about bliss

Sunday, June 07, 2009

perfect scoop: vanilla ice cream, philadelphia style

anything but plain vanilla

Vanilla, or Banilla, as my friends' son M says, ice cream used to bore me.

Honestly, could it be any plainer?

And then I tasted *real* vanilla ice cream, with genuine flecks of vanilla bean, and a floral fragrance that permeated every.single.bite.

Rich, complex, and so very comforting.

If chocolate is a silk halter dress you wear for special EVENTS, then vanilla is a pair of snug worn-in blue jeans suitable for afternoon naps on the couch.

Still scared by custard, and still trying to create lower fat ice creams, I made a full batch of David Lebovitz's Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream this past week. I used half skim milk and half whipping cream, which makes for a less luxurious texture with a hint of iciness, and an overall fluffiness, advantages or disadvantages, depending on your perspective. I happen to like these qualities. The vanilla is layered in this ice cream, due to a full vanilla bean and a generous amount of vanilla extract.

I also attempted to make the fudge ripple to layer in the ice cream, but it never thickened as well as it was supposed to. I'm fairly certain this has something to do with my substitution of honey for the corn syrup. The other potential negative of the honey is that it's an assertive orange blossom honey, and the flavor definitely peeks through the deep chocolate. So, instead of an integrated ripple, this is a tasty topping.

silk + denim = winning combination


  1. Ooooh - a chocolate honey topping? Sounds good to me!

  2. Ahh even if you didn't get the ripple like you wanted it still looks tasty!

  3. oh yeah, real vanilla (bean) ice cream of french vanilla is great. sometimes plain (or simple as i like to say) is better.

  4. Like you, to me vanilla used to be a mostly "ho-hum, yaaaaawn" type of dessert. That is until I discovered the heavenly vanilla ice cream dessert called an affogato. Simple and easy as falling off an ice cream parlor stool, you pour a double shot of your favorite hot, fresh espresso (why yes, just like the espresso you get at Stumpjack Coffee...thank you for asking) over a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or even more preferably and traditionally, a scoop of vanilla gelato...while the ice cream version is yum-yum-yummy, the gelato version is to die for).

  5. the honey chocolate sauce is sooo good, megan:)

    sounds delicious, david. i think i'll order one next time i stop by--if you have vanilla gelato--instead of the jessica special:)