This weekend we celebrated the birthday of one my very dear grad school friends. I am lucky enough to have made some amazing friends, who have made life in grad school a lot more pleasant 🙂 One of our traditions is to bake cakes for each other’s birthdays and we usually have a lot of fun picking recipes, cooking and then sharing the end result with the birthday person. Over the past almost 5 years, we’ve made quite a few cakes, so it’s been getting a bit more challenging to pick personalized recipes for each other. Luckily, this year, while we were trying to find a recipe, Deb posted a great Russian apple cake recipe on smittenkitchen. Since our friend happens to be Russian, we decided to make this cake for his birthday and serve it with some bourbon ice cream (it will probably come to no surprise that he appreciates alcohol as well :-)).
Finding a recipe for the ice cream was a bit challenging, since most recipes had milk powder as an ingredient. I’ve never used milk powder and it didn’t cross my mind that I would need it for the ice cream, so I only purchased eggs, milk and cream for it. By the time I saw the milk powder in the recipes, I was already inside my warm apartment unwilling to venture out in the cold snowy Chicago wind to buy it. I knew there must be a way of making the ice cream without it, and there is :-). I ended up using the milk powder-free recipe from here.
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream (I used Organic Valley)
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk (some recipes call for half-half)
- 7 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
Whisk egg mixture into the cream mixture and return to the stove. Cook on medium heat until it thickens. The custard should be thicker than the cream, cover the back of the spoon and not run easily. Mine started to boil before it got thick enough.
Let the mixture ripen in the fridge overnight. It tasted pretty alcoholic before refrigerating it, but by the next day the alcohol taste had diminished to give it a much smoother flavor.
Remove from the fridge and process in an ice-cream maker for ~20 minutes. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can find a friend who has one (which is what I did :-)) or just put it in the freezer and mix it with an electric mixer every 30 minutes to prevent ice chunks from forming. Since the alcohol doesn’t freeze, this should be an easy ice cream to make without an ice cream maker 😉 If using an ice cream maker, remove the ice cream from the bowl and freeze in a separate container until ready to serve.
Everyone enjoyed the ice cream and there were some requests for more alcohol next time. I will have to investigate how much more alcohol I can add without sacrificing the consistency of the ice cream 😉
The cake was a hit as well and I may have heard my friend say it had the “taste of childhood”. I think we picked the right cake, if I may say so 🙂