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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

bacon cornettos.

Just last week I made cornettos with coffee dulce de leche ice cream. This time, I made dulce de leche ice cream wait for it... with bacon and graham cracker chunks! Unlike a typical cornetto, I chose to forgo the chocolate at the bottom of each cone for a graham cracker pie crust which I crumbled and packed firmly in.

I made these cornettos with bacon ice cream in mind but since I had some extra dulce de leche waiting to be used, I swapped the original brown sugar base for a dulce de leche one. I reasoned that it shouldn't be a problem since what we're after is a contrast of salty bacon with a sweet ice cream. I threw in some crumbled pie crust just because.

The last time I made cornettos, there was a slight problem with soggy cones. If you've noticed, a regular cone has two layers overlapping each other. When I ate my last cornetto, the inside layer was noticeably limp but the outside, thankfully, retained its crisp texture. I knew that the outside layer would also become soggy on day 2, so I came up with ways on how to improve on that.

Firstly, you could coat the entire inside of the cones with chocolate but frankly, it's an extra step and can be troublesome. The second idea I had was to thicken the ice cream base. With less fluidity, the ice cream would freeze without seeping into the cones too much. So to achieve that, I used a bit of flour and cooked it into a mixture of milk and dulce de leche.

It worked! Although I don't know how long this method would prevent the cones form going soggy, but 30 hours after freezing, even the inner layer of the cone had a bit of crunch to it.

Now that all four cornettos are gone and swimming in my (and my family's) gastric juices, what flavour should I make with my last four cones?

Bacon Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
inspired by David Lebovitz, loosely adapted from the previous recipe
makes enough to fill 4 cones

1/4 cup dulce de leche
1/2 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp milk

1 slice of bacon, cooked till crispy and crumbled
graham cracker pie crust (recipe below)

whipped cream and extra bacon, to decorate

In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat the dulce de leche and milk together until the dulce de leche has dissolved completely. Be sure to stir it from time to time because the dulce de leche may burn. Stir together the cornstarch and 1 tbsp of milk in a small separate bowl until the cornstarch dissolves then stir this mixture into the dulce de leche mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture has thickened considerably. It should be like the consistency of thick pastry cream. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool and stir in the vanilla extract. Chill the mixture and make the ice cream according to your ice cream machine's manufacturer's instructions.

After the churning is completed, fold in the crumbled bacon and graham cracker pie crust until they are evenly dispersed before dividing the ice cream equally among the four cones.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
1 tbsp melted butter
11g brown sugar
a pinch of cinnamon

Combine all of the above in a bowl. Take a third of the mixture and pack it down on a lined baking sheet so that it's compact and will bake as a sort of free form tart crust. Spread the rest of the mixture on the baking sheet. Bake in a 375F oven for about 7 minutes until golden brown. Let the crust cool.

For the crumbs, take about 2 teaspoons for each cone and spoon it in. Use the back of a spoon to make sure that the crumbs are compact. For the crust, crush it into fairly large pieces to fold into your ice cream.

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