Seven Spice Ice Cream with Yogurt and Brown Sugar Cake

Even though it still feels like a hot summer where we are, and it will continue to feel this way for another couple of months, I thought it would be a good way to start the autumn season with the aroma of spices. My friend Helen sent me a wonderful care package a couple of weeks ago. I know many of you know and visit her blog, and I can assure you she is just as lovely as she appears to be. In that care package, she included some mulling spices, which I have using to make tea almost every night. That’s where he inspiration came from for this dessert, the warmth of spices.

I toasted the spices before infusing the milk, which created another subtle layer. The ice cream is served over a really moist brown sugar and yogurt sponge cake. Along with the brown sugar I also added some muscavado, which left some pieces of undissolved sugar in the cake creating almost a sugar swirl inside the cake. Very, very moist and gooey. Even if you don’t try the ice cream, I do encourage you to make this cake. You will not regret it.

Seven Spice Ice Cream

500 grams whole milk
130 grams heavy cream
40 grams glucose
100 grams granulated sugar
50 grams muscavado sugar
180 grams egg yolks
6 grams juniper berries
1 cinnamon stick
5 grams white peppercorns
8 grams fresh ginger, sliced
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 grams coriander seeds
5 grams star anise

Place the juniper berries, white peppercorns, coriander seeds and star anise in a small saute pan. Place them over the heat and toast them for a minute until they really start to release a lot of their aroma. Remove from heat.

Place the whole milk, heavy cream, glucose, muscavado, cinnamon, vanilla bean, fresh ginger and all the toasted spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let the spices steep in the milk for about 45 minutes. Return the pan to the heat and bring it to a boil again.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar. Temper the hot liquid over the yolks and whisk. Return the custard back to the saucepan and cook to 82C or until it coats the back of the spoon. Strain the ice cream base through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and chill over an ice bath. Refrigerate overnight and churn in ice cream machine. Freeze.

Yogurt and Brown Sugar Sponge Cake

170 grams butter
150 grams brown sugar
85 grams granulated sugar
50 grams muscavado sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
180 grams yogurt
180 grams flour
4 grams baking powder

Cream the butter and all three sugars together for about 2 minutes until fluffy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix. Scrape the bowl well. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix and scrape the bowl. Add the yogurt. Mix and add the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined. Pour the batter into a quarter sheetpan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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66 Responses to “Seven Spice Ice Cream with Yogurt and Brown Sugar Cake”

  1. Christy says:

    No matter what season it is, I like cake and spices. It’s just getting warmer here but I can definitely eat some of that cake and ice cream. And is that brandy snap biscuits in that last photo?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love working with whole spices. That star anise is so beautiful! I can almost smell the exotic aromas wafting off your webpage…

  3. Aran says:

    Christy- That is a chocolate opaline tuile which is basically like a chocolate brittle tuile. Very, very thin. I also made it myself.

  4. nadia says:

    GORGEOUS! such a beautiful art- you are a master at it aran.

  5. pea & pear says:

    Aran, that icecream sounds absolutley amazing… I wish a could have a scoop. I shall definitely take your advice and make the cake, I can’t wait.

    I like to imagine you and Helen are my own personal patisserie tutors :)


  6. Maya says:

    Truly beautiful ( and delicious)!

  7. Aran, your blog is so beautiful! I absolutely love your photos and your imagination. Un pur régal!

  8. Bridget says:

    That ice cream sounds perfect for this time of year!

  9. breadpitt says:

    ur dessert taste melts my heart so deep!!!!!!! and the element using for garnishing where all my fav to use as well , nice star anise!!!!! totally lovely, i have a pastry chef which restrict me to use it to garnish as he claim that is not practical, but still i never think so!!!!!

  10. Aran says:

    Breadpitt- I have to agree with your chef! yes, I wouldn’t put anything that is not edible on a plate to serve to a customer. However, for food styling purposes and to really show what is in the dessert, I like to play around with ingredients that otherwise, I wouldn’t put on a plate. thank you!

  11. Ay como me gustaria estar pasando por tu calle mientras tostabas las especias! Hace un tiempo hice un helado con 5 especias chinas, pero este con 7 tiene que ser aun mejor! Y el pastel de yogurt y azucar amarilla seguro que lo hago algun dia destos. Te quedo el postre con toda la cara de otoño!

  12. Tartelette says:

    Perfect use of all these spices, custards, teas and coffees are so wonderful to capture delicate spices. Today feels like an October day. all of a sudden, overnight…weirdest thing to have the windows open and no AC!!
    I love that it almost looks like we are passing on vanilla beans to each other through some computer generated balck hole :)

  13. Alexa says:

    I am always amazed at your posts… Such beauty and creativity. The flavors burst straight through the computer screen. Thank you Aran!

