Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Jul 24, 2012

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Brandied Cherries

Libations used: 1/4 cup brandy
Libations left over: None, but if you really need a drink, make yourself a Vieux Carré...
Who doesn't love ice cream?  About a year ago, a co-worker of mine had introduced me to Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, which is based in Ohio.  Her mom would have pints of it shipped to here in California, and I soon understood my co-worker's obsession.  It was strengthened when I went over to my old boss' place and he pulled out a couple pints of homemade ice cream from the freezer.  He had gotten the recipes from Jeni's new cookbook for making ice cream at home.  It was insanely good and I was impressed with my boss for his ice cream making skills.  Now he's a good cook in general, but homemade ice cream?  Isn't that hard?  When he convinced me how easy it was, I had to get the book and an ice cream maker.  Because I have a stand mixer and very little room in my apartment, I opted for the Kitchenaid Ice Cream Attachment, which can be a little unwieldy for my old model mixer, but it works!

I've been trying to stick with recipes to go along with the seasons and made a Savannah Buttermint in the spring and a Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Blueberries this past week (I made the sauce with blueberries I picked that were still warm from the sunny field!).  Everything has been spectacular and I'm working my way through the book.  A few weeks ago, I made this Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Brandied Cherries (fresh from the market) and I'm just getting the chance to post the recipe for it now.  Jeni's version had called for regular roasted cherries, but of course I had to lush this recipe up, so I put in brandied cherries instead (make 1 night ahead).

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Brandied Cherries - makes more than 1 quart
Ice Cream Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 Tbs & 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 Tbs) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
Brandied Cherries Ingredients (makes about 3 1/2 cups):
  • 1 lb fresh black cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy
To make the ice cream:
- Mix 2 Tbs of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl - this is called a slurry.
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the goat cheese, cream cheese and salt.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- In a 4 quart saucepan, combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. 
- Boil for about 4 minutes (I often have to stir it down because the mixture really froths up).
- Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the slurry.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and stir with a rubber spatula for about 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and gradually whisk this mixture into the cheese mixture, until it's all nice and smooth.
- Pour the mixture in a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge it in the ice water bath.
- Let it stand for 30 minutes, and add more ice water if necessary (I like to pop this in the fridge).
- Cut a corner on the bottom of the bag and pour into your ice cream maker (follow the manufacturing instructions) and let it spin until it's nice and creamy.
- Pack the ice cream in a quart container, alternating and ending with layers of cherries.
- Press a sheet of parchment or wax paper against the service and seal with an airtight lid.
- Be sure to put in the coldest part of your freezer and let it freeze for at least 4 hours.  

To make the cherries:
- Combine the cherries, sugar and brandy in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. 
- Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Refrigerate overnight before layering into the ice cream.