Sometimes I find myself shocked at how fast time flies. Whenever I have an idle moment, my thoughts begin to spin and tangle against each other. I begin thinking about the days, hours, and minutes that I have already spent– vivid scenes of the things I’ve done and conversations I’ve had with certain people that seem to linger in my mind; especially those I wish I could go back and change. I begin to wonder if I’ve done enough to make myself better and wiser as a person, or if maybe I’ve done the exact opposite of that. I wonder how I can turn myself into the person I want to be. I wonder about my future. And when I get tired of thinking about all the very serious stuff, I settle my racing mind with thoughts of special recipes to cook/bake for the next year.
(For the most part, I try really hard to keep myself busy so as not to be overwhelmed by all these thoughts.)
I honestly don’t know why I keep thinking about making desserts with Bailey’s Irish Cream in them for my New Year posts. I’m not promoting it, and neither is it my favourite liquor. But it just seems fitting somehow. In any case, I have no qualms in saying this ice cream was absolutely fantastic in every single way. Probably in my top three favourite ice creams I’ve ever made and eaten!
To break it down, first you get to come face to face with the gloriously creamy vanilla ice cream tinged with the scent and flavour of Irish cream. Each bite is a mixture of coldness and heat as the ice cream and liquor engage in a race down your throat. It’s a sensation that tingles the senses and reminds you that you’re alive and about to meet a brand new year, and that if anything, a new year means more chances to make the best out of life. And yourself.
Irish Cream Vanilla Ice Cream
adapted from Endless Simmer blog | Makes 1 liter ice cream
Before beginning the recipe, remember to chill your ice cream maker’s bowl as per manufacturer’s instructions.
2 cups cream, divided use
1 cup milk
½ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream or other brand of choice
1. Create an ice bath by filling a large roasting pan or casserole dish with ice water halfway up. In a medium-sized bowl, pour in 1 cup of cream and place the bowl into the ice bath. Place a strainer on top of the bowl. Set aside.
2. Into a saucepan over medium heat, add remaining 1 cup of cream, milk, sugar and salt. Stir mixture until sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles appear around the edge of the pan, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl then very slowly pour the slightly cooled cream mixture onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
4. Place the combined egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens (it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spatula/wooden spoon and hold a line when you run a finger through it, like so) and temperature on an instant read thermometer reads 175°F (79°C).
5. Remove pan from heat and strain custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Stir custard mixture to below 70°F (21°C) over ice bath. Add Bailey’s and stir to combine.
6. Transfer custard to refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
7. Remove chilled custard from refrigerator and transfer to your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
And here it is, the mixed feelings of excitement and anticipation that comes to me whenever the last day of the year creeps up. What things lie in wait for me this coming year? I have no idea but I am ready to find out! I know a lot of people who declare an approaching year to be their year. I’ve never done that because I want every year to hold something special. Here’s to hoping 2013 does indeed have a surprise in store for me!