup, while the recipes that came with the Ice Cream Machine just start with boiling sugar and water.

Also, neither of us has a juicer, so we had to puree and strain our pears. Our juice was still fairly thick and our final product was more of a Sicilian granita than an Italian ice, but still delicious.

If you've read any of our previous ice cream posts, you know we love to hit up the Bi-Rite store to get our ice cream fix (walking to get there helps mitigate our caloric intake). So it was tempting to just sample all the various kinds they give recipes for in the cookbook. However we're glad we finally used J. K.'s ice cream maker and that now we can make our own flavors at home! This book would be ideal for Bi-Rite lovers who don't have the opportunity to walk across town for their favorite flavor. 

Do you have a hard to find flavor of ice cream you'd like to make at home? This book has great ideas and makes it easy to get inspired and create your own using the base recipes. Viva la Summer!

Life gave her lemons, so she made limoncello, which resulted in a lot of leftover juice.