Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Ripple and Chocolate Covered Peanuts

Since there were no eggs to temper and custard to make, this ice cream was SUPER FAST to make. Really, just a push of a few buttons here and a plop or two there.

 This was a BIG hit with the children.  They couldn't stop raving.  Matt said it was like eating cold fudge.  (They all give it five stars...)  I, on the other hand, didn't care for it too much.  I'd give it three stars, max.  I couldn't help but think there was a very oily undertone.  I guess that is to be expected, it being made with peanut butter and all.  If you like, make it and decide for yourself!

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Ripple 
(and garnished with Chocolate Covered Peanuts) *****
yield: 1 quart

You'll need:
3/4 c. peanut butter
a heaping 3/4 c. sugar
2 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half if you want to be less naughty)
pinch o' salt
a splash of vanilla

1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 cup peanuts

In a food processor or blender, puree' the peanut butter, sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla until smooth.

Chill thoroughly in fridge- then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

While it is churning, put the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwavable bowl and microwave in increments of 30 seconds until melted and smooth.

Put a layer of peanut butter ice cream in a freezable container , followed by a dollop of melted chocolate- spread around thinly.  Continue the peanut butter and chocolate layers until you have about 1/4 cup of melted chocolate left.  Freeze ice cream until hard.

Add peanuts to the bowl of remaining chocolate, coat.  Spread on wax paper until cooled.  Serve atop or on the side.  Or just eat them.  That works too.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I thought it was high time I made a more traditional ice cream.   Matt's favorite ice cream outside of cookie dough is vanilla bean, so I thought this was a good place to start.  Besides, I still had some blueberry pie to finish and it was just begging to be a la mode.

Vanilla Bean (Custard) Ice Cream *****
yield: 1 1/2 quarts

You'll need:

1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream (divided)
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here's How:

Warm milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream and salt in a saucepan over medium.  Scrap the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and then add the beans too.  You just want to heat the mixture up- not boil it or anything.  After it has heated, remove from heat, cover and let sit and steep for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, heat again until warmish hot.

Wisk the egg yolks (this is done easily in a stand mixer, if you have one.)  With the motor still running, slowly splash little splashes of milk/sugar mixture into the eggs-(This tempers them so they don't scramble!).  Do this, little by little until the whole thing is in the eggs.  Once tempered, pour back into the saucepan and put over medium heat again.  Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until mixture thickens and coats spatula.

Put the remaining 1 cup of cream in a bowl with a strainer on top- pour the custard into the cream, straining any bits of egg that might have formed.  Stir the strained custard into the cream (still keeping the bean in it) and add the vanilla extract.  Put in a waterbath to cool it and put it in the fridge to chill thoroughly. (A few hours- or even overnight. I put plastic wrap on the top to keep a film from forming on top.)

Church using your ice cream makers' directions.  Eat soft serve or toss quickly back into freezer for several hours for hard ice cream.

*Remember!*  Hard ice cream should be brought out of the freezer for five minutes or so before serving- homemade ice cream is much harder than storebought!  For an example of this- photo one is straight from the freezer, photo two was kept out for a few minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nectarine and Honey Frozen Yogurt

This past week I wanted to try something a bit more healthy than full blown ice-cream so I opted to experiment with frozen yogurt.

I happened to have four nectarines a bit too bruised to be appetizing for a raw fruit snack (and it is a rare thing indeed for me to even BUY them, so I couldn't waste the last few, spots or no spots.)

Thus, Nectarine Honey Frozen Yogurt was born.  

The idea was to be a bit healthier than last weeks' ice cream because it is YOGURT for goodness' sake!  Never you mind about the maple syrup and has YOGURT in it!

Nectarines and Honey Frozen Yogurt  *****

I used:

 1 quart of my homemade vanilla yogurt.  (I make my yogurt using this recipe. Note, with this recipe, my yogurt is already somewhat flavored with maple syrup and vanilla.)  You could use storebought too, of course.
4 nectarines, divided
1/2 c. honey (this was VERY honey flavored and sweet.  You could get away with less, especially when starting with a sweetened yogurt.)
1 splash lemon juice

How I did it:

1) Peel 3 of your nectarines, cut them into hunks and add to a food processor or blender with honey and splash lemon juice.  Process until smooth.

2) Add puree' to yogurt and freeze in your ice cream maker, following their instructions, until frozen to soft set.

3) Cut fourth nectarine into chunks and add to frozen yogurt during soft set stage.

4) Pour into freezer-safe container and freeze until hard, a few hours.

*  I have discovered that you ought to take homemade ice creams, yogurts and sorbets out of the freezer about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it becomes softer.   Straight from the freezer, it is rock hard and flaky and much less appetizing than storebought frozen treats.  This is because commercial machines can 'whip' the desserts with more power and more speed, thus adding more 'air' and softness- not to mention additives included to do so.  If left out of the freezer for 10 minutes before serving, your homemade treats will be a wonderful consistency.  Promise. *