My lemon verbena plant is growing out of control and I have been using it every chance I get. I have been infusing it in simple syrups for drinks, crème anglaise, in fruit papillote… I even made a sugar body scrub with it. The aroma that it exudes when rubbed between the fingers is amazing.
I wanted to make an ice cream with it and I thought of combining it with white chocolate. I think lemon and white chocolate really compliment each other so I thought why not use the verbena I have. The result is subtle but bright.
Ice cream sandwiches are so fun in the summer. It brings back memories of summers at the beach for me when ice cream sandwiches were always the afternoon treat. This time I made a very crumbly and delicate chocolate and almond shortbread that has a bit of crunch but it’s still soft enough to eat with the ice cream. The bit of sea salt really enhances the chocolate.
Lemon Verbena and White Chocolate Ice Cream
250 grams whole milk
500 grams heavy cream
125 grams sugar
100 grams egg yolks
10 grams lemon verbena leaves, washed and dried
225 grams white chocolate, chopped
In a medium saucepan, place the whole milk, heavy cream, half of the sugar and the lemon verbena leaves. Slowly bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat off and let the leaves steep in the milk for about 15 minutes. Turn the heat back on and bring it back to a boil.
In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar. Temper the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk. Return this base back to the saucepan and cook until nappe or until it reaches 84C.
Have the white chocolate chopped in a large bowl. Strain the custard over the white chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted.
Place the bowl with the ice cream base over an ice bath to cool down quickly. Refrigerate overnight. Churn in your ice cream machine overnight.
Chocolate and Almond Short Dough
125 grams butter
75 grams sugar
2 grams salt
1/2 vanilla bean
1 egg yolk
25 grams almond meal
200 grams flour
5 grams cocoa powder
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds together. Add the egg yolk and scrape. Sift together all the dry ingredients and add them to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.
Make a ball with the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Gently flatten it with your hands forming a disk. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
Roll the dough to 1/4″ thick and cut with cookie cutter. This is a very crumbly dough that tends to crack so you might have to warm up the dough a bit with your hands to soften it.
Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before sandwich them with the white chocolate verbena ice cream.