I was realizing today that I hadn’t written about ice cream in several months. Considering my ice cream enthusiasm or enthusiasm for anything smooth, cold and refreshing, I had to remedy that and share with you a recent experiment.
As some of you know I make ice cream for friends, family, and others in our apartment building. It’s therepudic and a great deal of fun. I can make the bases when my girls are in bed and they love to help churn them the next day. Izzy has always dragged a chair into the kitchen in order to mooch and watch the transformation, and Sophia quickly learned the word ‘bite’ from her sister, as she realized she wanted a taste too.
It’s not an especially lucrative enterprise but it brings in enough to support itself and keep people sharing in this crazy season of seminary life happy. For those reasons it brings me a great deal of joy. One particular family orders a quart of dark chocolate every couple weeks. They are precious, and this is where my cinnamon experiment began. They asked me to make cinnamon ice cream.
I had never made cinnamon ice cream before, and for that matter I had never had cinnamon ice cream. I looked in my go-to ice cream book The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, but didn’t see a recipe, so I started my cinnamon experiment with another I scavenged online. It only used ground cinnamon. The flavor was good but the texture was dreadful so I decided to look in The Perfect Scoop again. Sure enough I had missed it. There was a cinnamon ice cream recipe! This base began by steeping cinnamon sticks in cream. Brilliant! It achieved a solid cinnamon punch without the grainy texture. In the end I added about a 1/4t of good vanilla extract (not in the recipe) and it was perfect.
Not sure what to pair it with? Think fall or winter desserts like pumpkin or apple pie. Or head in a spring or summer direction with grilled peaches. Give it a whirl and let me know what you paired it with. I’d love to hear. Or maybe you just snarfed it down on its own because let’s face it – if you like cinnamon but you’ve never tried it in an ice cream application, it can be quite addictive all by its lonesome. You’ve been warned.
If you’ve never checked out David Lebovitz please do. Just start with the ice cream tab but I dare you to stay there. davidlebovitz.com.
The smells and creations that came out of my mum’s kitchen growing up make up many of my fondest memories. My mum fed people. She still does. She has always had a God-given, generous spirit and often whenever she cooked, some of it left our home to get to someone else’s. I love her example and whenever I cook I often think of my mum. There are things she has made for ages that I have given up attempting because it just doesn’t taste like hers. It lacks her special touch. She’s always tweaking recipes and if she has written the recipe down for me there are notes in the margin that say things like:
“Add celery too”
“Use some half and half”
Oh dear! I’m out of my depth!
This past November when our second daughter was born mum came to help. I remember her washing copius loads of laundry, making meals, cleaning up dishes, mopping floors, and keeping Izzy, our two and a half year old (at the time), a happy camper. What she also did may be one of my favorite adult memories to date. She taught me how to make her pie crust. Her pie crust needs a moment of foodie silence. It’s an all butter crust that is perfectly flaky and crisp, yet somehow manages to simultaneously melt in your mouth. We ran out of time to go from crust to pie but I ended up with two lovely chilled disks of my mums dough. More importantly I got to help her and learn from her. I felt like I was five again except this time I didn’t have to sit on the counter.
After she left I attempted the cooking of a filling and the assembly of a pumpkin pie and came to the consensus that I would need a LOT more practice. One thing mum and I agreed on together and giggled about in the process of her instruction was that I have not the hands of a pastry chef. My mom has frigid hands whether it’s 90 degrees or 20. Mine are hot whether it’s 90 degrees or 20. Hot hands and butter that’s supposed to stay chilled are not a happy match. Maybe I can soak my hands in ice water next time or maybe I should just leave the pie baking to my mum.
Well today as I remembered back to learning how to make pie crust, I ached for the smells of home. My hot hands weren’t up for tackling pie crust so I made some pumpkin pie ice cream instead … And wished mum was here to try it.
Maybe it wasn’t with your mum but with your dad, grandma or friend, but what are smells or recipes that bring to mind precious memories? I’d love to hear them.
My daughter Izzy has yet to meet with an ice cream she doesn’t like but this one about makes her vibrate out of her skin with excitement. It’s texture is like velvet and the chocolate flavor is seriously amped up, which sadly is not always the case. Have you ever had a scoop of chocolate ice cream that left you wishing you had just eaten chocolate? When I read similar thoughts from The Bright Eyed Baker I knew I had to try her chocolate ice cream. It was a recipe adapted from David Lebovitz, thus it was going to be delicious.
