I am a HUGE fan of breakfast- especially french toast! When I came across this recipe for Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream on foodgwaker.com, I had to try it! It is originally from Tracey's Culinary adventures.
I have to admit, when I read the directions, it seemed like alot of work. Much more complicated than the chocolate J-ello pudding ice cream I make on a regular basis (inspiration from the ice cream sold at Coldstone Creamery). But, I was up for a challenge (and a messy kitchen!).
It wasn't as complicated as it sounded... it actually went pretty smoothly. And it turned out DELICIOUS!!
I made a few tweaks to the original recipe below. This version calls for regular, thick-sliced bread. I happened to come across "french toast" bread at my local giant- it's the store brand, and it is delicious! I used that instead. I also used skim milk.
Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
5 slices firm white sandwich bread
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon molasses
1 cup heavy cream
Combine the milk and cinnamon sticks in a 2-qt saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pan - allow to steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Cut 3 slices of the bread into 1/4-inch cubes and transfer them to a medium bowl. Pulse the remaining 2 slices of bread in your food processor to make bread crumbs. In a small bowl whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Drizzle about 3/4 of the mixture over the cubes of bread, tossing to coat them evenly. Transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets, spreading the cubes in a single layer. Add the bread crumbs to the remaining butter mixture and stir to coat. Spread on the second prepared baking sheet.
Bake the bread cubes and crumbs for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Stir occasionally and rotate the pans from top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Leave on the pans and set aside to cool. Once cool, transfer the bread crumbs to a heatproof bowl.
Bring the milk back to a boil and then pour it over the bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes, then pour the milk through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan. Press on the solids to extract as much milk as possible. Discard the solids afterward.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, granulated sugar, molasses and a pinch of salt together. Bring the milk to a boil once again. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (it will register between 170 and 175 F on an instant read thermometer).
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fold in the bread cubes once churned, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Perhaps I was just being a little slow, but I was very confused by the instructions as to what exactly to do with the milk and bread crumbs. I had to ask my husband to read it and try to figure it out. The dilemma was that I put all of the bread- cubes and crumbs- on one baking sheet instead of two sperate sheets, like the recipe calls for. This is what stemmed my confusion. One part of the directions say "discard all solids" and then later in the directions it says to mix in the bread cubes. If I discarded all of the solids... there would be no more bread cubes to mix in!
To clarify: the milk goes poured over the bread CRUMBS, which then get discarded. The cubes are a seperate entity (and should be on a seperate sheet apparently) and just get mixed in at the end. Whew.... it took me a good 15 minutes of analyzing this before I gave up and asked my hubby! So, hopefully it's clarified for any of you that are confused!