Paleo Ice Cream with Thai Inspirations

Clockwise from top: Ginger Rum, Irish Coffee with Whiskey, Mango Coconut

Clockwise from top: Ginger Rum, Irish Coffee with Whiskey, Mango Coconut

I recently took a trip to Thailand where inspiration for flavors and adventures are around each and every corner and usually in unexpected places. The more I explored, the further I travelled, I became pleasantly lost in a country of spices, flavors, curiosities and wonderfully warm people. I took a cooking class from Thai Charm Cooking School, ate homemade spiced chicken and rice on remote islands with Phi Phi Dive Club, bartered for Spices with Joy at the Damnoen Floating Market, drank ginger rum with a french man who made the best American burgers, ate “Angry Birds” sushi, dined at the finest of street food stalls for $3.00 a meal, perused local farmers markets for local fruits and fried whole chickens, and downed my weight in Pad Thai. The flavors and adventures plus birthday present in the form of an ice cream maker inspired me to make “Thai” Ice Cream once I returned home.

Thai Spices from the Floating Markets

Thai Spices from the Floating Markets

Simple ingredients for ice cream

Simple ingredients for Rum Ginger ice cream

Here are the recipes for my Paleo ice cream. Most use a base of Coconut Whole Fat Milk, which you can find in the Asian section of a grocery store and Coconut Creme, which you can find at an Asian specialty stores, Trader Joe’s, or Amazon. Because Amazon has everything. Except Angry Birds sushi.

Ginger Rum Paleo Ice Cream

Ingredients for Ginger Rum ice cream

Ingredients for Ginger Rum ice cream

This Ginger Rum ice cream was inspired by a French man, living in Thailand, who served the most amazing American Meals. I spent my birthday evening there, where we celebrated with newfound friends with burgers, cigars, and the most delicious ginger-infused rum. The rum was made by adding ginger slices and sugar to a bottle of rum and patiently turning the rum bottle on its side for 6 months at a time. Fortunately, this Ice Cream can be made in about 3-4 hours and requires much less patience than ginger rum. Before you start, remember to put your ice cream bowl from your ice cream maker or Kitchen Aid attachment in the freezer overnight to fully freeze!
IMG_8206
Ingredients
1c             Rum (yes, this much – you’re going to burn it off)
2c             full fat coconut milk
1/2 inch   ginger root, cut into small slices
2 tsp         salt
1/2c          brown sugar
1 tbs         vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring rum to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let sit until the alcohol burns off. You’ll know the alcohol is burned off when you take a deep sniff and your nose does NOT have that “omg, alcohol!” reaction. Add all remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until the ginger flavor is as strong as you like it. The longer you simmer, the stronger it gets. I simmered about 20 minutes. Remove ginger and cool the ingredients in the refrigerator (overnight) or in the freezer (about 1 hour). If the ingredients aren’t cool, they will NOT set in your ice cream maker.

Using your ice cream maker instructions, churn the ingredients until delicious, frozen, and creamy!

Mango “Sticky Rice” Ice Cream

Coconut, salt, and mangoes love to hang out together in ice cream!

Coconut, salt, and mangoes love to hang out together in ice cream!

Mango sticky rice is a popular and incredibly delicious dessert from Thailand. This recipe is not Paleo, because condensed & evaporated milk are used in several Thai dishes. In fact, they like these ingredients so much that they are sold in little stands on the side of the road. This recipe uses condensed milk, and it’s worth cheating on any diet for it! 

IMG_8192
Ingredients
2            ripe mangoes
1 1/2 c   coconut full fat milk
1 1/2 c   sweetened condensed milk
1 tbs      vanilla extract
2 tsp      salt
1/2c       brown sugar
raw coconut flakes (I used unsweetened from the health food store)

Peel the mangoes, chop and puree until corse. Add all ingredients except for the raw coconut flakes into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes until all flavors meld. At this point, you can adjust salt and sugar to taste. Cool the ingredients in the refrigerator (overnight) or in the freezer (about 1 hour). If the ingredients aren’t cool, they will NOT set in your ice cream maker.

While ice cream base is cooling, toast raw coconut flakes in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until slightly brown. WATCH the coconut carefully. It goes from brown to black in an instant. I know this because I did this. First batch thrown out, second batch watched much more closely!

Perfectly toasted (not burned!) coconut flakes

Perfectly toasted (not burned!) coconut flakes

Using your ice cream maker instructions, churn the ingredients until delicious, frozen, and creamy. Top with toasted coconut flakes.

Irish Coffee Paleo Ice Cream

Ingredients for Irish Coffee pale ice cream

Ingredients for Irish Coffee paleo ice cream

Irish Coffees are not what you’d think of when you think of Thailand. But it reminds me of an evening watching World Cup games at midnight at an Irish Bar, who claimed to serve the best Irish Coffees in all of Thailand. I’m not sure the competition was stiff for this challenge, but I am sure that the Irish Coffees were delicious and left a warm memory from Thailand. 

Ingredients
1c          whiskey
1 1/2c    full fat coconut milk
1 1/2c    coconut creme
3 tbs      coffee grounds
1/2c       brown sugar
2 tsp      salt
1 tbs      vanilla extract

IMG_8198IMG_8202
In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring whiskey to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let sit until the alcohol burns off. You’ll know the alcohol is burned off when you take a deep sniff and your nose does NOT have that “omg, alcohol!” reaction. Add all remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until the coffee flavor is as strong as you like it. The longer you simmer, the stronger it gets. I simmered about 20 minutes. At this point, you can adjust salt and sugar. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove coffee grounds as they can become bitter. Cool the ingredients in the refrigerator (overnight) or in the freezer (about 1 hour). If the ingredients aren’t cool, they will NOT set in your ice cream maker.

Using your ice cream maker instructions, churn the ingredients until delicious, frozen, and creamy!

Ice cream mixture just poured into ice cream maker

Ice cream mixture just poured into ice cream maker

Ice cream completed!

Ice cream completed!

Hope you enjoy the Thai-flavored ice creams and let me know if you have questions, comments, or ever want a buddy to travel with in Thailand!

Farmers Market fair, including (from top right) thai chills, curry paste, whole fried chicken, preserved eggs, and Angry Birds sushi

Farmers Market fair, including (from top right) thai chills, curry paste, whole fried chicken, preserved eggs, and Angry Birds sushi

Thai Charm cooking school ingredients and fare

Thai Charm cooking school ingredients and fare

Street food!

Street food!

And don't forget to set your table all pretty

And don’t forget to set your table all pretty

Processed with Moldiv

Strawberry Shortcake, Bourbon Cream, and a Late Mother’s Day

Strawberry Shortcake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake, Bourbon Whipped Cream, and a Late Mother’s Day

If you’re anything like me, you’re really good at one thing: being a bad daughter. Mother’s day was over a week ago, so this post AND her mother’s day present (separate items – I don’t consider a post a “present”) are over a week late. But if your mom is anything like mine, she’s really good at a lot of things. Including enjoying presents and posts even if they’re late.

My mom is the reason I started to cook. She had the fantastic rule that every kid had to either help make dinner or clean up afterwards. I chose cooking and grew up learning my mother’s (and grandmother’s) recipes. Choosing to cook was a decision I’m glad I made. I mean, WHY would you ever want to clean up if you could cook? My brother and sister would say it’s because the clean up took waaaaay less time than the cooking, but their not the smart one’s in my family (heh, heh, did you get my joke? I know my mom did). 

This post is an ode to my mother, who made me my first strawberry shortcake. This is similar to her shortcake with a few twists. First, I will take any excuse to add bourbon to a recipe, including “hey this would taste better if I was drinking bourbon.” Second, a little lemon zest because why not. And third, some cream cheese frosting because we’re not here on this post to make something healthy (sorry, Paleo fans). On to the instructions. Oh, and hey mom – thanks for all of the cooking and baking lessons.

We’ll start with a little bit of sugar and a lot of glitter.

IMG_6003

We’ll find some super ripe organic strawberries from the Farmer’s Market.

IMG_6014

And we’ll bake up some incredibly delicious shortcakes!

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Zest, Bourbon Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Filling  

For this recipe, I’ve included an option in the shortcake to add an egg. The egg will make the shortcake fluffier and more cake-like for those of you who like that texture and a taller shortcake. I prefer the flatter, more “cookie”-like version myself. The photos I took are sans-egg.

Ingredients

For filling:
1          quart strawberries (about 4 cups sliced)
1/4c    sugar

For shortcake:
3c          flour
1/2c      sugar
2tbs      baking powder
3/4tsp  salt
1 1/2     stick butter (yup) COLD and cut up into small pieces
1c          heavy cream + 1/3c heavy cream for basting
1            egg, beaten (optional – add if you like a fluffier consistency but I prefer the more shortbread-cookie consistency)
1/2c      buttermilk
zest of one lemon (for inside the shortcake) + zest of 1/2 lemon (to top the shortcake)
dusting sugar (Gllllittteerrrr! Or, what I call glitter from the William’s Sonoma sugar collection)

For bourbon whipped cream:
Note: I have one rule about adding alcohol into recipes. Whatever you think is enough: double it. This is already doubled so if you prefer less of a bourbon flavor or no bourbon flavor, you can half the bourbon. Or zero it out (but then everyone will cry and be sad that you made your whipped cream no fun).
1c          heavy whipping cream
2tbs      powdered sugar (or more if you like things sweeter)
3 tbs     Bulleit Bourbon

For cream cheese frosting:
4 oz      (1/2 of the small containers) cream cheese
1/4c      sugar (or more if you like things sweeter)

First, make magic with strawberries (aka “macerate)

Cut up strawberries into slices (they’ll lay better when you put together the shortcake), mix in sugar. Leave in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to macerate. Maceration is a process whereby the added sugar draws out liquids from the strawberries and softens the fruit. And it’s a fun word to say. Maaaa’-ser-ate!

IMG_6015

Look at me! Maceratin' and stuff.

Look at me! Maceratin’ and stuff.

Then, make sum shortcakes…

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the cut up butter with your fingers until the mix resembles a flaky consistency like oatmeal. Here are some pictures of that…

Keep the butter COLD so it's flaky in the dough. Flaky butter = flaky shortcake!

Keep the butter COLD so it’s flaky in the dough. Flaky butter = flaky shortcake!

Mix until it looks like oatmeal! Your fingers will be nice and buttery/floury.

Mix until it looks like oatmeal! Your fingers will be nice and buttery/floury.

Next, add in buttermilk, 1 cup cream, zest of 1 lemon and (optional!) egg. Mix until incorporated, but do not overmix, as you’re trying to keep all that buttery flaky goodness intact. Chill for about 30 minutes so that it’s easy to handle. Now you’re going to “roll” out the dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a heavily floured surface. I don’t actually roll, rather, I kind of smoosh and spread it into 1/2 inch thickness. Use a heavily floured biscuit cutter to shape each biscuit. Then, using a silicone basting brush, baste with the remaining 1/3 cup of cream. Lastly, sprinkle with remaining zest of 1/2 lemon and glitter. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown on top.

Here are some fancy pictures of those steps.

IMG_6011

Everything must be heavily floured because this shiz is stickaaay!

IMG_6012

Zested, glittered, and ready to go in the oven!

While baking, make cream cheese frosting & bourbon whipped cream

Cream cheese frosting – this one’s easy. Microwave cream cheese for 10 seconds to soften. Mix in sugar. Taste and add in sugar to desired amount. Then probably taste some more.

Bourbon whipped cream – also easy! Using an electric mixer, beat cream and powdered sugar on HIGH until soft peaks form and whipped cream holds to the beater. Basically, until it looks like whipped cream. BE CAREFUL. Beat on high, but watch the mixer. Over beating separates the liquids from the fats and creates butter, which is delicious, but not what we’re going for here. Gently mix in the bourbon and (optional) more powdered sugar to taste. After adding the bourbon you may need to mix on high a few seconds longer.

IMG_6009

Soft peaks will form and whipped cream will hold to beater when ready

Soft peaks will form and whipped cream will hold to beater when ready

Assembly

Finally – the assembly! Cut the shortcake in half, spread on cream cheese frosting, arrange strawberries flat, add the other shortcake, more strawberries, whipped cream, drizzle some strawberry juice on top. I mean you know how to do this, right?

IMG_6018IMG_6019

Now sit back and enjoy the compliments you will receive from your family & friends for this delicious little treat! And don’t forget – call your mom and thank her for all the things she taught you while you were young.

Strawberry Shortcake