Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oven-baked Ice Cream Cones

Summer is here and how! And a I-can't-believe-this-is-Bangalore summer at that!  A slight rise in the mercury levels and I will be squirmish, so not surprisingly just staying put in Bangalore is my idea of a summer vacation. We are boring folks, I told you! While the kids are enjoying at their summer camps, I thought I must at least try and build some excitement around making ice cream, ice-pops and fro-yos at home. And some fun homemade ice cream cones too! No, I am not lucky enough to own a waffle iron but I actually quite enjoy eating ice creams from the waffle cones made in front of ice-cream outlets. Don't tell anyone, but if my daughter has second thoughts about finishing her cone, my son and I invariably kind of (note, only kind of) compete with each other to help her finish! 

Now that a waffle iron is not one of my prized possessions, I was glad to find a recipe for oven-baked ice-cream cones from the master of frozen desserts, David Lebovitz. Though not exactly easy to shape unless you have asbestos hands, making these is still fun! Cones in chocolate, vanilla and chocolate,  zesty orange and chocolate, lemon and sesame /poppy seeds, coconut and cardamom flavors, or chocolate dipped cones. Miniature ones for kids' parties, sporting the creative designs you can think of.  Spread the batter on your cookie sheets and let your kids do a spot of  'cone designing'. ( If they look clumsy like mine, you can always say the kids did it) Something you must surely do this summer as a fun project, then fill your own ice cream or with some out of a tub.

The batter and method for these cones is very similar to that of tuiles, but this one has more flour for more sturdiness. Tuiles are really really fragile, but a tad more forgiving when you shape. The ice cream cones harden even before you can yelp 'ouch' and mine had a few cracks here and there when I tried to give them better shape. You can pop the cones in the oven again for a minute or more and they do soften again, but still a bit tricky to shape. Keep your counter-top free, have your metal cone right next to the oven, wear heat-proof, food safe gloves (if you have them) which are thin enough to allow you to shape the cones. Or use 2 thin, short kitchen towels to help you shape by partially draping the towel (just enough to protect your fingers and give you a grip) over the hot cones.  Whew! I know, this sounds more like a complex surgical procedure than making some simple cones, but I am telling you all this just so that I can say, don't tell me I did not warn you!

I made one recipe of the vanilla batter and 1 recipe of chocolate. Having both helps use the batters for contrasting flavors and colors in one cone. Recipe from Epicurious
Vanilla cones (see variations below)
  • Egg whites, 2 large  - 60 grams
  • Sugar - 7 tablespoons (85 g)
  • Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
  • Flour - 90 grams
  • Unsalted butter, melted  - 30 grams / 2 tablespoons (weighed and then melted)
Chocolate Variation:
  • Egg whites, 2 large  - 60 grams
  • Sugar - 100 grams / 1/2 cup 
  • Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
  • Flour - 60 grams
  • Cocoa - 20 grams / 3 tablespoons
  • Unsalted butter, melted  - 30 grams / 2 tablespoons (weighed and then melted)
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350°F. Mise en place.
  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in the salt and half of the flour (or the flour and cocoa sifted together for chocolate cones), then mix in the melted butter. Beat in the rest of the flour until smooth.A tiny whisk works well here. At this point you can use the batter immediately or refrigerate it for up to 4 days. Let the batter come to room temperature before using.
  • Line a baking sheet (or the back of a 8''/9'' square or round tin) with parchment paper and use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread 2 level tablespoons of the batter into a circle 6 inches across (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons to make about 51/2'' circles, baked for 13 minutes). Try to get the circles as even and smooth as possible. I found it easier to start off in the middle of the circle and move the back of the spoon in concentric circles (like dosa) moving outward. You will have to rotate the pan as you go, holding the parchment between your left thumb and the middle finger as the parchment tends to come away from the pan with the viscous batter.
  • Put the baking sheet in the oven and begin checking the cones after about 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, they’ll take between 10 and 15 minutes to bake. The circles should be a deep golden brown (for vanilla) throughout (some lighter and darker spots are inevitable, so don’t worry). Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a thin metal spatula to loosen the edge of one disk. Slide the spatula under the disk, quickly flip it over, and immediately roll it around the cone-rolling form, pressing the seam firmly on the counter to close the cone and pinching the point at the bottom securely closed. ( I did a really clumsy job as the cones were really hot!)
  • Let the cone cool slightly on the mold until it feels firm, then slide it off and stand it upright in a tall glass to cool. Roll the other cone the same way. (If it’s too firm, return the baking sheet to the oven for a minute or so until it’s pliable again.)
  • Repeat, using the remaining batter. You’ll find it easier to spread the batter if you slide the reusable parchment paper off the baking sheet; any heat from the baking sheet will make the batter fussy to spread.

  • For Sesame or Poppy Seed Ice Cream Cones, stir 3 tablespoons (35 g) toasted sesame or poppy seeds and a bit of grated lemon zest into the batter.
  • For Gingersnap Ice Cream Cones, add 1 tablespoon mild molasses and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the batter. Increase the sugar to 1/2 cup (100 g).
  • For Honey-Cornmeal Ice Cream Cones, substitute 1 large egg and 1 egg white for the 1/4 cup (60 ml) egg whites. Melt 2 teaspoons of strongly flavored honey with the butter, and substitute 1/2 cup (70 g) of flour and 1/4 cup (35 g) of stone-ground cornmeal for the 2/3 cup (90 g) flour.
  • For Rosemary Ice Cream Cones, add 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary to the Honey-Cornmeal Ice Cream Cone batter.
The batter can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Let the batter come to room temperature before using. Once baked and cooled, store the cones in an airtight container until ready to serve. They’re best eaten the same day they’re baked.


Sayantani said...

simply the textured you created with two colours.

Rajani said...

Wow, trust you to amp the temperature even more with these hot cones! I was drooling all the way along your narration until i reached the recipe part which says- egg whites. Drat, why do all great things need egg in them?
Ok, well, my summer challenge can be to try out an eggless version, what say?

Hasna said...

hats off to u gal... i could never think of something like this.. nw seeing this ,i want to try... lets c..

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Nivedhanams Sowmya said...

oh how much i searched for this recipe... i do have a waffle maker but have not seen a recipe which is eggfree... can you tell what can i substitute for eggs here?
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Deeba Rajpal said...

These are stunning Suma, and such such fun. I am so making these someday soon! YUM!!

Aps prabhu said...

I can have as many Icecreams i can especially for the cones!

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, seriously cant ask more,thats wonderful to bake icecream cones at home, thanks for sharing Suma.

divya said...

looks very tempting. Irresistible.

Unknown said...

Wow...look so good ! Suma you are truly amazing. Just in time for the summer...rt on top of my 'must try' list.

Rev said...

wow! now that is quite experimental. beautiful cones!!! :)

Chowder Singh said...

Lovely looking cones

Shema George said...

Unbelievable Suma.. Great work...!! I wish come to your place and try it...