The ingenuity and creativity of master sorbetero Ian Carandang of Sebastian’s Artisan Ice Cream cannot be questioned. We owe him many nonconventional ice cream flavors that also come with very wittily coined names.
Time and again his creations have graced this column, simply because they are too difficult to resist.
His paletas, popularly known as ice pops but in his ice cream shops are called “fruitsicles,” have caught my fancy, particularly the halo-halo variant.
The refreshing halo-halo ice pop has 10 flavors—langka, ube, pinipig, macapuno, kaong, saba, nata de coco, mongo, white bean, garbanzos. Each flavor is layered alternately three times, making some 30 layers in one popsicle!
It’s an architectural marvel, no kidding.
Getting this right was not an easy feat, said Carandang. The stick must touch each and every layer of the paleta, or else it will break apart.
After careful study, he was able to perfect the technique, but still with a slight snag.
It takes him three days to complete the process of making one pop. The time element does not matter to him, though. The product is well worth the trouble.
Carandang recently launched a collection of milkshakes and truffles bars (ice cream and rich fudge filling inside a crisp chocolate shell) in his outlets. He was also recently visited my kitchen to share his ice cream secrets.
Cream and milk—“They are the building blocks of ice cream. They serve as the canvas, the base to which you add flavor. Look for whole milk (not skim), and use good quality cream. The higher the fat content, the better.”
Sugar—Aside from being just a sweetener, it gives ice cream its viscosity and smooth texture, and prevents ice crystals from forming, said Carandang.
Egg yolks—A primary source of fat, the egg yolk acts as an emulsifier, giving richness and body to the ice cream.
Flavorings—“Because good ice cream is high in fat, the ideal ingredients to use are those with bold flavors (chocolate, coffee, peanut butter, etc.) so they shine through the richness of the ice cream and low temperatures (both of which reduce flavor). I prefer using natural flavors.”
What you will need
“A good freezer,” said Carandang. “Or better yet, a separate freezer. If ice cream melts and refreezes, it loses its smooth texture.”
“An ice cream machine. I actually prefer the old-fashioned churn (the one where you layer ice and salt around the container) over the freezer-bowl type machines, because it allows you to make multiple batches in a day. Consider investing in pricier machines as you get more serious about ice cream-making.”
Some of Carandang’s easy-to-do recipes:
Whipped Cream Ice Cream
This ice cream recipe is Philadelphia-style, meaning no eggs. There is no need to cook the base and it can go straight from the blender into the ice cream churn. With no egg yolks, this is a very light ice cream that works as an accompaniment to fresh fruit, Belgian waffles or anything you would traditionally serve with whipped cream. Makes 1 quart.
2 cups all-purpose cream
1 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
1 cup glucose
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine ingredients in a blender. Transfer to an ice cream machine and churn.
Freeze overnight in the freezer to ripen. Ripening improves the flavor of ice cream.
Serve with fresh berries, waffles or whatever dessert you pair with whipped cream.
Note: This is a good base to which you may add flavors like cocoa or coffee for variety.
Brown Hazelnut Butter
Ice Cream with
Cookie Butter Truffles
It is a decadent ice cream that combines several types of richness—browned butter, hazelnuts, cookie butter—all playing well together and in balance.
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
112.5 grams butter (1 stick)
1 cup hazelnuts, peeled
½ tsp salt
¾ cookie butter truffles, chopped (see recipe)
Under low-medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan. Add hazelnuts and salt. Cook hazelnuts until the butter is golden brown and there is a nice nutty aroma.
Watch the butter carefully at this stage, because it can go from browned to burned very quickly.
Place strainer over a double boiler. Pour butter through the strainer (including the little brown bits, those have the best flavor). Set aside hazelnuts.
In a double boiler, add cream, milk, sugar and egg yolks to the brown butter. Whisk to combine.
Cook ice cream base over medium heat, stirring constantly and slowly with a whisk until the mixture thickens.
Strain ice cream base. Set aside to cool.
When the base is cool, add to ice cream machine and churn. When ice cream is nearly done, add the hazelnuts and cookie butter truffles.
Allow ice cream to ripen overnight in freezer. Serve and enjoy.
To peel hazelnuts: Put hazelnuts on a baking tray. Roast in a 200º F oven until you smell their nutty flavor. Rub with a towel to remove the skin.
Note: Pecans may be used instead of hazelnuts to make a butter pecan ice cream.
There is a fine line between hazelnuts burnt or cooked to perfection. When the nutty smell becomes evident, turn off fire. It continues to cook after the heat is turned off.
Cookie Butter Truffles
¾ cup Lotus Biscoff cookie butter
¾ cup + 1/8 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp iodized salt
Mix all ingredients together using a hand mixer at medium low speed until well blended.
Pour into a cling wrap. Wrap tight. Freeze overnight until hard.
Chop roughly. Freeze again if not to be used right away, as it melts fast.
Pastillas de Leche Paletas
The dairy fat in the cream makes for a paleta that is creamy to the bite, similar to ice cream, but without having the need to churn it in a machine.
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
¾ cup condensed milk.
Fresh dayap peel
In a mixing bowl, combine cream, milk and condensed milk.
Add dayap zest to the mixture to give it just a hint—not so much that you can actually taste the dayap itself.
Strain mixture to remove dayap zest.
Pour into molds. Place popsicle sticks. Freeze overnight.
Immerse molds quickly in hot water for easy removal of pops.
Note: Other flavors such as coffee, chocolate, etc. may be used.