Sunday, May 17, 2009

Guinness Gingerbread and Guinness Ice Cream (with Guinness Syrup) Or How to Use a Really Big Can of Guinness


When I saw that this week's assignment for Sweet Melissa Sundays was Guinness Gingerbread, I knew I was golden. No specialty-ingredient hunt this week - we usually have some Guinness kicking around in the downstairs refrigerator, and everything else is a pantry staple. I like love gingerbread, and although I have a fantastic favorite gingerbread recipe, I'm always curious to see if there could be a better gingerbread out there.

After excavating the nether reaches of the basement fridge, I turned up a few 15 oz cans of Guinness, but nothing smaller. The full gingerbread recipe only required 2/3 cup. When I realized that I'd have 10 extra ounces of Guinness I realized this was the perfect opportunity to make Gramercy Tavern's Stout Ice Cream [update: this link seems to be broken, so I've added the recipe - scroll down to the end of this post]. I could serve it with the gingerbread, a la pinkstripes, who always manages to make the most amazing ice creams to accompany her desserts (in fact, this week she made -a different - Guinness ice cream too!)

Guinness Gingerbread

n.o.e.'s notes:

- Katie of Katiecakes chose the gingerbread, and you can find the recipe on her post.

-I omitted the cocoa powder (I learned my lesson from Dorie's Chocolate Gingerbread: I don't like chocolate + gingerbread)

- I added 1/4 tsp mixed spices (left from grinding spices for other recipes) - nutmeg, cloves, allspice

- I added 1 tsp espresso powder

- I don't love my 9x9 pan, so I used a 7.5x7.5 pan and an odd-sized small loaf pan.

- The cake cratered when it baked, but it was only noticeable in the square pan.

the (gingerbread) verdict:

We ate the cake plain - with the ice cream on the side - because I wanted to test the gingerbread's flavor. Unfortunately, we both found it to be a bit bland. It's a nice sturdy, dense, moist cake, though, and I think it will be tasty with a buttercream frosting. That's how I'll serve it when it comes out of the freezer. My regular gingerbread recipe remains the gold standard.


Stout Ice Cream

I've never made honest-to-goodness ice cream (although I've made frozen yogurt and sorbet), and I sort of assumed that I'd start with vanilla. But this recipe made a wonderful introduction into the world of ice cream!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I made 2/3 recipe, which was extremely easy to scale.

- After cooking the two elements, I had 1 1/2 cup of the custard ice cream base, and over a cup of Guinness/simple syrup. I combined them in a 2-to-1 ratio, chilled the mixture then ran it through the ice cream freezer the next day.

- I still had a bit of the Guinness syrup left, so I boiled that into a thicker syrup to top the ice cream.

the (ice cream) verdict:

This is a fantastically subtle, silky, sophisticated ice cream - the flavor of Guinness without any tinge of alcohol taste (it was boiled away) and with added creaminess. In many ways it reminded me of coffee ice cream - which is my all-time favorite ice cream. I will make this excellent ice cream again!

All gone, at least this can! Stay tuned for more adventures in stout...

Stout Ice Cream
by Michelle Antonishek from Gramercy Tavern New York, NY

2 cups dark beer, such as Brooklyn Chocolate Stout or Guinness
2 cups simple syrup [1.5 cups of water + 1.5 cups sugar, boiled together]
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks

1. To prepare the ice cream, combine the beer and simple syrup (made from equal parts sugar and water) in a medium saucepan. Simmer on low heat until the mixture has reduced by half. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside to cool.

2. Combine the milk, cream, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until light in color and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg-sugar mixture, whisking constantly, to temper. Be careful not to curdle the yolks. Once the yolks are tempered, add the egg-sugar mixture to the hot milk mixture and cook on medium-low heat for 2 minutes, while whisking.

3. Immediately transfer mixture to an ice bath. When it has chilled, strain it. Combine 2 cups of this ice cream base with 1 cup of the beer-syrup reduction. Refrigerate overnight for best results and then freeze in an ice cream machine, following the manufacturer's instructions.

27 comments:

Audrey said...

I think my brothers would see me in a new light if I made beer ice cream (or the gourmet equivalent)! I'm more and more intrigued by the idea of making ice cream...good project for this summer. Biggest challenge is finding room in small freezer to chill the bowl!

Katiecakes said...

How awesome that you made the ice cream too :) I love the colour of your gingerbread since you left out the cocoa. It's such a pretty golden shade of yum :)

Katie xox

Stephanie said...

MMM Added espresso powder? Glorious idea. And it was still bland?? I'm not a HUGE authentic gingerbread person, so this tamed down flavor version was perfect for me. Sorry you didn't love it! (But at least you got some seriously delicious ice cream out of it!)

