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Any time's a good time for ice cream
Now that the weather has turned frosty, the chill nipping at our noses, what would go down better than a big bowl of... ice cream?
"It's cream and sugar. How can you say no to that any time of year?" said Karin Hung of blog 52scoops.com.
Hung, a planner at Burnaby city hall, will be leading a workshop on making ice cream at the Tommy Douglas library branch on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m.
She'll be drawing on her experience with the blog, in which she writes about her quest to develop 52 artisan ice cream recipes, one for each week of the year.
Currently on week No. 45, Hung's recipes have ranged from apple pie and beet-and-orange ice cream, to Hungarian chestnut and sweet potato-and-Kahlua varieties.
An admitted foodie, the Vancouver resident has always loved cooking and ice cream and started experimenting after she bought her own ice cream maker. She started out playing with existing recipes and making them her own and now is able to try just about anything.
Her recipes always use local, in-season ingredients. Peas and mint ice cream in the spring anyone?
Or for something different, how about maple chocolate bacon ice cream?
Friends, family and co-workers have even started giving her items to incorporate. Her boss, for instance, appears to have a tropical "microclimate" in his office and backyard which produced the Meyer lemons and Calamondin oranges (similar to a kumquat) she worked into recipes last March.
After she and her official taster, her husband, taste the end product, Hung says she'll often give the rest to whoever donated the ingredients in the first place.
As for why go to the trouble of making your own, Hung said that commercial products are often full of cheap alternatives to natural ingredients.
"Instead of using real cream, real milk, real eggs, it's full of oils, chemicals and additives," she said. "I think really that's the key message, you know exactly what's going into your food."
Quality ice cream is also much cheaper to make yourself, $2 or $3 per litre compared to $8 to $9 per pint for gourmet brands using similar ingredients.
"It's very easy. It's four base ingredients. You can cook a custard in like, 10 minutes ... It takes less than 10 minutes to churn it." Then all that's left is the freezing time.
Hung has had the occasional recipe that didn't turn out a winner. An egg-free, dairy-free version of her caramelized pineapple ice cream ended up with a texture that wasn't as smooth and creamy as a typical recipe, "and it had a bit of chewiness to it."
And what has Hung learned from the past 10 months of her blog?
"I've learned you really need to kick up the exercise," she said with a laugh. "We're making ice cream once a week, we're definitely eating more treats than you normally might, than I normally might."
• Karin Hung's Ice Cream Making workshop is at the Tommy Douglas library branch, 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 6 to 7:15 p.m. She'll demonstrate how to make the frozen treat both with a machine and by hand. Free but registration is limited. Register: email@example.com or 604-570-3623.