cinnamon toast ice cream

Posted on April 25, 2012

Two factors were at play that resulted in the creation of this dessert. First, cinnamon toast is a favorite breakfast treat around these parts. Second, last Sunday I made an angel food cake to bring to our friend Jeff and Peter’s *new* place.

I wish I could claim that the inspiration for this amazing ice cream was my own. But alas, it was inspired by dessert at The Boxing Room. A few months ago, I had the best day ever. It started by sleeping in with my boy and my puppy. Then the boy went to work and some lovely old friends picked me up. We drove over to the house (complete with back porch!) of some really wonderful new friends. We sat on the back porch and devoured a cooler of fabulously fresh oysters and some wine and cheese. Something like 100 oysters split between six people! Did I mention it was 70 degrees and we were sitting outside in the sunshine? Yep, this is all true.

We wrapped up the oyster feast and then I came home to change. I put on a pretty dress and met Jordan at the San Francisco ballet. He looked really handsome in his fancy clothes. We enjoyed the ballet and then went out to dinner at The Boxing Room, a fabulous southern restaurant with emphasis on the creole just around the corner.

After some soul-satisfying creole cuisine, we had dessert … cinnamon toast ice cream. It was amazing—a hint of vanilla, a hint of cinnamon and a hint of buttered toast. But how did they get the buttered toast flavor? I had to know and so I asked the waiter. He said the chef soaked brioche in the custard overnight to infuse the buttered bread flavor into the ice cream. Genius.

Fast forward two months and we’re here. I merged two of David Lebovitz’s recipes for the custard and followed the bread soaking advice of our waiter. The results are phenomenal. Ice cream that tastes like buttered toast? Yes, sign me up.

Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream, adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and The Boxing Room in San Francisco
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
5 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
3 slices brioche bread

Heat the whole milk, sugar, salt, vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks over low heat until it is just about to simmer. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside for the vanilla and cinnamon to infuse for about an hour. After an hour, reheat the milk to just simmering. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Temper the eggs by pouring the hot milk into the bowl slowly while whisking. Put the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over low heat until the custard begins to thicken and is just about to boil. Strain through a mesh strainer back into the bowl and whisk in the cream. Once it has cooled slightly, add the vanilla. Cool the custard over an ice bath. Cut the brioche slices in half and then submerge them in the custard. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, strain out the brioche and squeeze the out custard that is has absorbed. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Ta-da! A miraculous ice cream that tastes just like cinnamon toast, but much richer.

-Emily

Ps. Apologies on the lack of a final product photo. It was too quickly eaten, but you can use your imagination.