The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Undeniably, there are many red velvet (RV) treat lovers out there, and I've seen anything from RV cakes, RV cookies, RV cream pies, to RV macarons and even scones! And then there's RV ice cream, the most famous of which is Momofuku Milk Bar's Red Velvet Soft Serve Ice Cream. The last straw was when I spotted this frozen beauty on Pinterest. That drooly snapshot made me decide almost instantaneously to overcome my disdain at the vast array of RV goodies out there and make something red velvety-ish in my kitchen.
And what better to start with than red velvet ice cream? Most red velvet recipes would call for 2 to 3 tablespoons of red food coloring, but I had goosebumps just thinking about how that amount would alter my DNA, so I reduced that to 1 1/2 teaspoons. It all depends on the strength of your coloring agent and I suppose mine just seemed lethal enough to impart such a deep, bloody hue.
I used the egg yolk method to make the custard base but if I were to try this again, I'd probably use mascarpone cheese and dispense with the eggs. And I did wonder if using beetroot juice instead of artificial coloring would make a big difference to the overall taste and color? Next time, I'll know what to do. For this batch, though, the cocoa flavor really came through giving a slight bitterness, and the buttermilk added a pleasing tart note that balanced out the sweetness. If you are a fan of red velvet edibles, then you have to give this a try. It's certainly the sexiest-looking ice cream I've ever made in all of my short, churning history! Oh, if you're wondering about that chocolate cone, I made that too using this recipe.
The Bowery Poetry Club in New York is a haven for many performing spoken word poets. While I'm nowhere close to being a poet, I do like to listen to spoken word poems, with all the intonations, emphasis and melodiousness of the speaker's voice. Here I share with you a gem entitled, "What Teachers Make" by poet Taylor Mali. Teachers are truly some of my favorite people in the entire universe. I had several really great ones growing up who inadvertently helped shape the course of my life and made me the person I am today. And now my kids also have fantastic teachers, many of whom I have great respect and admiration for, and several have even become our good friends throughout the years. This poem is a tribute to all the selfless teachers out there, for without them, there will be no other professions.
Red Velvet Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar (sweeten to taste)
1 cup buttermilk or crème fraiche
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Bring cream to a simmer. Meanwhile, thoroughly whisk together egg yolks and sugar.
2. Pour some of the simmering cream into egg yolks while stirring. Return this mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in buttermilk or crème fraiche, cocoa powder, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap is in contact with the top of your mixture; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (around 4-8 hours). I placed mine in the freezer for 45 minutes to expedite things.
4. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a covered container and place in your freezer for at least 2-4 hours to get the best consistency.