Kaya Toast Ice Cream (Pandan, Coconut, and Toast Ice Cream)

Do you like chlorophyll?

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This all started with a Buzzfeed Worth It episode where they visited this amazing ice cream store which sold flavours like Coffee Cuban Cigar, Maple Black Truffle, and of course, Brown Bread. And then I thought hey what if I made a bread ice cream…but green?

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Just kidding. When I thought of bread I thought of kaya toast, which is basically the quintessential Singapore breakfast. Kaya is a kind of coconut jam, which may or may not contain pandan depending on region. And pandan is an aromatic…leaf?

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And then when I thought I was so original and creative I googled kaya toast ice cream and an ice cream store in Singapore already offers the flavour.

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So this ice cream was kind of divisive. The toast gave the ice cream a savouriness and saltiness which I appreciated, but some of the philistines who tried this thought it was weird.

The coconut is Strong in this one; it is definitely the dominant flavour. And the toast crumb garnish adds a nice bit of texture, and signposts that yes this ice cream does contain (gasp) gluten.

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I got the recipe for the pandan extract from here. The ice cream recipe is a mix of the ones found here and here.

Ingredients

Pandan extract

  • 9 pandan leaves
  • 1/4 cup water

Toast crumbs

  • 2 slices bread (I used white bread)

Ice cream

  • 250ml heavy cream
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 80g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp pandan extract (can be storebought if that’s more accessible than pandan leaves)
  • 1/4 cup toast crumbs (keep the rest of the toast crumbs as a topping)

Method

Pandan extract

  1. Wash the leaves thoroughly, and cut the leaves up into small pieces.
  2. Blend the leaves with the water.
  3. Use a strainer to strain the pandan extract.

Toast crumbs

  1. Toast the bread long enough until the toast is a deep brown colour.
  2. Let cool to room temperature, and then blitz the toast until they form small crumbs.

Ice cream

  1. Put the heavy cream, coconut milk, pandan extract, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Once it has reached a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and heat the mixture until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon (see notes).
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the toast crumbs. Let steep for 30 mins. Then pass through a fine sieve.
  4. Chill the ice cream mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Churn the ice cream mixture in your ice cream machine until desired consistency. Garnish with toast crumbs.

Notes

  • I found that the ice cream mixture was quite thick to begin with and didn’t need to be heated for long.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can try the method here.
  • I had loads of extra pandan leaves so I just threw it together with the ice cream mixture at the boiling step.
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Caramelised White Chocolate Ice Cream with Ground Cardamom

You know how in science class you learn that matter has 3 states, and then you go into higher education and you learn that there are more states like plasma and Bose-Einstein condensates? Yeah this is the fourth state of chocolate.

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Don’t mind that crummy looking bowl. Apparently also known as the “toffee of milk”, caramelised white chocolate has an additional dimension of depth compared to regular white chocolate. It’s sweeter, creamier, and as the name suggests, it has caramel notes to it as well.

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I first heard about caramelised white chocolate when I went to Copenhagen, and the Summerbird chocolate store was giving out free samples (the way to my heart). And their most popular product was amber chocolate, which was basically caramelised white chocolate, but they managed to temper it to perfection. Perfectly snappy at room temperature, but melts in your mouth to coat your tongue with a layer of creamy caramel chocolate.

Caramelised White Chocolate Ice Cream with Cardamom

And then adding in the ground cardamom gives a little more aroma to the ice cream. Also I suck at scooping ice cream so here’s a lovely picture of some half-melted ice cream drowning in sauce:

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The salt is not optional. Helps cut through the sweetness and makes the whole thing a little more interesting.

I used David Lebovitz’s recipes for caramelised white chocolate ice cream and caramelised white chocolate, and just added cardamom.

Ingredients

Caramelised white chocolate

  • 120g white chocolate (see notes)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Ice cream

  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 50g sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 125ml heavy cream
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Method

Caramelised white chocolate

  1. Chop the white chocolate into coarse pieces, and place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 130°C for 10 mins.
  2. Take the baking sheet out and spread the white chocolate with a spatula until the chocolate is smoothed out.
  3. Put the white chocolate back in the oven and bake for another 10 mins, stirring the chocolate at 10 min intervals. Repeat until the white chocolate is a deep golden-brown colour.
  4. Stir in a pinch of sea salt and set the chocolate aside.

