Cocoa Almonds and No-Churn Ice Cream

In some recent cyber-ramblings, I came across two recipes that I wanted to try. One would take two egg whites, and the other called for two egg yolks, so I took that as a sign that I should make them both last night. Both not only get two thumbs up, but make excellent templates for future variations.

Coca Crusted Almonds

Two Egg Whites

The two egg whites went into a recipe for Cocoa Roast Almonds that caught my eye came from the same website where I found the delicious and simple recipe for Steak #10, which was also covered in cocoa. However you feel about health food, the folks at Health-Bent clearly have some good ideas and know their cocoa. (For the record, it’s a health food website run by a pastry chef turned web designer.)

I don’t need to go into how to make them, since you can follow the same recipe I did, but I do need to say that these were very easy and very good, and I will not be surprised if I make them again soon. I made a large batch (and doubled the recipe – hence the two egg whites) to share at the office and to bring to a potluck, and I think they’ll be a hit.

I’ve roasted nuts before – toss ’em in oil, then toss with salt or spices and roast – but tossing these in egg whites and water before going to the cocoa meant that they developed a really satisfying crunchy crust to go with the slightly different crunch of the roast nuts. You know Jordan Almonds? Well, these aren’t like that, but they’re a baby step in that direction from the starting point of a raw almond.

In addition to being tasty and delightfully crunchy, I’m excited that these are a starting point for endlessly varied roast nuts. The cocoa-powdered sugar mixture was just the right level of sweetness, but I can think of no reason these wouldn’t be equally and differently delicious with dozens of other combinations. Savory, sweet…I will definitely be doing some experimenting.

Two Egg Yolks

Their whites baking on almonds in the oven, I turned to the egg yolks and put them into a too-good-to-be-true idea that I wanted to try out: Honey Cinnamon No-Churn Ice Cream. (Yes, it’s another health-food site, but this is really good! Trust me.) I have a small hand-crank ice cream maker that I got at Goodwill, and I love it, but it needs to be pre-chilled in my less-than-robust freezer for at least 36 hours, and then you do have to crank it while the ice cream’s freezing, and both of those things take planning.

So how does impulse-friendly ice cream work? Rather than starting with cream and churning in the air as it freezes, this recipe starts with whipped cream, so the air is in there to begin with. Pretty ingenious if you ask me, and pretty delicious. I started with a half-batch (two egg yolks!) and went with the recipe’s honey-cinnamon flavor concept.

It was very tasty, but as with the Cocoa Almonds, there is endless room for variations. The recipe lists a couple of suggestions for alternate flavorings, but I’m sure the sky’s the limit. On a future batch, I may also try the suggestion of adding a little liquor to make it a bit softer. It’s plenty scoopable as it is, but could be a little softer.

If I planned ahead, froze the ice cream maker cylinder, and then hand cranked, I would get a slightly more icecreamy result than this strategy produced, but I would also be a lot less likely to make ice cream. So I’m definitely calling this one a win.

Suggestions?

I’m looking forward to experimenting with some different flavor combinations from the starting points that these two recipes provide. Got any suggestions for me?

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