- A friend sent me a recipe for Chai Ice Cream last summer, but I never got around to making it.
- Another friend, Megan, made lemon ice cream for book club last week, and went on and on about how easy it was, how she just threw it together after work, blah, blah, blah.
1 + 2 = unwarranted confidence.
I don't do caffeine (I know, I'm a freak) so I grabbed a box of Tazo decaf chai concentrate from the store and some heavy cream. I figured I'd follow the directions for a chai latte, equal parts milk and concentrate, but substitute heavy cream for the milk. Toss it all in the machine, plug it in and go have a glass of wine, a la Megan. So I did that, but that's where my experience and hers part ways. It did freeze, and did resemble ice cream, in a way. But it really tasted like I'd mixed shave ice with hard butter. Chai flavored ice crystals with small bits of butter suspended in them.
When all else fails, turn to a recipe. I found a recipe on line and followed it. Almost exactly. It wanted 2 cups of heavy cream and I only had 1.5, so I topped it off with half and half. It is a custard-based recipe, and there's always that difficult moment when making custard. The moment after you have mixed the eggs and warm cream together, when you are trying to get it warm enough to thicken but not so warm that it scrambles. That has historically not been a good moment for me and yesterday was not an exception.
After I strained out the tiny bits of scrambled egg with 2 layers of cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer, I set the whole thing to chill. Later on, as we prepared dinner, I tumbled the mix into the bowl and turned on the machine. It set up beautifully, smooth and creamy. I knew the flavor was good from the requisite sampling earlier. Scooped out 2 bowls and settled in, ready to be delighted.
1+2+ a recipe = only marginally edible
Same thing, only the lumps of butter where smaller. I left it on the counter over night and threw it away this morning.
2 days, 2 quarts of cream, 1 liter of chai concentrate, 1 c of milk and 2/3 cup of sugar = down the drain.
So what went wrong? And what do I do now?