Reverse, reverse

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I feel like I am again apologizing for my absence posting to this blog. I had all intentions to get it up and running again but then we found out we were moving back to Japan. Hence the title “Reverse, reverse.” 🙂

I am a child of the 90s and therefore, Cha Cha Slide was all the rage. I just had that one line on repeat in my head as I went through the motions of cleaning up and passing off job duties, prepping the house for moving, pack out, temporary lodging, flight, getting settled in temp lodging, finding a new house, getting settled, etc. Didn’t I just do this a YEAR ago?!

The upside is we are now back in Japan and here for at least three years! It means I can pick up where I left off with exploring Japanese food and culture, traveling Asia (several countries that I didn’t get to visit on our last stay here), and experiencing Japan through the eyes of my daughter.

xxCourtney

Vanilla ice cream with Miso Caramel Swirl

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Vanilla ice cream with Miso Caramel swirl

Japan is hot, hot, HOT right now!

And that means ice cream season at our house! There’s nothing I want more on a hot and humid day than a bowl of deliciously cold ice cream. During this time of the year, our ice cream maker is always out, with the extra canister in the freezer waiting to be called to action.

My favorite ice cream cookbook is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home. I stop by her shops every time I’m back home visiting family in Columbus, Ohio. Her unique flavors are well-balanced and always leaves me wanting more. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I heard she was coming out with a cookbook. I was probably one of the first to pre-order it!

Her recipe for vanilla bean ice cream has always been one of my favorites and I truly didn’t think it could get much better. That was until I made miso caramel from the Food52 website (which if you haven’t checked it out, go now!). As I was debating how to use this miso caramel, I realized that the vanilla ice cream would be the perfect pairing.

Seriously, it’s one of those knock-your-socks off recipes. From the day I made it, my husband has been begging me to make it again. I finally relented after I tried a few other ice cream recipes to mixed reviews (in case you’re wondering, they were NOT Jeni’s recipes).

It’s sweet. It’s salty. It’s gooey and warming. I would eat an entire batch if I could! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

xxCourtney

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.

Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Layer the vanilla ice cream with miso caramel in a plastic container. Once all ice cream and caramel is used, you can swirl with a knife. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

Miso Caramel Recipe
From theminx on Food52 website

Makes 1 pint
¾ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup heavy cream
2 TBSP white miso

In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and water. Without additional stirring, bring mixture to a boil. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan. When sugar becomes a deep golden brown and wisps of smoke just start to form, remove pan from heat.

Once off the heat, carefully pour in the cream, which will cause the caramel to bubble. Stir to combine. If the caramel seizes up and hardens with the addition of the cold cream, then put the pan back over low heat and stir until the caramel is liquid again. Whisk in the miso.

Allow to cool slightly before pouring into a lidded container. Store in the refrigerator]