  14. I will sure try this cake…sounds divine and looks so moist !

  15. Anita says:

    It all looks so cozy and warm! I love your creativity!

  16. I really love cooking with spices especially in winter when you smell it I feel the warmth of the home. :-) the cake and ice cream look delicious as always and the photos never cease to amaze me

  17. PheMom says:

    Believe it or not brown is one of my most very favorite colors – this looks absolutely beautiful. So much for all those folks that think that brown food can’t be beautiful to photograph! Amazing job as always!

  18. cookworm says:

    Juniper berries – what an interesting addition! I can’t help but only associate them with gin. Guess it’s time to branch out. :)

  19. idu says:

    ummm aran, udazken usaina dario bai izozki eta bizkotxo honi. Kolorea, presentazioa… oso onak benetan

  20. ooooooh it’s so cold out today, windy, gray, and pouring rain. it’s starting, summer is gone in the north. its all down and dark from here, so more tea and spices then like your cakes, that’s the only upside for the trade up here.

    pretty pretty setups on the photos. :)

  21. Oh! You keep doing this, Margot!
    I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever pick a favourite.

    Ok. This is the best. You’re starting to appeal to all of our Winter heads now as well.

  22. amy says:

    seven spice ice cream?!!?! i must try it! it sounds like the perfect winter day ice cream… maybe with a shot of espresso poured over it?

  23. What a glorious gift! Those spices are just lovely, I can smell them from here. I wish I had that ice cream for the tatin, it would be perfection!

  24. The ice cream sounds absolutely delicious – so different! It all looks so beautiful. You are a wonder.

  25. Spices are always great…when there are &, it sounds like a dream come true. The ice-cream has has unimaginable depth & character…wonderful & warm Aran. I love Helen’s blog too. What a delicious gift, & put to oustanding use!

  26. cindy* says:

    yesterday was our first truly autumnal feeling day which inspired me to make vanilla spiced cupcakes and some ice cream. and when i saw your post i instantly thought, aran knows what is up. beautiful!

  27. Wow this sounds wonderfully complex in flavour though relatively simple to make. My kind of recipe:-)

  28. Sara says:

    This looks great, I love spiced desserts. I’ve never cooked with juniper berries before.

  29. cookemila says:

    me encanta con tantas especias..son mi debilidad y te ha quedado tan lujoso….te admiro cada dia mas….y me lo copio…tiene que ser una delicia hacerlo y comerlo aunque creo que como no tengo azucar moscovado utilizare miel…podria quedar bien¿besos Aran

  30. Peabody says:

    This is great…I was just looking for a brown sugar yogurt cake and here you go and have one!

  31. morgana says:

    Me quedo embobada mirando las fotos e imaginando a qué sabrá ese maravilloso helado, con lo que me gustan a mí las especias… ¡¡¡ Y el bizcocho !!! Con la descripción que has hecho de él, ése seguro que cae. Estoy deseando tener la oportunidad de hacerlo. Ya estoy tardando en encontrar el azúcar moscovado…

    Un beso muy fuerte y enhorabuena por todo lo que haces. Nos dejas a todos cada día con la boca abierta.

  32. ainara says:

    Unas semanitas sin visitar tu blog y ay ama, ¡¡cuántas cosas!! Qué bonito todo :) y qué miniaturas tan bonitas las tartaletas.
    Un mosu grande!

  33. Aran says:

    Cookemila- Si, yo creo que podrias substituir el muscavado por miel pero el color cambiara y tambien un poco la texture. El azucar muscavado como es denso y mas dificil de disolver, deja el bizcocho con trocitos sin disolver de azucar… como un glaseado por dentro. Muy rico. pero pruebalo con la miel y nos cuentas que tal te sale vale? Un beso!

  34. Hacía tiempo que no me pasaba por aqui, que delicia!Las fotos son verdadero arte! Una vez tuve invitados y me lancé a hacer una mousse como la que tu enseñas, pero yo la hice “congelada”, tuvo éxito, pero creo que la tuya es más fácil de hacer y con mejor “pinta”.

  35. i love that you toasted the spices before infusing the cream–sounds so lovely…I’ve done that with lavender and vanilla but never with toasted spices…you are so talented my friend…

    you and helen need a show similar to the “Stump the Cook” segment of “the splendid table” (do you know it?)where people give you some ingredients and you create a baked dish out if it!

  36. Sylvie says:

    mmm mmm… love spiced cake. Love vanilla and vanilla bean: I grew up on a vanilla-producing island, I will always keep with me the scent of vanilla been being cured that’s scenting the air for 100s of yards around the curing facility!

    Aran – why do you use glucose to make the ice-cream – as opposed to melting sugar?
    and is glucose corn syrup?

    Thank You!

