The ice cream is infused with cardamom and peppercorns for a heat that offsets the sweetness of the raspberry sauce.
By Nik Sharma
Ever since I bought my ice cream maker, the canister occupies a permanent place in my heart and freezer. I’ve been using it at least a few times a month, testing and tasting (which really is the best part of making a frozen dessert) and experimenting with new flavors. Just like baking, ice cream making requires patience and chemistry, correct ratios of fat, sugar and water to create just the right texture in the freezer. It makes me feel like I am back at work in the lab, except I can eat what I am working on this time.
Cardamom is probably one of the most prominent spices you will find Indian desserts. Indians love infusing it in almost everything from masalas (spice mixes) to warm and cold desserts. In this particular ice cream, it lends a cool fragrant flavor. I also infused a few black peppercorns into the milk and added a little extra ground black pepper (the extra amount is completely optional) to balance the coolness without making the ice cream spicy hot.
- 2 cups raspberries (I used a mixture of golden and red raspberries)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1½ ounces whole fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 10 black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 10 green cardamom seeds
- In a thick bottomed saucepan, heat the raspberries and brown sugar on a medium-high flame. Bring the contents to a boil and then reduce to a medium flame and stir constantly for 9-10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the stove and filter the sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds. Press the mixture in the sieve to extract as much fruit pulp as possible. Chill the filter raspberry sauce in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before use. Alternatively place the raspberry sauce in ziploc freezer bag or glass bottle and chill in an ice water bath for 30 minutes.
- Take two tablespoons of the milk and mix it with the cornstarch in a small bowl to form a slurry. Keep aside.
- Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a large glass mixing bowl and keep aside.
- Bring the rest of the milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil on a medium-high flame in a thick bottom saucepan. Reduce the flame to a gentle simmer and add the peppercorns, ground pepper, and cardamom, stir constantly with a silicone spatula and cook for 4 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the hot milk and bring the milk back to a boil over medium-heat. Cook the milk until it begins to thicken slightly and covers the end of the spatula, about 1-1½ minutes. Remove the milk from heat.
- Carefully whisk the hot milk into the glass mixing bowl containing the cream cheese until smooth. Pass the hot milk through a sieve to remove the peppercorns and cardamom seeds. Transfer the milk into a gallon ziplock freezer bag and chill the sealed bag in an ice-water bath for 30 minutes, adding more ice if necessary.
- After chilling, pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream make. Churn until the ice cream no longer sticks to the sides of the canister and it does not freeze anymore, this should take about 30 minutes (Alternatively, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker).
- Layer the frozen ice cream into a freezer safe storage container with an airtight lid and alternate with layers of the raspberry sauce. Do not mix the ice cream and sauce. Cover the surface with a sheet of parchment paper and press firmly against the surface to remove any trapped air bubbles. Place the lid on the container and freeze until firm for at least 4 hours before serving.
Nik Sharma is the cook, author and photographer behind "A Brown Table" and currently resides in Washington D.C. He is a self-taught cook that is constantly trying to infuse "exotic" spices and ingredients by learning different cooking techniques in day-to-day meals with the motto of keeping all cooking methods fun, simple and useful.