ice cream

We’re Out of Vanilla

June 16, 2016
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If you worked in an ice cream store in the mid-’80s you almost certainly saw this B. Kliban cartoon, probably pinned to the staff bulletin board or taped to a wall in the back room. When it was first published (Playboy, February 1983) it was a solid absurdist laugh – after all, who would make, […]

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Salep Happy

August 2, 2014
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Mess around with enough ice cream recipes and you discover the differences in texture created by certain ingredients. My go-to recipe uses egg yolks to make a denser, more custard-like ice cream than Philadelphia-style, which is made without. Adding various hydrocolloids (carageenan, guar or xanthan gums) inhibits ice crystal formation but changes the texture. I thought […]

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You’re Fired!

May 22, 2013
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I knew something odd had happened when more than a few friends asked me if I had consulted with Penn Jillette on his new ice cream flavor. I know a bit about ice cream, and I’ve known Penn for decades, but this particular intersection on the Venn diagram was completely unexpected. When I realized that […]

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There’s Pie In My Ice Cream

November 5, 2012
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I discovered banoffee pie when I was searching for a dessert to serve to one of my English friends. It’s a simple dish: pie shell filled with toffee, layered with sliced bananas (hence the hybrid name “banoffee”), and topped with whipped cream. As is typical with this kind of dessert – cheesecake is another classic […]

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When the Ice Cream Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro

August 6, 2012
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Much to my surprise, my post about prosciutto ice cream was featured in a Huffington Post article and slideshow about “weird” ice cream flavors. I am, of course, thrilled to be mentioned, but I’m having a hard time classifying any of the flavors featured as weird. The tomato-basil isn’t that different from my tomato sorbet, […]

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Dots Unusual

June 29, 2012
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Some of us are getting together to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen I have left over from one of the Harvard labs. Are you in?” How could I turn down an invitation like that? I’ve been dying to get my hands on some LN2 for months, ever since I found a recipe for Dippin’ […]

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The Cake is a Lie

June 8, 2012
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The birthday cakes of my youth were simple affairs: you chose either chocolate or vanilla cake, and then either chocolate or vanilla frosting. The resulting four possible cakes were well within the skill set of any mom, although presentation values varied widely across households. We were always able to overlook non-parallel layers and patchy icing […]

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Grand Foienale

May 29, 2012
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She Who Must Be Obeyed has never met a foie gras preparation she didn’t like. She’s had it on hot dogs, layered on a tart, served with brioche and apples, and even once as a smoked crème brulée. It wasn’t much of a stretch for me to consider adding a foie gras course to the birthday […]

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The Joys of Reverse Engineering

March 29, 2012
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Two years ago I attended José Andrés’ Harvard lecture on hydrocolloids. He showed this video from his research kitchen as an example of the practical applications of various gelling agents: That video has remained stuck in my head, due both to the clever ideas presented as well as the food porn quality. It came to mind […]

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Breakfast for Dessert

November 5, 2011
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As soon as The Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook arrived, I knew I would be revisiting one of my failures – the cereal milk panna cotta, certified by the authors of Momofuku as a non-working recipe. The first chapter is devoted to cereal milk and its variations, as if author Christina Tosi knew she had some […]

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