Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream

date05.04.15

Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream

With two walls of windows in the dining room and a heat wave the day I shot these photos, the scoops turned to ice cream soup in 1-2-3 snaps. Yes, I just called 81°F a heat wave – a notable 30° cooler than the day we got married – but without AC, this kind of temperature warrants opening all the doors and shooting chamomile honeycomb ice cream in your skivvies. (Oh hey there neighbors!)

(They can’t actually see through our sheer curtains in the sun.) (I checked.)

Chamomile Ice Cream

Let’s be real – this complaining is most definitely a thinly veiled brag about our easy breezy California weather. I know we’re spoiled – just not when I’m trying to take pictures of ice cream. For that, I’d prefer a walk-in freezer with natural light. Someone patent this idea quick.

Homemade Honeycomb CandyHomemade Honeycomb CandyChamomile Honeycomb Ice CreamChamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream

After refreezing the ice cream for an hour (and reluctantly putting pants on), I invited our neighbors over for scoops. Have you ever seen little kids eat ice cream? They take their sweet time – a strategy that generally serves them well by dragging out the ice cream enjoyment even longer. With melty ice cream and a hot day though, this painfully slow nibbling approach means they’ll get one, maybe two, bites of ice cream in before it melts.

Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream

And that’s exactly what happened. I looked over just as I sat down with my own scoop to find Rosa (4 years old) drinking her ice cream. Across the table her 1½ year old brother followed suit. When ice cream melts, it’s basically a milkshake, right? I guess I should have served it with straws instead of spoons. (Or straw spoons?)

Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream

When I made this vegan strawberry coconut chocolate chip ice cream, I thought no other ice cream could ever compare. Then I made this chamomile honeycomb ice cream and now I’m pretty sure 2015 has two ice cream flavor mascots. I’m also pretty sure I have an ice cream obsession.

In this herbal rendition, the smooth chamomile flavor punches through the sweet honeyed candy to have a shining moment while the honeycomb bits adds a dose of crunch to keep things dramatic.

Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream

This chamomile honeycomb ice cream is part of an edible flowers virtual potluck, just in time for spring blossoms. Fortunately it’s virtual or surely I’d have shown up in my underwear with dessert soup instead.

When Renee invited me to join the potluck, I immediately started eating wild flowers from my backyard. Just to break the ice. Then I worked on two recipes in tandem because decisions paralyze me. So that’s how these hibiscus strawberry curd tarts came about. And now I’m considering infusing all my desserts with blooms from here on out.

Hop on over to see what edible flower recipes this group of inspiring bloggers brought to the potluck:

Bread + Barrow | An Edible Flower Luncheon 
Dunk & Crumble | Strawberry Lilac Pavlovas
A Little Saffron | Raspberry Rose Fizz

Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream
Author: 
Yields: 1 large quart
 
Ingredients
Honeycomb (adapted from Lollipop Love)
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda, sifted
Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream (base adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
  • 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup dried chamomile
  • 1 cup honeycomb pieces (recipe above)
Instructions
Honeycomb
  1. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the sugar, water, honey, corn syrup, and salt in a medium heavy saucepan, stirring just to combine.
  3. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat and cook, without stirring, until it reads 296°F on a candy thermometer.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and quickly but carefully stir in the baking soda (the sugar will bubble up rapidly).
  5. Pour the bubbling sugar onto the lined baking sheet and let set completely while you make the ice cream, about an hour.
  6. When it's completely cool, break honeycomb into pieces no larger than ½-inch. The honeycomb will keep in a plastic bag for a few days.
Chamomile Honeycomb Ice Cream
  1. Whisk 3 tablespoons of milk with the tapioca starch in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk cream cheese and salt until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, honey, and lemon zest and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it boil for 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in dried chamomile. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and water.
  6. Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve lined with a cheese cloth, squeezing all the liquid through. Return the strained milk to the saucepan.
  7. Give the corn starch slurry one last whisk to make sure it's completely incorporated. Slowly whisk the corn starch slurry into the hot milk saucepan and bring it back to a boil over medium-high heat.
  8. Cook, stirring, until it thickens until it lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 1-2 minutes.
  9. Slowly pour a cup of the hot milk into the cream cheese bowl and mix until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the saucepan and whisk until completely smooth.
  10. Pour the ice cream base into a large 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Seal it and submerge the mixture in the ice bath until cold, about 30 minutes.
  11. Pour the ice cream base into the bowl of your pre-frozen ice cream maker. Follow the directions on your ice cream maker to churn the base into ice cream, until it is the consistency of soft-serve, about 15-20 minutes.
  12. Add the honeycomb pieces and churn just until evenly incorporated throughout, 1 more minute.
  13. Pack the ice cream into an air-tight storage container or a metal loaf pan, pressing a sheet of parchment paper directly against the ice cream.
  14. Freeze until firm and the honeycomb has softened, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

