What kind of birthday cake do you want, Jane? “Cream puffs!” Aiming to satisfy, and wanting to try out Food 52’s idea to flavor ice cream with the remaining post-Christmas candy canes, I set out to create the birthday “cake”. Below I’ve adapted my fresh ice cream base, but you can also stir crushed candy canes into a pint of your favorite vanilla ice cream. I do highly recommend the profiterole treatment for serving (i.e. scoop of ice cream in a split cream puff with whipped cream on top) — the sweet peppermint stick ice cream is balanced by the egg-y cream puff and very lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
2 cups organic heavy cream, not ultrapasteurized
2 cups organic whole milk
1 cup unrefined sugar
pinch sea salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 or 4 crushed candy canes
Thanks to Jerry Traunfeld of the Herbfarm for inspiring the following method for the custard.
1. Boil the Cream. Combine cream, milk, and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring milk/cream to a boil and then remove from the heat.
2. Prepare egg yolks. Put the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl set over another bowl filled half way with hot tap water. Whisk the yolks until they are lukewarm, 90 – 100 degrees (this will just take a minute or two), then remove the bowl from the water.
3. Second boil. Add the sugar to the milk/cream and bring back to a boil. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in the vanilla and immediately pour a gradual stream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly for a minute. This will cook the egg yolks, an instant-read thermometer will register 170 – 180 degrees. Whisk for another minute to slightly cool the mixture and pour through a fine sieve into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. Refrigerate overnight for best results.
4. Freeze. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions, usually about 20 minutes total churning time. Add the crushed candy canes during the last 5 minutes of churning.