Before I start waxing poetic about this delicious Cherry, Rose and Coconut Ice Cream, it is high time I announced the winner of Michel Roux’s Pastry picked at random by my better half: congratulations Sadiya! If my memories serves me right from an email baking question last year, the book is going all the way to Bahrain!
I meant to post this much earlier than today but it has been a very strange week, complete with a computer virus in the middle of it. I think my funky little computer is back up and running correctly. With no one at McAfee, Gateway, Microsoft, Comcast able to help us out unless we forked $100, we blindly relied on internet forums to find the solution. If you are going to go into your computer without really knowing what you are doing, I strongly suggest having this Cherry, Rose and Coconut Ice Cream nearby. Made everything less stressful. Fun even. In a geeky sort of way.
The end of the intructions to our problem read "Now restart your computer. The problem should be fixed". Suspended to this line as if we were flipping the last page of a murder mystery book, we starred at the screen with our spoons up the air, ice cream lingering on our tongues. Barely breathing. Finally a huge sigh of relief came over us and we released that one bite down our bellies. "Sweet!" was uttered by both and I know we meant a lot more by it than just getting the computer running again.
Life with a scoop of this ice cream becomes smooth and comforting. The scent of dried rose buds infusing coconut milk and cherries is intoxicating and invigorating all at once.
The other day at the store, I was fiddling with the bulk teas, dried chamomille flowers and dried rose buds to make my own concoction when I realized that rose and cherries were quite lovely together. How did my thought process get to associate those together with cream, coconut milk and ice cream, I do not know. Actually I partially do: having several containers with "un fond de ", or a wee bit of something left over (and a strong dislike for waste).
I am not a great fan of rose essence or rose water which I find give me slight headaches, unless toned down by surrounding flavors. But I had a handfull of cherries and coconut milk left from a couple of previous desserts and set out to make a simple ice cream with all three ingredients.
I love custard base ice creams, but I find myself drawn to the most simple flavors of milk and cream when dealing with delicate flavors such as rose, herbs and spices as I find the scents come forth better, clearer.
Such a simple process and such wonderful results! I cooked the cherries with a little sugar, water and a few dried rose buds then let them sit to infuse for about an hour before removing the rose buds. In the meantime I prepared the ice cream base by heating up some coconut milk, whole milk and heavy cream and sugar. After an overnight stay in the fridge, I processed the ice cream and added the cherries and some of their syrup towards the end. I couldn’t help but dig into the soft ice cream at this point and felt all happy at the prospect of how delicious it would be after another to hours in the freezer. Homemade ice cream can’t be rushed but the results are so rewarding that you forget about the process as you scoop.
Makes a little less than a quart.
Notes: don’t just go use any dried rose for this! Make sure to get food grade, organic and non treated rose petals or rose buds. Most can be food at health food store in the bulk spices and tea section and are quite cheap. I got about 1 cup for $1.50.
For the rose infused cherries:
1 cups (145gr) pitted and halved cherries
1/4cup (60ml) water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
6-8 food gradedried rose buds (more or less depending on your own liking)
For the ice cream:
1 cups (250ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) whole coconut milk
1 cup (200gr) granulated sugar
Prepare the cherries:
Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat off and let steep one hour (longer for an even intense rose flavor). Remove the rose buds and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the ice cream:
In a large saucepan set over medium low heat, bring the cream, milk, coconut milk and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Process the mixture into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s intructions.
Once the ice cream has reached soft serve consistency, pour into a freezable container. With a spatula, swirl in the cherries and a few tablespoons of their liquid. Freeze a couple of hours.
No ice cream maker? No problem! Pour the cream into a freeze proof container and freeze for a couple of hours. Take it out and whip it with an electric mixer or immersion blender, freeze it again, whip it again….do that four or five times. The mixture won’t be quite the same but pretty darn close.
Note: I receive quite a few email regarding the milk bottles I used for props and I am happy to share my sources:
– You can find the one pictured here at Farmhouse Wares, impeccably ran by the lovely Betsy.
– The small milk bottles featured here and there are from WallMart and labelled as "bud vases", but you know I can’t get stuck by labels so they went to be used for milk and cream instead.
– The bottle with the closing cap featured here once contained wonderful Vermont Maple Syrup sent to me by the ever so creative Deb from Bonbon Oiseau.
Lastly, the cute fabrics used here are from another budding creative mind: Michelle from Cicada Studio.