I am still working on the salty carmel post. It is mostly pictures and I am doing some editing work to them.

In the meantime, in case you were wondering, yes, roasted and salted pecans with mini marshmallows mixed right into your darkest chocolate is fantastic and makes probably the best version of “rocky road” available. Also, the coffee you use in the recipe does matter. I grabbed the “kahlua” flavored coffee beans by mistake but figured it wouldn’t make any difference because Kahlua is coffee flavored liquor so “kahlua” flavored coffee is just coffee flavored coffee, right? Not so much. It just gave the ice cream a different flavor profile. It wasn’t bad, just noticeable. Next batch, with roasted nuts and marshmallows, regular coffee, should be over the top!

I’m headed out of town again (Part of the reason for the missing posts recently has been my ludicrious travel schedule. I haven’t been home for 7 consecutive days since July!) but anticipate getting the salty carmel post done and posted next week.

OH, DEAR!  I didn’t realize I hadn’t finished the chocolate post!  I am so sorry!  I cannot get on that right now because the pictures are on a different computer but I will fix that next week too.  For shame, for shame!



So, as my previous lamentation went, there is something extra difficult about cooking in someone else’s kitchen.  But, despite the tag, by me, of this recipe as a failure I do have to admit that it was devoured.  Quickly.  And tasted really, really good.  I could add a but, but, but list a mile long but the real truth is despite the challenge of a strange kitchen and the warmth of the churn the end product was delicious!

Here we go!  For the record, summer is not over!  We will be back to collect those last three or four recipes any time now!

Here were the cooking digs.  Tough, I know!  No, not the decor, the lack of suitable accoutrements.  It was pretty though.

Please disregard the distracting blue package to the left of the bowl.  They were not mine.  They were stale.  There were not mine.  Moving right along…so this recipe has lots of chocolate.  Dark chocolate.  Delicious chocolate.  In fact, this is the best chocolate ice cream I believe I have ever had.  In that pan up there you see, 1  1/2 ounces of 70% dark Valrhona, an obscene amount of Valrhona cocoa, and a tiny bit of sugar.  This all gets cozy as it melts together into a delicious chocolate sauce.  You could stop there.  Enjoy the chocolate sauce and your life would be rich and full and perfect.  You could make a double batch and make chocolate ice cream with one half and use the other for sauce.  Your life would still be rich and full and perfect.  But I didn’t think of that until just this minute so I only made one batch and used it to make ice cream which got eaten in 2 days.

 This is the separate bowl for whisking the cream cheese and salt.  I whisked and whisked.  Okay, no whisk, I stirred and stirred.  I still had a few clumps of cream cheese in the product.  Next time I’m just going to put the blasted stuff into the cream/milk/sugar as it is cooking.   It hasn’t bothered me so far except aesthically.

  You can see the milk/cream/sugar mix on the left cooking away and the chocolate sauce coming together on the right.

The warm chocolate sauce, cream cheese/salt, and a little of the cream/milk/sugar get mixed together.  Little by little the cream/milk/sugar is incorporated completely.

Everything added!  See how dark it is!  Fantastic!

See the specks of unmelted cream cheese?  Bah!

So, this time, for the first time, I had to cool the ice cream in the plastic bag over ice.  I didn’t bring any of my now famous mason jars and couldn’t find a bowl that would work.  Have I mentioned I dislike plastic baggies?  I do.  I do.  I do.  So, I put the ice cream in the baggy.  Seal it.  Get the ice bowl ready.  Turn around to find a place to put it all while I work on the Salty Caramel and hear, “Splat” and think, “Oh.  Dear.”  Yep.  The bag, on impact, came open.  Luckily, not much spilled out.  I’d say less than 25%.  Yes, it still made that much mess.  Sigh.  Not a fan of plastic baggies.

Just chilling…

I’ve got to get to bed but I’ll post more of the chocolate adventure and the Salty Caramel story tomorrow.  Night!


Made ice cream today.  Failed.  I’ll post the gory details with the pics when I do the step-by-step later but for now…things I learned today…

making ice cream in an unknown kitchen is risky…

don’t add ice to the bowl of the churn to help it chill faster as the ice will melt and freeze to the bottom…

the churn won’t make ice cream if it isn’t frozen solid…

it won’t be frozen solid if you’ve had to run warm water over the ice frozen in the bottom…

“The World’s Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream” and “Salty Caramel Ice Cream” are still the AWESOME even as fails!

Autumn Already?

No.  And judging by the weather we are a looonnnggg way off.  BUT here at Splendid At Home we are taking the show on the road and skipping a few recipes.  Don’t worry, don’t fuss, we’ll be back to the tasty delights of such flavors as Celery and Sweet Basil with Pine Nuts in a week or so but for the Labor Day holiday and moveable feast that is this week we are going to try our hand at *2* tried and true Jeni’s scoop shop favorites…

Drum roll?



This weeks sensations will be “The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World” and “Salty Caramel”…

So, look for an update with how they turned our with several cooks in the churn and which one was the favorite early next week…

Um. Did I say, “Sure to please?”

So, at the Jeni’s scoop shop they use a variety of mint known as “Robert Mitchum Mint.”  The result is cool and pleasant.  I don’t like mint anything and even I like Jeni’s mint ice cream.  I was excited to try the Backyard Mint ice cream recipe because Joe really likes mint and I figured if I could get it even half as good as the scoop shop flavor it would be a win all the way around.

The Backyard Mint ice cream comes together the same way previous flavors have with heating the cream/milk/sugar, thickening slightly with corn starch and then adding in the fresh mint.  I purchased heirloom organic mint and bruised it to release the oils prior to placing it into the hot cream/milk/sugar mixture.  The kitchen really smelled of mint.  The recipe called for a “good handful.” I took the mint out of its little plastic box (you know, the ones herbs come in at the grocery store) and thought, “I guess this is a good handful.”

I let the minted mixture cool, sieved it, and spun it in the ice cream freezer.  It was easy, easy.

It was also really, really gross.  I give this flavor a thumbs down.  Now, perhaps with a different mint varietal, not so much mint, a shorter steeping period, or 2 quarts of plain or vanilla ice cream to cut it with, I could produce an edible batch.  I scooped a small scoop for Joe directly from the churn and he took one bite and declined to eat more saying, “That’s really minty.”  He didn’t give a thumbs up or taste a second bite.

I’m trying to decide if this batch is worth saving.  Maybe as a thin layer between 2 chocolate cookies for an ice cream sandwich?  Or maybe I’ll whip some cream and see if I can dilute the ice cream a little with it.  Well, if you really, really love mint and want to give this batch a try, just let me know!  If you have tried this recipe with different results, I’d love to hear about that as well.  How much mint did you use?  I’ll probably try again with this, in the future, so any help is appreciated!

Backyard Mint!

This week’s flavor is sure to please! Stay tuned for Friday!

And the winner is?

First, up, the roasted beet ice cream…

Isn’t it lovely?  It was orangey and beety.  The first bite was a puzzle and I wasn’t sure if I liked it.  You know how beets are…earthy yet sweet.  I just wasn’t too sure about it.  By the second bite my palate had adjusted a bit and I thouht, “Okay, this might be good.”  The third bite I decided I liked it indeed. 

Other verdicts?  Joe gave it a thumbs up.  So did Mom.  So did Drew.  So did Kari. 

On to the carrot…

It was bright and lemony and the carrots weren’t really a player in the overall taste.  I will confess that I put the rinds of 2 lemons in (since lemons are smaller than oranges!) so perhaps that made for a more intense flavor.  Everyone said this was excellent and better than the beet.  So, I guess a thumb way up is the verdict! 

Here’s how we enjoyed our tastes of ice cream…

With rainbow cake!  What a pretty presentation!

Roasted! Beets! Carrots! Ice Cream!

So, I was excited about this little recipe because beets aren’t really my favorite although with goat cheese and balsamic they can be sublime and I was hopeful that this excusion would yield another tasty way to enjoy the magenta hued veggie.  Also, it was thrilling to head out into uncharted territory with carrots and ice cream. 

I secured some “cane syrup” at a local place and decided that I would try it in lieu of the corn syrup.  Yes, I know that cane syrup is sucrose while corn syrup is glucose but I wanted to see if the noncrystaline structure enhanced the mouth feel.  I used 1 tablespoon because it is really sweet and without the corn syrup the recipes have been almost too sweet for my palate so far. 

Overall, these were fun recipes to make.  First, I roasted the beets or carrots for about an hour.  Then I chopped them in my mini food processor.  It would not turn the roasted veggies into puree so I waited to strain the ice cream mixture of the peels until just before going into the churn.  That way the respective beet or carrot flavors could really meld into the ice cream. 

I started with the beet batch first.  So those are long ribbons (excellent tip Jeni to use the vegetable peeler to peel the rind off the fruits!  Easy solution!) of orange peel simmering in the cream/sugar/milk bath.  As you recall, orange rind contains lots of oil and oil is attracted to oil so this method really imparts a lovely orangey scent and flavor to the ice cream. 

I had some pictures of the beets in the mini processor but I forgot to turn the light on in the kitchen and it was late at night so the pictures are not (So, just figured out that half my post got chopped.  Sorry about that!) clear nor comprehensible.  But here are my beety fingers…

Once the beets were sufficiently chopped I whipped them in with the mascarpone and salt. 


Then I poured in the hot cream/milk/sugar/orange concoction. 

See the goregous curls of orange rind hanging off the whip?  That makes yum!  I then jarred this and stashed it in the fridge over night and began on the carrot lemon ice cream.  It was much the same.  Brewing lemon rind in the cream/milk/sugar while chopping roasted carrot and then mixing the carrot with the mascarpone.  Easy breezy!


Then the carrot-would-be-ice-cream was also stowed into a jar and the fridge.  The following morning I sieved the rinds out and churned, baby, churned!


Sorry.  The beets got short shrift.  No churning action shot.  So?  How did it turn out?  Glad you asked!


I had an out of town emergency that I had to attend to (hi, Mom!) but I’m back home now and will be making not only Beet Ice Cream but also the Carrot Ice Cream variation tomorrow.  So, if anyone is still out there, look for several posts tomorrow!  Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!

Too hot

It is over 100 degrees here and there is NO way I am turning on the oven to roast beets.  Sorry.  I’m just looking out for the environment (okay, okay, and my own personal comfort!). 

I appreciate your continued patience!  Hopefully this heat will break and I can dive back into yummy!