editted 2013_05_16_1213

Cold sweat. You’ve probably had one or two in your life. Not pleasant. Usually associated with a period of high stress or danger.

It’s time to change the whole meaning of the phrase. Now let “cold sweat” stand for something good, possibly even divine. This ice cream, from the kinkily wonderful new book The Icecreamists, is a mixture of flavors you normally don’t associate with ice cream: chili, ginger, and lemongrass. Okay, ginger ice cream is unusual but not unheard of. But this combination? No, this recipe is different, deliciously different.

What flavor do you get with all these things? It’s going to depend on you. I found my batch to be ginger with final notes from the chili and the lemongrass. Depending on the characteristics of you ingredients, and just how carefully you measure, you might have a flavor profile this different, hotter, with more tang on the tongue.

The recipe, like all those in The Icecreamists, is brilliant. Tomorrow, there comes a cocktail using this ice cream. Next week, I’ll give you a tour of The Icecreamists. If you get just one ice cream book a year, then this is the year of The Icecreamists.


Cold Sweat Ice Cream

Yield: 1 ½ cups


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine or granulated sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • Thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, fine chopped
  • Chili oil, to serve
  • Crystallized ginger, optional



Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to steam but not boil.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and whisk until pale and slightly fluffy. Gradually and slowly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling — this technique is called tempering. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring frequently, until the custard thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let boil.

Add the chili, ginger, and lemongrass to the custard and blend until smooth. [At this point, you can let the custard stand, the longer you do, the more flavor you add]. Strain twice through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove all fibers and seeds. Pour back into the bowl and set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature. For more rapid chilling, use an ice bath.

Once cooled, cover and refrigerate, ideally for overnight but at least for 6 hours. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream machine and process and then store as you normally do.

When serving, you can drizzle chili oil on top for one more bang.

Or, you can do what I did and top with pieces of crystallized ginger.

Source: The Icecreamists by Matt O’Conner

Photo Information: Canon T21i, EFS 60MM Macro lens, F/5.6 for 1/60 second at ISO 3200 [no flash]