July 4th, 2011

Skiing, Steven's Pass

Summer of Ice Cream

Xbox has Summer of Arcade (I’m looking forward to Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet).

Ice cream flavors from my coworkersAnd I’m going to have a Summer of Ice Cream. Five years ago, I went for nearly two years making a different dessert every week. Those were good times. Anyways, what better way to celebrate having a new kitchen than to do another epic run at cooking.

It all started by reading Nathan Mhyrvold’s latest cookbook, Modernist Cuisine. Having only a fraction of the equipment limits my options, though I really enjoyed the parts about cryogenic cooking. My favorite so far… carbonated oranges. Next I found a blog from the The French Culinary Institute, which is just awesome. The primer on using liquid nitrogen in the kitchen is worth reading. And now I’ve researched dozens of ways to make ice cream. LN2 has a lot going for it.

Next up, I had to get some liquid nitrogen. I ended up calling the local Praxair store in Kirkland and they helped me buy a Dewar to store it. Now was the time to have fun. A few colleagues practiced with me freezing fruit, electronics, and things that just happened to be in my kitchen. That was put on display to the entire CLR team at an all-hands meeting last Monday.

With the fun just starting, it was onto ice cream. Over the past month, I’ve collected the list of favorite flavors from co-workers. The goal is to make each flavor. To kick things off, I used ingredients that were readily available in my kitchen – chocolate! First I made a La Nuit Noire (made by Guittard) ice cream. And then I made it again with fudge swirls made from Lever Du Soleil (another Guittard chocolate). I’m really happy with the results, and I’ll see what everyone thinks later today.

Making LN2 ice cream in my new kitchen