Panforte Ice Cream: a tale of two ice cream makers

There’s an ice cream store near my office, Emack and Bolio’s. I love ice cream. I adore it. That stuff drives me nuts. I went there every day at one point despite my coworkers poking fun at me for it. Even the staff know me pretty well and know what I tend to order. One day I came in and saw a new vegan flavor up on the board and was intrigued. I asked for a sample, and to my surprise, one of the staff members got all excited and rushed into the back to have me sample some of his experimental vegan batches. I was pretty honored that out of all the other customers they have, I was the one giving feedback and advice to the ice cream maker (chef?). Reality is, I was probably the only customer actually ordering vegan ice cream, since most people tend to run the other direction when the word vegan is put in front of an item.

I was blown away. I tried this one chocolate flavor that had the richest, creamiest texture, with no hint of coconut, despite the pounds of coconut cream shoved into that stuff. I went back to my desk and immediately started looking up recipes. Which all required ice cream makers. Whiiiiich are fairly bulky and expensive. As I’m moving to Los Angeles once I graduate in May, I don’t want to invest money in too many bulky items, so I quietly closed out of my 25 ice cream recipe tabs and added an ice cream maker to my amazon wish list along with the other $1000 worth of cooking equipment I want to get eventually. Ah well.

I lamented to my coworker, who used to go to culinary school before he dropped out. Turns out he had two ice cream makers and offered to give one to me. I opened those 25 tabs back up, removed the ice cream maker from my wish list, and started taking mental notes on what flavors I should make first.

Except my coworker didn’t actually bring in the ice cream maker for a week. And then another week. And then another. I complained about it to my friend who informed me her mom had a spare ice cream maker she could lend me. Oh yah. I took up that offer. No time for modesty when it comes to ice cream. She brought over the ice cream maker two weeks later. And, here comes the twist, so did my coworker. So in the span of two days, I went from no ice cream maker, to two. I have two ice cream makers now. Ok, sure, I’ll roll with it.

I purchased David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, and made a batch of ice cream a week later.

Cuisineart ICE-20

Cuisineart ICE-20

Panforte Ice Cream

Panforte is an Italian fruitcake. Not my favorite kind of cake, and probably not your favorite either. The recipe, however, looked delicious, so I decided this would be my first batch of ice cream. It’s got all those good warm winter spices, and as December just started, I figured it was a relevant choice. I also chose it because it’s not plain vanilla ice cream, but it wasn’t too complicated either (I’m always inclined to do challenging recipes with little experience- I’ve come to learn that’s not the greatest idea in the world).

The thing that surprised me most about this ice cream was how similar it is to eggnog. Seriously. I looked up the recipe for eggnog and it was almost identical to the custard base for this ice cream. That’s very ok by me, as eggnog is delicious, and more easily consumed as an ice cream than a drink IMO.

In addition to the ice cream, as per David Lebovitz’s recommendations, I candied some orange and lemon peel and roasted some almonds. He called for half an hour of a low boil in order for the peels to candy- until the temperature of the syrup went up to 230 F, however, it took me about an hour. Maybe my stove just isn’t as hot, or I made the temperature too low. It still came out delicious though.