Sunday, August 1

Flop - {Noyaux Ice Cream}

It hurt to watch the spoon fall into the sink. With a harsh clatter, the empty vehicle settled into the basin after ricocheting and jumping into stillness. The utensil was disposed of without thought, as I chose instead to focus on the unpleasant lingering taste in my mouth.

Can it truly be so... Bad?, I asked myself. Can ice cream even be bad?

I was surprised. I had not known what to expect with the recipe, but I had certainly been excited over the incredible aroma wafting through the kitchen as I put the steps to action. An aroma that was definitely present in the finished ice cream, but accompanied by an indescribable and foul residual taste that I couldn't shake. I had taken two bites; one eager, one questioning.

How did that happen?

Desiring a second opinion, I hefted the ice cream back into the freezer and got to work cleaning the kitchen. I considered the process as I scrubbed the counter, eventually pinpointing my mistake while scrubbing a stubborn spot on the counter.

I let it steep too long.


After mom tasted it and we discussed the flavor (pleasant - beautiful, really - at first but painful in the end), I set it onto the counter to melt and disposed of it around dinnertime. Really, I hate to waste ingredients, but there are some mistakes that just can't be fixed. I spent a long time contemplating possibilities, but, unfortunately, nothing seemed more appropriate than a trip down the pipes.

So I cleaned the container and put it away.

But this wasn't all a waste; I've finally memorized a recipe for plain creme anglaise, and feel not only more confident about creating my own personalized variations, but also for trying this one again. Even though the taste wasn't what I wanted it to be, the texture that this ice cream had was, by far, the smoothest I'd ever been able to execute. So that's good, right?

I have a lot of flops in the kitchen. I'm always sure to read recipes through before trying them, but last minute changes and substitutions have a tendency to throw everything off track. But you know what? I like to think that these "flops" and "mistakes" and "failures" are just my way of learning. This is how I'm figuring things out.

And you know what else? Saying it like that makes me sound like less of an idiot.

And I'm quite alright with that!

Noyaux Ice Cream via Eggbeater
Don't discount this recipe just because it didn't work for me. I'm sure it's worth it, but you must be careful not to steep too long (I let it go for an hour) or it will develop an unpleasant taste. If you are concerned with the edibility of the pits, please check out this link on Ms. Lydon's blog. It's very informative and interesting, so don't be at all surprised if you find yourself digging through the archives. You're going to like what you see!

Oh, and be sure to take the time to enjoy the incredible scent of the noyaux while smashing the pits!
Printable Recipe

3 c (710 ml) whole milk
1 c (235 ml) heavy cream
3/4 c (150 g) sugar, divided
7 egg yolks
1 - 1 1/2 c (235 - 355 ml) smashed cherry pits (I used 1 1/2 c. Can be replace with pits from any stone fruit, as I understand. Oh - and one more note: I wrapped mine in cheese cloth to make the straining process easier)

Heat milk, cream, pits and 1/4 c (50 g) sugar in a medium saucepan over low to medium heat. When hot to the touch, remove from heat, whisk and let steep 1-2 hours, tasting every 30 minutes.

When the infusion tastes as strong as you'd like it (remembering that it will taste stronger in flavor and sweetness when it's hot), bring liquid to boil and pass through a fine meshed sieve, pressing on the solids to press out as much of the liquid as you can.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks and remaining 1/2 c (100 g) sugar until lightened in color. Set aside.

Bring the infused cream back to a boil, then temper into the eggs. Return the egg and dairy mixture to the stove and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened (a good test is to dip a spoon in and trace your finger from the top to the bottom. If the line stays defined and the liquid doesn't run, you can stop cooking). Strain into a bowl, press clingfilm directly onto the surface and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

When thoroughly chilled, freeze according to the manufacturer's directions for your ice cream maker.


  1. Aw thats sad that it didn't turn out right. I'm sorry.
    I know I also have had my fair share of "flops" in the kitchen. I like the way you put it...its just your way of learning. I think that is the best way to think of it!!!
    It looks scrumptious though!

  2. You're certainly not an idiot, Whisk Kid. :) Think of all the mighty successes you've had! I'm sure that Ben (or maybe Jerry) made a bad batch or two before stumbling upon Half-Baked. Hmmm....what a conundrum there Hehe.

  3. For a recipe that didn't work, it sure is beautiful to look at! I do hate to waste ingredients, but I think if I've learned something from a mistake, then it kind of evens out. : ) No?

  4. Awe, sorry it didn't turn looked good. I read all of your posts and you are an amazing cook/baker. This post reminded me of my attempt of the rainbow layer cake {you know, the martha stewart show cake!} on my part. The whole thing slid onto counter and to the floor. I was horrified at first but when I retell the story I usually end up laughing because the mess was a beautiful mess...all the rainbow colors, frosting. me covered in it. Fun times. I'm positive you will win the next time around :)

  5. I like that you shared the mistake and how you wrote about it - I make mistakes - quite often, actually, and even one rainbow cake error :-)

  6. I love a failure... it makes us human... and the picture looks astounding (as usual) so no worries x

  7. Ha! Yes, Ice cream can be bad, and I have made some very bad ones at that! Olive oil ice cream, yuck!!! I felt terrible wasting all that good cream and evoo!

    On a positive note, you photo's are beautiful as always!

  8. Ah yes, our fair shares of flops! Haven't we all had one? or ten?

    At least your photos are still beautiful!

  9. Someone,I don't recall who, said that success is often preceded by failure. I think my failures open the doors to new and wonderful ways of doing things- sometimes turning out better than I ever could have expected. I recall making some real bonehead flops and serving some of them to my hungry family (in hopes they would be so hungry they would not notice or care)....oh, they always noticed and were quite verbal about it! Those stories return around the holidays to haunt me. :)

  10. It can be really disappointing when a recipe fails. I can truly relate with you entry. My first ice cream experience wasn't very delightful. The waste of ingredients can be very painful, but it's part of the learning process. As always, your pictures are beautiful. =)

  11. Learning from your mistakes is the best way to learn :) What is it they say? "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."

    On the upside, it sure LOOKS amazing! ;)

  12. We all learn from our mistakes, right? So keep making mistakes, and keep learning from them! It's all about the learning process.

    Beautiful pictures, ice cream is definitely one of my favourites :D

  13. im sorry it didnt work but i just want to advise people to not use peach pits i know in the link you attached it said that its nice to preserve peaches with the pits to impart flavor but you should not crush peach pits and infuse them in milk because the contain cyanide that is very strong in the center of the pit/kernel ...just a warning

  14. Can you use mahlab for this? From what I understand it's essentially ground cherry pits.


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