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62 Comments

  1. Kathryn says:

    I made a strawberry + chamomile ice cream a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious so I’m keen to see what else I can make with my leftover chamomile. This sounds like it fits the bill perfectly. I do like an ice cream with a bit of crunch in it too…

  2. Sarah, this ice cream looks amazing and I’ve wanted to try making honeycomb for ages now so I’ll have to give it a try soon :)

  3. Aysegul says:

    Here I am, sitting in front of my computer, and – literally – drooling over this gorgeous looking ice cream. I have never had the combination of honeycomb&chamomile, but as a lover of both flavors I can only imagine how delicious it must be.
    And your photography.. so so SO gorgeous!

  4. Unfortunately I am still wearing my coat here in New England but rumor has it that our weather will be on the up and up. This ice cream looks simply divine and I am still baffled that the neighbors didn’t suck it all down in one fell swoop.

  5. Molly says:

    Such a beautiful post! And I love this flavor combo idea! I used to work for a candy company in Brooklyn that made chocolate covered honeycomb – cracking it up like that once it’s done is sooooo satisfying :)

  6. Okay, so I know we have no right to be complaining about the weather, but what the heck was up with the heat spike last week?! You are totalllly rocking out the edible flowers recipes lately. Wishing I could just dig in!

    • Riiight?! I’m glad someone else knows what I’m talkin’ about! (I’ve got more edible flowers to come too! I just couldn’t stop…) Can’t wait to cook with you soon!

  7. Jenna says:

    You always make the most fasinating ice cream flavors! Might have to try taking a stab at making homemade honeycomb.

  8. Ileana says:

    Yep, I could eat this ice cream for all of 2015! Love the flavor combination!!

  9. Can I be your neighbor? They get all the good stuff! :P Honey and chamomile is such a perfect combo and sounds like genius turning it into ice cream. I’m firmly in the mindset that ice cream wins all, though. :)

  10. Sherrie says:

    Sarah I am dying dying dying over this post and recipe and photos. Quite possibly the best thing I’ve seen in a really long time. Mouth wide open, drool on keyboard, I’m in love, xo!

    • I’m totally fangirling over your sweet comment right now! This is the best comment ever – thanks for making my day, Sherrie:) I wish I could send you a scoop via e-mail (when will they get that food printer ready for mass production??

  11. Brooke says:

    This looks so delicious! I’m glad there’s lots of dairy-free options so I can make this ice cream. Do you have any suggestions if I substitute milk, cream cheese, and any other dairy items for vegan options?

    • Thanks Brooke! If I were to make this vegan (which I almost did!), I would use this strawberry vegan ice cream base, but omit the strawberries and vanilla bean and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. Instead of steeping the vanilla beans, I would steep the chamomile in that step! I just made that vegan ice cream but as vanilla bean, so I know it works without the strawberries too:) You can also make the honeycomb without the honey, just adding more corn syrup or even using agave in place of the honey – I’ve seen lots of recipe online with those substitutions! I hope you enjoy!

  12. well this sounds brilliant. honeycomb candy in a cream cheese chamomile and honey base? yep. you’re a genius. you can show up at my house with this in various forms of meatiness any time. and i promise i’ll turn the A/C on. <3

  13. Wow – this is beyond beautiful! I’ve never seen honeycomb made before and am now fascinated with that process!

    • Thank you Shelly! It’s crazy how quickly the sugar bubbles up when the baking soda is added! It’s dangerously addicting too…(says the girl who has a dentist deep cleaning appointment tomorrow…)

  14. This is amazing. It looks SO YUMMY! I love love love honeycomb and have yet to make it myself – I will be giving this a go ASAP. So beautiful, and honestly, I love melty ice cream. My sister used to microwave hers before eating it…weird kids! xx

    • Haha – we used to microwave ours too! I totally forgot about that until you JUST mentioned it. Mostly because I was way too weak to scoop hard ice cream :P Thank you so much, Meg! <3

  15. The fact that you put honeycomb in this ice cream is totally awesome, but also, I love that you combined it with chamomile! I’m a big fan of having a bit of crunch in my ice cream. The kids might be on to something with the milkshake thing too! ;)

  16. I’ll bring my own straw, dessert spoon, and pair of pants if you ever need help dealing with extra melting ice cream ;)
    I love that this is infused with beautiful golden chamomile flowers and given some spunk with chunks of homemade honeycomb. This is just perfection Sarah! I cannot wait to make this as soon as I get my ice cream maker out of storage. It will be the middle of winter, not too cold for ice cream (is it ever?) but cold enough to stop it melting into milkshakes too soon :)
    PS. Your neighbours must love you!

    • Haha – I just laughed out loud. I’m imagining you showing up like “here, put these pants on. I want ice cream.” Ice cream in the middle of winter is totally welcome:)

  17. Craving a scoop right now! This ice cream looks and sounds wicked and I just love using the flavour of chamomile so I can imagine it tastes incredible too.

  18. Good grief, I wish you were my neighbor! Those kiddos must be banging on your door all the time.. thinking you have an endless supply of luscious ice cream spewing fourth from your freezer. I adore chamomile and grow a small pot of it every summer. I’m thinking I need to plant more! It won’t be ready for a few more months, but I know where I can get some dried flowers. And this honeycomb! WoW! I didn’t know homemade was even possible! It sounds just spectacular and oh so refreshing. Looking forward to whippin this one out, Sarah! And what a fabulous pot luck; looking forward to browsing! Thank you my dear!

  19. GAH! This looks like delish ice cream Sarah! And, i know what you mean about it melting in seconds. Ugh. I’ve had that happen and ice cream can be so tempermental. :-) But, yours looks absolutelly amazing despite the high heat! I want some of this now.

  20. cynthia says:

    Everything about this is MAGICAL. The honeycomb and that incredible texture, chamomile, my favorite flavor to infuse in anything ever, these gorgeous photos!!!! Sarah, you’re an ice cream goddess. This is perfection.

  21. Amanda Paa says:

    i’m so in love with these photos! and the thought of using honeycomb intrigues me so much. i bet the chamomile was the perfect compliment, subtle but enough to get it that “edge up.” and the little buds are so pretty! xo

  22. OMG. Sarah this is BEAUTIFUL. I love the light in these photos (hehe, ice cream melting problems are totally funny and giggle-worthy. I’ve been in the same spot numerous times. Universal food blogger problem!), but the main thing about this post: CHAMOMILE HONEYCOMB? Ever since I saw the Food52 review of Fancy Desserts and I saw the honeycomb dessert, I’ve wanted to try it. Then I clicked over to your post and my jaw dropped. Your honeycomb looks PHENOMENAL. Why can’t I be in the bay area while you’re making all these delicious foods? I could be your neighbor and drink melted ice cream throw a straw too, you know. On that note, I’m choosing dates to visit (this is happening 100%. Just have to choose the best dates) and we are hanging out, no matter what!

    PS I just went and stalked your wedding photos. Gorgeous girl – it seemed like such a happy day!!!!

  23. Everything about this ice cream is just brilliantly beautiful. The flavors, your pictures and styling – that light!! *Open hands with light rays emoji! I wish I could be your neighbor so bad, seriously, are there any houses for sale on your street?! We could eat ice cream without pants – think about it. ;)

  24. I’m gonna cry this is so beautiful!!!!!! 0_0 I particularly love the picture with the flowers sprawled out in the pot.

