Last summer, we (Cam, Cole, Sean, Stef and I) visited Tours, France to watch a couple of stages of Le Tour as well as eat and drink and all those other wonderful things you do in the French countryside. One of the cafes we went to was on a farm, and all of the meals were made from their own crops and animals. The entire meal was amazing, but the thing that really stood out, that everyone remembers, was the Goat Cheese Ice Cream. We were trepidatious at first, but convinced ourselves to bite into the frozen triangles of icey goodness.
Bliss. Every tangy, creamy bite. Little bits of praline provided a nice contrast and made the whole concoction even more buttery. So, I’ve been toying with the idea of making some for some time now. And after a recent tasting of 3 different goat cheeses (all of which were delicious), I had just about the right amount of cheese to make a batch.
After searching for a while for a recipe to start from, I found one from Nell’s Restaurant that looked simple and tasty… pretty much straight cream, sugar and eggs (and the goat cheese of course). The other recipe I found had corn syrup, and while I know that helps with the consistency when freezing, I just can’t bring myself to put corn syrup in homemade ice cream. On a random side note, I’d never heard of Nell’s, but apparently they are local and look to be quite good. I’ll have to give them a shot and see how their results compare to my own.
Goat Cheese & Toffee Ice Cream
1 pint cream
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 of a vanilla bean, sliced open
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup crushed hard toffee
First, make sure that you have your ice cream cylinder in the freezer. If you don’t, like I didn’t when I first tried to make this, you’ll have to wait a day.
Bring the cream, sugar and vanilla bean just to a boil in a heavy sauce pan over meduim-high heat. While the cream is heating, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until broken up. Remove the boiling cream mixture from the heat. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of the cream mixture into the eggs and continue whisking. Add another 1/2 cup and mix. Then, pour the egg/cream mixture back into the remaining cream mixture, and stir until thickened, when the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the goat cheese and stir until melted (if you have some chunks remaining, don’t worry…) about 5 minutes. Strain the entire mixture through a fine mesh strainer back into the bowl. This should remove any remaining cheese chunks as well as the vanilla bean. Set the bowl in a cold water bath and allow to cool some, about 5 minutes.
Pour into the ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturers directions. Add a bit of the toffee immediately, and some after it’s thickened. Save a little to sprinkle on top.
By the way, if you don’t have toffee, you can make some in about 15 minutes. I used the recipe here, but left out the nuts.
Warning. Gratuitous use of photos below because I couldn’t choose my favorite:
Served in a big bowl: