August 2, 2013

Bear Essentials: Ice Cream
( + Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits )

The first sentence I wrote for this post was "Chocolate and Cinnamon want to be boyfriends, and I am all too happy to oblige."  

I didn't have a political motive for making them boyfriends.  The sentence just sounded cleaner than it would have if I'd used "boyfriend and girlfriend."  But as I looked at it I realized that it might sound opinionated, and that homophobic readers could be offended.  Then I spent some time thinking how nice it is when you find an unexpected benefit to something you were already doing.

I'm petty that way.

At this point, I had drifted reasonably far from the original point I'd been trying to make, which is that cinnamon and chocolate pair wonderfully together.

Logically-ordered storytelling is not my specialty.

But since I was already considering these things, and since my toenail polish wasn't going to dry any time soon anyway, I started to wonder why I had chosen "boyfriends" instead of "girlfriends."  

And the answer was quite simple: chocolate and cinnamon are boys.  Like how cats are girls and dogs are boys.  Or the letter "V" is clearly a lady letter while "H" is masculine.  But if chocolate is male, and cinnamon is male, then what foods are female?  Apricots?  Pistachios?  Monterey Jack?

None of them are.  Every food I could think of was clearly a man food.  Chicken breasts.  Turkish Delight.  Blueberry Pop-Tarts.  Men, each and every one.

And suddenly, instead of chocolate-cinnamon gelato with chocolate-covered toffee bits stirred in, I was thinking about the deeper meaning of this, and whether I consider food to be a man's field, and whether I secretly hate my own gender, and whether this is tied up with sexuality, and if so what is the symbolic significance of eating and would this all be different if I preferred the company of ladies?

And really, that was way too exhausting to delve into on a Friday afternoon.

I should have just eaten some gelato instead.  The cinnamon and chocolate are made for each other, and the periodic crunchy toffee bits take it over the top.  Take it from someone who knows: it's just too good for you to let yourself get distracted.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits
barely adapted from Dorie Greenspan 
in Bon Appetit 

Sugar  [ 1/2 cup ]
Cornstarch  [ 2 tablespoons ]
Cinnamon  [ 1 1/4 teaspoons ]
Salt  [ pinch ]
Whole Milk  [ 2 cups ]
Semisweet Chocolate  [ 5 ounces, finely chopped ]
Heavy Whipping Cream  [ 1/2 cup ]
Chocolate-Covered Toffee Candy  [ coarsely crushed, 1/3 cup ]

1.   In a heavy pot, whisk together Sugar, Cornstarch, Cinnamon and Salt.
2.   Whisking constantly, slowly add 1/4 cup of the Milk until Cornstarch has completely dissolved.
3.   Whisk in remaining 1 3/4 cups of the Milk.
4.   Turn on heat to Medium-High and whisk Mixture until it thickens and comes to a boil  [ about 6
         minutes ].
5.   Reduce heat to Medium; cook 1 minute, whisking periodically.
6.   Remove from heat.
7.   Add Chocolate to Mixture.  Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until fully melted.
8.   Pour Milk Mixture into a large bowl.
9.   Stir in Heavy Cream.
10.   Refrigerate mixture until fully chilled  [ at least 2 hours ].

11.    Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.  In the last minute of the freezing
            process, add Toffee.
12.   Scrape Gelato into a lidded container; place in freezer for at least 3 hours to harden.

Makes about 1 1/2 pints.

Other Frozen Treats:
 Cherry Stracciatella Ice Cream

Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream

Rhubarb Gelato

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