Churn This: Black Cat Licorice & Lavender – Salt & Straw
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Our Black Cat Licorice & Lavender is ominous, and unexpected - just like a dark and frightful Fall night. We’ve conjured up superstition with a silky, pitch-dark anise and fennel caramel with luminous salted lavender ice cream. Grab a spoon and enter if you dare 👀 Make sure to tag us in your homemade scoops on social.

Black Cat Licorice & Lavender

Makes about 2 pints

  • 2 cups ice cream base, very cold (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup salted lavender syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup black caramel licorice (recipe follows)
1. Combine ice cream base and lavender syrup and use a stick blender to briefly blend to combine well. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and turn it on. Churn just until the mixture has a soft serve texture (timing ranges depending on the machine).
2. Alternate spooning layers of the mixture and dollops of the black caramel licorice in freezer-friendly containers. After you finish packing each container, use a knife or spoon to very gently swirl the contents together to ensure that the wisps are extra-wisspy (the way you’d make a marbled cheesecake).
3. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface so it adheres, then cover with a lid. It’s okay if the parchment hangs over the rim. Store it in the coldest part of your freezer (furthest from the door) until firm, at least 6 hours. It will keep for up to 3 months.

    Ice Cream Base

    Makes about 3 cups

    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder
    • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
    • 1 ½ cups whole milk
    • 1 ⅓ heavy cream
    1. Combine the sugar, dry milk, and xanthan gum in a small bowl and stir well.
    2. Pour the corn syrup into a medium pot and stir in the whole milk. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. 
    3. Add the cream and whisk until fully combined. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours, or for even better texture and flavor, 24 hours. Stir the base back together if it separates during the resting time. The base can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Just be sure to fully thaw the frozen base before using it)

      Salted Lavender Syrup

      Makes about 1 cup

      • ½ cup dried lavender petals
      • ¼ cup white sugar
      • ¾ cup water
      1. Combine lavender petals, white sugar, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let steep for about 15 minutes.
      2. Remove from heat and strain. 

        Black Caramel Licorice

        Makes about 1 cup

        • 1/2 cup tapioca syrup
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • 1 tablespoon molasses
        • 1/2 cup cream
        • 1/8 teaspoon ground fennel
        • 1/8 teaspoon ground star anise 
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1 tablespoon cold butter
        • 1/8 teaspoon anise extract
        • All natural black food dye
        1. Combine tapioca syrup, sugar, and molasses in a medium saucepan, and stir until all the sugar looks wet. Cover, set the pan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely melted, about 3 minutes.
        2. Take the pan off the heat and immediately and gradually pour in the cream, going slowly at first and then speeding up to a nice steady stream, whisking as you pour.
        3. Add fennel, star anise, and salt. Put the pan over medium-high heat again. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Let the mixture simmer away, stirring it occasionally, until it registers 238°F on the thermometer. Take the pan off head and add the butter, stirring slowly but constantly until the butter has completely melted.
        4. Stir in anise extract and splash of all natural black food dye until fully combined. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then use it right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. Separation is totally normal; just make sure to stir the caramel well before using it.