Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pound Cake

As I planned out my menu for our belated Lunar New Year dinner, I wanted a light, Asian-influenced dessert. I knew I would have plenty of fresh ginger on hand from the main courses, and I remembered that my mom loved the ginger ice cream formerly carried by Trader Joe's. I also had some Meyer lemons on hand and wanted to incorporate it with the ginger ice cream. After having success with the lemon meringue cupcakes, I decided on lemon curd. So what vehicle would go well with ginger ice cream and lemon curd? A pound cake made with sweetened condensed milk!

Growing up, I loved sweetened condensed milk on a piece of white toast or swirled into some oatmeal. As an adult, I know it's not the healthiest thing, but it brings back sweet childhood memories. Nowadays, I love how Trader Joe's packages their sweetened condensed milk in a squeeze bottle, which is perfect for saving the leftovers. The recipe for the pound cake comes from Pichet Ong's cookbook, The Sweet Spot. The batter comes together quickly and easily in a food processor. I was pleasantly surprised by how the pound cake had a pronounced creamy and milky taste that came through abundance of vanilla.

The fresh ginger ice cream was the perfect ending to a rich and abundant meal and also serves as a palette cleanser. As usual, The Perfect Scoop comes through as my trusted source for making ice cream at home. Seeping the blanched ginger slices in the warm cream for just an hour yielded a warm, spicy punch. I reduced on the fat by using 4 egg yolks and 1% milk instead of the 5 egg yolks and whole milk called for in the recipe. I didn't think it compromised the creaminess, especially after adding a capful of vodka to prevent the ice cream from getting too hard.

The Meyer lemon curd was bold and stood on its own next to the ginger ice cream. Using Meyer lemons made is a little more delicate and less sour compared to traditional lemons. Each of these dessert components are lovely on its own, but even better when served together.


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