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further ice cream notes

Since my last ice cream post, I've made two batches: pink peppercorn ice cream and chocolate ice cream. I'd never cooked with—or, to my memory, eaten—pink peppercorns before. It turned out pleasantly spicy/floral, though for some reason I can't explain I think it would be better paired with something like the chocolate tarts suggested by epicurious. ("Pink peppercorns" are dried berries from a rose plant, not a true peppercorn.) The spice grinder I bought for this purpose produced a fine grind, most of which I strained out, but the remaining pepper grounds didn't pose a problem for the texture of the ice cream. If anything I'd use more pepper next time. I do have some leftover pink peppercorns, and I'd be interested to hear if and how you've used them to good effect.

The chocolate ice cream, using xuth's recipes, was quite rich. I normally like it with a more moderate intensity. The concentration of the recipe posed a logistical problem for me as I was making it—there wasn't enough volume in the custard base to cover the bulb of my candy thermometer as I was tempering it. The coats-the-back-of-a-spoon test is virtually impossible for me to interpret, so I alternated heating the base and tilting the saucepan so that it covered the thermometer's bulb on that side of the pan. It seems to have worked, but a base with more milk or cream would have solved that problem as well as yielding a less intense result.

This entry was originally posted at http://bokunenjin.dreamwidth.org/52805.html.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2014 09:49 pm (UTC)
Huh, I didn't know that about pink peppercorns! I totally thought they were peppercorns. That explains the very different flavor, though. Now I'm wondering about the green ones.
Jun. 12th, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
Green, black, and white peppercorns are all the same thing! Just different stages of ripeness/preservation. The fully ripe seed actually has a red colored skin and can be dried that way using color-preserving techniques, but it is rare and not available in the USA to my knowledge.

"Pink" (or sometimes called red) peppercorns come from one of two different plants (Brazilian Pepper or Peruvian Pepper), although both are in the Schinus genus (cashew family) instead of the Piper (pepper) genus.

(and then there are Szechuan/Sichuan peppercorns, which are seeds from an entirely different tree in the citrus family, which is numbing/buzzy instead of spicy.)

Edited at 2014-06-12 03:02 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )