Paper Chef is a fun little cooking event in the food blogosphere that Owen at Tomatilla has modeled after Iron Chef. This weekend launches Paper Chef #7, requiring participants to create a dish containing: medjool dates, honey, buttermilk and eggs. Julie at A Finger in Every Pie (oh my!) will virtually sip and taste the entries to pick out her favorite.
I ate my first medjool date only two winters ago, when my CSA box contained a little bag of them. I was wowed over and have been a huge fan ever since! Our CSA also supplies a handout of recipes with our goodies, and a recipe for a date milkshake was included that fateful week. Medjools are such the embodiment of ambrosia to me- the thought of combining them with ice cream is just too much for me to handle. However, it was with this burning desire that I approached this Paper Chef event.
My Local Flavors cookbook has a nice sounding recipe for honey ice cream that sounds wonderful (I used Poison Oak Oregon Honey for this ice cream in a nod to all the brave cooks who take on cooking with stinging nettles!), and I have seen several buttermilk ice cream recipes online which led me to combine the two ice cream ideas. I set out to make buttermilk honey ice cream with chopped medjools. And set out I did. My ice cream turned out ok, but even my sweet tooth thought this one was a bit too aggressive. The tang of the buttermilk heightens the honey flavoring which resulted in drowning out the sweet creamy dates… I had created a creamy sugar bomb!
I decided that I couldn’t ethically submit that creation to Paper Chef. Heck, even I can’t gobble it up, so back to the drawing board. This final creation combines the icey tanginess of mango lassi with the smooth sweet creaminess of honey date ice cream. The mango tartness cuts into the sweet ice cream, and the slushy consistancy of the lassi is a nice compliment to the creamy honey.
Mango lassi Layered with Poison Oak Honey Date Ice Cream
Honey Date Ice Cream
Combine in a sauce pan over low heat to dissolve the honey:
- 2/3 cup of light honey
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- one pinch of salt
While stirring, heat to just under the boiling point- when you see stream coming off the liquid’s surface. Temper four beaten egg yolks into your hot cream mixture, and continue to cook the mixture just for a minute or two, but not to boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to come to room temperature. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of whole milk. Pour this custard mixture into a lidded container and refrigerate until completely cold. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker and stir in 6 chilled and chopped medjool dates. Transfer the ice cream to a lidded container, placing waxed paper down on the surface of the ice cream, and allow to further harden in the freezer.
In a food processor combine:
- 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
- a couple good gratings of whole nutmeg
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of buttermilk, or just enough to allow the processor to grind the mango to a slushy consistency
Assemble by layering the two concoctions in a shot glass or small tumbler. Garnish with a date piece and enjoy!
Check out Tomatilla’s round up of the event!