Food Friday

Another dairy Shabbat. Yes, the home made noodles and cheeseand pickled salmon and a green salad yet again.  The noodles are made and so is the cheese. The salmon can wait until just before Shabbat.
Dessert for this week is white chocolate and orange scented ice cream with mini marshmallows. We were given a hand me down ice cream maker from a neighbor when his old one was replaced.  We were given the machine during the time that my in-laws were joining up each Friday night. My mother in law, like lots of demented folks, was just mad about ice cream and wasn't much interested in the rest of the meal. She was nearing the end of her life and food in general, with the exception of ice cream, had very little appeal for her.
Frankly, my mother in law would have eaten almost anything cold and sweet. But I had fun inventing flavors, because what's the point of having your own machine if all you make is vanilla? Some family favorites are fig  and pomegranate.
 Our trusty ice cream maker
Because we usually have a meat meal for Shabbat, I have gotten pretty good at sorbets and at desserts with the mouth feel of ice cream despite being dairy free. I used to use soy milk for that creamy mouth feel. my youngest is allergic to soy so i have switched over to coconut milk which is deliciously creamy without that nasty beany taste that soybeans tend to give to fake dairy foods.

Tonight though, I get to use dairy. My son isn't a huge fan of dark chocolate. He does love white chocolate and the large lump of white Callebaut at Whole Foods provided inspiration for tonight's concoction.  Ice cream made with actual  heavy cream is delicious but a bit hard for those of us who grew up unused to it, to eat comfortably. I decided to go with whole milk rather than heavy cream or half and half for the base.

Lots of ice creams are made with a custard rather than a straight cream base. The flour molecules swell up and create a silky feel in the mouth that I really like. Custards were among the first foods that I learned how to cook. When I was little, my mother often made boxed puddings for dessert. My job was to stir the powder and the milk until it had thickened.

When I was in college I learned how to make puddings from scratch. 

I love the chemistry of custard making. You really see how those flour molecules suddenly expand and then the whole mixture changes from being a liquid into something that is well on it's way to being a solid.

Custard cooling before being put into ice cream maker
I used to start with a flour and butter roux and then add the milk once the flour was cooked. Lately, I have been making custard sauces and bases by skipping the whole roux stage. You just pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, add a couple of tablespoons of flour, a few more table spoons of sugar, a speck of salt and heat the mixture while whisking until it boils. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat, you add the aromatics ( vanilla or other extracts) and the grated chocolate. I think that white chocolate alone is kind of cloying so I grated the peel of an orange into the mixture and then squeezed in the juice. I had purchased a bag of mini marshmallows earlier in the week so threw a hand full in the mixture and put it all into the ice cream maker so the machine could do it's stuff.
I'm trying to remember where I learned about the roux-less custard. I think that I might have extrapolated the idea  from an excellent cocoa syrup recipe from the Settlement Cook Book that is made with water, cocoa flour  and sugar all boiled up together.
The ice-cream is a bit too sweet for my taste. I may send my son out for some berries to eat with the ice cream.

 Completed  orange scented white chocolate ice cream, ready to be put away in the freezer.

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