The substance derived from vanilla beans is so heady and richly aromatic that it seems ironic that in the dictionary, the word vanilla is also defined as something plain, ordinary or lacking any special features. The irony becomes even more pronounced when we consider how highly prized vanilla beans are.
Yet, from another context, the definition makes sense especially when we talk of vanilla ice cream which is plain both in color and in texture. I’m not very fond of vanilla ice cream unless it is merely the base for a dessert or an accompaniment to something super rich like deep dark chocolate brownies. So when I made vanilla ice cream last Saturday, I dressed it up with coffee, milk, whipped cream and corn flakes before serving.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 c. of cream, chilled
- 1 c. of whole milk
- 1 c. of sugar
- 1 tbsp. of good quality vanilla extract (use vanilla beans if you can find and afford them — I couldn’t, not for this experiment anyway)
- Make a custard. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. In a pan, scald the milk. Pour half of the milk, by tablespoonful, into the egg yolks, beating as you pour to temper the egg yolks. Pour the egg yolk into the pan with the other half of the cream and heat gently, stirring, until thickened and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to a container, cool, cover and chill for several hours.
- When the custard is well chilled, fold with the cream. Pour into the ice cream mixer and process per manufacturer’s directions. Add the vanilla extract during the last five minutes of processing.
- Serve the ice cream immediately or transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze for a couple of hours for a firmer ice cream.
- 1 cup very strong coffee
- 1 cup milk
- vanilla ice cream
- whipped cream
- corn flakes
- Stir the coffee and milk together.
- Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in two dessert glasses.
- Divide the coffee mixture between the two glasses. Just pour it in.
- Top the ice cream with whipped cream. Sprinkle some corn flakes on top.
- Serve and enjoy.