Got given The Perfect Scoop back in July (for my birthday), yes, I asked for it. But on some level I like to think that perhaps my Mum was dropping some hints for when she next visits!
David Lebovitz is a fantastic chef, this is the only book of his that I own but I’ve drooled over several others of his. I am glad that this is the first one I gained though, it has so many wonderful recipes in it that I spent days just idly flipping through the pages, day-dreaming about what I could do with some of the recipes.
Finally, the occasion came when I could make something special from the book, it was time to stop drooling and day dreaming and get to cooking! While there are many recipes that I’m dying to try I had to pick the right recipe for the party. A couple of pregnant guests meant no alcohol, kids meant nothing too fancy.. time and budget played a factor too.
After much deliberation we both went “ooooh” at the butterscotch pecan so it was settled. The “perfect paring” at the bottom of the recipe suggested blondie sundaes, layering the ice cream with blondies (recipe in the book) and a hot fudge sauce.. We didn’t have the time for blondies, but a hot fudge sauce, that was a definite possibility.
First up was the ice cream base, very similar to a generic base, the brown sugar and butter adds the butterscotch flavour that really shines once the mix becomes frozen. The recipe contains a tablespoon of scotch whiskey but I left that out with no ill effects.
The butter and sugar are melted together with the salt, 250ml of cream and all the milk is added and cooked until warm. Tempered over the yolks the mixture is cooked to a coating consistency. It’s then strained into a bowl and the rest of cream is stirred in along with the vanilla (and the scotch). Cover with cling wrap (pressed onto the surface so no skin forms) and chill.
While that’s chilling you can make the buttered pecans. The recipe in the book made about twice the amount of pecans that I wanted to add, though that is down to personal preference.Melt some butter in the pan and toss the pecans in it until they’re all coated. Add the coarse salt and toss. Lay out on a lined tray and toast at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Pull out and leave to cool. Chop coarsely when they’re cold.
When the ice cream is churning the nuts can be added in the last few minutes. Pour into a freezable container and freeze overnight at least.
While that’s freezing away you can make the hot sauce. Actually you can make it whenever you like, it’ll keep in the fridge (in an airtight container) for two weeks, to be reheated as desired in the microwave or in a pan – gently in both cases.
I tasted this sauce and declared to the world that I had died and gone to heaven… I liked it.. quite a bit! It’s nice and easy too!
The cream, brown sugar, cocoa powder and corn syrup are put in a pan and melted together. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, butter and vanilla until smooth.. Try not to lick the entire pan clean.
I have to say, the hot fudge and the butterscotch pecan worked together beautifully, not just the hot and cold, but the bitter sweetness of the sauce against the buttery goodness of the ice cream. Heaven in a bowl!
Recipes – From David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop
Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream
Yields just over 1qt
170g Brown Sugar
1/2tsp Coarse Salt
500ml Heavy Cream
180ml Whole Milk
6 Egg Yolks
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
1tbsp Scotch Whiskey (optional)
I found half of this adequate for that quantity of ice cream
150g Pecan Halves
1/4tsp Coarse Salt
180ml Heavy Cream
60g Dark Brown Sugar
25g Dutch Processed Cocoa
125ml Light Corn Syrup
170g Bittersweet Chocolate – chopped
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract