Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week Twenty-One: Butterbeer

This flavor was intended for the week of May 23rd, aka my fabulous sister-in-law's birthday! When trying to come up with a flavor she'd enjoy, I racked my brain for delicious inspiration. A watermelon lime sorbet? Or perhaps some sort of Chips Ahoy concoction? No, these just wouldn't do. (Although I might come back to that sorbet in some form later this summer...) I kept digging until I thought of something I thought she would love, even though she wouldn't get to taste it this time around. And then it hit me: WWHPE? That is, What Would Harry Potter Eat? And the answer to that, my friends, is Butterbeer Ice Cream. And so that's what I attempted to create!

For those of you who haven't read the perfectly brilliant Harry Potter series, butterbeer is a beverage consumed in the wizarding world. (And for those of you who don't know my sister-in-law, she LOVES Harry Potter!) The drink is never clearly defined in the books but I always imagined it to taste something like liquid toffee...and that's what I kept in mind when creating this concoction. I also made a few alterations to the normal base I've been using: first, I tried using a couple less egg yolks in this recipe, after I found the tres leches ice cream to have a slightly egg-y odor. (Unfortunately, the results weren't as great as I imagined. While the finished product had a great taste, the consistency was kind of icy. So if anyone at home is going to try this flavor at home, I'd suggest bringing it back up to six yolks.) The second change, thought it wasn't actually a change, was to pay attention to the temperature of the milk as I went along. I'm not entirely sure that it made a difference, so I won't go into detail in this post. But rest assured that the heat is far as my milk research goes. I'll keep you posted as I learn more!

Just as a sidenote:I was super excited to use the brown sugar in this recipe. It has been waiting impatiently in the cabinet for almost two years to be used for something very special. My husband brought it back for me from his nine-week stint on the island of Mauritius, where one of their greatest exports is cane sugar. And if a Harry Potter-inspired ice cream in honor of one of my favorite people in the world isn't reason enough to use the sugar, then I just don't know what is!

So here you have it, muggles...

Butterbeer Ice Cream


2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup toffee bits (I just bought them but feel free to make your own!)
1 cup butterscotch sauce (recipe follows)

1. Pour the milk and heavy cream into a saucepan and heat over medium high until bubbles start to form around the edge.

2. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk to combine.

3. Add a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Once combined, slowly pour egg mixture into the milk mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.

4. Pour through a sieve into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down directly on top of the mixture. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

5. Transfer cooled mixture into bowl of ice cream maker and churn. Just before the end, add the toffee and churn until incorporated. Pour into a freezer-safe container, layering in the butterscotch sauce.

6. Accio, spoon! Now, put down the wand and enjoy!

Butterscotch Sauce


1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter.

2. Once melted, add the brown sugar, heavy cream, and salt to the butter and stir to combine. Let simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Pour into heatproof container and keep refrigerated until use.