Friday, July 16, 2010

Ice Cream Social

I'm happy to join my friend Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for hosting an ice social for us in blogland. 

First things first. I love these sweet bowls from Anthropologie. They are a perfect size for ice cream. I don't know about you, but in our home, we just grab the bowls that are easiest to reach. But for Suzy's party, I got out the step ladder to I could reach these special bowls. I don't know what I am saving them for ;o)

Before you think I have lost my mind, I can assure you that this very unusual ice cream that I made is surprisingly good. And I know I will have midnight cravings for this the rest of my life.

I found a recipe for Fennel Ice Cream on Epicurious. You steep fennel seeds in hot cream, and the flavor that evolves is very unique. And I can assure you that it is also wonderful with a bowl of fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of granola. Thumbs up on this recipe! 

And with a very kind offer from my from my BFF Paula, I got to try out her new ice cream maker.

Purchased at Aldi's for $19.99, this Crofton ice cream maker worked very well. You put the container in the freezer the day before you are ready to make the ice cream. It makes makes 1.25 quarts of ice cream in minutes. No ice or salt needed.

Fennel Ice Cream (Recipe from Epicurious)

1 2/3 cups heavy cream

2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed

1 cup whole milk

¾ cup sugar, divided

Pinch of salt

4 large egg yolks (I used locally raised organic eggs)

Combine the cream and fennel seeds in a small heavy saucepan, and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath.

Then combine the milk, ½ cup sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium heavy saucepan, and bring just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Add the hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the medium saucepan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer. (Do not allow it to boil.) Immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Cool in the ice bath, stirring occasionally.

When the custard is cool, strain the fennel cream through a fine-mesh sieve into the custard, pressing on the solids. Continue to chill in the ice bath until the custard is very cold. (Alternatively, cover the mixture, and chill it in the refrigerator overnight.) Freeze in an ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container, and put in the freezer to harden, about 1 hour.

As I shopped my basement for some ice cream spoons, I came across these cute polka dot spreaders. Don't you think they would be darling as spoons? I never did find my cute ice cream spoons as I must have packed them away during our kitchen remodel.

Next up is an ice cream that I have been trying to recreate. We vacationed in Bar Harbor, Maine, and I had the most wonderful Cappucino Chip ice cream. I recently subscribed to Southern Living magazine, and found a recipe for Mocha Latte ice cream which is very similar to the ice cream I had in Bar Harbor. 

Mr. Mountain Breath declared it a winner. It was his favorite of the three ice creams. And it's worthy of a special occasion.

Mocha Latte Ice Cream Recipe: 

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon instant espresso (I used 1 1/2 TBsp)

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste*

1 cup chopped pecans

2 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate

1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
3. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring once halfway through. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

5. Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and time may vary.) Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecans and chocolate. Garnish, if desired.

*Vanilla extract may be substituted.

The recipe can be found on the Southern Living  website.

The third flavor that I made was a disappointment so I won't post the recipe. It was strawberry, and non-creamy. I'll be on the hunt for a different recipe.

Some unusual ice cream flavors that are on my bucket list:
Sweet Corn Caramel
Strawberry Basil
Salted Caramel

Thank you to Suzy for hosting the ice cream social ;o) I'll be checking out the other ice cream socials that participated! 

I found some luscious Gelato pictures on You Tube if you care to take a look.

Thank you for stopping by!

Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

Hello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..


  1. Mocha Latte sounds great! I'm copying recipes to try!

  2. I'll take your word that the Fennel Ice Cream is good - You & Marsha both picked the Mocha, gret minds!! Sorry about the strawberry, I've been looking for a good one also.
    Love the dishes - keep them on a lower shelf and use them more! Hope you find the spoons...

  3. Debbie your table looks so cute. Those bowls are great. I need to invest in some nice bowls. I'm glad you didn't wreck them like I did. My mistake was not getting on the stool. lol I love your adventurous tastes! I would never myself pick fennel to flavor ice cream, but after your recommendation I would surely give it a try. You and Marsha were thinking alike (and me too since I picked the recipe right next to it). Southern Living recipes are usually outstanding. Too bad your strawberry didn't turn out, but you win some you lose some. This was a great post. Bet your crowd was happy to see that ice cream spread! I'm so happy to have you join me again at the Ice Cream Social. I'm already looking forward to next year!

  4. Debbie ... beautiful header, how bright, cheery, and summery!

    Love the Anthropologie bowls ... too cute and so you.

    Can't imagine the fennel ice cream, but if you say its good that's good enough for me.

    Beautiful pictures in your post. What a delight and fun to read.

  5. Debbie, Your bowls are so cute. The mocha ice cream sounds delightful! I do enjoy fennel but have never had it in a sweet dish. Interesting combination! Thanks for sharing these at the Ice Cream Social.

  6. I love those bowls! Of course, I have them in red! I know I would love the fennel ice cream - what a great recipe. A must try for me! I'll bet it had a slight licorice flavor from the fennel seeds. I saw Marsha did the same mocha recipe - it looks delicious.

