Last week as I was walking up the subway steps I noticed someone wearing the EXACT same pants I was. I’d like to believe I rocked them better. First, I wasn’t wearing a belt. I was wearing a ribbon from one of my dresses and had this side bow situation going. I accessorized with earrings and a necklace, which almost resembled a Goth chandelier.
Plus I was wearing kick ass peep toe heels. And she was… Just wearing pants. I’d like to believe that in a side by side comparison I would get a 90% vote, which would confirm, I rocked those pants better.
Wanna know what else I rocked better? – This carrot cake ice cream situation. Yup, yup – I rocked this ice cream better. I’m not even going to pretend to be modest. I don’t like pretending. I’m no good at it. When something is good, it’s good – And I want you to know about it.
OK – So you know me and my flavor situations? I love flavor. I hate bland things. If I wanted something bland I’d live in black and white. We’re living in color today.
We’re living in orange.
I took one look at a carrot and thought – I’m going to turn this into ice cream. But not just ANY ice cream. I wanted it to taste like carrot cake, without one slice of cake – Or cake pieces. Eff the cake pieces, I’m not turning on the oven.
Carrot Cake ice cream was a concept which lingered in my head for weeks. Much like anything in my head it had to get out or I would explode. So I took that jammy apart and put it back together.
What does it take to make a bangin’ carrot cake? Carrots. I used the same concept as my sweet potato pie and made a flavored carrot puree; however, instead of softening carrots in water like many would do, I infused flavor into them – Spices, orange peel, a little milk and sugar.
This was cooked down until the carrots softened enough to puree them. I allowed it to steep a bit, ’cause that’s how I roll. I then proceeded with my custard situation.
And what is carrot cake without cream cheese? It’s not right. BOOM. A cream cheese whipped cream with a bit of vanilla bean paste on top. And what is carrot cake with cream cheese, but no nuts? It’s a boring situation. So I added candied walnuts too.
Yes, this ice cream is a bit labor intensive. It will take some extra time to put together, some waiting. I get it – What you really want is to be done with it. You want it easy. I dig what you’re feeling. But I’m here to tell you, homies – The Devil is in the details.
That is why in a side by side comparison I rocked my pants better. I took the time to accessorize, pair it with some nice earrings and super high heels. And that is what you’re doing with this carrot cake ice cream. Adding earrings and some bangin’ heels – A bow – So in that side by side, you rock the 90% while that other carrot ice cream rocks the 10%.
And let’s be real, homeslice… You’re gonna want that 90.
For the carrot puree
- 2 heaping cups carrot slices from about 6 medium carrots
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 strips of orange peel
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
For the ice cream base
- Carrot puree should be about 1 1/3 cup
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ light brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons condensed milk
- 5 egg yolks
For the whipped cream cheese topping
- 6 ounces of cream cheese cold
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- splash of vanilla extract
- ¼ cup heavy cream
For the candied walnuts
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Splash of vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- Make the carrot puree:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the carrot slices whole milk, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, orange peel, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender.
- Transfer the carrot mixture to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Scoop out every bit of the puree, transfer to small a bowl and set aside. You should have about 1 1/3 cups of carrot puree.
- Make the ice cream base:
- To a medium saucepan, add the carrot puree, whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and condensed milk. Cook over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture has simmered, turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the spices as needed. Cover and allow the mixture to steep for about an hour.
- When the mixture has steeped long enough - Prepare a large bowl with ice water, a bowl large enough to hold a smaller bowl with your egg custard. Separate your egg yolks into the bowl. Add the steeped carrot base to the egg yolks, stirring until completely incorporated. Add the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium/low heat, stirring THE ENTIRE TIME until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Pour the mixture in a bowl lined with the strainer, nestled in the ice water bowl and allow the mixture to cool completely, stirring every once in a while. Once the mixture has cooled, you can allow the mixture to steep overnight in the refrigerator or you can freeze right away. As your custard cools, make the cream cheese whipped topping.
- Make the whipped cream cheese topping:
- In a bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract. Begin mixing over low speed until the confectioners' sugar is somewhat incorporated.
- Increase the speed to high and whip until combined and mixture is smooth. Stop and scrape the mixer. Continue whipping on high and add the heavy cream in a slow stream, to allow the whip cream to thicken.
- Whip until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Stop the mixer. Add the cheesecake mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star or round tip. A ziplock bag works here too. Be sure to snip the end of the ziplock bag. Place in the fridge until ready to use While the cheesecake chills, make the candied walnuts.
- Make the candied walnuts:
- In a medium skillet and the butter and melt slightly. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, followed by the walnuts. Cook over medium heat stirring the mixture frequently to ensure your walnuts do not burn. When the sugar begins to melt, stir quickly to make sure your walnuts are completely coated with the sugar mixture.
- Transfer the walnuts to a sheet of parchment; allow the walnuts to cool for a few seconds and then separating the nuts. You can fold the parchment in half and have at it with a rolling pin, or you can do this with your hands. Once the nuts have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container until ready to use.
- Assemble this bad boy:
- Get an ice cream bowl. Big, small – Don’t matter. Scoop ice cream into your bowl; add a swirl, or small dollop of cream cheese whipped topping. Finally top this jammy with candied walnuts. Go in on that.