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

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.