Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Low Carb Peanut Butter Curry Ice Cream

This is another low carb conversion of from the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book. Adding curry to ice cream gives my wife the willies, but I welcome it with open arms. The origin story of this flavor is documented in the book:
The marriage of peanut butter and curry isn’t that much of a stretch. If you’ve ever had Thai food, you’ve had them together. But you may not have met them coupled in a dessert. This flavor was born as a cookie at Coi and perfected as ice cream at the shop.

It all started when Jake’s pastry station was situated right next to the meat station. One day, the cooks were prepping guinea hens with vadouvan, a fermented blend of aromatics (onion, garlic, shallot) and curry spices. Jake, always looking to steal savory components, spied the vadouvan out of the corner of his eye and swiped it.

At the restaurant, duplicate flavors weren’t allowed on the menu. So if one of the meat courses included vadouvan, there was no way Jake could use it in a dessert. To solve this problem, he got sneaky: One day, he made peanut butter and vadouvan cookies for the staff meal, with the hope that someone would notice how good they were. It worked like a charm, and before long, the cookies were on the menu. Jake 1, Savory Cooks 0.

Peanut Butter Curry ice cream is the evolution of that cookie...
Converting the recipe as described in the book to low carb is pretty straightforward since the original is just a sweet cream base plus peanut butter, vanilla, and vadouvan curry. I’m using the Low Carb Sweet Cream Base plus peanut butter flavoring made for ice cream. All I need to add is the curry, which I found on Amazon:

Vadouvan curry.

I’m not a curry expert, but it tastes good to me. The authors say that you can use a other kinds of curry, but the preparation is slightly different. For other curries, you’re supposed to add them at the beginning when you’re heating the milk and cream. Vadouvan curry is added at the end. I suspect it’s because vadouvan curry is coarser and won’t make it through the strainer, so it has to be added afterwards. I was concerned that if I made this using the no-cook method, the flavor might be off due to the lack of heat needed to allow the spices to meld with the rest of the mix. I still wanted to try it that way, so I mixed-in the minced curry to the base prior to the heavy cream and left it in the refrigerator for a few hours. I feel that it was a success, so I’m not going to force you to use the cooked custard method.

I caught this tweet from the Humphry Slocombe feed:

They’re adding their peanut butter curry cookies to the ice cream! They did provide a separate recipe for them in the book, but they didn’t specifically tell you to add them to the ice cream. Their cookie recipe uses flour, but I found a flourless cookie recipe from Food Network that will work just fine. Just add minced curry. You might want to add a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses, too, but I didn’t. Because I was making these for ice cream, I didn’t sprinkle sea salt on top of them. Instead, I added a half teaspoon into the mix. I did this because I used unsalted peanut butter and the exposed salt crystals might prevent the ice cream touching the cookies from freezing properly. The recipe yields about 11-14 cookies, but you’ll only need about 8 for the ice cream.

I went a little heavy with the curry. I tend to go strong with seasoning in ice cream. You can cut back if you like. I really like the way this came out. I’ve got a lot of left over curry, but I plan on making this ice cream again in the future.

Glacé Artisan Ice Cream in Leawood, Kansas does a peanut curry ice cream, too. They use a vanilla ice cream base with coconut milk instead of peanut butter and add 2 tablespoons of Massaman Yellow Curry Paste. They chose that kind of curry because it features warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg along with the brightness of lemongrass and other classic ingredients.

UPDATE 2017-09-10: I bought a mortar and pestle just for this recipe since I like it so much. I suggest getting a 3.5" one since the 4.5" one I purchased is a little too big.


Peanut Butter Curry Cookies

1 cup (256 g) peanut butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons Truvia
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vadouvan curry, minced
1 teaspoon (7 g) blackstrap molasses (optional)

Ice Cream

Low Carb Sweet Cream Base
1-3 tablespoons LorAnn Oils Flavor Fountain Flavorings, Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon minced vadouvan curry


  1. Peanut Butter Curry Cookies: The vadouvan curry will be very coarse.

    Vadouvan curry.

    Mince with a sharp knife until it’s very fine or use a mortar and pestle.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, Truvia, EZ-Sweetz, vanilla, molasses, and egg until well combined.

    Peanut butter cookie dough.

    Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Spoon one tablespoon of the mixture about one inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies.

    Peanut Butter Curry Cookies on baking sheet.

  4. Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Allow cookies to cool before handling. Add eight of the cookies to an empty ice cream container and put it in the freezer.
  5. Ice Cream: Mince the vadouvan curry for the ice cream. Follow the instructions for the Low Carb Sweet Cream Base except slightly reduce the amount of heavy cream. (E.g., 2⅛ cups instead of 2¼ cups of heavy cream.) Mix in the peanut butter flavoring and minced vadouvan curry to the sweet cream base. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.

    Ice cream base covered with plastic wrap.

  6. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions for making ice cream. One to two minutes before the ice cream is done, add the cookies. You can break them into smaller pieces by hand; no need to use a knife. Use a silicone spatula to remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and freeze until solid.

Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

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