The $60 Giveaway promotion I am running now (kindly sponsored by CSN) has set me pondering once again about the many kitchen desires I have... the list never seems to diminish. However,on the top spot of my wish-list is undoubtedly the Cuisinart powerful ice-cream maker-the model with a built in chilling motor. The only reason that is keeping me from procuring one lies in the limitation of my kitchen counter. I have always told myself, if I were able to somehow create space on my kitchen counter, I would get the ice-cream maker. Come to think of it, it is rather irrational really, for
1. I am not even a big ice cream fan.
2. I not a dairy product person.
I do enjoy the occasional scoop of good ice cream but I am not able to partake large quantities of it. Even when Singapore Airlines serves Haagan Daas on some of their flights, I would take only eat a quarter of it and that would be enough to satisfy me immensely. It is the same with Chocolates. You will never find me munching away at a whole bar of chocolate. A couple of good quality pralines or chocolate truffles would be sufficient to make me swoon with content. Hence I do not mind spending a little more for the really good item (I have sworn by Valrhona chocolates for many years now) for I know I won't eat alot.
So really, the ice-cream maker, in all good sense would most likely become a white elephant and ought to be the first item to be crossed out from my wish-list. However, there is something strangely invigorating about smooth round scoops of colourful ice-cream. It has the power to draw out the childish and girlish emotions from women of every given age and disposition. The appeal of food lies not only in its taste and flavours but very often, its pull on the visual and memory senses is so emotionally powerful that it defies all culinary logic.
During my recent trip to India 2 weeks ago, I came across a wildly popular bakery near the hotel where I was staying. Literally a hole in the wall, this very rustic bakery is constantly packed with people. I took some photos one evening at 9pm with my Black Berry phone. ( The photo quality is really not good but I would still like to share it here. Look at that Oven Kiln behind! Now, how would you control the temperature?)
The next morning, I went there early before the crowd started to build up. I bought 2 croissants, 1 muffin and a cookie all for S$0.35 (US$0.12). I had to stop myself from exclaiming 'so cheap!'. I ripped open the paper bag with eager hands and took my first bite of the muffin, expecting an epiphany of sorts but it didn't do anything for me.... :( It was coarse, somewhat dry and very different from the fine crumbed, rich buttery taste that I have become so used to. I was immediately reminded of my earlier experience at the Iranian cafe early this year. (I had brought back a pack of the famous Shrewsberry cookies for the office- it is still sitting in the cookie jar, untouched.) Seeing how these are flying of the shelves literally like hot cakes, I really wanted to be able to gush about it but its popularity was quite beyond my comprehension... I remember messaging L about it and he had told me that I have become spoilt by too much good food. I suppose I am and that we all are,compared to the people in India. Looking at the way they embrace these simple pastry, I have a feeling that these will always remain the best pastry for them even if fine pastries would become fashionable and accesible to them in future.
Well, back to my ice-cream. When I saw Wendy's Blueberry Yogurt Ice-cream, I had told her that I would make this soon but I do like to experiment with my food and instead of working with Wendy's recipe exactly, I tweaked a few things. Cherries are becoming cheaper by the day and I suspect at S$1.10/100g, it could be the same price as blueberries... Hence that is what I have decided to use. Also, since I am not much of a diary person, I decided to cut down the cream component and convert it to a sorbet - with equal parts of fruits and creamy yogurt. With an ice-cream machine, the icicles will be finer and the texture of the ice cream would be alot smoother. However, since I can only covet the ice-cream maker for now, I blend the half frozen slush in the blender twice. It is decent enough and for now this will have to do.
340g Cherries, pitted
360g Creamy plain Greek-Style yoghurt
150g Castor sugar
1tbsp Freshly squeezedd lemon juice
1. Blend cherries, yoghurt and sugar until smooth.
2. Add in lemon juice and kirsch.
3. Cling wrap the bowl and refrigerate over night.
4. Blend cold yoghurt mixture and freeze in a freeze proof container for 1 hour.
5. Take out half frozen mixture and blend it in the blender again. Return to freezer for another hour. Repeat blending.
6. Freeze in the freezer in a covered container until frozen.
7. Serve with fresh cherries and mint leaves.