Friday, May 30, 2008
As the lovely Rachel of Coconut & Lime approaches her 700th post, I'd like to recognize her for being an outstanding member of the foodie community. Her creativity is boundless and her site is simple and beautiful. I first came across it over a year ago (I don't even remember what brought me there in the first place). It was the first food blog I ever read and I was immediately hooked. I was already an avid cook, but it inspired me to start this blog. Lots of my early posts were modeled after hers until I found my own style. I still look to her site to reflect on my own pictures and posts, as well as for inspiration. My name, Vanilla Basil, was the result of a brainstorm of two ingredients that express my cooking personality, just as coconut and lime immediately tell you what a bright and intriguing person Rachel is. I also feel a culinary connection to her since she is a local Baltimore blogger, and I know many of the places she mentions in her chronicles.
So here's to Coconut Lime! This is a slightly sweet - slightly savory ice cream inspired by Thai flavors. There are two coconut elements (milk and syrup) and two lime elements (kaffir leaves in the ice cream and zest in the swirl). I've also noticed her frequent use of mangos lately, so that element completes this tribute.
Thai Coconut Ice Cream With Mango Lime Swirl
1 cup heavy cream
1 14 oz can light coconut milk
1/2 cup light rum
1 tsp coconut syrup or extract
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
2 large kefir lime leaves
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp salt
3 large whole green cardamom pods
2 tsp grated lemongrass
6 egg yolks
1/2 recipe mango lime swirl
Combine all ingredients except for egg yolks in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a stand mixer until pale and frothy. Slowly add 1/2 cup of coconut mixture to egg yolks while the mixer is on medium speed. Pour egg mixture into saucepan and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and chill for at least 3 hours, until very cold.
Add to an ice cream maker and freeze until soft set according to manufacture instructions. Fold in mango swirl by hand and freeze for 4 hours, or until hard.
You will only need 1/2 of this recipe. The remainder can be used as an awesome frozen mango margarita mix, or you can make more than one batch of ice cream.
Mango Lime Swirl
1 15 oz. can mangoes in light syrup, pureed in a blender until smooth
(canned really works better than fresh in this application)
the zest and juice of one lime
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and chill until very cold.
Postscript (6/14/08): This ice cream won the coconut lime bloggiversary contest and the heart of my future mother and law. It's a real showstopper!