Thursday, April 15, 2010

Avocado ice cream (aka green dinner part 2) ... and discussion on avocado smoothies

This is more of a concept post than a recipe, since unfortunately, I lost my notes that had the measurements I used written out! Argh! I guess it's okay, cause the concept is great, but the recipe itself had room for improvement.

**** UPDATE - 4/20/10 - I have found my notes! Here's the actual quantities I used on this ice cream:
3 avocados
2/3 c. cream
1/3 plus 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. milk
juice of 1/2 lime
*** end of update

The concept is based on another dessert I was recently introduced to: the avocado smoothie. Lisa and Tin made some at their Tet celebration, and reminisced about having a lot of them while they were in Vietnam, where they're quite popular. They had a recipe from the internet that was something like this:

1 ripe avocado
1 cup ice
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
directions: combine and blend. Serves 2.

At home, I've been making them and attempting to make them delicious but a bit less calorific... something more applicable to breakfast or snack time. So roughly, I've been making them like this:

1/2 an avocado
juice of 1/2 a lime
20 ozs of soy milk
2-4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
handful ice
directions: combine and blend. Serves 2.

Something about the combo of sweetened condensed milk and avocado is just amazing. So I decided to try it as an ice cream. The goal was to make it even a little richer than the original smoothie since it's for dessert. I also had some leftover sweetened condensed milk from the smoothies, so even if I had the exact portions I used, they would be not very round numbers. In the end it was something like this:

3 avocados
1 and 1/3 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
juice of 1 lime

1. Blend until completely smooth in a blender or food processor.
2. Chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or until the mixture is near your fridge temperature (~40 degrees)
3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions.

The analysis - the ice cream was incredibly smooth, rich, and delicious, but could be improved upon in two ways. One, it was richer than necessary, so I would probably omit the cream next time and add a little more milk (again, I'm not sure the above ingredient list is exactly what I did). Second, while it was great right out of the ice cream maker, it froze as solid as a rock overnight. Homemade ice creams tend to do this more than store bought ones because they don't contain artificial stabilizers, but you can minimize rock-hard-ness by adding hygroscopic sugars. Hygroscopic substances attract water molecules, making the whole mixture more fluid. Corn syrup is actually a very hygroscopic form of sugar, so I think I would try adding just a small amount next time... I don't think it would make it too sweet. The alternative, which is perfectly acceptable in my book, is just to take the ice cream out 20 min. before you're ready to eat it. And lastly, while it looked very pretty with the slices of pineapple, I think it's actually best just on its own!

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