My adventures with making ice cream. And eating it, too.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Roasted Banana

As part of the fun for Reach the Beach, I made ice cream sandwiches. I used peanut butter cookies and roasted banana ice cream. The ice cream recipe came from Lebovitz, again. That book is going straight onto my Christmas list.

Roasting the bananas in brown sugar and butter deepened the flavor and also added a taste that was close to caramel. I did make a slight mistake, or rather I did something that just annoyed me. I roasted double-batch worth of bananas in two 9x9 pans. I took them out of the oven and then got distracted. The bananas and the liquid at the bottom of the pans cooled off and hardened. So, it was back into the still-warm oven for a few minutes to loosen things up. Other than that gaff, it was another very easy recipe.

The combination of peanut butter and bananas was very pleasing. Putting mini-chocolate chips around the edge of the sandwich was tasty finishing touch.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chocolate PB, again

I made the chocolate peanut butter from Lebovitz again. This time, I added chopped-up Reese's PB cups. Splendid. The candy pushes the ice cream over the top. I continue to marvel at how the texture really is quite smooth for an eggless ice cream. The only thing I don't like about the recipe is that the size of the batch it makes is on the small side. The only answer, of course, is to double it in the future.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Peach Blueberry

I picked a lot of peaches and blueberries last weekend, so I had a lot of fruit that needed something done with it. I also had a picnic this past weekend and I needed to bring something. I decided I would make a double batch of peach blueberry ice cream. I based the recipe on David Lebovitz's recipe for peach ice cream.

First, the cook the fruit down in water for about 10 minutes. Then, you puree the fruit and the dairy in the food processor. Done. The only minor hitch was that double batch didn't fit into the food processor all at once.

The color was a really nice light purple. The taste was a nice balance between the two fruits. The texture was very smooth and light. A perfect summer ice cream.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Corn Starch Chocolate, No Fat

I made chocolate ice cream using the corn start recipe. This time I used skim milk instead of a mix of skim and heavy cream. It mixed up fine this time -- no trouble with it freezing too quickly.

I'm not sure why, but there's a bit of an after-taste that I don't really like. I haven't eaten enough of it to be able to describe the after-taste accurately. I did use Stop and Shop-brand cocoa powder, so that might be it. The texture is still good. Next time, I might use whole milk and see how that goes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chocolate Peanut Butter

I reserved a copy of David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop at the library a while ago. I just picked it up the other day. I need to buy it. The breadth of recipes is fantastic. The recipes themselves seem well-designed, too.

The book actually has a recipe for chocolate peanut butter ice cream. This is something that I've been fooling around with for some time. The book's recipe is simplicity defined. Pour a pint of half-and-half into a pot, add some sugar and cocoa powder. Heat and stir. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter. Chill. Pour into machine.

The texture is smooth and coats your mouth in a pleasant way with the two flavors. The overall flavor does lean just a little towards the PB side but that's good. If I want to change it in the future, I'd probably add just a little more cocoa powder.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Peach! Philly style

It's peach season in Connecticut. I do love peach season and picking peaches. In comparison to the forever long berry-picking sessions, peach picking is a dream. It's quick. There's no bending over. It's in the shade.

I let some peaches ripen and decided to make the peach ice cream from Emily Luchetti's Passion for Ice Cream. It's a Philly style ice cream. It's a nice technique. The peaches get peeled and roughly chopped and then placed into a put with some sugar. You let them cook down for about 20 minutes -- essentially making peach jam. That gets mixed with the warmed-up dairy and then into the fridge.

I was slightly worried as I put the mix into the machine since it was a little thick. But, the thickness was due to the peach chunks. The ice cream froze pretty quickly. The flavor was excellent. If peach ice cream was always like that, it'd be my favorite. The texture was very smooth, too. I'm making this again. Or possibly making peach blueberry.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Corn Starch Chocolate, Redux

I put the mix made with corn starch back into the machine last night after letting it sit overnight in the fridge after adding some skim milk. Again, it froze pretty quickly but this time, the whole of it was frozen. It still tastes chocolately and has a smooth texture. It received Katie's approval as well. This is a nice technique and I'm going to continue playing with it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Gonna have to try that again

I tried the corn starch ice cream from the NYT. Except, of course, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. It calls for dairy that isn't heavy, which is what I used for two cups (the other half cup was skim milk). This probably made a difference. The mixture was about as thick as pudding. It definitely did not pour into the machine. Then, it froze on the sides of the machine very quickly and the middle was still not frozen.

I scooped it out of the machine and put it back in the fridge but not before eating a bunch of what did freeze and then adding another half-cup of skim milk. What I ate tasted pretty good. I made chocolate by adding four tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dairy that was warmed on the stove. I'll put it into the machine again tonight.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Raspberry Chip II

I made the same recipe again but made some minor modifications. I inadvertently added a half-cup of sugar to the dairy I was warming on the stove, which isn't called for. I left out the sugar that goes with the raspberries that get pureed, which is only a quarter cup. Since I'd already made changes, I added a tablespoon of raspberry extract.

