Today proved to be pretty exciting. I tried something different with our hot ice cream. First, I made a straightforward ice cream flavor, Vanilla. Next, I served it with basic flavors: banana (albeit smoked), chocolate sauce (ok, I flavored it with juniper), and candy canes (made into a cracker and infused with Szechuan pepper). But, when I served the sundae I did not say, “Here is hot ice cream.” Rather I just served the dish. And when the diner was halfway through I asked what he thought. The response was “absolutely delicious.” I asked if they noticed anything about the sundae. “It is awesome.” Well, I then let the cat out of the bag and mentioned that perhaps the ice cream could be colder. The response was a quick bite and then “it’s hot, the ice cream is hot. How the?” Exactly our point. And now the recipe:
Hot Vanilla Ice Cream
306 g whole milk yogurt
230 g cream cheese
80 g agave nectar
154 g water
1 Bourbon vanilla bean scraped
pinch of sea salt
11.55g Methocel food gum SGA150
In a blender puree together the yogurt, cream cheese, agave nectar, the insides of the vanilla bean and the salt. Blend just until the mixture comes together as a smooth puree, but do not aerate. Meanwhile, heat the water up to a boil. As soon as the water boils remove from the heat and whisk in the Methocel. Once the Methocel is dispersed, add it to the blender and puree the contents until the mixture is homogenized, again avoid aeration.
Once the mixture is combined, pour it into a bowl over an ice bath to chill. Let the ice-cold mixture rest for at least an hour, preferably overnight before poaching the ice cream.
When ready to make the ice cream, heat a pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, shut off the heat and scoop the ice cream base. As you scoop, wipe the edges of the ice cream scoop, and then immerse the scoop and its contents into the hot water. You will see the ice cream set, and then dislodge it from the scoop. The ice cream should poach for about one minute for small scoops and longer for larger scoops. (Depending on how much ice cream you are poaching you may have to turn the heat back on to keep the water hot.)
Once the ice cream is set, remove the scoops, drain briefly on a paper towel and place into serving dishes with whatever garnishes you want. As the mixture chills the ice cream will “melt” in your dish, blending with the garnishes like and actual cold ice cream sundae.
**Okay, here's a note for all of the people that tried this recipe and said that the ice cream was too firm and dumpling like. When you serve cold ice cream you need to pull it out a bit in advance to temper it's texture and temperature. Straight from the freezer ice cream tends to be extremely hard and difficult to scoop and eat. It's the same with the hot ice cream, you want to make the scoops and then let them rest for a couple of minutes to cool and begin to melt. As the ice cream tempers, the texture softens and becomes silky and melting, just like it's cold counterpart.