MEET THE SOUS CHEF
ATSUSHI TAKATSUKI, CHEF DE CUISINE, MB POST
When Atsushi Takatsuki, sous chef at MB Post in Manhattan Beach, California, was choosing what recipe to provide for Sous Chef Series, he consulted his friends. The unanimous vote: Takatsuki’s condensed-milk ice cream, rippled with homemade dulce de leche. We would like to thank his friends.
Takatsuki graduated from culinary school, worked at Jules Verne in Paris, then took a job in New York working for François Payard, followed by a position at Le Bernardin. While he loved New York, he couldn’t stay: “Those winters are brutal,” says the Los Angeles native. He returned to Los Angeles to work for Michael Mina, thinking he wanted a career in fine dining. Since coming to MB Post, his focus has shifted. “At the end of the day,” says Takatsuki, “I want to make food that keeps people coming back--food they can afford to eat once a week, not once a year.”
As for the ice cream, once a week sounds about right to us.
TRACK THIS CHEF
DAY IN THE LIFE
On Days Off
"David [LeFevre, chef and co-owner of MB Post] puts a priority on life outside the kitchen. We work long hours, but I usually get two days off each week. When I'm free, I take my dog, Hachi, a beagle-pit bull mix, to the park."
TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Ice Cream 101
Takatsuki keeps the canister for his ice cream maker in the freezer at all times, wrapped in plastic wrap, so he’s always ready to make a batch. At a minimum, he recommends freezing the canister for a full 24 hours before using.
Don’t like dulce de leche? Customize your ice cream by adding your favorite ingredients in place of the caramel. Takatsuki suggests roasted bananas or cereal, but a ripple of hot fudge, nuts or chopped candy would be equally delicious.
Sweetened condensed milk, one 14-ounce can
Heavy cream, 1¾ cups
Whole milk, ¾ cup
Granulated sugar, ½ cup
Kosher salt, a pinch
Large egg yolks, 5
Mixing bowls (at least 2 medium bowls and a large bowl)
1. Using the triangular pointed edge of a can opener (or church key; see Equipment, at left), puncture 2 opposite edges of the top of a can of
- Sweetened condensed milk
2. Set a large pot on the stovetop, place the can in the pot so it stands upright, and add enough water to leave only the top ½ inch of the can exposed. Turn the heat on to medium-high and bring the water to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and gently cook for 3 hours (as water evaporates, you may need to add more during the cooking time so the can is always only exposed by ½ inch). Use tongs to remove the can from the water, setting it aside at to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Use a can opener to open the can completely and pour the caramelized condensed milk (dulce de leche) into an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate.
3. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer the
- Heavy cream
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Pinch of Kosher salt
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
4. Fill a large bowl half-full with
5. In a heat-safe medium bowl, whisk the
- Large egg yolks
While whisking, slowly drizzle in the warm cream mixture, being careful not to add it too quickly (this could cause the eggs to curdle). Return the egg-and-cream mixture to the saucepan and set over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the custard begins to thicken, 10 to 12 minutes. Continue to stir until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes longer (when you drag your finger across the back of the spoon, it should leave a line that doesn’t fill in; it’s okay if there are a few lumps because they’ll get strained out in the next step).
Set a fine-mesh sieve over another medium bowl and pour the custard into the sieve; use a rubber spatula to push the custard through the sieve and into the bowl. Place the bowl with the strained custard into the ice-water bath. Stir occasionally until the custard is cooled. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).
6. Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn the custard into a soft-serve ice cream consistency. Once it reaches soft-serve consistency, add a few heaping spoonfuls of the
- Chilled dulce de leche
Churn until the dulce de leche is swirled into the ice cream base. Turn off the ice cream maker and transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Cover and freeze until firm, 2 to 3 hours, then serve.