Overall, the ice cream was sweeter, less tart, possibly with a rounder raspberry flavor, and didn't freeze quite as hard as the original recipe. Still very good ice cream, of course. I'm not positive which one I like better.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Raspberry Chip

It's raspberry season in Connecticut. My wife insisted I make raspberry chip. She didn't need to ask twice. I used the recipe from William-Sonoma's Ice Cream for this. It calls for making a custard, processing the raspberries mixed with some sugar, and then combining the two and letting that sit in the refrigerator overnight. A straight forward recipe with no surprises or anything. The result was excellent. The fresh berries did their work. My wife enjoyed how they played against the mini semi-sweet chips she asked that I use. The flavor is sweet but not overly so and also a little tart. The texture is also very nice, smooth and creamy. An enjoyable flavor very suitable for celebrating National Ice Cream Day (July 14).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rocky Road

I made rocky road last night (okay, actually, since I didn't use any marshmallows, I guess I made heavenly hash, but I got a request for rocky road so that's what I made -- even if it doesn't have marshmallows). I started with chocolate ice cream, of course. I used the chocolate chocolate chip recipe from Emily Luchetti's A Passion for Ice Cream. Because I'm still making ice cream for a party, I made a double batch. But, this recipe yielded 6 cups of mix instead of 10 cups, as was the case with the coffee ice cream recipe from that book. The ice cream is smooth and chocolaty.

I had chopped up chocolate and had put the chocolate and some sliced almonds in the freezer so they'd be ready to add. I did better with the timing for the old Krups machine than I did with the coffee chocolate chip but I was still on the late side. Plus, the chocolate chunks were a bit bigger than chips. These combined to make the machine let me know that it was done. I was even later with the new Krups machine and so I had to mix in the chocolate and almonds by hand. This didn't go too badly. I think I might actually prefer it since it doesn't stress the machine at all.

The chocolate ice cream with the chocolate chunks and almonds was good all together. I guess it's a classic for a reason.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Coffee Chocolate Chip

I asked my mother-in-law what flavors of ice cream she wanted for her birthday party this weekend. She said she'd like coffee with chocolate chips and rocky road. Coffee with chocolate chips was my first priority since I'd never made coffee before.

In the past, I haven't cared all that much for the flavor (I'm not a coffee drinker, either). But, hey, it's ice cream, and a classic flavor at that, so I should be able to find a good recipe that I like. I think I did.

Emily Luchetti's A Passion for Ice Cream is full of great recipes (and not just for ice cream, but that's beside the point right now). I love the book. It hasn't failed me. However, I sort of balked at the coffee recipe. It called for eight egg yolks, which seemed like a lot (and like a pain in the egg-separating butt). But, I trust her recipes. It also called for steeping the ice cream mixture with crushed coffee beans overnight. Hmmm. I wasn't sure I was going to like that much coffee flavor. But, this wasn't about me.

I picked up Starbucks coffee beans at the store, so this quickly became an expensive recipe. But, I didn't seem to have a lot of options for whole beans. Well, someone I know is going to be receiving the gift of coffee in the near future.

Because I was making this for a party, I made a double batch. Hello 16 egg yolks! I also had to break out the big pot since the recipe called for 2 1/2 C cream and 2 C milk for a single batch. After taking the rubber mallet to the coffee beans (which were inside a plastic bag), I added them and some sugar to the dairy, and heated it. Sixteen egg yolks and some sugar were mixed in a bowl. Temper the eggs, add them to the pot, and gently warm the whole thing.

After a night in the refrigerator, I was set to make ice cream. I measured out one quart of mix, straining the beans out (a step I didn't notice the first two times I read the recipe!), and added it to one machine. I measured out another quart and I still had 2 C left over. I knew the recipe was going to make a lot but that much more than two quarts was a bit of a surprise.

I have a new-to-me ice cream machine (which is actually a fairly old Krupps machine that works well). I don't have the hang of when to add chips to it yet and I because I didn't want to fool around, I put the chips in the bottom of the container that would hold the finished ice cream. After the ice cream was done, I scooped into the container and mixed the chips in with it. This worked out okay but it was 80 in my kitchen and I don't think that helped anything. I do have to work on adding the chips to the machine. I'll try it with the Rocky Road, I guess.

The double batch yielded about 3 1/2 quarts of ice cream.

The flavor was really nice. It was a consistent and even coffee taste with no harsh notes. Adding in the chocolate chips (actually, I used chopped bittersweet chocolate instead) and it was an ice cream that I was enjoying. A pleasant surprise, not that the recipe worked and worked well but that I liked it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Chocolate Strawberry

With strawberry season underway in Connecticut, I'd been itching to make chocolate strawberry ice cream, because how good are chocolate-covered strawberries? And how great would that be to have in ice cream?

When I decide to make a flavor that I don't have a recipe for, there's always hemming and hawing about which direction to go. In this case, I could use a chocolate base and add in strawberries or I could do the opposite. This time, I sort of took a middle road.

I settled on the strawberry recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream book. It's an interesting recipe. Essentially, you make sweet cream ice cream and then add in the strawberries just as the ice cream is finished in the ice cream maker. I added two tablespoons of cocoa to the base and let that sit in the fridge overnight. I put the in the ice cream maker and it spin for a while until it seemed as if it was close to done. Then, I added in the strawberries, half of which I had mashed with a fork and the other half I had left as a rough chop. Then, just before it finished, I added in some chopped bittersweet chocolate I had chilling because I just felt it was going to be missing something and that something was chocolate chunks.

I'll admit to being a little skeptical about this recipe but it did have a nice strawberry flavor along with being chocolately but not overly so.

Getting Started

I've been making my own ice cream for three or four years now. I've tried making a pretty wide variety of flavors, some with great success and some I won't be making again.

The point of this blog is two-fold. First, I want to keep track of what I've made. It'll be easier to know if I've fiddled with something previously if I have a place to check for fiddling.

Secondly, I just want to make more of my own ice cream. I haven't consistently made my own ice cream in the past and I'd like to change that.

About Me

I live in Connecticut, which results in a nice assortment of fresh fruits in the summer. I can afford all of this ice cream on a caloric basis because I enjoy long-distance running.