I hope it goes without saying, but I genuinely, honest-to-goodness, scouts-honor like everything I bring to you here. This is why a longer stretch between posts does not mean that I’m ignoring you, but that, to put it delicately, I am sucking at making food. The good news is: Things do go well sometimes. And when I really like something, beyond normal levels of truly enjoying food, I’m at a bit of a loss when it comes to conveying its awesomeness, despite fancying myself a wordy type.
So today, just do us both a favor and imagine me waving my arms around like the only kid in class who’s still drinking the Santa Kool-Aid (it’s red).
I like this ice cream a whole lot.
You might be tempted to run for the hills at the thought of curry flavor in your ice cream, but I promise, this works. When I’m done putting tahini in dessert, I might take up curried dessert evangelism. They pay is probably atrocious… But I have a number of side-hustle ideas. Lady Tip: Never get caught without: (1) enough cash to buy a burrito, and (2) a good side hustle idea. I guess that’s a pretty good Gentleman Tip, too.
The lemongrass ice cream is incredible on its own, so if you’re feeling lazy, I would judge not if you skip the praline. That said, it’s really the unexpected showstopper here. You can play with it a bit to find the right texture and spiciness level to suit your tastes. I used an Emeril recipe as a jumping-off point, and the result is on the soft, crumbly side — perfect for freezing into ice cream. You won’t use all of the praline, so your snacking needs are covered. Because, you know. The standard ice cream freezing time runs around four hours, which is a mighty long time to wait.
When those excruciating several hours are over, you are free to enjoy the end result: a complex, nutty, fragrant, spicy dreamboat of a dessert. I’d say it’s exotic, but when you think about it, that doesn’t really say anything when the world is so small. And big. (Do I need to shut up? I need to shut up.)
Ice cream, meet mouth. Everyone wins. One month of 2015 down, and I feel like we’ve already accomplished so much here. February, we’re coming for you, and we have burrito money.
- 3 stalks lemongrass
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup chopped curried peanut praline
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- Combine everything but the peanuts in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until mixture is bubble and a candy thermometer reads between 235 and 240 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in peanuts. Keep stirring them until they stay suspended in the mixture somewhat, 2-3 minutes longer as the mixture cools. Spoon praline onto a sheet of parchment paper and let it cool completely before cutting into chunks for ice cream.
- Slice the pale parts of the lemongrass stalks into thin rings and set aside. Reserve the tough ends of the stalks as well.
- Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream along with the sugar, corn syrup, lemongrass (both the sliced parts and the tough ends) and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let it steep for 2 hours.
- Strain the mixture and discard lemongrass solids. Return milk mixture to a boil, add the cornstarch slurry and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into a small bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then whisk this into the rest of the milk mixture. Cover and chill thoroughly.
- When mixture is completely chilled, churn ice cream according to manufacturer instructions, then fold in the praline chunks (reserve some for topping) and transfer to a storage container before freezing. Makes a quart.