Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Almond Chocolate Croquant

Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Almond Chocolate Croquant Recipe

After dropping Aria at preschool the other morning, I had plenty of time once I got home. The ice cream maker had been sitting on out kitchen counter for the entire summer and I decided to use it one last time before it goes back to hibernation, just like a bear. 

I made a simple custard using whole milk and chilled it overnight. I churned the ice cream and finished it with rum soaked raisins. The result was silky and delicious but not too rich. 

I used a chocolate almond croquant as the "delivery device" and garnished the fancy dessert with golden kiwis and red currants.

 

Ingredients

Yields: 20 servings

3 cups whole milk (see tips)
8 egg yolks
¾ cup superfine sugar (caster sugar)
2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup rum-soaked raisins (recipe follows)
¼ cup candied almonds (optional), finely chopped
2 whole eggs
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened butter, softened to room temperature
¾ tablespoon all-purpose flour
2½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 golden kiwis, for garnish
6 ounces fresh red currants, for garnish

Directions

For the rum raisin ice cream:

The day before...

Place the milk and ¼ cup granulated sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a near boil. While waiting for the milk to boil, you have to be very careful. Don't go anywhere else. If the phone rings or someone's at the door, let it go. You really have to focus until the milk is hot; otherwise you'll be cleaning your stove and scraping off burnt milk all night long!

In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, using an electric handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining granulated sugar until the texture thickens. Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place the bowl filled with whisked eggs on top. Slowly pour in the milk so that the eggs don't curdle and continue whisking the eggs at full speed for about 3-4 minutes. Check the temperature of the eggs; they should feel warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler. Make sure the eggs are whisked for a long time, so the custard doesn't taste eggy and the texture is light and airy.

Note: Remember, the ice cream mixture should be slightly too sweet to your taste before placing it in the ice cream machine because it will taste less sweet when it's frozen.

Transfer the mixture back to the deep sauce pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly with  a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens. Turn off the heat and add vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Stir well. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl to remove any solids.

Place the bowl into an ice bath. When the cream is cool completely, cover with a piece of plastic wrap; make sure the plastic wrap is directly in contact with the custard to keep it from forming a skin. Let it cool completely and refrigerate overnight.

The following day...

To check if the mixture is ready to be churned, make sure the ice cream mixture is as cold as possible before you transfer it to the machine; the temperature of the liquid shouldn't exceed 45°F.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker canister. Fill about two-thirds of the container as the ice cream will expand, and let the machine do its magic. The consistency will be firm but still soft-serve.

Transfer the ice cream onto a slab of marble (previously placed in the freezer to keep the ice cream chilled). Spread the raisins and candied almonds (if using), then fold the ice cream using 2 spades (I used dough scrapers) to create a swirl.

Transfer the ice cream into an airtight container in the freezer to harden for at least 2 hours. I let it rest overnight.

For the almond chocolate croquant:

In a mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until you get a pale yellow foam; the texture of the eggs will be thicker. 

Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place a stainless steel bowl filled with semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. Make sure the bowl circumference is larger than the pot, so there isn't any splatter of water in the chocolate. Slowly melt, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and add the butter. Stir well until the mixture is uniform.

Combine the egg mixture, melted chocolate, the almond flour and flour. Then, add the rest of the granulated sugar.

Apply a thin layer of oil to a 20-shallow-cavity non-stick pan (one for baking whoopie pies would work), previously greased with a thin layer of oil. Pour the chocoalate cake batter; even it out using a spreader or spatula. Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F; lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for about 8-10 minutes until the edges are dry. 

Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Assembly:

Unmold the chocolate croquants. Transfer each to an individual serving plate. Top with a scoop of rum icre cream. Garnish with a slice of golden kiwi and fresh red currants. Dust with a little powdered sugar (using a fine mesh strainer).

Bon appétit!


Tips

I usually add a little salt to most desserts. Salt brings out the flavors and will enhance the taste of your sweets.

I used Strauss brand cream top milk. It's the cream that naturally floats to the top in organic milk because it is non-homogenized. You could substitute whole milk or half and half.

How to prepare the rum-soaked raisins: 

Place 1 cup raisins (golden and dark) in a small stainless steel bowl. Pour a hot cup of cinnamon-spiced tea over the raisins. Soak the raisins for at least 30 minutes. Drain all the liquid. Transfer to a pan. Add 1 cup warm rum. Immediately light the alcohol and allow to cook until all the flames disappear. It's not as scary as it seems! Note: When flaming alcohol, I'm always very cautious and have a fire extinguisher within reach. 

I used dark amber rum. I'm a wimp when it comes to flaming alcohol. If you have long hair like me, put it in a bun! You have to act quickly and have good reflexes. Once you add the alcohol to the pan, don't delay the lighting. You don't want the food to absorb the raw alcohol and retain a strong alcohol flavor. Another important thing is that alcohol's boiling point is 175°F (much lower than water); if you boil liqueur, you won't be able to flame it and it will just burn off the alcohol from the liqueur.

 

 

 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 19, 2014.


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