Jessica said...

What a wonderful way to use up a can of Guinness! I didn't make the gingerbread this week because it's just too hot in Texas for me to get excited about it. I loved getting your take on this recipe though because I think that my taste in gingerbread might be similar to yours given our TWD gingerbread back in January. So, next on my list to try is Miss Nancy's go-to gingerbread.
The ice cream, though, sounds just sinfully good. That I can't wait to try to make!

Steph said...

I think it's interesting you added espresso. I'll keep that in mind the next time i make gingerbread

Cristine said...

Loved your post! :) Everything looks great!

Megan said...

Wow - everything looks phenomenal. You really outdid yourself this week!

Tracey said...

Great job Nancy! The cake and ice cream both look fantastic! I actually enjoyed the mellow flavors in this gingerbread so I'll definitely come back to it but I'm glad you already have a favorite recipe since this one didn't quite do it for you.

Fit Chick said...

Thank you for posting your favorite recipe for gingerbread, will try it next week. Didn't think the cocoa did much for the taste and would omitt it next time. Great post as usual!!

Natashya said...

Nuf said, just pass me a bowl of that ice cream.. please. :)

Reeni♥ said...

I really love gingerbread, too, and not with chocolate in it, either. I love the ice cream! What an awesome dessert!

Pam said...

That Guinness Ice Cream sounds wonderful! I love a good stout.

Pamela said...

Okay, my husband wants to know why I didn't check here first before finishing my cake!! The ice cream sounds wonderful and I am definitely going to add it to the list of things to try. And the pictures are stellar, Nancy!

margot said...

It looks so beautiful with the ice cream and crystalized ginger. I am dying to try the stout ice cream now! I have a favorite gingerbread that was not surpassed by this one. I also found out with the TWD chocolate gingerbread that I prefer it without cocoa, so I didn't add it, but didn't think of espresso powder.

pinkstripes said...

Your gingerbread and ice cream look fantastic. I love that you made Guinness ice cream too. David Leibovitz doesn't cook alcohol in his ice cream recipes so they are always a bit boozy. I wonder how your cooked version tastes like. The syrup sounds yummy.

Cathy said...

That is a FABULOUS picture of the can of Guiness! When I heard that gingerbread was on tap(?) for SMS this week, I was curious to see if it would dethrone your favorite recipe -- good to see that your recipe has survived yet another challenge. I am most intrigued by the Guiness ice cream, though! I am pretty sure that hubs will love that one. Maybe I'll make it for him to say I'm sorry for baking chocolate things three times a week.

Kaitlin said...

I had a Guinness milkshake before, and to be honest, it tasted like a dirt milkshake. But I think boiling away the alcohol, as you did for your ice cream, would really improve the flavour - and the gingerbread looks fantastic with the ice cream.

Sarah said...

Wow, the ice cream looks and sounds fabulous! I agree, it wasn't very gingery...

Madam Chow said...

I'm with you - I don't really care for chocolate in my gingerbread, and I want it to pack a punch!

Eliana said...

Your presentation here is outstanding Nancy. Great job.

Elyse said...

Oh Nancy, you are a genius! I am just loving your Guinness ice cream. Man oh man, I'm going to have to make this for Todd. He's a huge beer drinker (even brews his own), so he would definitely appreciate this awesome ice cream. I bet the gingerbread will taste awesome with a buttercream, too!! Sorry that I've been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader. Anyway, I am in Atlanta right now, but my time has been "booked" between my sister's graduation and my dad's birthday today. I'll be back in August, though, so I really would love to get some coffee! We're headed to Buckhead Pizza Co. tomorrow night. Have you been??

The Bahens said...

Great job using that whole can of Guiness! I still have most of a bottle in my fridge and can't think of any way to use it up!

vibi said...

LOL LOL I loooove black beer... but like you wrote, I never can finish a whole big can, and never knew what to do with the left over... now I do! mmmm... The ice cream sounds particularly interesting!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Wow, what a great post, way to use lots of the guinness. My hubby was on hand to drink the leftovers. I found it a little lacking on the flavor punch too.

Kayte said...

Why don't you love the 9x9? I love gingerbread, too, because a little goes a long way...there is no way one would overindulge in gingerbread, it's just not that kind of thing. A little piece makes you happy, satisfied, and you really don't line up for seconds. Yours looks absolutely beautiful. Guinness ice cream...who knew? Love the title...and all the food looks wonderful.

Di said...

I'd have no problem getting rid of extra Guinness--Jamie would be happy to take it off my hands. I bet he'd love the ice cream. I'll have to give it a try.

Jude said...

This is the perfect post for people who spend too much time at pubs (me). Very interested in trying out that ice cream recipe.