Well, I got me just the toy to make summer better – an ice cream maker! And, boy, have I been using it since! I’ve had it for a little over a week and have already covered my bases on frozen desserts – ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and granita. It has just brought out the creative cook in me like nothing else in a long time.
Every time we are in the vicinity of Connaught Place, we make sure to pick up a tub or two of Tender Coconut ice cream from Natural’s, our favorite flavour. When I finally agreed to add another gadget to my kitchen tools, this flavour was going to be the litmus test. If I could re-create reasonably good tender coconut ice cream at home, then giving over some kitchen retail to the new gadget could be deemed to be well worth it.
Before I could even make a list of the ingredients I needed, The Husband, as he drove off, called to say he was sending the coconut vendor my way. I answered the bell, hesitated briefly, and asked for two coconuts. I handed over two bowls to the vendor, one to hold the tender coconut water and the other for the coconut flesh. When I went to check he was scraping out the flesh from what looked like a pretty mature coconut. He had assumed I would prefer it for making chutney. I requested a really tender coconut, one with malai.
I put the bowl with the flesh into the fridge and the coconut water into the freezer; at this time I wasn’t sure whether it would go into the ice cream or not. And then I was back at work for the rest of the day. Whole milk and cream were procured in the evening from our very friendly neighbourhood Mother Dairy outlet. I just made up the recipe as I went. The mature coconut was blended with warm water to get coconut milk. I had about 200ml of coconut milk. Less water would have given richer milk. The coconut with the tender flesh was chopped in the food processor (about 100gms). Even though I used a much lower percentage of cream than recommended in the recipe booklet that came with the ice cream machine, the final product was very creamy. It could be made richer but doesn’t need to be, the sweetness was spot on. I would use half of the coconut bits next time if I want it to be closer to the one by Natural.
Buoyed by the success of the tender coconut ice cream, I was itching to get on to the next one. Mango maybe? There’s always mango pulp from Dad’s Amrapali mangoes in the freezer. Then up popped an image for a matcha and sesame soft serve ice cream on my Instagram feed. I took that as a sign. And a great way to use black sesame other than in bread. In an ice cream it becomes the eye-popping hero. I went with the flow and added a bit of salt and a dash of red chilli powder as I am want to do often. This time I chilled the mix in the freezer for the time we were having breakfast. This batch set in 15 minutes.
Gelato has less cream or fat, as compared to ice cream, which is why it is denser. It tastes richer because of that and can be served at soft serve stage instead of frozen hard. Here’s my recipe for that special Sesame gelato. Can you tell it is inspired by til-gud?
Black Sesame Gelato
1/2 C black seasame seeds, roasted and ground to a paste with a little milk
250ml full fat milk (I used Mother Dairy’s whole milk with 7% fat)
150ml low fat cream (25% fat)
90gms muscovado sugar (you may substitue with brown sugar or jaggery)
2 t corn starch
1 green cardamom, powdered
1/2 t salt
pinch of coarse red chilli powder
Combine milk (all but 50ml) and cream in a heavy pan and bring to a gentle boil. Stir the reserved 50ml of milk into the corn starch and add to the simmering milk. Stir continuously for a few minutes to allow the cornstarch to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Add in the sesame seed paste and the sugar. Stir or blend till the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the mixture has cooled stir in cardamom powder. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Add salt and chilli powder just before churning it in an ice cream maker* as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Leave in the fridge for 20-30 min before scooping to serve.
If you do not have an ice cream churner, freeze the mixture in a metal container and blend it once half way through freezing. Serve it before it sets too hard.
*I use the Kitchenif Scoop 222 and it is a delight to use.