Saturday, July 30, 2011

Salted Black Licorice Ice Cream


2 years ago my brother praised the salted black licorice ice cream at Molly Moon's. I've wanted to try it ever since. I've searched here in NC for something similar, but with no luck. So I figured it was time to try to make it myself. Today was my 1st attempt. It's still setting up in the freezer right now but it tastes great-caramelly but with a strong but not overwhelming kick of licorice and a hint of salt.

The ice cream base is the recipe for Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream as found in the August/September 2011 issue of Saveur. (It is a slightly different recipe than the one found here, but very similar.)

My brother guesses that the ice cream he had was flavored with anise and I've seen recipes that call for Pernod, although ice cream made with liquor will not set quite as well as those without. The licorice addition I used was inspired by a simple passage from this article:

At home, try Jake Godby's recipe for salted licorice ice cream, which has earned a cult following at San Francisco's Humphry Slocombe: Melt Red Vines black licorice into an ice cream base, season generously with kosher salt and freeze.

I suggest chopping the licorice into small pieces so that it melts more quickly. I added a teaspoon of salt to be on the conservative side. I'll probably add more salt the next time. (The ice cream tastes great without the salt but it adds a nice touch.)

Ice Cream Base

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

5 oz. Black Licorice Chopped --I used Haribo Licorice Wheels
1 tsp or more kosher salt (to taste)

Fill a large bowl with ice water.
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the licorice melts, about 4 minutes.

Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the remaining cream mixture into the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Strain mixture through sieve. Whisk in the additional salt. Pour mixture into quart sized plastic bag. Place in the ice water bath and let stand, until cold, about 20 minutes.

Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

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