I am like my mum, in that I rarely follow a recipe. I end up changing a few things, tossing in a handful of something, removing an ingredient, etc. But this ice cream DOESN’T NEED ANY TWEAKING. I even tried! From one chocolate lover to the rest of you out there … you need to make this! It’s a fabulously, non fussy recipe, and it’s downright delicious! I have made several quarts of it lately and it reminded me of the Helm’s Deep scene in Lord of the Rings where they keep saying they won’t last the night. This stuff won’t last the night if it’s in my freezer without an owner, and I know it won’t last in yours. Invite friends so you have others to share it with. I doubt you’ll have to do any serious arm twisting.
Happy Chocolate Churning!
Note: Although the recipe is solid, it WILL make a difference if you use quality chocolate. I have used the easy to find Toll House and Hershey unsweetened cocoa powders but my mum sent me a bag of Valrhona and it took this recipe to another level. For the non-powder I always use Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips which are easy to find, delicious, and easier on the pocket book than other gourmet brands.
For added inspiration … This past week my daughter and I added chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter (seasonal=best) Cups for an order we received. The consensus: oh please repeat!
What are your favorite add-ins? I’d love to hear from my fellow chocolate ice creamians.
My ‘little’ brother, who isn’t so little anymore just turned 23. In commemoration of his birthday I decided to attempt to conquer a mint chocolate chip ice cream that tasted something like the mint chocolate chip from Baskin Robbins. It was his absolute favorite. We had a Baskin Robbins within walking distance of our home growing up. It wasn’t an easy distance exactly but it was doable. There was a Dairy Queen much closer but sometimes that just didn’t cut it. Mint chocolate chip was a flavor that everyone in my family could agree on. Occasionally I would join my dad in the chocolate peanut butter camp (which was his favorite), but whenever dad would bring home a quart it was always mint chocolate chip. We didn’t get ice cream often so when we did it was a special treat.
Thus in honor of my brother, whom I love dearly, here goes my attempt at Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream. I hope he likes it.
What flavors remind you of your years growing up?
Baskin Robbins Inspired Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Yields 1 generous quart
Ice cream Base
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 t. Salt
- 1 t. Vanilla extract
- 2 t. Peppermint extract
The “chocolate chip part” of Mint Chocolate Chip
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- 2 T. coconut oil or canola oil or vegetable oil
- Place cream and milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
- Remove from heat.
- Add salt, peppermint extract and vanilla.
- In small mixing bowl separate eggs and whisk yolks together until slightly lighter in color.
- Remember my post on what to do with those unused egg whites? Don’t throw them out. Do something fun with them! Need to revisit? Click here!
- Add sugar to egg yolks and whisk until well incorporated.
- Gradually add about 1/2 the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture to temper.
- Add the egg mixture slowly back into the saucepan and continue cooking over medium-low heat until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove from heat and leave until room temperature, then store in fridge until fully chilled, preferably overnight.
- Before churning prepare “The Chocolate Chip” part by putting 1 cup dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl along with 2T of oil. Microwave for 60 seconds then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Churn ice cream according to manufacture instructions. In the last few minutes of churning slowly trickle in the chocolate until you have as much incorporated to your ice cream as desired.
- Store in freezer to fully firm up until ready to use.
Recipe adapted from Recipe 4 Living
Today it was 43 degrees in Dallas and 33 the day prior. In my hometown it was a mere 9 degrees with a windchill of -8. Naturally, since 43 and 33 are arctic temperatures to Dallasites, and 9 is quite arctic by anyone’s measurements, I want to talk about ice cream. I have recently discovered that no matter the weather, ice cream sounds consistently fabulous.
Is it just me?
Last year I purchased a lovely Cuisinart Ice-21 Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker and have had two major failures (my own fault not the machine), and one success. Tonight as my craving for ice cream increases, it has me thinking of my one success: David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel. Just the name evokes a moment of happy silence for caramel lovers. So, as temperatures in much of the United States continue to remain excessively cold, I thought we could add a log to the fireplace, imagine we’re on a lovely beach, and make some ice cream. If you have never visited davidlebovitz.com please do. He has simple guidelines on how to make fantastic ice cream with or without a purchased maker, so no matter your tools you can do it! The Ice Creams and Sorbet tab is most excellent but I dare you to stop there.
Happy Churning and stay Warm!