There’s so much coolness afoot in the Coolhaus world I almost got frostbite browsing this lively, user-friendly and picture-heavy cookbook. Co-author Natasha Case studied architecture at UCLA. Freya Estreller, the other co-author, studied finance at Cornell. Friends introduced them, telling them they had “the same kind of brain.” They started dating and the romance led to a plan to sell all-natural, organic ice cream sandwiches, with a name inspired in part by Bauhaus architecture (cookies and ice cream make for a “cool house,” get it?) They debuted their overhauled former postal vehicle turned ice cream truck at the Coachella music festival in 2009. Now they have trucks in Los Angeles, Austin, New York City and Dallas, and two storefronts, and sell online and through Whole Foods nationally. It took them less than five years in business to release a cookbook. Enviable.
But the frank, funny introduction is so winning I couldn’t hate these two. Then there are the recipes, which feature three bases, including two with tons of egg yolks (8!) and a third that is egg free. The ice cream flavors sound complicated (fried chicken & waffle and brown butter candied bacon most notably so), but the presentation is clean and simple and after dipping into it by making the Guinness-chocolate chip ice cream (super creamy, rich and very flavorful, even with just ¼ cup of the Irish stout; recipe below) I’m ready to cook – freeze – my way through the rest of the book. Although first I might have to make that Guinness one again and this time, pair it with Case and Estreller’s suggested recipe for double chocolate sea salt cookies.
– Mary Pols
Guinness–Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Yield: About 11/2 quarts
1/4 cup Guinness Extra Stout
11/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (such as Folgers)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 recipe Plain Custard Base (recipe below)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Add Guinness, coffee, salt and vanilla to the custard base. Mix well.
Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer to a bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
Scrape into an airtight storage container. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.
Plain Custard Base
Yield: About 11/2 quarts
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 large egg yolks
In a 4-quart saucepan, combine milk, cream and half of sugar. Set over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk yolks and remaining sugar until smooth, heavy and pale yellow, about 30 seconds.
When cream mixture just comes to a boil, whisk, remove from heat and, in a slow stream, pour half of cream mixture over yolk-sugar mixture, whisking constantly until blended.
Return pan to stovetop over low heat. Whisking constantly, stream yolk-cream mixture back into pan.
With a wooden spoon, continue stirring until mixture registers 165 to 180 on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes. Do not heat above 180 degrees, or eggs in base will scramble. Mixture should be slightly thickened and coat back of spoon, with steam rising, but not boiling. (If you blow on the back of the spoon and the mixture ripples, you’ve got the right consistency.)
Pour base into a clean airtight container and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before using. Use base within 3 to 5 days.