Ice cream

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the yolks, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the cream, milk, and cardamom until warm.
  3. Add half of the cream and milk into the egg yolks and whisk. Then add the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
  4. Heat over low-medium heat, stirring continuously. Heat until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  5. Meanwhile, ensure the caramelised white chocolate is warm (like just microwave it for 5-10s bursts, stirring well between bursts) and place a strainer over a bowl containing the white chocolate.
  6. When the ice cream custard is ready, pour the custard through the strainer into the white chocolate and stir until smooth.
  7. Refrigerate the ice cream overnight.
  8. The next day, churn the ice cream mixture in an ice cream machine until desired consistency.
  9. Freeze the ice cream until it’s a scoopable consistency. Serve with some flaky sea salt.
  10. Optional: I served my ice cream with some extra caramelised white chocolate mixed with cream to make a ganache.

Notes

  • When caramelising the white chocolate, the chocolate may sometimes appear lumpy. But don’t worry just keep mixing the chocolate and it will eventually smooth out.
  • If you’re rich and don’t want to make caramelised white chocolate, Valrhona sells some blonde chocolate which is the same thing.
  • For best results, use white chocolate with at least 30% cocoa butter. And use real white chocolate (with actual cocoa butter), check the ingredients list.

Honey Mustard Ice Cream with Mini Pretzels

Hear me out here.

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It’s weirdly good. It’s like a creamy honey mustard dressing…but solid.

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And it goes so well with mini pretzels! That crunch. And it goes with the general savouriness of the ice cream.

I got the original idea while watching an episode of Good Mythical Morning and they loved mustard ice cream. Next time I want to actually get some sausages and eat them with the ice cream. Gotta go all out.

Mustard Ice Cream Honey Pretzel

And the finishing touch is a light sprinkling of salt to contrast with the mild sweetness of the ice cream.

I got the recipe from here but converted everything to grams and converted half-and-half to cream and milk since it’s kind of hard to find half-and-half in the UK.

Ingredients

  • 25g sugar (1/8 cup)
  • 43g honey (1/8 cup)
  • Pinch of turmeric (optional, for colour)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 90g double cream
  • 268g whole milk (or you can substitute the cream and milk for 358g/1.5 cups half-and-half)
  • 1-2 tbsp whole grain mustard (depending on strength of mustard and your preferences)
  • About 150g salted mini pretzels, toasted
  • Some flaky sea salt

Method

  1. Mix the sugar, honey, turmeric, and egg yolks together in a saucepan.
  2. Add the cream and milk into the saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until mixture is thickened and coats the back of your spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  3. Transfer to a container and chill overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, chop 3/4 of the pretzels into pieces (halves to quarters). Freeze the pretzel pieces.
  5. The next morning, before churning the ice cream, mix in the mustard to the ice cream mixture.
  6. Churn the ice cream mixture in an ice cream machine until desired consistency.
  7. When the ice cream is ready, scoop the ice cream into a container and scatter in some chopped frozen pretzel pieces.
  8. Top with the remaining toasted pretzels and sea salt.

Notes

  • The turmeric’s just for colour. Don’t actually add enough such that you’ll be able to taste the turmeric. I wanted the ice cream to actually be yellow, there’s no need for subtlety when it comes to mustard ice cream.
  • Freezing the pretzel pieces will help in stopping the pieces from getting soggy (hopefully).

Gum Mastic, Cardamom, Rosewater, and Pistachio Ice Cream

The recipe that required the most amount of specialised ingredients.

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Gum mastic is used in Eastern Mediterranean cooking. Honestly I have no idea how I even came across it. I opened up my folder of bookmarked ice cream flavours and there it was. My Greek friend got really excited about this, he said that there’s an old wives’ tale about mastica being the cure to everything (cue long-suffering eye-roll from said friend).

And sorry I can’t really describe its taste either. It brings more of an aromatic component to me rather than a taste. Some say that it smells like pine trees, but I’ve never smelt a pine tree before…

And cardamom also smells really good. Like a really classy scented candle. That you want to eat. Basically I kept smelling this ice cream throughout.

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The ice cream is based off an eggless custard – my first recipe without eggs! This meant that I could be less careful about watching the temperature of the custard, since overheating an egg-based custard can result in a bit of a sulfurous smell and taste (ie like eating farts, yummy).

And I thought this ice cream froze pretty well! Didn’t get as icy as some of my previous ice cream attempts.

