Sam's Sundae

Matt was driving us back from San Diego when I asked him what I should say about this week’s post. Unbeknownst to him, I was transcribing as best I could as he talked. Here’s what I got: “What I would say, is that like, homemade ice cream is so good and it seems pretty easy to make—definitely easier than making a cake, and I don’t know why more people don’t do it. It actually is good.” 

And while I think this is a fairly accurate summary, I'm a little surprised he failed to mention that we didn't just make chocolate ice cream, we made Sam's sundae! Sam's sundae is something I've been wanting to attempt for at least a year now. The combination of chocolate ice cream, bergamot olive oil, sea salt, and whipped cream kept me up nights. What did it taste like? Was it, to put it in Matt-speak, actually good? And where does one get bergamot olive oil anyway? 
For a short time after reading about this sundae, I started looking into getting a bergamot tree for the backyard so that I could make my own bergamot olive oil (and also say things like, "My bergamot tree is lousy with bergamots!" But when I saw blood orange olive oil at the grocery store, I decided to just use that instead.

So with my citrus-y olive oil secured, all I really needed to do was make some chocolate ice cream and whip some cream.
This recipe is kind of asking you to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which it says lends a richer, darker chocolate taste, but at the same time, it also says that if you use regular cocoa powder, you're going to be OK. Well, I looked for Dutch-processed cocoa powder at a few stores and couldn't find it. No big deal, I figured. My ice cream will just be less chocolatey.
But then I skipped the step of sifting the regular cocoa powder so that when I went to strain the ice cream base, I was left with a lot of clumped-together cocoa powder on top of the strainer. Great, I thought. Now my ice cream is going to be vaguely chocolatey?
Nevertheless, I moved forward, chilling the base and then churning it via my ice-cream attachment. 
Do you remember the chocolate and vanilla twist soft-serve cone you got at the Dairy Isle following your little league softball game, no matter what, win or lose? Well, you can't find that cone on the east side of Los Angeles. Or rather, I can't seem to find it. (Tips, anyone?) But this chocolate ice cream was that chocolate portion of the twist cone from my childhood! It wasn't super chocolatey, but still definitely chocolate-flavored, kind of like chocolatey vanilla ice cream if that makes sense.
And as for Sam's sundae? I feel like I get it now. The olive oil and the ice cream together make for both a delicious flavor and also a satisfying, kind of luxurious texture. And with the added touch of salt and whipped cream, it's even more decadent and special.
Don't believe me? Well go ahead and make one yourself! Or you could go to Bi-Rite Creamery and get one. The choice is yours!
Chocolate Ice Cream slightly adapted via Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, measured then sifted
1 1/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the Base:
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of the sugar (6 tablespoons). Set aside.

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, combine the cocoa powder with the remaining sugar (6 tablespoons). Whisk in about 1/4 cup of the milk to make a paste, adding a little more of the milk as needed to make it smooth and uniform. (If you add the milk all at once, the cocoa will be lumpy.) Whisk in the remaining milk, the cream, and salt and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.

Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the ice cream:
Add the vanilla to the base and stir until blended.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you'll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.
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Matthew said...

sooooooo good. xoxo

Mary Anne said...

mmmmm! that actually looks good. weirdly, they also serve Sam's Sundae at Molly Moon's here in Seattle!

Sara in America said...

You're a mind reader. I have been bemoaning the disappearance of the soft-serve "twist" cone, as we called it in the Toronto suburbs. It seems like vanilla is all you can find these days. This looks fantastic!

Dan from Platter Talk said...

Nice job!! It's 7:00 in the morning here and all I want is a bowl of THAT. Looks perfect.

Sarah - Sugar Hit said...

I'm salivating! (is that gross?) this sounds so delicious.

Wee Photog said...

Where's the part about the olive oil and the salt? Sounds intriguing!

Kara said...

Chocolatey vanilla ice cream COMPLETELY makes sense. I could also hear every inflection of your transcription. Hilarious post! You crack me up!

Amelia Morris said...

HI there! So, there's not a super specific recipe for the sundae, but this is what I would do: a scoop or two of chocolate ice cream, a drizzle (about a teaspoon) of some kind of citrus-infused olive oil (Again, I used blood orange olive oil), a pinch of sea salt, and then a dollop of whipped cream. Et voila!! Sam's sundae!

Amelia Morris said...

Wha? Does Sam know?!

Rachel said...

I've been seriously pondering getting an ice cream maker recently and this might put me over the edge. especially the part about how easy it is. and i've got this bed, bath and beyond coupon just begging to be used.
last night i made a peach blueberry pie from scratch with peaches from our tree and it really could've used some homemade ice cream!

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Rachel!
You have a peach tree?! Wow, so many fruit trees to consider! :)

Alex Dumpfree said...

hmmmm..I'm always a die hard fan of ice-cream!!Chocolate vanilla ice-cream makes mouthwatering passion on me.May I add some nuts and fruits on it? For this quest I'm gonna try it myself soon.
Thanks Amelia for your cool post..:)

Ashley @ Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine said...

Yum! The flavor combo is so classy, it sounds fantastic!

Rachel said...

we do! and this year's lot was way better than last year's, so i have hope! (we also have the meyer lemon I think I've mentioned, as well as persimmons, avocado and apricot.) I've got to come up with something to do with the persimmons other than persimmon pudding.

comida italiana said...

Photos wonderful and the ice cream looks very good, congratulations!