Admittedly, I am quite terrible when it comes to romance. I giggle at all the serious parts, and when it gets really uncomfortable romantic, I can’t help but make a hilarious fart joke or something equally awesome juvenile. At my wedding, to break up all the awkward love/forever stuff, I made Nick give me a high-five right before the kiss part. I like to think that romantic overtures are his job, because he’s no good at it either, so when he fails I can cry and say it’s all his fault that we don’t sparkle. And then I throw up a little in my mouth.
But Nick has been away for three days, and he won’t be back until late this evening. And he won’t be all that hungry, but it’s been hot out. And our patio is quite lovely, and I thought that a little bit of ice cream would be very nice, maybe with a small aperitif or the fruity bottle of wine I bought yesterday. And raspberries are starting to be reasonable again, and I love them. So even though Nick doesn’t really like raspberries or even care about ice cream, he does inexplicably like me, so in the interest of a little quiet time and catching up, and in a half-assed jab at romance, I decided to make ice cream. With raspberries. But I added alcohol, so at least there’s a small chance he’ll be impressed. And whatever. He won’t eat much anyway, so I might as well make something I like.
I don’t have a churn or anything, and I do have the Cuisinart soft-serve machine but I haven’t had all that much success with it. But several years ago, I took a French cooking class where I learned how to make an easy stove-top ice cream, or “frozen souffle”, and this has proven to be very useful, especially when I want to be impressive but only feel like giving 60 or so percent. Which is pretty much always.
I’ve given the recipe from the class, though for my own purposes, I’ve adapted the recipe a bit, as the original recipe was for a frozen Grand Marnier souffle (and I only had Amaretto), and it didn’t contain any fruit. Also, I’ve found that the fruit falls to the bottom of this, so instead of putting it in ramekins, I put it into a large bowl and scoop it out once it’s frozen so I can control the fruit : cream ratio a bit better. Don’t bother adding the fruit, though – use it as a topping. MUCH easier to deal with later on: Because the fruit separates and I have the coldest freezer ever, the raspberries created a difficult (if delicious) ice shelf that I had to stab hard (several angry times) in order to penetrate it with a spoon. Mash up the fruit or make a sauce out of it. Way better.
Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier (or Amaretto, or whatever you like … I am going to try this with Irish whiskey and dark, juicy cherries once the right kind of cherries start popping up at roadside stands)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
Whisk first four ingredients in a medium bowl. Make sure the bowl will fit nicely over a saucepan. Place the bowl atop the pan, which will contain simmering water, of which there will not be so much that it touches the bottom of the bowl. Whisk this over medium heat for about ten minutes.
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Once the mixture on the stove is finished, fold it into the cream. Pour out into four ramekins, or, if you’re like me, a large bowl. Refrigerate for four hours before serving.
The recipe I have insists that you place the mixture into four ramekins fitted with aluminum foil “collars” – strips of foil around the inside, about six inches wide and folded lengthwise in half. As you may have noticed, I’m pretty lazy. I always skip that step, and it doesn’t seem to matter.
And so? Well, Nick was okay with the ice cream. He ate it, and that’s something, and he even said it was good, and he doesn’t usually lie to me. But instead of a heartfelt outpouring of his “I missed you, wife”-feelings, he was more, “oh, wow – you bought a lot of meat this weekend. I love meat!” and then he grabbed my boob. Which I took to mean, “you are the wind beneath my wings and also SUPER HOT – let’s go buy you a puppy.” I did buy a lot of meat this weekend, as we had finally run through the last of the previous meat haul, which I had bought well over two months ago. And he caught nine trout (did I mention Nick was fishing? Nick was fishing), so we have a whole bunch of plastic-wrapped fish carcasses (carcassi?) in a bag in the freezer.
I probably could have skipped the ice cream and just made him a meat sandwich. But you know that I really made the ice cream for me. And romance? I don’t really have a tidy conclusion to that topic. Maybe one day we’ll figure that one out. Or we’ll have affairs. But as long as our wine fridge and our meat freezer are stocked, I’m sure we’ll find ways to endure one another in the meantime.