Gingerbread Blue Cheese ice cream
We all love gingerbread cookies, and some of us also enjoy blue cheese. But what if we combined the two … into a Christmas ice cream? Read on – and prepare to step over to the blue (cheese) side!
There are many ways to make gingerbread ice cream, and avid readers know that there are quite a few different recipes here on this site (for a delicate, traditional one – try this favourite of mine!).
The inspiration for today’s admittedly rather unusual flavour comes from the innovative Swedish ice cream-makers at Köld, creators of some of the most innovative, fun and delicious flavours I’ve been lucky enough to savour in recent years. This one, however, I had only read about. And while I have a lot of faith in Köld’s geniality, I did feel a bit sceptical about the whole idea at first. Still – deep inside me, something told me that it could work. And then I suddenly remembered: several years ago, my dear mother actually surprised us with serving canapés … in the form of gingerbread cookies with a nugget of blue cheese on top!
When pondering a good base for the recipe, I briefly considered a classic custard-one. Which probably would have been very nice too.
But Christmas time is a busy time – which is why I decided to use a quick, no cooking-required, Philadelphia/American-style base here. Which means that you only need about 30 minutes from start to finish, if you have a reasonably good ice cream machine.
(No ice cream machine? Go here for good advise on how to still-freeze, using only your kitchen freezer and yourself)
How to do it – in 4 exceedingly easy steps
The base is simple and a modification of my “ordinary” favourite quick-gingerbread ice cream recipe. The process is even simpler – in general terms, all you need to do is to mix milk and cream with the sugar(s), churn the base a little and then add crumbled gingerbread cookies and grated blue cheese!
1. Crumble the gingerbread cookies!
For best possible results, try to chill the cookies in the fridge or so before adding them to the ice cream base. Whether you turn them into crumbles before or after the chilling is a pure matter of personal choice 😉
You may have your own favourite way of doing it, but putting the cookies in a small plastic bag and then rolling them over with a gavel, a bottle or something similar is both effective and makes the whole operation less messy.
2. Grate the blue cheese
Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Danish blue cheese … there are many blue cheeses out there, and you can use your favourite one!
Just remember that the cold generally tend to dim flavours, so going with an overly mild blue cheese might make for a disappointing end result. Personally, I opted for a French Bleu d’Auvergne.
The main advantage of the American-style base (that it doesn’t require any heating) is also the main challenge in this recipe. Unless you are so fond of cheese that you look forward to finding larger chunks of it in your ice cream, you should try to grate it as finely as you can: The shreds will not melt into the base so it is important that they at least integrate in a harmonious, well-blended manner.
3. Mix the dairy and the sugar(s) and start churning
Surely you can do that without a picture? Good!
Once that is done, start churning the base until it has begun to freeze and firm up to some extent.
4. Add in the crushed cookies and the grated cheese
Yep – while the churning goes on, now it’s time to add the crushed cookies and our grated blue cheese.
Remember to make sure that the ice cream base has firmed up some before you start adding in: if you start too early, there is a risk that all your solids (the cookies and the cheese) will sink through and end up at the bottom.
Once the churning is over, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour!
A stylish and surprisingly accessible Christmas gem
When I first offered this particular flavour to my near and dear ones, I half-expected that it would please the adults. And I was right. And wrong. Because it turned out that (most) kids also seemed to like it!
And this ice cream is truly worth trying. The overall flavour is unmistakably one of gingerbread, but the blue cheese offers a distinct counter-flavour which gives the ice cream its overall complexity and charm. So – good news both for fans of gingerbread and of blue cheese. But what about the “structural qualities”? Also here, the ice cream scores higher than average. The cream, the sugar(s), the (fat) cheese and the general amount of solids all help to maintain a good level of scoopability even after some storage. In truth, I personally liked the ice cream even better when I tested it again after a night in the freezer: the flavour had “matured”.
Merry Christmas! And may the Blue Cheese force walk with you!
- 400 ml (about 1.7 cups) cream
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 100 ml (0.4 cup) sugar
- about 3 tablespoons (inverted sugar (Agave nectar, honey, corn syrup or equivalent)
- 200 gram gingerbread cookies, crumbled
- 100 gram blue cheese, finely grated
- Crush the gingerbread cookies and set aside for later.
- Grate the blue cheese (as finely as possible). Set aside for later.
- Mix the milk, the cream and the sugar(s) well, and begin to churn this base.
- When the base has begun to freeze and solidify, add in - little by little - the gingerbread cookie crumbles and the grated cheese.
- Continue to churn until finished.
- Enjoy your ice cream on the spot, or put in a freezer-safe box, cover with plastic film and a lid and store in your freezer for later use.