Welcome back foodie friends! Fall is upon us, as much as I try to cling to summer. The leaves are falling and it is dark at like 7:00. I detest fall for the sole reason that it means my favorite, sun-soaked, ocean-filled season is over. But fall is beautiful in its own right. It is filled with nature’s best show, not to mention the best sleeping conditions, with crisp nights. I took a break from studying for exams (mostly my GRE, eek!) to make this week’s flavor. Ginger doodle is a gingersnap ice cream chock full of gingersnap cookie crumbs and speculoos cookie crumbs. It is filled to the brim with flavor, so keep reading!
I chose the original recipe I had planned to base this flavor on back in May. When I was planning it out this week, I took another look at it and realized it wasn’t right at all. I wanted to make a pure gingersnap cookie ice cream, not a ginger ice cream. So I was going to have a try at making ice cream on the fly, with no recipe. It was time to take the training wheels all the way off. I always love gingersnap cookies in the fall, because I am not really a huge fan of the hyped pumpkin spice idea. I chose to add speculoos cookies, because it would be a great complement to the gingersnap. And they are delicious!
For the cookie crumbs, I thought I would combine the cookie crumbs with butter and bake them. But then I had a realization. When I bake them, they don’t cover the entire bottom of the pan, and the ones at the edge would burn terribly before the inner crumbs got a chance to get crunchy. And yes, although the baked taste is to die for, it doesn’t come across strongly in the pint. So why bother baking it at all? I knew for myself, I loved eating the leftover crumbs, but it was no reason to fire up the oven. Innovation in ice cream my friends!
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure
Instead of baking the cookie crumbs, I melted some butter and mixed in the cookie chunks. Then I placed them into a baggie and into the freezer. Yes, they did look like ground beef, but they tasted amazing. The butter that coated the outer of the cookie crumb would freeze and form a barrier between the ice cream. Let’s think about this for a minute. Butter, a fat, is hydrophobic, which means it hates water. Ever try to wash your hands after having butter on them? Doesn’t work right? Well this butter that coated the crumbs allowed them to be protected from absorbing the moisture from the ice cream and to remain crunchy. Seriously guys, science is neato.
Next I made the ice cream. A simple Philadelphia base would do here, not a custard. So I heated up milk, brown sugar and a hint of cream until it was warm. Then I added the gingersnaps and allowed them to dissolve for 30 minutes. After this dissolving period, I strained out as many tiny cookie particles as I could before adding vanilla, cinnamon and some more cream. It was pretty much room temperature at this point, so I covered it to the surface and let it mellow out in the fridge for a bit.
Time to churn! I poured it into the bowl and let it do its thing while I wandered away to do some homework. About an hour later, I heard it still churning away with no resistance from the ice cream. This meant one thing: it was still liquid. And sure enough, it was completely liquid with not even a hint of ice formation on the walls of the bowl. I put it into the freezer for a while, hoping this could jumpstart the freezing process. I repeated this whole exercise twice, and by this time it is getting past my bedtime. So now I had no other option than to put it into the pint as a liquid, mix in the cookie crumbs and pray it froze overnight.
It didn’t. I had a couple of thoughts that I either wore out my machine, or there was a problem with my apartment freezer. The next day, I went to pre-scoop the ice cream for the photos, and it was still completely unfrozen under the initial ice layer. After much deliberation, I turned up the freezer, and now the problem seems to be solved. My pint is now frozen, and hopefully both bowls are as well.
What this ice cream lacked in success of production, it makes up for in flavor. Ginger doodle is an excellent and unmistakable ice cream flavor. There is a pure gingersnap base flavor with loads and loads of cookie crumbs. The speculoos cookie crumbs are my favorite because they add a snap and burst of a new flavor.
There are a few drawbacks to this flavor. First is the obvious large ice crystal size and ice crunchiness because of the quiescent freezing. The other is that I wished I bought different gingersnap cookies. I didn’t buy my favorite brand to try to save a little money, but the flavor of this economy brand just did not match my thoughts as well as I hoped they would. This was slightly disappointing, but the final product is still perfectly fall-y.
I see no reason why this should not become a fall feature of my future ice cream shop. The one adjustment I might add would be to add a swirl of cookie butter to accentuate that flavor even more.
Senior year is flying by. This is week 4 already and I am halfway to fall break. I can remember my fall break of freshman year when I realized I had finished 1/16 of college. Well this year I will be finishing 13/16 of it. But it will not be going gently and sliding into commencement. Assignments are piling and exams are looming. Thank goodness by this point in my life I have learned how to prioritize and destress. Watching Maillard running around in her house is always a good option.
But this is a happy year. Things are exciting because I am probably one of the rare people who is looking forward to what lies after the college bubble. I have been listening to a new podcast called The Slow Melt and it excites me even more about food science. I want to test and explore and just kind of play with food for the sake of learning.
This fall, I will be eating plenty of ice cream, just like I do every season. I do hope you are too! Ginger Doodle is an awesome flavor to have when you want to cling to summer but fall has hit.
Fun fact this week is that I am and will be an aunt of two types. I am a kitty aunt to my sister’s new kittens, named Pierre and Dahlia and I could sit and pet them all day. These little kitties are so small and lovable that I want to put them in my pocket and carry them with me. And I will also be an aunt of the human variety soon. My brother and sister-in-law are due in a week or so and I am freaking out. An actual baby will be here!! I think have all of the excitement of the family bubbling in me at all times. I cannot wait for this little bundle to get here!
Well friends, I have gotten myself all worked up about cute little baby things. I need to take an ice cream break. Until next week, scoop ya later!