We recently had a dinner party with a few friends who also share a love of fantastic food. It's not very often that Matt and I make a full menu including all beverages and courses being on theme. We were making two thai dishes, one curry and one peanut pork belly, so we wanted to finish off the meal with a unique ice cream that tied into these flavors.
It's no secret that we are obsessed with Jeni's Ice Cream. Her flavors are inventive, robust, and exciting -- not your average cream! I highly recommend buying her books ASAP.
I was in charge of dessert, so when I saw the title "Toasted Rice Ice Cream with a whiff of coconut and black tea" while perusing the book, I knew it was the flavor for the evening.
I wouldn't say making ice cream is difficult, but you do have to pay attention to details. This wasn't one of the simpler ice creams I've churned, but only because there are many layers of flavors. My biggest advice in making ice cream is focusing on ingredients. High quality, high flavor, organic where possible -- it truly makes a difference.
The recipe starts off with toasting jasmine rice. It wasn't easy to get even toasting, but I think it made for a prettier mix of colors anyways.
You essentially make a rice pudding with the toasted rice by cooking the rice in sugar and coconut milk (full fat!)
I then brought the ingredients together, after infusing with black tea, to complete the base which includes the ingredient that I have decided is Jeni's magical secret -- cream cheese!
Never rush your chilling process. It's important to allow your base to get completely chilled before putting it into your churn. If you put warm base into a frozen churn, the temperature won't stay cold enough long enough to freeze and your texture will be off.
This ice cream turned out a beautiful toasted color. I garnished with mango, mint, and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds for vibrancy and contrast. Next time, I will toast the sesame seeds to bring their flavor out more. This was a really interesting ice cream with subtle flavors and dense chewiness. One scoop was just enough to finish off our meal. Can't wait for my next Jeni's recipe! I plan to churn my way through the entire book.