This week has been a busy one. I started my clinical placement for my course, and the first rotation? Phlebotomy.
Why? Well: a) the reason I became a laboratory scientist is so that I didn’t have to deal with patients; and b) I am scared of hurting people.
However it is essential in order to pass, so I had to suck it up and get over myself, and so day 2 was a whole heap better than day one.
Anyway, the following is the product of a cycle ride up to the Bay. That is that the time spent on a nice cycle, where you are following a trail and don’t have to think too much, is great for allowing tangents of thought like “I feel like making ice cream tonight.” “I wonder what other flavours I could infuse into the base mixture?” “Do we have any Earl Grey tea?” “What shall I do with the leftover egg whites?”
The answer is Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches, sandwiched together with Earl Grey infused ice cream, and I guess part inspired by a recent trip to Trader Joe’s and seeing that you can now buy macarons in the freezer section! What a world we live in!
Earl Grey Infused Ice Cream Recipe – modified from Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna
1 2/3 cups/ 400mL milk
3 bags Earl Grey Tea (I used Twinings)
1 2/3 cups/ 400mL heavy cream
3/4 cup/ 150g sugar
1/2 cup/ 60g skim milk powder
3 egg yolks
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until just steaming, then remove from the heat, add the tea bags, cover, and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and add the dry milk and sugar, whisking thoroughly to ensure no lumps remain. Stir in the cream.
Place a thermometer in the pan, and heat the mixture to 110F/45C. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the egg yolks in a small bowl, and add 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk slowly until the mixture is an even colour and consistency, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk mixture.
Prepare an ice bath in your sink, or a large heatproof bowl.
Return the pan to medium heat, and continue cooking the mixture, stirring often, until it reaches 165F/75C.
Place the pan in the prepared ice bath, and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour through a fine wire mesh strainer (if required) into a storage container, and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or overnight.
Transfer the cooled mixture to your ice crea maker, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer to a freezer-proof container, and place in the freezer until a scoopable consistency is reached.
Classic Macaron Recipe – adapted from the Rose and Raspberry Macarons recipe fromThe Boy who Bakes by Edd Kimber. (NB. also many Macaron recipes on his blog @ theboywhobakes.co.uk)
170g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, divided into two equal batches – Note: because I was using the leftover egg whites from making the ice cream base above, I actually had 110mL egg whites, and modified the ratios of everything else accordingly, ie. 110/120 x 170g = 156g of icing sugar, 110/120 x 160g = 147g of ground almonds and granulated sugar….
160g granulated sugar
Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Put the icing sugar and ground almonds, into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully combined. Sift this mixture into a large bowl, discarding any small particles that stay in the sieve. (Or if you are feeling kinda lazy…. you could just whisk the two together to get them combined)
Add the first batch of egg whites to the almond mixture, mix together to form a thick paste, then set aside.
Put 50ml of water and the granulated sugar in a small pan set over medium heat. Bring to the boil and have a sugar thermometer ready.
Meanwhile, put the second bowl of egg whites into a clean, grease-free bowl (note: Edd recommends using a stand mixer, but I find that it’s not enough mixture to work in my stand mixer?) and whisk them on medium.
Start whisking the whites on high speed when the syrup in the pan reaches about 110C on the sugar thermometer. Cook the syrup until it registers 118C. Pour the syrup slowly down the side of the bowl with the whites, avoiding the beaters.
Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and the bowl is no longer hot to the touch but is still warm.
Scrape the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to overmix the batter, it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula, fading back into the batter within about 30 seconds. If it doesn’t, fold a few more times.
Add the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm wide plain piping nozzle. Pipe rounds about 2.5cm in diameter onto the prepared baking trays.
Preheat the oven 170C/ 150C (fan)/340F/ gas mark 3, and leave the piped rounds to rest for about 30 minutes, or until the macarons have developed a skin and are no longer sticky. Bake for 12 minutes, then immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface and allow the macarons to cool for a few minutes before gently sliding them off the paper, and allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack, and if time, then placing them into the freezer to ensure they are as cold as possible for the ice cream sandwich assembly.
Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich Assembly
Unite the macarons with a partner that is of a similar size – mine usually vary ever so slightly!
Using a small scoop, or spoon, take a small ball of the frozen ice cream and place it on one of the macarons, then placing it’s partner on top.
Return to the freezer so it can harden up fully (otherwise all the ice cream will smush out when you try to take a bite – but if you like ice cream all down your face then you go for it! I won’t judge.)
……….and done! They are like a super sweet grown up treat!
And when I say super sweet……. I really mean super sweet! But the macarons retain their chewiness, even after being in the freezer (boom), and the almond of the macarons complements the subtle Earl Grey flavour of the ice cream……(nice)
These shall be made again.
Oh yes they shall.