Monday, June 27, 2011

Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream (from Jeni's Cookbook)

I recently wrote a post on my obsession with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and had also previously expressed excitement about the impending publication of Jeni's cookbook.  When the book arrived two weeks ago, I read it almost cover to cover, and was immediately impressed.  I know I'm biased, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the cookbook beyond what I had already seen in the Food and Wine webpage a few years back.  Turns out the cookbook was really a wonderful investment.  In it, Jeni offers valuable tips about equipment, ingredients, and how to balance ingredients, I love how she starts right out with the four basic steps so you know what to expect.  She also gives great tips on what needs to be done ahead of time, so you don't have your heart set on making ice cream right now only to realize you needed to to have chilled your ice cream bowl yesterday.

Then, of course, there's the 100+ recipes!  My goal had been to use Jeni's techniques to make my own flavors of ice cream, which I'm sure I will get to at some point, but as soon as I got to page 158 of the cookbook, I knew which flavor would be first on my list to try:  Gucci Muu Muu.  I don't quite get why it's called that, but I recognized from the description and the ingredients that it was basically an old favorite of mine that was discontinued called Coco Curry Cocoa (or was it Cocoa Curry Coco? I can never get that straight): Chocolate ice cream with curry and coconut.  In other words, an ice cream that combines three of my favorite flavors in the whole world!  I remember how bummed I was when Jeni's decided to scrap that flavor some years ago, so I was ecstatic to see the recipe right there in the book!

So I probably can't post the recipe here seeing that it's copyrighted and all, so if you want to make this I guess you'll just have to get yourself a copy of the book (which I highly recommend), but I can show you some pictures of my attempt. :)

Ingredients for Homemade Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream (from Jeni's cookbook)
Ingredients for Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream
Absent from the photo:  Sugar (my bad)
Toasted Coconuts
Toasted coconut to be mixed into the ice cream - yum!
Making Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream (Jeni's Cookbook Recipe)
Boiling the ingredients. Do this for exactly 4 minutes - no more, no less!
Making Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream (Jeni's Cookbook Recipe)
Mixing in the curry powder, toasted coconuts, and salt
Homemade Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream (from Jeni's cookbook)
And after chilling, churning, and freezing...Tada!
Homemade Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream (from Jeni's cookbook)
Gucci Muu Muu Ice Cream
So how did it turn out?  Pretty good, I'd say.  I don't think it's quite like the real thing because the best chocolate I could find in stores is Ghirardelli but I don't think that's what Jeni had used, even back then.  I know her choice of chocolate these days is Askinosie, which I know I would love considering how much I'm addicted to the Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, so I may have to stock up on those for my future ice cream making attempts.

I also realized that I had made one mistake that likely made the batch too thick and hard to freeze.  During the step that involves boiling the liquid ingredients, I misunderstood the instructions in the book where it says "...bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.  Add the cocoa, whisk until incorporated, and continue boiling for 4 minutes."  I had started timing my 4 minutes only after the cocoa had been completely incorporated into the liquid, which added another minute or two to the overall boiling time.  After consulting the amazing Jeni herself, I learned that the 4 minutes referred to the total boil time, as any longer would result in too much evaporation.  And yes, that's the great thing about Jeni; she is taking time to interact with at-home Jeni's ice-cream makers on her forum and offering wonderful tips to everyone who has a question or is running into a problem.  I mean, how awesome is that??  Sometimes I read the posts just to learn.

Overall, I really love this cookbook, and I hope to try a few more recipes soon.  I'm thinking my next attempt would be a variation of the Gucci Muu Muu, maybe even using the Queen City Cayenne recipe as a base, but using wasabi powder instead of curry powder (and maybe skip the coconut too).  I think the chocolate-wasabi combo would be just divine!  I'd also like to try the Rum Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut, which is a flavor Jeni's once offered for a few months and I haven't seen since.  I'm so glad to see that in the cookbook as well.  I'd also like to make something with taro and purple yam (not together).  Lots of grand plans, very little time!

Also check out We All Scream for some really cool illustrated ice cream recipes.  I noticed a new posting for Thai Pineapple Curry Ice Cream and I might just have to add that to the list of flavors to try!

UPDATE 8/13/2011:  I found out after this post that the reason for the pudding-like texture of the ice cream was because there is a typo in the recipe, which calls for 1/4 cups of heavy cream when it should read 1-1/4 cups!

This is part of a series of posts on recipes from or inspired by Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams at HomeThe rest of the series may be found here.