Belgians have their own version of gingersnaps, called speculoos (SPEC-ou-looze). They’re meant to be nibbled alongside the copious amounts of beer that Belgians drink, which was one of the many lessons I learned when I went to chocolate school there. Belgians like their beer so much that outdoor beer gardens are busy all year long, even during the freezing cold winters. Back home, I found that speculoos go equally well with lemon ice cream when the cookies are crumbled and folded in. Like Belgian beer, this can be consumed any time of the year and it’s especially good when served frosty cold.
FOR THE ICE CREAM:
- 3 large lemons, preferably unsprayed
- ¾cup (150g) sugar
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (500ml) double cream
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 batch Speculoos crumbled (see below)
- FOR THE SPECULOOS:
- Makes 1½ cups (200g)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ cup (70g) flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
1. Zest the lemons directly into a food processor or blender. Add the sugar and blend until the lemon zest is very fine.
2. Warm the milk with the lemon-scented sugar, ½ cup (125ml) of the double cream and the salt in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from the heat and let infuse for one hour.
3. Rewarm the lemon-infused mixture. Pour the remaining 1½ cups (375ml) cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm lemon-infused milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
5. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Discard the lemon zest and stir over an ice bath until cool.
6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the crumbled speculoos.
TO MAKE THE SPECULOOS
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in the molasses and egg yolk.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and spices. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until smooth. Transfer the
dough to the prepared baking sheet and, using your hands, pat it into a circle about 12cm in diameter. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Extracted from The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated by David Lebovitz. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, priced £19.99 (hardback)
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