July 17, 2011 § 2 Comments
I was never an advocate of homemade ice bars until last summer, after experimenting with batches of almond muhallebi for O.T. Muhallebi is a Turkish milk pudding thickened with rice flour and topped with nuts. During one of my kitchen experiments, I coarsely ground a generous portion of vanilla roasted almonds which I combined right into my homemade milk pudding, instead of as garnish. It was nuts. Like, nutty. Like, utter nutty goodness. I was inspired to freeze the almond muhallebi mixture in a popsicle mold. Since it is a milk pudding, there is none of the crystallized ice often found in popsicles (in fact, it is the crystallized ice that always had me disappointed at homemade ice milk bars). Even though no cream is used, the result is a thick and creamy ice bar (merit goes entirely to the rice flour), packed with bits of soft crunch and a wallop of nuttiness
I left my popsicle mold in California with O.T. and regret not picking up an extra set for my use here in Toronto. I have scoured so many dollar stores and home stores in Toronto in search of a bar-shaped popsicle mold, to no avail. If you are in the west coast, you can find popsicle bar molds at Daiso for $1.50. I finally found this pretty one for $2.99 at Meijer in Michigan when I visited my parents for the 4th of July weekend. And impressively, they perfectly match the milk/juice carton basket weave vases that I crafted in April.
Sadly, I have not been able to find vanilla roasted almonds since last summer. But there is a new kid in town — cocoa roast almonds. I am a vanilla type of gal, however these bad boys have won me over.
To make these creamy, nutty ice bars, you will need:
2 c milk
3 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 c cocoa roasted almonds
1. In a food processor, process the almonds to a coarse grind.
2. In a sauce pan, whisk together milk, rice flour, and sugar over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the mixture boils and thickens, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk in ground almonds.
4. Let cool for five minutes and spoon into popsicle molds. Freeze overnight.
You may substitute the rice flour with all purpose flour if you do not want the hint of rice milk flavor in your popsicles, as the rice flour will leave that. I enjoy rice milk and, like the Turks, I come from a culture that makes a majority of desserts with rice flour. All purpose flour does the trick of thickening without any added flavor. Next time, I will try it with some almond milk.