Since I haven’t blogged anything in approximately two centuries and am feeling particularly generous at the moment, I’m going to let you all in on a little secret:
I don’t like maple syrup.
In fact, I despise it.
The runny texture, the cloying saccharine flavor – BLEH. I can’t think of a worse way to completely wreak havoc on my Sunday morning breakfast dreams.
But do you know what pleases my heart more than words can express and to which I’ve been a loyal, passionate fan for nearly three decades?
Log Cabin Breakfast Syrup.
I absolutely positively LOVE Log Cabin. Potentially more than my own life.
I love it in a dirty, shameful, horrifying way – like the way I love eating Arby’s Beef n’ Cheddars while watching Monday Night RAW wrapped up in an old pilled blanket. It fills my soul with the supreme bliss and sense of serenity that can only be achieved through artificial maple flavor and loads of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the taste of my hopes and dreams, a sensory memory of the best moments of my childhood.
As you all know, I love to create self-imposed drama for the sake of entertainment, but when it comes to the sense of guilt I feel about my breakfast syrup preferences, I truly do experience a genuine sense of shame and disgust that I can’t rally behind natural maple syrup. I can’t tell you how much it pains me that rather than support small family farms across America, I choose to give my dollars to the Corporate Machine. That I knowingly pollute my body with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. That my palate isn’t delicate enough to recognize and appreciate the delicate flavor of real maple syrup. But you guys..I can’t stop.
Years ago, I made a pretty big commitment to myself that when it comes to food, I would try to make most things from scratch, be as healthy as possible (aside from my ice cream habit, of course), and consume mostly all-natural things. And in most areas of my life, I’ve been successful.
Except for maple syrup.
I’ve tried to love it, I really have. I’ve purchased bottles upon bottles of Vermont and even Ohio syrup…but there is a tiny part of my soul that dies every time I abandon my beloved Log Cabin. Natural maple syrup just doesn’t taste maple-y enough (or at least, the definition of “maple” that slowly developed in my brain and taste buds after a childhood comprised exclusively of Log Cabin consumption).
I need that sweet and savory artificial maple flavor, that suspiciously-thick pour, and above all, that iconic cabin-shaped bottle that tells me all my Sunday breakfast dreams are about to come true.
Although I love Log Cabin on basically everything (Elf-style), my absolute favorite vehicle is homemade buttermilk waffles. Just thinking about how those little nooks on the waffles hold onto the Log Cabin like puddles of syrupy goodness fills my heart with the purest form of joy.
Even though it’s technically “Spring” and the sun is partially out and the birds are chirping in the morning, the weather gods of Ohio have decided to grace us with one more massive snowfall, and the extended chill has me craving big, cake-based breakfasts, hard. So I figured, why not resurrect the blog from the dead and make an ice cream that has all my favorite breakfast components in one scoop?
And before you ask – yes of course I used Log Cabin (though if you’re not a total heathen like me, feel free to use actual maple syrup).
This ice cream is a savory, textural experience: swirls of sweet and sour berry compote break through the creamy base with a hint of maple flavor. To top it all off, REAL waffles that have been toasted and chopped up for a bit of crunch and that cake-like texture. I know this seems like a ton of effort, but you can just use frozen waffles, or even leftover waffles from breakfast the day prior. (As the kids say, you do you).
Since my goal for this ice cream was a clean maple flavor, I used an alternate technique that utilizes cream cheese rather than egg yolks. The flavor was exactly what I had hoped for, but be warned that this ice cream freezes harder than typical egg-based ice creams so you’ll need to give it time to soften outside of the freezer. Set this out while you’re eating dinner, and by the time you get to dessert you should be golden!
This ice cream is not for the faint of heart – it’s for die-hard breakfast fans. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Happy scooping little blog fam! It’s good to be back 🙂
Belgian Buttermilk Waffle Ice Cream
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 waffle, toasted cooled and chopped into small pieces
2 cups blueberries (I used fresh but frozen works just fine too)
2 tablespoons sugar
Make the Ice Cream Base:
- Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth or almost smooth (some lumps and bumps are just fine). Set aside for later.
- In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
- In a 4 quart saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup, then bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. (Side note: it is absolutely necessary that you use a 4 quart saucepan. This mixture foams a TON once it starts to boil, and if you’re lazy like me and try to use a smaller pan in the hopes of limiting clean-up, you may just end up with an even bigger mess on your hands!).
- This next part starts to look like the “normal” ice cream process, except you use your cornstarch mixture instead of eggs: After 4 minutes, remove the milk mixture from heat and gradually mix into your cornstarch slurry mixture that you made in Step 2. Add back to the saucepan, and cook over medium high heat for about 3 minutes, or until thickened and it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the warm milk mixture into the cream cheese. Add the maple syrup and buttermilk, then stir until smoothly. Lastly, add in the kosher salt, to taste. I wanted this ice cream to be more savory, so I think in the end I added a heaping 1/2 teaspoon or so. I like my pancakes with lots of salted butter, and by adding extra salt to the ice cream, I was able to replicate this flavor. But, if you’re not a complacent saltaholic like me, you might want to start out with less and build your way up. Salt has a tendency to become more intense after the ice cream is frozen, so keep that in mind as well.
- Once all ingredients are incorporated, move ice cream base to an air tight container and store in fridge for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
Make the Blueberry Compote:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small baking pan or pie dish, add two cups of blueberries and sprinkle sugar on top. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until fruit is soft and squishy and looks ready to burst. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Place roasted berries and sugar in a blender and pulse until the texture of salsa (if you prefer a smoother puree, process until smooth). Store in the fridge until ready to compile your ice cream.
Put it all together:
- Remove your ice cream base mixture from the fridge and churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the ice cream is finished churning, compile your finished product by alternating layers of waffle ice cream, blueberry compote, and chopped waffle in your storage container. Store overnight, or until texture is hardened (about 6 to 8 hours). When ready to serve, allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes until soft and scoop-able.