  37. Your ice cream recipe is incredible! I love your pictures too! They are so artistic! Spice and ice cream are a great combo!

  38. Happy cook says:

    Looks so delicious and beautiful.

  39. Aran says:

    Thanks everyone for your comment!

    Sylvie- glucose is an invert sugar so it is in liquid form. it is not the same as melting the sugar. It inhibits some ice crystal formation in the ice cream as well as viscosity. it is similar in its composition to corn syrup so you could use that instead.

  40. Aran says:

    oh and i forgot to mention that the sweetening power of glucose is less than that of sucrose so that must be taken into consideration as well.

  41. veron says:

    Aran, your pictures are so inspiring as usual. Perfectly composed and yummy to boot!

  42. Your pictures are beautiful as always!


  43. Mrs.French says:

    I can almost smell it…beautiful spice filling the air..makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  44. Mobula says:

    Ay, es uq eya no se ni que decirte!! Con esto de la cocina cada vez me gustan más especias y tengo una balda de la despensa llena de ellas pero realmente no se me había cocurrido hacer un helado con ellas.

    dudas: la glucosa que usas es polvo o jarabe?? y con el azúcar muscovado, puedo sustituirlo por melaza??

    Las fotos, como siempre, una delicia. Pruebo todas tus creaciones a través de la pantalla.



  45. Aran says:

    Ana- la glucosa en este caso es en jarabe. tengo recetas en la que se utiliza la glucosa en polvo pero en esos casos, especifico que se trata de ello. No se lo que es la melaza. Se puede utilizar otrp tipo de azucar, hasta sustutuir la cantidad de muscavado por azucar moreno, pero el muscavado le da un toque adicional. Gracias por tus comentarios Ana!

  46. limonana says:

    wow!! i’m so impressed by your skills…this looks incredible…

  47. Irene says:

    Beautiful!!! And I bet very tasty!

  48. Sylvie says:

    ah! got it: re glucose.
    When I make sorbet, I typically use a small amount of a complementary liquor (limoncello with lemon sorbet; kirsch with cherry sorbet etc) and that serves the same purpose of helping to keep the sorbet texture smooth and not icy.

    Thank you for the explanation, Aran. I love to know the whys and try to understand how things work.


  49. I love mulling spices. You must have the most wonderful cup of tea each night. This dessert looks warm and comforting.

  50. simplesong says:

    your photos are truly amazing. just amazing.

  51. Eileen says:

    This time of year and these ingredients make me think of a spice cake my mother always made. The ice cream would also be a great accompaniment to my mother’s apple crisp recipe which I’m planning on making this week.

  52. Looks like you put your little care package to great use! I bet this tasted amazing!

  53. nicisme says:

    Mmmm… another post to make me deliriously happy!

  54. farida says:

    What an interesting recipe for ice cream! Interesting combination of spices. I bet it is delicious!

  55. Y says:

    Wish I could try the ice cream, as I’m crazy for spices, but as I don’t own an i/c machine, I might just stick to making the cake, which sounds so lovely too! :)

  56. Vera says:

    The dessert components, and the presentation are amazing!

  57. Jude says:

    I thought you were talking about spicy Japanese 7-spice! Such nice photos and a creative recipe.

  58. You can always win me over with an ice cream recipe! This sounds like heaven!

  59. Joanna says:

    just the name of the recipe made me gasp. i didn’t even have to look at the picture to know it was good haha

  60. Thats a very interesting post. I have been inspired. Thanks

  61. Nirmala says:

    Aran this is one of the most delicious sponge cakes I have made till now. Yes I made them this week. I used a mini cupcake pan to bake them and they were so forgiving and turned to be absolutely delicious. I added half a teaspoon of cinnamon and they were truly delicious.

  62. Aran says:

    Nirmala- I’m so happy to hear that. It is also one of my favorite sponges ever. So so moist right? Thank you!

  63. lan says:

    i am a fan ever since a friend pointed to this site as a good source for macarons. you see, we had eaten our first french macarons when the friend got back from france and were craving some more:-) not yet brave enough to try the macarons but i made the cake from this recipe with muscavado sugar and it came out very well as you had promised. thanks for keeping this great site. congratulations on your latest addition and always looking forward to more here. i made the cake in jars to send as gifts. thanks again!

  64. Miss P says:

    Made just the cake without the ice cream for my boyfriend’s mum and she loves it. To quote her, “super!” :D

  65. Chris R says:

    Just added some dried physalis (the ones from paexfood, see google) and it was perfect!! Thank you!!

  66. […] Yogurt & Brown Sugar Cake: I meant to make this as written, but my yogurt had gone bad so I used buttermilk, and I added sliced plums to the top. I would like to make it again with yogurt, because I think it would be a little denser, but it’s hard to argue with buttermilk & plums. […]

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