Are you like me that when there's an open carton of heavy cream in the frindge you must consume it as quick as possible? I'm always afraid that it might turn bad which with be such a waste since heavy cream is a bit expensive. Yesterday I actually didn't have butter in the house (can you believe that! a baker without butter?!) that's ridiculus I know. On a bright side, we have lots of eggs, so what sould a baker do? Why make ice cream of course! More specifically make Stracciatella.
Stracciatella (Strah-cha-TEL-lah) is an Italian version of an American chocolate chip ice cream. It's a fior di latte (vanilla) base with chocolate bits. But instead of uniform size of chocolates which is what you'd get with chocolate chips, melted chocolates are drizzled over the top of newly churned ice cream then mixed in to form chocolate needles.
I know it's already rainy season here in Manila and actually right now there's a storm that's building up, but what can I say I love ice cream. I first learn about stracciatella years ago when I was watching Gale Gand's Sweet Dreams episode of I Scream for Ice Cream on a lazy afternoon. Her guest who made the Straciatelle is a fellow pastry chef Wayne Harley Brachman. After watching him do them I remember telling myself someday I'll try that.
That day has finally come after so many years later...I didn't exactly used Gale and Wayne's recipe but use David Lebovitz's which is basically the same but they differ in the method. I've read somewhere quite recently actually that David explained the when the heavy cream is not heated and added at the last minute it makes the ice cream creamier which I would like to believe quite true.
I was actually thinking of making a Philadelphia style ice cream as oppose to a French style since I was feeling a bit lazy yesterday. Thankfully I was able to force myself into making the French style since French method tends to be smoother and creamier in texture. I was feeing so lazy yesterday that I was actually thinking of just sticking in the freezer and just let it freeze than I thought it might not turn out good without that air being curned into it. So I lugged out trusty Cuisinart, my godmother gave me years ago and started curning.
Several months ago I was able to get my hands on Nielsen-Massey Vanilla bean Paste. Which is actually a good thing because when I was licking the bowl and cleaning up hmmm.. it tasted good and very fragrant too! With all those vanilla, you can actually see the flecks all throughout the custard. It looks so rich and decadent. At the time, I kept thinking it's such a extravagant purchase but then with how it makes this ice cream and taste looks good it seems so worth it.
For those who are curious what this looks like well let me tell you, it's not a whole jar of vanilla caviar/vanilla seeds like what it looks like when you opened a vanilla pod, but instead the vanilla seeds are suspended in the jar with thick syrupy substance that smells absolutely fabulous! I absolutely love this product, it's less hassle than opening a vanilla bean without compromising the taste and smell of a vanilla, truly a good investment for those who like to bake.
Give this recipe a try, you won't regret it. This batch of ice cream didn't last 3 days in my house. The chocolate fudge that I made didn't get it's chance to ripen. Believe me, it was that good!
Makes 1 quart
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 3/4 cup sugar (I used Vanilla Sugar)
- A pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean (I used 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Bean Paste)
- 6 egg yolks
- Few drops of vanilla
- Heat the milk, salt, sugar and 1 cup of the cream in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of the paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk (If using vanilla bean paste, scoop out 1 Tbsp. of vanilla bean paste to the milk and mix).
- Stir together egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some warm milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the pan.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scrapping the bottom of the pan until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain the custard into the 1 cup of heavy cream. If using vanilla pod: Rinse the pod and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping.
- Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker until hardens enough to scoop out and enjoy, minimum of 4-5 hours.