Melt with you

Ice cream and booze come together in book by Chico State grad

Authors Valerie Lum (left) and Jenise Addison.

Authors Valerie Lum (left) and Jenise Addison.

photos courtesy of valerie lum

Everyone loves ice cream. And most people enjoy a good cocktail. So what took so long for a book to emerge that mixes both? And so creatively?

Valerie Lum and Jenise Addison spent the better part of a year (that probably included a lot of enjoyable trial and error) to complete their book, Ice Cream Happy Hour: 50 Boozy Treats You Spike, Freeze and Serve (Ulysses Press, The 160-page book offers—you guessed it—50 recipes, conjured up by Lum and Addison in a cubicle-sized apartment in Brooklyn.

“I think perhaps it was slightly tipsy late-night ramblings with Jenise,” says Lum of the book’s origins.

Lum is a graduate of Chico State’s journalism program who spent her early days cutting her teeth as a reporter for the Paradise Post. She made her way to the East Coast in 2006, where she says her newsie side gave way to the foodie in her. “When I moved to New York all hell broke loose.”

Her co-author, Addison, grew up in Queens, and attended the French Culinary Institute in New York. The two met at Bierkraft—a craft-beer and gourmet-food emporium in Brooklyn—where they still work.

Ice Cream Happy Hour is filled with well-thought-out recipes that range from dark and rich to fruity and refreshing, all with a little bite. The basic ice creams (all made from scratch) include some obvious pairings including mint chip with crème de menthe and caramel and spiced rum to more unusual recipes like Fig and Barley Wine and Pink Peppercorn with Vodka. They even offer up an array of floats and sundaes like the Nor’easter Float and something called a Bar Brawl Ice Cream Sandwich, which pits vanilla with bourbon ice cream against homemade Guinness Gingerbread Coasters cookies.

Since ice cream in December doesn’t always sound particularly enticing, I decided to try a warm and cozy recipe: Hot Buttered Rum Float. It seemed like one of the easier recipes in the book, and I already had most of the ingredients in the house, save for the heavy cream. I found that when it called for whisking and stirring, an electric mixer was the way to go to keep your arm from going numb. When all was said and done, my ice cream lacked in butter-rummy flavor so I added an extra shot of rum at the end, which made it all the more cozy.

As for Lum and Addison, there are currently no plans to start work on another book. As Lum puts it: “That thing consumed my life for a year.”

Yeah. Must have been a rough year.

Hot Buttered Rum Float

The ice cream:

1/4 cup dark rum

1/4 cup water

1 cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter, diced (room temperature)

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream

Mix rum, water, brown sugar and salt in small bowl, and grate in nutmeg. Stir to dissolve, and cook on low heat until it turns into a light syrup (about 2 minutes). Whisk egg yolks in a double boiler until fluffy. Turn heat to low and slowly stream rum syrup into the eggs while stirring gently. Cook mixture over low heat while stirring continuously with spatula. Turn off heat when you can draw a line through the custard on the back of the spatula with your finger and it holds its shape. Stir in butter. Strain, cover and chill custard for at least 8 hours.

Once custard is chilled, pour into a large bowl and whisk in milk and vanilla extract. In medium bowl, whisk heavy cream (electric mixer works best) until it reaches soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into custard. Pour into ice cream maker and churn for 15-20 minutes (or, use the low-tech method of placing in a bowl in the freezer and stirring vigorously every 30 minutes until frozen).

The float:

1 teaspoon butter (room temperature)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

hot water

Place butter, brown sugar and a dash of nutmeg in a mug and muddle gently. Pour hot water about two-thirds to top. Add 1 scoop of ice cream and stir to dissolve. Add a second scoop as a topper. Add a shot of rum for extra kick. Garnish with nutmeg.