Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

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This weekend I have homemade fish-stick plans–or fish-finger plans, as I’ve been calling them since I ALWAYS fall into the “you-like-fishsticks?” trap (I always fall for this awful joke much to the delight of my husband and BFF…because we’re such adults and I’m SO DUMB). What do fish-fingers have to do with ice cream, you ask? Nothing. Aside from my fish-finger plans for the weekend, which I am weirdly excited about, I have ice cream eating plans…because it’s the weekend and um, ICE CREAM!

Plus, it’s this ice cream, which is ice cream+cheesecake+blueberries, all in one! This ice cream combines the flavor of tangy cream cheese with sweet, sweet maple, plus a fruity ripple of vanilla-scented blueberry sauce, and the requisite graham cracker crumbs…you know, to make it authentic.  I mean, it’s Friday, the eve of the weekend, and we deserve a little frozen indulgence, don’t you think?

Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

I made this recipe with Tonewood Maple Syrup*. You can read more about Tonewood here in my earlier post or on their website. As always, feel free to sub in your favorite syrup.

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

6oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups cream

2/3 cup maple

1/4 cup corn syrup

Blueberry Ripple:

2 cups blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Graham Layer:

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed

Mix together about 2 tablespoons or so of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry, set aside. In a large, heatproof, mixing bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt together.

Prepare an ice bath in the basin of a clean sink or large bowl.

In a saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, maple syrup, corn syrup, and cornstarch slurry. Heat to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, continue to boil for about 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the mixture into the cream cheese until smooth and combined. Either stir the mixture over the prepared ice bath or pour it into a gallon-size, zip-top freezer bag, seal, and place in the ice bath until cooled. If the base is totally cooled you can process in the ice cream maker at this point. I like to let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before processing.

For the blueberry ripple:

In a saucepan combine the blueberries and sugar. Heat over medium-high heat until the blueberries release their juices and soften. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch and stir into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool completely before layering with the ice cream.

In a freezer-safe container layer about 1/3 of the processed ice cream base in the bottom and drizzle with 1/3 of the blueberry ripple, followed by a liberal sprinkling of graham crumbs, repeat with remaining ingredients, cover, and freeze for several hours before serving. If you have leftover ripple and crumbs, use them to top the ice cream when served.

*Tonewood kindly supplied me with the maple syrup used in this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.

Irish Coffee Milkshake with Whiskey Caramel

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Yes, it’s another ice-cream-drink…and yeah, maybe it was lunch yesterday. I hope you don’t mind, I’m just in the mood for stripey straws and swift-sweet-tooth-satisfaction…plus, this one is different because of the BOOZE factor.

It’s no secret that this weekend is a BFD for lovers of all things green, and pinching, and Ireland, and Guinness,  and corned beef, and whiskey, and drunk-stumbling camaraderie. As a certifiable hermit, I’m not one for crazy, raucous partying, but I do like to get down with a festive, boozey, treat to share with my favorites (you all included!). Enter this milkshake. It’s dead-simple, I mean…I know we can all handle making a milkshake, so think of this as more of a suggestive guide, rather than a recipe.

We’re blending together store-bought coffee ice cream, a little milk mixed with a little espresso powder, some whiskey (if I had any shame, I’d be real and use certifiable Irish whiskey…but I didn’t), and a boozed-up homemade caramel sauce. This shake has some of my favorite flavors ever–I mean, whiskey and caramel should just be BFF’s, right? plus, coffee? Get out. This shake is a quick indulgence for one, but can be easily adapted to make a batch of impressive, crowd-pleasing treats. Pop in a straw and knock one back!

Irish Coffee Milkshake

Makes 1 milkshake. 

I’m sure you guys know what a milkshake is all about and exactly how you like them, so ratios below are just a suggestion. Shake it up, add mix-ins, do yo’ thing. 

2 hefty scoops of your favorite coffee ice cream

2-4 tablespoons of milk

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 ounce (or as much as you want) whiskey

whiskey caramel sauce (recipe below)

whipped cream to garnish

Begin by dissolving the espresso powder in the milk, add to a blender canister along with the ice cream, whiskey, and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Blend it up! Drizzle the inside of your glass with more caramel, pour in the shake, top with whipped cream and more caramel if desired. Cheers!

Whiskey Caramel Sauce:

adapted from THIS recipe.

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 Tablespoon golden syrup (or corn syrup)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 ounce whiskey

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, water, and golden syrup, gently combine. Heat over medium-high until the mixture becomes a syrup and comes to a boil. Continue to boil until the syrup becomes a deep golden, brown caramel color–as dark as you dare before it burns. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the butter, cream, and salt, until smooth. Return to heat if needed to create a smooth sauce. Whisk in the whiskey to combine. Pour into a heatproof jar and cool. Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for a week.

 

Whiskey Brown-Butterscotch Pudding with Ganache + Sea Salt

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Pudding is my re-set dessert. It’s my no-fail stand-by.  The measuring is therapeutic–there aren’t that many ingredients and this recipe includes booze AND browned butter…so, there’s that. The constant whisking lets me get my thoughts together, there’s a comfort in the monotony. Plus, at the end…there’s warm, silky, lush pudding and there are few things finer than that.

This recipe combines some of my favorite dessert flavors all in one nostalgic cup. Think of these as the grown-up snack-pack…with all the layers that we all love, but with flavors that are decidedly adult. Toffee-like brown butter, sweet and deep brown sugar, fiery whiskey, dark and bitter chocolate, and a little flaky salt for good measure and crunch. The ganache top-hat does double duty–adding a welcome chocolatey bitterness, PLUS it seals the pudding, preventing the (dreaded) skin from forming. I love a practical and pretty garnish!

Whiskey Brown-Butterscotch Pudding w/ Ganache + Sea Salt

Makes 4 large or 8 moderate servings.

adapted from THIS recipe.

This recipe is adapted from an earlier post–I just really love homemade butterscotch pudding, guys! This version has a bit more butter and booze, and of course the ganache cap. This recipe can be made with whole or percent milk–I’ve made it both ways with great results. You can adjust the amount of whiskey for your liking. I did 4 tablespoons–it was super boozey and delish! 

Ganache:

3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped or chips

3 ounces heavy cream

sea salt for sprinkling

Pudding:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 egg yolks

2-4 tablespoons whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the ganache first. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Begin by scalding the cream in a saucepan–that means heat the cream until small bubbles begin to form around the edges and some steam starts to rise off the surface of the cream–just before it begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate, cover the bowl and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. After resting the chocolate should be melted, gently whisk the cream and chocolate until it is smooth, shiny, and completely combined. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pot, brown butter over medium low heat. The milk solids will become brown and smell nutty like toffee, watch it closely  so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and immediately stir in brown sugar and salt. Once the sugar is completely moistened with the butter, whisk in the milk.

In a small bowl whisk together the cream and the cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in the eggs. Whisk the egg mixture into the milk and butterscotch mixture and heat over medium, whisking constantly, until the pudding thickens to coat a spoon and is the consistency of hot fudge sauce. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey and vanilla. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, pulse a few times to aerate. Pour into individual cups (4-8), spoon ganache over the top of each pudding cup and smooth over the top to cover completely, so that pudding is no longer exposed, and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Allow to cool slightly and chill for several hours, or until ready to serve. Serve with softly whipped, unsweetened cream.