Mixing and matching recipes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts—it’s what Jeni likes to call “cooking between the pages,” or freestylin’. The recipes in the cookbook were designed so you can think, visualize, and strategize ways to create your own recipes and desserts. All you have to do is use any recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts as your starting point. By mixing and matching it with other recipes, you can shapeshift them into something else entirely. That’s freestylin’.
Scroll 👇 for some of Jeni’s favorite riffs.
Freestylin’ Pork Shoulder Empanadas with the Empanada Dough recipe, roasted pork shoulder, cherry tomatoes, and a Cilantro Emulsion.
Two days before frying the empanadas, prepare about 3 pounds of pork shoulder. Make a rub by blending about ⅓ cup salt, 2 tablespoons brown sugar about 1 to 2 tablespoon each: black pepper, cumin and oregano. Press into the pork on all sides and leave overnight in the fridge.
The next day, place the pork shoulder in the oven, heat it to 250ºF and roast for 12 hours. Make the Empanada Dough (page 140). Cut it out into circles and place in the refrigerator. Remove the pork, roughly chop it into small pieces (including the fat). Cover a baking sheet with cherry tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and a heaping handful of sea salt. Roast in the 250ºF oven for 2 hours or so, until the tomatoes are wrinkly and a bit melted down.
Make a Cilantro Emulsion: a bunch of cilantro, a good amount of salt, a lot of vinegar, about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mayonnaise. Pulse in a food processor until smooth.
Fry as directed on page 141. Serve immediately with the Cilantro Emulsion.
Freestylin’ the Coconut Cream Cake with the Lady Cake and Marshmallow Filling recipes—and shredded sweetened coconut.
Make 2 Lady Cakes (page 100) and 2 batches of Marshmallow Filling (page 191) made with a bit of coconut extract. Slice the cooled cakes in half diametrically. Spread roughly equal amounts of filling and a dusting of sweetened coconut between each layer. Slightly more filling should be reserved for the top of the cake than between the layers, then pack as much coconut on the top as will stick, and then some more.
Freestylin’ a Strawberry Almond Cake, using the Lady Cake and Macerated Strawberries, and Whipped Cream recipes, fresh whole strawberries, and sliced toasted almonds.
Prepare 1 batch of Macerated Strawberries (page 184) as directed. Bake 2 Lady Cakes (page 100) and let cool. Pulse the macerated berries until it becomes a diced sauce. Make 2 batches of Whipped Cream (page 191). Slice the cakes in half diametrically. Spread ¼ of the strawberries and a heaping soup-spoonful of Whipped Cream between each layer of cake and to the top layer. Drop the rest of the Whipped Cream onto the top and spread around the sides. Top with fresh whole strawberries. Gently press some sliced toasted almonds around the sides of the cake. Refrigerate for ½ hour to set.
Freestylin’ Baby Legs with the Lady Cake, A Wiseman’s Cake, and Marshmallow Filling recipes using cast-iron corn molds.
Make the Lady Cake batter (page 100) and/or A Wiseman’s Chocolate Cake batter (page 98).Butter cast-iron corn molds and pour the batter into the molds, about ⅔ full. Bake for 45 minutes at 325ºF. While baking, make a batch of Marshmallow Filling (page 191). Allow the cakes to cool, pipe the Marshmallow Filling on the flat side of each and top with another cake. Makes about 12 Baby Legs.
Freestylin’ a Pineapple Upside Down Cake using the Lady Cake and a cast iron skillet.
Make the Lady Cake batter (page 100). In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet melt about ⅓ cup of butter & 1 cup of light brown sugar until bubbling (3 to 4 minutes). Set 7 pineapple rings in the pan and add 1 Amarena cherry to the middle of each ring. Pour the Lady Cake batter over the pineapples, bake at 325ºF for 35 to 40 minutes, and let cool slightly. Flip out of the pan.
Freestylin’ a Boston Cream Pie with the Lady Cake, Chocolate Glaze, and Salty Vanilla Frozen Custard recipes.
Make a Lady Cake (page 100). Make a batch of Salty Vanilla Frozen Custard (page 60). Let the cake cool and slice in half diametrically. Layer half into a silicone mold, add all of the frozen custard, and top it with the other half of the cake. Freeze for 4 hours. Make a batch of Chocolate Glaze (page 189). Loosen the glaze up with a splash of heavy cream if needed. Unmold the cake and pour the glaze over the top—let it fall over the sides in spots. Serve or freeze for later.
Freestylin’ a German Chocolate Cake with recipes for A Wiseman’s Chocolate Cake and Salty Caramel Sauce, plus toasted pecans and shredded sweetened coconut.
Bake 2 A Wiseman’s Chocolate Cakes (page 98). Make 2 batches of Salty Caramel Sauce (page 187) and let cool. In a food processor, pulse ⅓ cup of toasted pecans and ⅓ cup of shredded sweetened coconut and all of the Salty Caramel Sauce until chunky. Add another ⅓ cup of nuts and pulse gently. Let the cakes cool and slice both in half diametrically. Between each layer, add the Salty Caramel Sauce-and-nut mixture, saving a bit for the top. Decorate the top with more pecans.
Freestylin’ a Lemon Meringue Cake with the Lady Cake, Meringue Cake, Lemon Curd recipes and fresh raspberries.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Evenly divide 1 batch of Lady Cake (page 100) batter in two 9-inch round cake pans and top with 1 batch of Meringue Cake batter (page 102). While the cakes bake, make a batch of Lemon Curd (page 183). Let the cakes cool, then assemble: Lady-and-Meringue Cake, Lemon Curd, Lady-and-Meringue Cake. Top with fresh raspberries. (You could use the Macaroon Cake (page 96) instead of the Lady Cake here, and bake at 350ºF.)
Freestylin’ Chocolate & Smoked Almond Tarts with recipes for the Sugar Dough Tart Shells and Chocolate Glaze—and the ice cream of your choice.
Make and bake Sugar Dough Tart Shells (pages 112). Make a batch of Chocolate Glaze (page 189), or warm as directed a jar of our Extra-Bitter Hot Fudge Sauce. Remove the shells from the oven and fill each one with glaze or sauce to the brim. (You can add a bit of heavy cream to make the glaze flow a little more freely.) Top each tart with smoked almonds and let cool completely in the refrigerator. Serve with a scoop of ice cream of your choice.
Freestylin’ Cast-Iron Pancakes with Ham & Cheese using the Cast-Iron Pancake and Hot Honey recipes—and ham and cheese.
My regular Cast-Iron Pancake recipe (page 134) calls for a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, but for this freestyle I like to use 6-inch skillets so each pancake serves 1. Heat butter in the skillets, make the batter and bake as directed. Make a batch of Hot Honey (page 188). Remove the skillets from the oven, top each pancake with a slice or two of ham and a slice of Muenster cheese, and return them to the oven until the edges turn a lovely dark brown (a few more minutes). Remove from the oven, slide out of the skillets, pour loads of Hot Honey on top, and serve immediately.
Freestylin’ Salty Caramel & Rosemary Bar Nuts Tarts with the recipes for the Sugar Dough Tart Shells, Salty Caramel Sauce, and Rosemary Bar Nuts—and the ice cream of your choice.
Make and bake Sugar Dough Tart Shells (pages 112). Make a batch of Salty Caramel Sauce, or warm as directed a jar of our already-made Salty Caramel Sauce. Remove the shells from the oven and fill each one with sauce to the brim. Top each tart with Rosemary Bar Nuts (page 192) and let cool completely in the refrigerator. Serve with a scoop of ice cream of your choice.
Freestylin’ the Plum Tarts with the Sugar Dough and Macaroon Cake recipes and sliced plums.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Make 1 batch of Sugar Dough (page 112) and put half of it in a tart pan. Make the Macaroon Cake batter (page 96) and pour half on top of the dough. Add 6 sliced plums in layers and bake. Repeat to make the second tart.