Sunday, September 18, 2011

When "Strange" Goes to "Weird"

Bon Appetit in all of its wisdom arrived the other day. One article concerned itself with making show-stopping desserts. Among the various notations for such as a Tangerine Souffle with Citrus Coulis or a Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Praline Chcolate Crunch lurked a Buttered-Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae. (page 115,

It's put together like this: bottom of goblet, caramel sauce. next layer, buttered-popcorn ice cream. Top layer a peanut butter-chocolate halvah onto the ice cream. Garnish with a dab of whipped cream, buttered (real) popcorn and salted, roasted peanuts.

The prose? "This dessert playfully layers complex textures from crisp and airy to sticky, creamy and smooth." Yes, well....

2 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 T melted sweet butter
1 teas. kosher salt, divided
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 T sugar, divided
8 large egg yolks

Start by putting a strainer in a big bowl and then set it aside. (If only one could quit right here.)

Put the popcorn in a different bowl, butter it and toss it adding 1/2 teas. salt.

Add the milk and cream, cover the bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then stir in the corn syrup and 1 T sugar. Work in batches and put it through a blender until smooth. Put your batches in a large saucepan and bring it to a simmer.

Take another bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks, 4 T sugar and 1/2 teas. salt until it forms a thick ribbon. Gradually whisk the hot popcorn sauce into the yolk mixture.

Back to the fire, cooking over medium heat and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard is slightly thickened or an instant-read thermometer reads 175 degrees.

Put it through the strainer (see Step 1) and chill overnight. Process in an ice cream maker and store. Ice cream can be made two days before use.

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just nuke a quart of popcorn, butter it and toss it and throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream over the whole thing? I mean if you were hellbent to have popcorn-flavored ice cream, that is.

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