Goat Cheese, Vanilla Bean, Honey and Lavender Ice Cream
I had a real blast this week end! Honestly, the race was edge of your seat, non-stop crazy action packed and I was lucky enough to have incredibly AMAZING seats.
I had a BLAST and I yelled and cheered so much that my throat was a tad sore by the end of the day.
Unfortunately, it was not to be given a break anytime soon… I asked just as much of it, if not more, the following day at the amusement park.
Think I’m a wimp?
Well, imagine being tied to a body harness and reaching speeds of about 130 km/h after being launched from an arch that’s just shy of 173 feet high…
Scary, I tell you! I can’t help but scream at the top of my lungs every single time the “drop” happens. It’s such an incredible feeling! I figure it must be the next best thing to parachute jumping, which I am seriously considering doing soon. What a unimaginable thrill this must be.
But anyway, back to my week-end… One thing I had a real hard time dealing with is the incredible intensity with which my senses got solicited by junk food.
That’s basically ALL there is to eat.
Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, there is junk food. Greasy hamburgers, hot-dogs, avalanches of french fries all dressed up in fat laden gravy and super salty cheese curd, cheap, poor excuses for pizza, fresh, home made potato chips, topped with your choice of seasoning, candy shops, ice cream galore, which comes in all sorts of shapes, forms and sizes, drenched in tens of different choices of thick, sugary syrups, topped with candy and other goodies, warm, straight out of the fryer donuts, sprinkled with marshmallows and drizzled with a warm nutella sauce, popsicles, creamsicles, Beaver Tails topped with your choice of ultra sweet toppings (oh, how I love those…)
I could go on and on…
It’s a junk food overload! You constantly either see it or smell it. All the time. It just never stops. If you’re not seeing it, you’re smelling it. If you’re not smelling it, you’re seeing it. And more often than not, it’s right there, in your face, mere inches from your mouth, eyes and nostrils.
There’s just no escaping it.
No matter how health conscious one is, it seems almost impossible to resist all those incessant triggers. Sooner of later, you just start craving SOMETHING. And the longer you stay, the harder it is to resist the temptation to stop at one of those booths and fall victim to your over stimulated senses.
To not buy ANYTHING all day is practically a miracle.
To not buy ANYTHING for 2 days straight, one almost has to be a saint!
But I did it. I survived 2 entire days without giving in.
Luckily, both sites allow visitors to bring their own food so at least I had plenty of good things to eat in my pack sack. Still. It was real hard to resist!
I sure wish there had been a booth offering this beautiful ice cream, though.
‘Cuz not only does this one look and TASTE extremely good, it’s also a MUCH healthier alternative.
Indeed, it contains nothing but wholesome ingredients that are good for you, namely buttermilk, Greek yogurt, whole eggs and soft GOAT CHEESE! A little bit of honey was added to lightly sweeten things up, as well as a few fresh vanilla beans and a handful of lavender flowers to provide this luscious dessert with a rich yet very delicate floral fragrance.
This is a gorgeous dessert that’s not overly sweet and has a nice tang to it thanks to the goat cheese and yogurt. It’s got the creamy texture of a soft serve, so you’ll want to eat it rather quickly, before it melts on you. Also, I strongly recommend that you eat it the same day you make it, as it tends to become extremely hard after an extended stay in the freezer. A great alternative is to preform ice cream scoops and place them on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. You then put the scoops in the freezer until they are completely set.
Oh, and if you really want to take it to the next level, you need to drizzle it a little bit of that gorgeous Pomegranate Agrodolce I created not so long ago.
Yes, that one again. No, I’m not obsessed.
Well, ok, maybe a little… but you see, they were just made to be together. In fact, this very ice cream was CREATED to go with the agrodolce.
That sweet vinegary syrup is so heavenly, who knows how many more creations it will inspire me… But you’re not complaining, are you?
And yeah, I know what some of you are thinking and you are quite right.
Even if they HAD had this ice cream at the amusement park, I couldn’t have had any, as my 30 day sugar free challenge isn’t over yet.
I guess it just makes it that much harder to resist. But hey, I’m going on 3 weeks now.
And you know what? I still have some of that ice cream in the freezer… and some of that agrodolce in the fridge.
Guess what I’m having on September first? 😉
Goat Cheese, Vanilla Bean, Honey and Lavender Ice Cream
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 whole eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup unpasteurized liquid honey
- 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
- 1 tbsp fresh lavender flowers, 4-5 buds
- ¼ tsp guar gum
- 1 full 500g container fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 150 g unripened soft goat cheese, crumbled
Spectacular but optional topping
- Pomegranate Agrodolce
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, honey, vanilla beans and seeds from vanilla beans as well as fresh lavender flowers and bring to a simmer over low heat. Without ever allowing the mixture to come to a boil, cook on a low simmer for about 5 minutes to infuse the flavors and cook the eggs.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle guar gum on top of egg mixture. Whisk vigorously until well incorporated and mixture starts to thicken to a heavy cream consistency, about 1 minute. Set aside and let cool for about an hour or until cold enough to be placed in the refrigerator. Whisk in plain yogurt and transfer to bowl with fitting lid, then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, preferably overnight.
- When buttermilk mixture is cold enough, pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove vanilla beans and lavender flowers.
- Delicately fold in goat cheese and blend to combine, no more.
- Transfer to ice cream churner and let the mixture turn until it sets, about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and put in the freezer to firm up, anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
- Ideally, you want to serve the ice cream at this point, as it will become rock solid if frozen for an extended length of time.
- If you don't intend on eating ice cream immediately, I recommend you preform ice cream scoops and place them on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Put the scoops in the freezer until they are completely set, at least 2-3 hours.
- Transfer pre-scooped ice cream to an airtight plastic container and keep frozen until ready to eat.
- Take this ice cream to a whole new level! Serve it with a drizzle of Pomegranate Agrodolce
Start with beautiful fresh ingredients
Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve
Add crumbled cheese
Churn, churn, churn
Check for doneness
Oh yeah, it’s done… transfer to freezer for a couple of hours
Wait a couple of hours and serve
Drizzle with Pomegranate Agrodolce
Enjoy, before it melts on you!