Here in Delhi, it’s difficult to mourn the end of summer. It creeps up on you a bit, you suddenly start to realize that you can walk down the street without breaking a sweat. The morning and evening breezes beg open windows and the residents of this gigantic city slowly start to make their way out. Smaller parks will start to fill up with men taking an afternoon nap, and larger gardens will see everybody: families on the weekends, students during the week, big kids playing with little kids and dog owners taking longer walks than usual. The city’s few quirky cafes will open up their outdoor seating and the young and well-woolled will swoop in and then laze around like puppies in the sun.
People look happier here during the winter. It’s probably because we collectively stop scowling with the searing heat gone.
Naturally with summer ending, I suddenly remembered the popsicle molds I’ve used only a handful of times this summer, and I’m glad I did or I would’ve never come up with these lovely things.
Orange Infused White Chocolate Popsicles
Makes 6-8 sticks (depending on the size of your mold)
These popsicles are rich, creamy and bright with the orange flavor from the zest. I left the zest in because I wanted the pretty little orange flecks to show in my popsicle, but I have to admit that I didn’t like them interrupting the creamy texture of the custard. I would say strain it out out before pouring the custard into the molds. Also, I have no idea of standard sizes for popsicle molds, this recipe filled up my six piece mold and I still had half a cup left over (which made a nice pudding, so no one complained). I encourage you to make it anyhow, and eat any leftovers for pudding while waiting for the popsicles to freeze!
4 tablespoons white chocolate
2 1/2 cups whole milk (though skimmed will do)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or use salted and omit the additional salt)
1 teaspoon finely grated/chopped orange zest (loving my new microplane for this!)
In a medium sized, thick bottomed saucepan, add the chocolate and 1/2 cup of milk. On a low heat, stir with a spatula, till the chocolate has melted.
In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 2 cups of milk, making sure no lumps form (ideally you should do this with a small amount of the milk, in a separate smaller bowl before adding it to the rest of the milk, but heck, breaking culinary rules is how I like to live it large).
Add the milk mixture, sugar, salt and orange zest to the pan and stir.
Stir constantly, making sure to wipe down the sides and the bottom of the saucepan with your spatula. Cook for about 10 minutes on a medium heat, or until the custard thickens (a bit more than a creme-anglaise, but less than for a custard pie). To make sure its thick enough, run your finger down the custard coating your spatula, this should leave behind a well defined line.
Whisk in the butter and take the custard of the heat. Tranfer to another bowl (this would be a good time to strain out the zest) and allow it to cool a bit before spooning the mixture into the molds.
Freeze 8 hours or overnight. To un-mold, run them stick side down under water for about 30 seconds and pull out. To free up freezer space, it’s a good idea to un-mold all the popsicles and wrap in clingfilm to store in the freezer.