    And wow, the flavor sounds unlike any other….care to open a gelateria in LA? Okay okay, SF is okay too. And that freezer idea is wayyyy too awesome. I think with the crazy way things are going in the foodie photography world, a small freezer box with a ‘window” is more than feasible, hah! ;)

  25. OK these are beyond gorgeous, Sarah! Like I don’t even know where to begin. The homemade honeycomb, the gorgeous overhead shots, or that amazing wood background. And more. Ugh, I love this post I love this post!

  26. This combo? Gorgeous. Pictures? Gorgeous. I love the soft light. Sooooo pretty. But really, this flavor combo sounds killer! I love that you made your own honeycomb.

  27. Oh, Sarah, this ice cream is the bee’s knees (sorry, couldn’t resist)–I am LOVING that honeycomb! Also, I can only hope it someday gets warm enough here in Michigan to melt ice cream :) Gorgeous work, as usual!

  28. Julia says:

    It was getting pretty toasty here in Reno for a hot minute, but then it cooled back down this week. We’ve even had a little bit of snow this morning!

    I am SO impressed by that honeycomb! So gorgeous! I really must make this ice cream as soon as humanly possible so that I’m ready for the next heat wave…slash I want to eat this every day of my life, thankyouverymuch! ;)

  29. Gorgeous shots, even in the heat! :-)

  30. Jasmin says:

    Ok, I’m still walking around my house with pants (and a sweater) on, so it’s safe for me to look these wonderful photos of ice cream – for now :)
    Putting chamomile in it is great idea, I will try it definitely, just have to convince European spring to hurry with some heat waves…

  31. Kirbie says:

    Love, love this! Chamomile and honey are two of my favorites, so this ice cream flavor is so up my alley! Now I just need someone to make it for me.

  32. Sarah! I am so happy I found your blog. REALLY love your recipes and your pretty photo’s. Will follow you from now on. Warm regards from the Netherlands, Ingrid.

  33. The flavors and textures in this!!!! Pure elegance.

  34. Sarah, your photos are breath-taking!! So gorgeous! I can’t even imagine how incredibly delicious is the ice cream!

  35. Min says:

    My friend…wow….you always leave me speechless! I’ve been feeling so devastated ever since the Blue Bell recall, but instead of feeling sad and deprived, I should make a flavorful ice cream like this myself! Seriously, your neighbors are so lucky…If I was your neighbor, I would seriously peak through your window everyday…ok that’s kinda creepy haha.

  36. Jacqui says:

    I am so glad I am not an ice cream addict…….I only eat it everyday!!
    More flavours to add to my list

  37. Why aren’t *WE* neighbors? I love chamomile. I love honeycomb. AHEM.

  38. Okay, first of all, melting, drippy or perfectly creamy and frozen- your photography is gorgeous♡ I want to jump through my screen and slurp, or scoop up, all of this ice cream!! Second, the flavor of this ice cream sounds unbelievably delicious!!! I am TOTALLY making this. Stat! Third, I feel you on the heat being no fun when trying to take photos of a lot of dishes, especially ice cream. I reside in flordia, so I completely get the frustration. However, devouring a very large bowl of this, afterwards? Totally worth every annoying second. :)

  39. Hi Sarah! This is such a cool and inspiring idea to participate in virtual potlucks and an innovative way to build food blogger community and share new recipes! I loved your honeycomb idea and plan to incorporate it into my own desserts soon! Thanks for sharing!

  40. wow- this looks absolutely incredible! next on my must-try list, for sure!

  41. I made this and it was soooo good!

    I cheated and used Crunchie bars (which I think are only available in the UK, but are basically chocolate-coated honeycomb) for the honeycomb. I also used 5 camomile teabags instead of the flowers.

    • Oh my gosh! I’m so glad you made it and loved it – thank you so much for coming back to let me know:) Those crunchie bars sound awesome! Teabags work great in replacement for loose-leaf – in a pinch, that’s what I use too!

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