Yes you read that right…yamster as in yams+hamster. I combined a few of my favorite little things into one ice cream. And before you start thinking there are actual hamsters in my ice cream, there aren’t. I just liked the pun.
Hi pals! Happy Halloweekend! That’s what it is on campus. There is madness everywhere and an overwhelming amount of stress over costumes. Me? I’ll be a cowgirl, which is just my regular clothes. Yeah its a little overdone, but I’m not that kind of cowgirl.
One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is the food, but that’s obvious right? Besides the usual mashed potatoes (my grandma makes the absolute best ones) and the stuffing, I look forward to the sweet potato casserole every single year.
I had prejudged sweet potatoes as a kid, I always thought they were “yucky”. But when they are made into this amazing concoction, there is no reason not to go back for seconds (or thirds).
This casserole has a sweet potato layer topped with coconut, marshmallows and pecans in a delightfully sweet and crunchy side. I would verge to say it is more on the dessert side than part of dinner.
So, if it is like a dessert, why not make it an actual one? aka ice cream! When I told people I was making sweet potato ice cream, I got a lot of raised eyebrows. But I had a good feeling about this one, despite the doubt of others.
Experimental Procedure and Methods:
This was a pretty labor intensive flavor, so I waited to make it until my big exam had passed this week. First I started with roasting the potatoes to give them a rich, caramel taste. I also decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and make my salted butter pecans at the same time.
A word of advice to all of humankind, pecans bake quicker than you could ever imagine and by the time you smell them it is wayy too late. The first time, I ended up with what looked like blackened pecans, but when you would pick them up, they would disintegrate into dust. Luckily, I had some more and tried again, this time sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the oven to get them in the peak of perfection.
The ice cream itself came next. A basic cream and tempering process. But this time, I had my electronic thermometer and the custardization (I just made that word up), went much more smoothly. It takes the guesswork right out of if a custard is done or not. Our stove here really stinks at heating efficiently, so it took around 15 minutes for the custard to come up to temperature. Then I had to beat in the sweet potatoes and strain them out. Straining two sweet potatoes through a baby strainer is really hard, and eventually I got impatient and starting using my hands instead (they were clean I promise).
The stove problem arose again when I tried to toast the coconut. When toasting coconut, you can’t let the coconut just sit in the pan, you have to constantly keep it moving and tossing it. Well if you are the slightest bit clutzy and a single strand of cocnnut falls into the burner of the stove, it might set off the fire alarm. I was so nervous that the whole building was going to have to leave because of me, but thank goodness, the stove fan did its job.
Then a quick churn, fold and viola! Sweet potato casserole ice cream!
For all of you doubting Thomases out there reading this, you’ve gotta try it. It tastes exactly like the Thanksgiving favorite. Its got the creaminess with the slight crunch of a pecan or broiled marshmallow or coconut flake. This flavor is most definitely a scoopable flavor. Scoop it out and put it on some pie, cheesecake, or just straight into a bowl for some Sundae Sunday fun.
I would wholeheartedly encourage everyone to try this ice cream before writing it off as weird. Yeah it might not be the next vanilla, but it’s not unheard of. I didn’t go into the ice cream catacombs to come up with this flavor. The color itself should be enough to convince you to try a spoonful. It’s like a perfect fall orange. Not too mac-and-cheesy and not too neon-y. Just right.
Grab a spoon and dig in, I’d love to share with you!
Funny story, so I knew I wanted to have some leaves in the photos. And we have some really beautiful trees here (Villanova used to be an arboretum). So one morning, I very very nonchalantly went outside and picked up some leaves. I just prayed no one saw me and thought to themselves, “what kind of idiot is picking up leaves out there?”.
Do you remember that lab report I told you about? The one with the light corn syrup? Yeah well that’s back again. Round two with this super fun material! I find it really funny though because this week’s flavor has light corn syrup in it. How ironic is that?
Do you have time for a quick fun fact? Of course you do! When I was a kid, we had this big tree in our front yard that would turn beautiful colors in the fall. I remember being so enthralled by the leaves that I would go outside and make little bouquets for my mom out of them. She would always treasure them like I just gave her gold roses and put them in a vase. I would always get upset though when they would shrivel up and die shortly afterwards. It probably wasn’t until years later when I realized that the leaves are already dead when they fall off. RIP leaves, you are gorgeous while you lasted.
If you’ve got a spare second, why not subscribe to my blog? Or maybe my Instagram, Twitter of Facebook? Just think about it!
Either way, I won’t be have a new flavor this week, because my dear brother is getting married!!!! I wish them all the happiness in the world, because they are a perfect couple. Have a great week everyone, scoop ya later!