Foodiva's Kitchen: Coconut-Cheese Ice Cream with Thyme, Cranberry Sauce and Spiced Walnuts

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coconut-Cheese Ice Cream with Thyme, Cranberry Sauce and Spiced Walnuts

Growing up in the tropics, cheese really didn't feature much in our everyday diet. We had durians and fermented shrimp paste (belacan), and that was enough odorous foods for one culture to have to endure. It's all very different the kids growing up in this more global world now, of course. 
Coconut milk, on the other hand, does feature a lot in our tropical cuisine, from breakfast snacks, main meals and desserts. Saying that, however, our use of it nowadays is in more measured amounts due to the high oil and sugar content (coconut cream especially).
Like chalk and cheese
I've been toying with the idea of mixing one of the most Eastern ingredient with one of the most Western and finally came up with this Coconut-Cheese ice cream recipe. My tastebuds know for a fact that thyme goes extremely well with cheese so that was thrown in for good measure. On its own, this creamy, distinctively Cheddary ice cream is already worthy of a gasp. But try eating a spoonful of it drizzled with warm, cinnamon-scented cranberry-orange sauce and topped with spicy, gingery walnuts, and you're bound to hear absolute silence as the world around you stops moving! Trust me when I say this, it is that good.

 Top: Cranberry-Orange sauce,  Bottom: Spicy walnuts
Out of the oven - spicy, sweet, crisp walnuts with ginger and cayenne pepper
Next time you have guests over for a party, be daring enough to serve this understatedly sexy, elegant and complex dessert all rolled into one. Oh, and remember to print out copies of the recipe as your guests will be asking for it!
If you're making this dessert for any adorable tiny tots, just substitute the coconut milk with regular milk and leave out the salt and spices.

Coconut-Cheese Ice Cream with Thyme, Cranberry Sauce and Spiced Walnuts
Coconut-Cheese Ice Cream with Thyme
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 125g (4oz) cheddar cheese, grated
• 125g (4oz) cream cheese, diced
• 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
• 3/4 cup honey
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cranberry-Orange Sauce
• 1 cup dried cranberries (or 2 cups fresh berries)
• 1/2 cup orange juice
• 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon water

Spiced Walnuts
• 1 egg white
• 1 teaspoon water
• 2 cups walnuts
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli powder

Coconut-Cheese Ice Cream with Thyme
1. In a small heavy bottom sauce pot, bring the coconut milk and heavy cream to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, honey, thyme and salt.
3. Blend this mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then cool completely before freezing mixture in ice-cream maker.
4. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours. Let ice-cream soften 5 minutes before serving.

Cranberry-Orange Sauce
1. Combine cranberries, orange juice, sugar/honey, vanilla and cinnamon stick in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves; boil for 1 minute.
2. Strain into bowl. Reserve cranberries. Return juices and cinnamon stick to the same pan. Mix 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in small bowl; stir into juices in pan. Stir over medium heat until juices boil and thicken, about 1 minute. Mix in reserved cranberries. Chill compote 2 hours.

Spiced Walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F.
2. Whisk together egg white and water in a large bowl until frothy and stir in nuts. Stir together sugar, ground ginger and cayenne pepper/chilli powder and stir into nuts, coating well. Spread nuts on a lightly buttered pan and bake in middle of oven until dry, about 50 minutes. Cool and chop into bite-size chunks.

To serve, scoop ice cream into sundae glasses, top with cranberry-orange sauce and chopped spiced walnuts.


Cucina di Barbara said...

This recipe is very interesting... I want a glass right now!

I wish you Merry Chrstmas!

We Love said...

This has to be the most delicious ice cream dish ever! Thanks so much for sharing it, I think I will serve it at one of our upcoming holiday parties. Happy holidays and have a wonderful Walnut Wednesday!

Victoria said...

This is definitely unusual, but I'm intrigued. I would never think to add cheddar cheese to ice cream, but people put cheese on apple pie, and eat cheeses with fruits on cheese platters, so it kind of makes sense, right? :)

Foodiva said...

We Love, you have a great Walnut Wednesday too! ;-)

Barbara, thanks and have a lovely, lovely Christmas!

Victoria, the cheddar gives this ice cream a salty-sweet character, so if you can imagine salty-caramel flavor, it's a bit like that - but with more depth. It's drop dead delicious.... just hopefully not literally! ;-)

Sandra said...

Amazing! Bravo... fabulous dessert!

Roxan said...

Oh, I have never had ice cream with cheese in it before! But I loooove cheese, so I know that this must be so delicious. I love that you added coconut milk!

Foodiva said...

Sandra, terima kasih. That means thank you in my language!

Roxan, you're a cheese-lover, so guaranteed you'll LOVE this!

Trix said...

I can see that this is one of those things that is, as they say, so crazy that it just HAS to work! I mean, cheddar and fruit goes together ... And I'm very intrigued about the play of coconut and cheddar, because usually I can taste things in my head when I read the recipe and I kind of can't here. I am also a fan of putting savory herbs in sweet dishes, and I can see how the walnuts would give great texture and hold it all together. So smart.

penny aka jeroxie said...

Interesting recipe with interesting flavour combinations.

Merry Christmas lovely!

Indonesia Eats said...

I'll make you a sorrel drink if you trade me this dessert. Btw, I'm returning your comment. Sorrel is a hibiscus or I call it in Indonesian, bunga sepatu.

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Trix and Penny, my lovely IIP companions! Wishing you both a wonderful Christmas too!

Pepy, oh we call this Bunga Raya. So, in that case, I HAVE come across sorrel before! Thank you for taking the time to answer my query, my dear. ;-) Hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

Carolyn said...

This is such an interesting recipe, I am bookmarking it because I would love to try it!

Chef Dennis said...

Wow!!! Talk about assaulting the senses! That ice cream with the toppings sounds so incredibly good!! I can only imagine how amazing it tasted!
Buon Natale!

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

This is a flavor smack down in a bowl, so many flavors and I'm sure together they were magic. I wish I hand a handful of those nut for breakfast! Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon said...

This looks just delightful--I love cranberry and orange together, so I can imagine that pairing it with the spiced nuts and coconut ice cream would be incredible! Thanks for sharing, and Happy Holidays to you :)

Magic of Spice said...

Wow what an amazing collection of this and gorgeous photos!
Wishing you a most amazing New Years :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails