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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Triumphant Return

It's amazing how even just a small break can make you miss the blogging world so much. Although I was able to browse a few blogs and comment while I was preparing for my exam, it was not nearly as much as I would have liked. Not to mention it has been quite literally a month since my last post. Luckily, Daniel was able to carry a good bit of the blogging load so we didn't completely loose touch. But how some of you blog everyday or every other day by yourselves I have no idea, kudos to you. But after weeks of reading, writing, editing, having mini breakdowns, etc. etc.,  I can assure you from experience that this is a wonderful ice cream treat to take a second and unwind with.

Perhaps just by coincidence, the few blogs I was able to browse the last few weeks all featured or mentioned using rhubarb in some interesting way. I'd never had rhubarb. Never had any desire to have rhubarb. I kind of have a strong texture discomfort with cooked soggy fruit. Even though rhubarb is technically a vegetable, since texture seems to be the biggest turn off for most people when it comes to this elusive tart pink stalk, I had stayed far away. But, when I cam across not one, but two recipes for chilled rhubarb treats in a cookbook and on one of my favorite blogs, I couldn't help but give it a try. Unfortunately, both called for rose water however, and as much as I procrastinate, a trip across town was not possible at the moment. Instead, I elected to make not one, but two ice creams. One tart and tangy  rhubarb concoction, and one sweet perfumed lavender concoction. 

Rhubarb and Lavender Swirl Ice Cream
For the Rhubarb:
2 Cups Rhubarb cut into 1 inch slices
2 Tbsp Salted Butter
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1. Place everything except the heavy cream and buttermilk into a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, allow rhubarb to simmer until soft, but still holding its shape, about 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Crush rhubarb pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Combine rhubarb with heavy cream and buttermilk. Chill in refrigerator at least six hours.
3. Freeze according to ice cream maker directions.
For the Lavender:
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Whole Milk or Half and Half for a slightly more decadent dessert
1/3 Cup Honey
1 Tbsp Dried Lavender Flowers
1. Place all ingredients in medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continually stir until mixture begins to thicken, 15-20 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve to remove lavender flowers. Chill in refrigerator at least 6 hours. Freeze according to ice cream maker directions.

To combine
1. Once prepared, place rhubarb ice cream in container, preferably wider than taller for better effect.
2.While the lavender ice cream is preparing, soften the rhubarb ice cream so it will mix well.
3. Once the lavender is complete, gently place lavender atop the rhubarb mixture. With a small spatula or knife, swirl the two ice creams much as you would when you marble a cake.
4. Freeze for a few hours to set. 

For mine, the lavender ice cream was a barely tinted white, so the colored swirl did not show quite as much. You could optionally include a few drops of food coloring to achieve a better swirl effect if you would like.
The ice cream itself is a rewarding experience exciting different tastes as it dances across the palate. To offset a little of its decadent creaminess, I brought made some almond cornmeal short bread cookies to pair with it, but you could use any slightly less sweet, crunch cookie to pair well.

Nonetheless, this is the type of ice cream that demands you stop, relax, and enjoy it for just a little while. Enjoy!


Emily Malloy (formerly Ziegler) said...

Simply gorgeous!

pegasuslegend said...

great job Dawn looks heavenly!~

Rick said...

That looks amazing. Love the lavender in it too. Yay for exams being over. Isn't it a great feeling?

Cocina Savant said...

@Emily & @pegasuslegend; thanks!!
@Rick it most definitely is, glad to be taking a year off too while i debate about subjecting myself to another 3 or 4 years of the academic routine :)

Kathy Gori said...

this looks absolutely divine! definitely one to try.

Ana Powell said...

Absolutely delicious, well done.
Great photos x

Drick said...

great to have you back in full force - although we have enjoyed Daniel too - this ice cream is a little different for me, something new for sure....maybe it's the thought of the lavender, reminds me of Victorian days ... have I ever told you how old I am..........LOL

The Duo Dishes said...

Oh wow! Guess a blogging hiatus deserves a grand return, and this could be it! That's totally a spring ice cream.

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

That would be a beautifully fragrant and flavoured ice cream! Welcome back Dawn :)

Angie's Recipes said...

I adore both rhubarb and lavender, but never thought of using them both together in the ice cream! Would really really love to try them!

Jane said...

Wow! This is one gorgeous, luscious looking ice cream. I, too, have never had the slightest yen for rhubarb, but you may have just converted me! Lovely blog you have here. I like it very much.
Jane :)

tasteofbeirut said...

This is funny; I have been reading a lot on rhubarb, all over the world in the blogosphere and never understood what the biggie was! I can see that it really should be investigated, this ice-cream looks too too good to pass up!

The Beso Team said...

Dear Dawn,

Thank You for entering the Bake Up Summer Sweets Contest. I hope you are given the opportunity to own a new KitchenAid mixer so you can whip up your cornmeal pound cake recipe with ease.
Thank You and Good Luck!
The Beso Team

faithy, the baker said...

Looks sooo good! Esp. for the hot weather i'm facing here! Now i'm craving for ice-cream!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is quite a novel application of rhubarb. It looks great!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I have never had rhubarb either! But I really can't say no to ice cream. Perhaps this is just the recipe I need?

Anonymous said...

Rhubarb grows here everywhere.. and i have someone sending me some lavander honey... looks great!!!! Thanks for the blog comment!

Girl Foodie said...

I bought a ton of rhubarb today and only a little is earmarked for a dessert already. I've made rhubarb and custard ice cream before, but never with lavender. I thing it sounds incredible!

Cocina Savant said...

Thanks for all of the sweet comments & support everyone!

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