    What a great buy on the ice cream maker your friend found! I can see that it worked beautifully. I keep my ice cream maker's container in the freezer whenever I'm not using it - that way it's always ready ;)

  7. Nice choices, Debbie! And I like those dishes. I recently found an ice cream recipe with very favorable reviews. If I can find it, I'll forward it on to you.

  8. Your ice cream looks yummy! Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. What exotic and unusual ice creams. I think I am going to try the fennel one. Can't wait to hear what you say about the ones on your list. I love the bowls. that's the size bowl I want ice cream in. Lovely blog, so nice to meet during the ice cream social.

  10. Oh dear, more recipes to add to my list of things I must try this summer. I do like fennel and will have to try your recipe. Unusual recipes like this often turn out to be among my favorites. There's no question about the mocha latte. Love your pretty ice cream bowls.

  11. I'm going to Bar Harbor this week...perhaps I'll find the flavor you mentioned. Love the handled bowls! Fennel...that's licorice flavor, right? Okay, I like licorice. Maybe...

  12. Those bowls are adorable. And the Mocha Ice cream looks delicious.
    I hope you find your spoons!

  13. Interesting recipes, Debbie, but I'm with Joe and would love Mocha Chip!

    Love the bowls! Anthropologie always has such fun things!

    That was nice of your BFF to lend you her machine! I'm surprised you don't have one yet!

  14. HI! Love the bowl!! Fennel Ice Cream, how interesting!! I am all about the mocha chip.

  15. Definitely unusual ice cream and I like your other list too.

  16. I love your photos, the bowls and the way you displayed the ice creams. You are too honest we would have never known those were spreaders rather than spoons, LOL! The mocha latte ice cream was wonderful - we all really enjoyed it and made ice cream sandwiches with it using brownie cookies at camp this weekend. I'm glad that Joe enjoyed it too!

    The fennel ice cream sounds very intriguing, you are a brave woman to try this ice cream. I can't wait to see the sweet corn caramel when you make it.

  17. You have a beautiful blog! I love your photos...gorgeous! That fennel ice cream sounds like something interesting. I imagine its taste to be quite refreshing and palate cleansing.

    Hope you like the fudge sauce. It is a family favorite.
    Jane (Artfully graced)

  18. I love the recipe for fennel ice cream. Fennel is great in salads, why not ice cream. I bet no one could guess what gave it the flavor.

  19. Love, love the bowls! I admire your courage in trying some different flavors.

  20. What a great ice cream spread. I love the sound of fennel ice cream!!

  21. Another excellent article with lots of great suggestions. Extremely timely for everyone! Keep up your awesomeness!: ) best countertop ice maker


I'm so happy you decided to stop by my blog. Please leave a comment as I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you!


Appetizers (2) Birthday Week (2) Blog Anniversary (2) Bread (2) Breakfast (4) Breakfast; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Breville Pie Maker (3) Cannoli (3) Chicken (2) Chicken Riggies; Foodie Friday (1) CHRISTMAS 2011 (4) Come To The Table (4) Cookies (2) Dessert (9) Dinner Parties (3) Easter 2012 (2) Events (2) Fairy Garden (2) Favorites on the First (2) Filled Strawberries (4) Flashback Friday (6) Foodie Friday (20) Garden 2009 (3) Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars (2) Halloween (2) Kentucky Derby; Run for the Roses Pie (1) Key West (4) Kick-Off To Summer BBQ (1) Lake Life (2) Lemon (3) Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling (2) Let's Dish (13) Let's Dish; Tablescape Thursday (1) MacKenzie-Childs (39) MacKenzie-Childs; Traveling Tote (4) Magazine recipes (2) MAGNOLIA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (2) Martha's Vineyard (3) McKenzie-Childs (2) Miss Aurora; (1) Monday Mosaic (5) Monday Mosaic; Seasonal Sundays (3) Mother's Day 2012 (3) Mystery Ingredient; Halloween 2013 (2) National Bundt Day (3) Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan (3) Outdoor Wednesdays (2) OWLS (3) Pasta (2) PEONIES (4) Philadelphia Garden Show 2009 (7) Pier One (2) Pork (2) PUMPKIN PIE FUDGE (3) Rhubarb (5) Salads (2) Seafood (2) Seasonal Sundays (9) Showy Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium reginae) (2) Soup (4) Spider Web Pizza (1) St. Patrick's Day (4) Summer 2013 (2) Summer Dessert (3) Sunday Favorites (3) Sycamore Hill Gardens (2) Table For Two (2) Tablescape Thursday (17) Tablescape Thursday; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Thanksgiving (5) Tips and Tidbits; (2) Tybee Island; Georgia; Savannah; (3) Utica Greens; Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook; Escarole (1) Valentine (2) Valentine's Day (3) Vietri (4) Weekends (6) World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies with Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Frosting (3) Zucchini Bread (2)