Candied Brazil Nut Ice Cream
"Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day and I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities."-- Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States (1981-89)
It's official: eating ice cream for the entire month of July is nothing less than your civic duty. And what better way to honor the Gipper's delicious decree on its 25th anniversary than by holding a social media social event. So get ready to dish out some cold creaminess - it's time for an Ice Cream Social!
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)Before there were Internet tweets, there were ice cream treats and before Facebook, Foodbuzz and the blogosphere, the coolest social networking on the planet were parties featuring those frozen concoctions of milk, cream and sugar. Ice cream socials were, and still are, held by communities all over the country, bringing their members together to cool off from the summer heat in a fun and tasty way. Well hey, we're a community, too!
So, I'm joining Scott at ScottySnacks and Jennifer at Savorthethyme to invite you to blog, tweet and e-mail your best ice cream creations to us throughout July. We'll post a round-up of your creative, chilled concoctions at the end of the month, leaving plenty of summertime to enjoy making and eating the frosty treats.
Of course, there is a cherry on top of this sundae: you'll also have a chance to win some surprizes. Don't worry, my spellcheck still works - we're just keeping these rewards under wraps for now but you won't be disappointed. So get a firm grip on the ice cream scoop, power up your laptop, cellphone, camera or video, and dazzle us with some clever confections.
Have a great homemade recipe? Did you visit a favorite ice cream shop or a unique local dairy/creamery? Anywhere and any way you've recently indulged in ice cream ecstasy, let us know; entries can be a blog post, a vlog, video, or just a photograph!
Many thanks to OysterCulture, who noted that our contest rules needed some clarification regarding WHAT qualifies as an entry and in what FORMAT they can be. So, I have made revisions to the rules below (changes indicated in purple):
Entries may feature any kind of frozen dessert including ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelatos and any international variations, such as halo-halo, kulfi or ais kacang. If you have any questions or are uncertain about what may qualify, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification!
1) Post about your frozen dessert creation on your blog, linking back to ScottySnacks, Savorthethyme and Tangled Noodle. Then send us a link and photo of your post! We welcome any posts that were published before the start of our challenge.
You also don't need to actually make a frozen dessert yourself! Please feel free to take a photo or video of something that you've enjoyed recently and send it to us.
2) No blog? No problem! Send us a photo, video or vlog of your entry telling us what, where and when it was taken. Provide a URL, if applicable (a still shot or capture would be great, too).
3) International entries are encouraged but due to some limitations, some prizes may not be available.
4) EMAIL YOUR ENTRIES TO: email@example.com. Please include your name and e-mail address so that we may contact you should you win a prize. Enter as many times as you wish!
Deadline is Friday July 31, 2009
Since this is a Social Media Ice Cream Social, feel free to show us some sweet tweet love. Tweet about this challenge using #icsocial (@savorthethyme @scottysnacks @tanglednoodle)!
Let's Get This Party Started!
To kick things off, I proudly offer the Noodle household's first batch of homemade ice cream for the summer! A short while ago, Sam from Oh!Nuts offered to send me a sampling of the company's products and invited me to choose from their selection of nuts and dried fruits. It didn't take long to find what I wanted . . . Brazil nuts.
The childhood memory is vivid and indelible: my sisters and I, grappling and clawing for the solitary Brazil nut packed in the cans of Planters mixed nuts that our parents so rarely bought. Like the surprise toy in a box of Cracker Jacks or Frosted Flakes, that precious prize went to the sister with the fastest grasp or the sharpest elbow. Fighting for that golden nugget taught us skills that would make any Ultimate Fighter tremble (though biting, eye-gouging and hair-pulling are probably not UFC-sanctioned). Even as an adult, I don't get to indulge in Brazil nuts very often, so if you dare try to snitch one, this Filipina will unstrap her MannyPac on your presumptuous a**!
Fortunately, Sam sent a whole bag of these giant seeds (many thanks, Oh!Nuts) so I had more than enough to use for our chilled concoction. Since my ice cream maker has been in hibernation for quite some time, I decided to start off with an easy vanilla ice cream base and fill it with candied nuts. This is the beginning of a very sweet summer . . .
Candied Brazil Nut Ice Cream
One of my earlier posts, Sweetly Spiced Chipotle Almonds, provided the template for the sugared Brazil nuts; I substituted instant coffee for the chipotle, giving the nuts a unique, earthy flavor that went well with the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream base. For that, I found a simple, egg-less vanilla ice cream recipe from Southern Living magazine. The flavor was delicious although the texture was not as rich and creamy as a custard-based recipe. Feel free to use your favorite ice cream recipe!
Candied Brazil Nuts
(Yields approx. 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (8 teaspoons) water
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
pinch of salt
8 ounces Brazil nuts, chopped to peanut-size
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat;
2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, mix together all ingredients except nuts. Stir until mixture comes to a gentle simmer and sugar dissolves completely;
3. Add the Brazil nuts and mix well so that they are completely covered in the sugar mixture. Continue to stir constantly until most of the moisture has evaporated and the nuts are well-coated;
4. Immediately pour nuts onto the baking sheet, spreading them out evenly. Toast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, watching carefully so that the nuts do not burn. Stir them around to ensure even toasting;
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
No-Cook Vanilla Ice Cream
(from Southern Living Magazine)
Equipment: electric ice cream maker
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
5 oz evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsps sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes;
2. Pour mixture into ice cream maker bowl and prepare according to machine instructions (mine took about 30 minutes);
3. Immediately transfer ice cream into a plastic container and add 1/2 cup of nuts at a time, until desired amount reached and mixing well in between;
4. Cover tightly and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up.
Now go and get your scoop on!