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Unfortunately you do need an ice cream maker for this recipe, although I’m sure you can use one of the many ways out there to adapt the recipe.

Gum Mastic, Cardamom, Rosewater, and Pistachio Ice Cream

I don’t know why one of the scoops looks more yellow than the other, but it’s okay I accept you for who you are.

I got the recipe from here and used ground cinnamon instead of a cinnamon stick.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon whole green cardamoms
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 100ml rose water
  • 1 teaspoon gum mastic crystals, crushed with 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 200ml evaporated milk
  • Handful of toasted pistachios to top, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Crush the whole cardamoms in a pestle and mortar (or get your housemate to crush it in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin, because you’re lazy like that). Take out the pods leaving the seeds then pound the seeds to a fine powder.
  2. Place the milk and double cream in a saucepan, and add the ground cardamom and cinnamon. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about a quarter to a rich creamy colour (it takes about half an hour).
  3. Place the sugar and rose water in another saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat until it becomes a thin syrup. Remove from the heat and cool.
  4. When the milk and cream are ready, remove from the heat and stir in the crushed gum mastic. Cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Sieve the liquid. Add the evaporated milk to the sieved liquid and combine with the rose water syrup. Cool and chill.
  6. Churn in an ice-cream machine until desired consistency.
  7. If you want a scoopable consistency rather than a soft-serve consistency, chill the ice cream down in the freezer overnight.
  8. Top with toasted pistachios.

Notes

  • I’d suggest going light on the gum mastic especially if you’re not used to the flavour because it can be quite strong.
  • To me the pistachio was really crucial in bringing this recipe together. Brought some textural variation, and its nuttiness also complemented the sort of organic(?) taste of the mastic.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Brown Butter Crumbs

My housemates and I celebrated Thanksgiving last week!

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It was a very British thanksgiving with chicken instead of turkey, and we had brussels sprouts and yorkshire pudding. Don’t judge.

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We went all the way and made a special Snapchat geofilter for the event as well urgh.

We had some pie themed desserts, so along with this pumpkin pie ice cream there were also pecan pie cheesecake and apple pie layer cake. Yeah I gained about a kilo that week.

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I don’t think I actually like the flavour of pumpkin spice that much. But the combination with the slightly salty pie crumb made the whole thing a sweet, salty, spicy treat.

I got the recipe for the ice cream from here and the recipe for the pie crumb from Christina Tosi’s momofuku milk bar. I used brown butter instead of butter for the pie crumb though, just to add that extra bit of nutty, caramelised flavour.

Ingredients (makes about 700ml ice cream)

Pumpkin Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp dark rum (optional)

Pie Crust

  • 240g plain flour
  • 18g sugar
  • 3g salt
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 20g water

Method

Pumpkin Ice Cream

  1. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Then mix with the milk and cream.
  2. Heat over medium heat until the mixture thinly coats the back of your spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin with the cinnamon, vanilla, and rum.
  5. Mix the pumpkin puree with the custard.
  6. Chill the mixture overnight.
  7. Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine.

Brown Butter Pie Crust

  1. Brown the butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl and a heavy microwave-safe lid. I microwaved my butter for about 4 mins, gave the butter a quick swirl, and then microwaved it in 1 min intervals (swirling in between) until the butter was brown and there were some residues at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt together.
  3. Add the brown butter and water until the mixture comes together.
  4. Spread the mixture over a lined baking tray and bake for 180°C for about 30-40 mins, breaking them up occasionally. Bake until golden brown but still slightly moist to the touch. The crumbs will dry and harden as they cool.
  5. Let crumbs cool and store in an airtight container in a freezer.
  6. Sprinkle on top of the ice cream to serve.

Notes

  • I didn’t like the texture of this ice cream as much as my previous ice cream attempts. I would probably attempt the proportions used here next time.
  • If you want to mix some of the crust into the ice cream, I would try mixing the larger crumbs (or the texture of the ice cream might turn sandy), and making sure the crumbs are frozen so they don’t get soggy.
  • Your ice cream will reduce faster if you use a pot with a large surface area. So for example I used my wok. Very asian.
  • If you’re microwaving your butter to make it brown butter, your butter’s going to sputter and make a lot of noise. Don’t panic and keep zen. The butter will be fine. Use a heavy lid though so your butter doesn’t splutter everywhere.
  • To be honest though I didn’t really taste much of a difference using brown butter or not so if you want to skip the brown butter step that’s fine.