bittersweetbaker

Cardamom Affogato

In Ice cream on July 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm
From Summer 2013

I’ve been composing posts in my head since the beginning of February. The first was one to celebrate my blogoversary, now long past. Another was about my experience at the international music festival I finally placed into in March. The next related the stress the International Baccalaureate wreaks on its candidates, expressed my sadness at the closure of another school year, and come summer vacation, confided my tendency to fall swiftly in love with new cities. The topics seemed endless.

In my head, the words come naturally, the sentences flow. But now, as I’m finally attempting to write for my blog after months of writing in my mind, I’m struggling. The formality of sitting down with the intention of writing a post stamps out all ideas. And it certainly doesn’t help my writing rut when I haven’t baked anything worth sharing in months.

From Summer 2013

It was on a whim that I decided to bake again last month. I’d come home from school with a scratchy throat and all too exhausted from the stress of final exams.

I had a bungling return.

I dropped the measuring cup twice. I almost burnt the sugar while  studying, jolted back to reality only by its gurgling, then stubbed my toe on my way out. The unwashed after-dinner dishes in the sink and the thought of waiting for cold butter to warm almost deterred me. But as condensation formed on the butter wrapper, the kitchen called.

I can’t quite remember what I baked that day, but whatever it was that came out of the oven—though completely “un-blogsworthy”—helped me realize how much I had missed baking.

From Summer 2013

Now, I’m happily—finally—on vacation. While there are college applications to think about, summer work to be done, and assigned books to be read, I can spare time each week to bake, and with a little motivation, to blog regularly again.

This affogato is inspired by the Turkish coffee flavored with cardamom that is popular throughout the Middle East, but more directly by a little gelato shop we visited in D.C. I’m not fond of strong coffee, but I loved the affogato. The bitterness of the hot coffee is sharp at first, traveling in pinpricks up the sides of the tongue. But the cardamom ice cream is a juxtaposing cold and creamy, and leaves a coat of  sweetness in its wake—the perfect balance between bitter and sweet. Blended together, the cardamom and coffee become indistinguishable from one another. Together the two separate flavors form a fragrant, spiced, and exotic combination.

Fleur de Lait Cardamom Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz
Makes about about 3 cups

2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cardamom pods

Put the milk,  sugar, salt, and cardamom pods in a heavy saucepan, and warm over low heat. Once steaming, remove from heat and let the mixture steep for an hour. Pour the mixture through a sieve and discard cardamom pods.

Whisk the cold heavy cream and cornstarch together in a measuring cup until the cornstarch is dissolved, then stir this into the milk. (To avoid lumps of cornstarch, I usually mix a little of the cream into the cornstarch to make a smooth paste, then gradually add the rest of the cream).

Heat the cardamom-milk mixture, stirring frequently, until it begins to bubble up. Remove from the heat and stir for two minutes, then pour into a large bowl. Stir frequently for 5 minutes more, to release the steam and cool it down, then refrigerate the mixture for several hours or overnight. Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers’ instructions.

Assembly

Place a scoop of cardamom ice cream into a shallow glass. Pour a shot of espresso (brewed to your taste) over the ice cream. Serve immediately.

From Summer 2013
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  1. Your photos are gorgeous as always!

  2. That looks so good, I love how you used cardamom ice cream!
    Glad your back to blogging too, i probably need to start coming back as well!

  3. haha….wow that’s EXACTLY like me 🙂 I keep thinking of blog posts to write, but when it comes time to write it out, it’s a completely different experience (for some reason everyone sounds so much better in my head!). Sounds like you’ve had an exciting year though 😉

    I had affogato the first time this year- I’m not a huge coffee fan, so I’m still learning to take the bitterness of the coffee, I usually don’t add the whole shot though since that’s too bitter for me. Love the pairing with the cardamom ice cream!

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