This past Thursday was my husband's birthday and he told me that all he wanted from me was a German chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. Of course I wanted to do that for him but I was worried that with my new job and weird hours that it might not be possible. When the schedule was posted for that week I was pleased to see that I was scheduled to have the day of my husbands birthday off. I was so excited and instantly started scheming up a plan on how to surprise him with the cake and ice cream.
I found out that I was off on that particular day because it was the ribbon cutting ceremony for work. This, once again, worked out perfectly. I attended the ceremony during the lunch hour when my husband would be home from work and then returned home after I knew he would be back at work. I churned the ice cream and made the cake and got them done just in time for him to walk in the door. We then went out to dinner with his parents then went back to my house to hang out. I brought my husband out a plate with the cake and ice cream and he was so surprised. It totally made my day that I was able to keep my trap shut and actually surprise him. I did not get any pictures of the cake but I used the Baking Illustrated recipe and the cake was fantastic.
This ice cream was fantastic. Steeping the vanilla bean into the cream really lets the smell and taste of the vanilla shine through. This was the perfect vanilla ice cream recipe and paired wonderfully with the German Chocolate Cake.
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Vanilla Ice Cream
Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, page 24
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl. whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions.