Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ice cream cake, two sourdoughs, cornbread, and C.R.O.W.W.

This week I made ice cream for the first time in months. I also made a sourdough whole wheat bread, helped make some sourdough waffles, took another stab at C.R.O.W.W (cinnamon raisin oatmeal walnut whole wheat) bread, and made some cornbread.

Ice cream cake

I made this cake for my friend Mia's birthday. I was happy to make it because (1) Mia is great and (2) it was good practice for my nephew's birthday cake next weekend. His ice cream must be chocolate, but we could do something more interesting with this one.

Malted milk ice cream cake

I used The Perfect Scoop's recipe for malted milk ice cream (p. 51), omitting the salt and reducing the malted milk balls from 350 g (2 cups) to 210 g. (The first time I made this ice cream everyone loved it, but it had so many mix-ins that it was hard to taste the ice cream.)

Two options for malted milk: Carnation and Horlicks

I used Carnation malted milk powder, since I could tell how much sodium it had (a fair amount, but not so much that I couldn't eat it).

Carnation has 100 mg sodium per 3 T serving.

I'd found some Horlicks in an Indian market in Berkeley, but its sodium contents were so shabbily labeled that I was afraid to use it. Seriously, why would you measure salt instead of sodium? And why would you measure it in grams instead of milligrams?

Horlicks has 0.5 g salt (200 mg sodium?) per 25 g (2 T?).

The night before churning the ice cream, I made a chocolate cookie crust in a springform pan, following a recipe for mock chocolate cookie crust. I let it cool overnight on the stove. The next morning, I put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes as I churned the ice cream.

Chocolate cookie crust in a springform pan

It'd been so long since I'd made ice cream, I'd forgotten little things like how to transfer the ice cream into the container, or setting something to catch drips. It didn't help that I was transferring to a much wider container than usual. I sprinkled on the chopped malted milk balls as I transferred the ice cream.

It worked out pretty well, although the crust was difficult to cut through. I'll do some things differently next time:
  • Try not to pack the crust as much. (I considered not using as much crust, but everyone objected to that.)
  • Smooth the ice cream with the underside of a metal measuring cup, as described in America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, p. 629. (I didn't find that recipe until after I'd made the cake.)
  • Remove the bottom of the springform pan, as well as the sides, before cutting.
  • Put the pie onto a flat plate before cutting. (To do: Find/buy a large, flat plate.)
  • Press handfuls of rainbow sprinkles onto the sides, as ATKFC suggests. (My nephew specifically wanted rainbow sprinkles on his cake. For anyone else, I might use nuts or chocolate.)
  • Put a plate under the springform pan in the freezer, to avoid drips of ice cream.


In sourdough land, I made a whole wheat sourdough bread and the sponge for sourdough waffles. Both were OK but could use improvement.

Whole wheat sourdough bread.

The sourdough bread (Hensperger p. 280) was marred by a too strong taste of molasses. I've used molasses before in bread and liked it, but (1) this was the bottom of the bottle and (2) the other molasses breads had strong-flavored ingredients like cocoa and coffee that probably masked the molasses. If I make this bread again, I'll use honey or sugar instead of molasses. The texture was fine, but the bread wasn't even tasty when toasted; it just smelled a little like burnt molasses.

Two sourdough starters in the bread machine.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of sourdough starter, preferably next-day white starter made with whole wheat flour. Instead I used about 2 T of a rather solid (Josey Baker) whole wheat starter. Then I added enough of a rather liquid white starter to make 1 cup. Other changes I made to the recipe:

  • Reduce salt to under 1 t.
  • Reduce yeast to 1 t.

The sourdough waffles, from this King Arthur Flour recipe, were going to be pancakes, but we couldn't find all the parts to our griddle. The mix was a bit thin for waffles, and they didn't cook up as nicely as usual. (No pictures: we ate all the evidence.) Next time I'll use less liquid or more flour. Or I'll make pancakes.


I made the same cornbread I made last week, but I used an 8-inch pan instead of a 10-inch pan. The cooking time was longer, but it was just as good. I like crust, so I slightly prefer the 10-inch pan, even though it's harder to handle.
Cornbread in an 8-inch cast-iron pan

This time I used a flavorless oil (canola or peanut) instead of hazelnut oil, and the cornbread still came out tasty. This bread was just for me, so there were leftovers, which were good for at least a day or two.


I made this bread like last time, except for the following changes:
  • Doubled the raisins (to 1 cup)
  • Doubled the nuts (to 1/2 cup)
  • Used toasted pecans instead of walnuts

1 cup of Berkeley Bowl's jumbo raisins mixed medley

1/2 cup of pecan pieces

The upshot? This is a tasty loaf of bread. Doubling the pecans and raisins was a good thing to do and didn't cause problems with mixing. (OK, they weren't perfectly mixed, but they weren't all on the bottom either. I call that a win.)

Slightly misshapen, as usual

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