Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."
Homemade Ice Cream and Waffle Cones
As a child, a trip to Baskin Robbins was a journey to paradise. I'd stand at the glass shield on tip-toes, scuttling back and forth before the tubs of ice cream like a delirious crab. After sampling several flavors from little pink spoons, I usually settled on my favorite: bubblegum. I couldn't resist the creamy vanilla ice cream flecked with multi-colored bubblegum chunks.
As I matured, though, my flavor preferences matured with me. I moved on to favorites like pralines 'n cream, strawberry cheesecake and rocky road. But one flavor remained a constant through the years: chocolate peanut butter. At the age of 10, I preferred an ice cream flavor more akin to Reese's peanut butter cups. Now I relish a dark chocolate base laced with ribbons of slightly salty peanut butter.
The following recipe can be adapted to either taste and will win rave reviews from everyone in the family. As always, I draw my inspiration from David Lebovitz, the ice cream guru.
In This Article
- Tips for Perfect Ice Cream
- Recipe: Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
- Do You Need an Ice Cream Maker?
- Recipe: Peanut Butter Add-In
- Do You Need a Waffle Cone Maker?
- Recipe: Vanilla Waffle Cones
- Poll: How Do You Like Your Ice Cream?
- Choose high-quality milk and cream, organic if available.
- Adding sugar to the egg yolks helps protect them from hot milk.
- Be patient while tempering the eggs. Although it may seem unnecessary, this step is important so as not to scramble the eggs and ruin the custard.
- As soon as the custard passes the coating test, immediately remove from burner, strain and chill.
- Chill custard overnight, or at least 8 hours.
Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
This is a recipe for milk chocolate ice cream. For adult ice cream lovers, try substituting dark chocolate.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 egg yolks
- 85 grams (3 ounces) milk chocolate
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- Heat the milk, cream, cocoa and chocolate in a saucepan until warm and steamy. Do not boil.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar in large bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk into the egg/sugar mixture, a ladleful at a time, whisking constantly so egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk instead of cooked by it. Return egg/milk mixture to the saucepan and add pinch of salt.
- Stir the custard constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon or spatula. Sweep a finger across the spatula and when the coating doesn't run, it is ready. Remove from heat immediately.
- Pour the hot custard through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps that have formed during heating. Add vanilla extract and stir.
- Chill custard thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, before freezing in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Do You Need an Ice Cream Maker?
The Cuisinart ICE-21 has been a fixture in my kitchen for almost a decade. With a price tag of less than $50, almost anyone can afford it. I recommend getting an extra freezer canister in case you'd like to make a double batch.
Or, if you already have a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, you might prefer to invest in the $70 ice cream attachment. The only preparation: freezing the gel-filled canisters and cooking and chilling the custard. Then it's as easy as a flip of the switch, and you can churn out delicious, natural ice cream which is much healthier than the Baskin Robbins of my childhood.
What are the benefits of an ice cream maker? If you buy just five quarts of grocery store ice cream per year, a maker will save you money in the long run. Is homemade ice cream healthier than store brands? Almost all commercial brands contain chemicals. For example, instead of adding fresh eggs to emulsify ice cream and give it texture, some brands contain diethyl glycol, also used to make antifreeze and paint removers. Even in small amounts, this chemical is toxic enough to cause liver and kidney damage.
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Homemade ice cream, on the other hand, contains exactly what you put in it: fresh cream, milk and eggs, sugar and flavoring. It’s as simple as that. And if you’re on a low-fat diet, the maker can churn out tropical fruit sorbet, frozen yogurt, or ice milk.
How to Make the Peanut Butter Add-In
Here's how to make the peanut butter add-in.
Ingredients (for Children)
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Mix together peanut butter, sugar and salt.
- Refrigerate for several hours before use.
- Cut or tear into small chunks.
- Remove milk chocolate ice cream base from maker.
- Stir peanut butter chunks into chocolate ice cream.
- Refrigerate 1 cup of creamy natural peanut butter.
- Remove dark chocolate ice cream from maker.
- Add tablespoonfuls of peanut butter and swirl through the base.
Do You Need a Waffle Cone Maker?
If you have children, you might consider purchasing a waffle cone maker. The batter is as easy to prepare as pancake batter and the maker as easy to use as a waffle iron. The cones will get rave reviews from your family!
The Chef's Choice Waffle Cone Express is my machine of choice. Both easy to use and easy to clean, it turns out cones that are tastier and fresher than those sold in supermarkets. They're also smaller than the waffle cones found at gourmet ice cream shops. Just grease the waffle iron well before using. Be sure to use hot pads when handling the waffle maker and a spatula to remove the baked waffle.
Vanilla Waffle Cones
Here's how to make the waffle cones.
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat waffle cone maker.
- Beat egg and white in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk until blended.
- Beat in the sugar and salt for about one minute. Add flour and stir slowly with spatula until moistened and smooth. Add melted butter and blend thoroughly.
- Follow manufacturer's instructions for making and shaping waffle cones.
Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.
— Charles M. Schulz