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
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!)
- 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!
- 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.