|Photo courtesy of Amazon|
Some kitchen appliances are used just once or twice, then stowed away in a cupboard and rarely seen again. I don't think that will be the case with our ice cream maker - we've used it 4 or 5 times already. It's quick and ridiculously easy, with truly outstanding results.
Our first several batches were plain vanilla, so luscious and creamily intense that we had no desire to vary the routine. But the other night we branched out and made chocolate ice cream.
Just a few ingredients - cocoa, sugar, and a pinch of salt...
are whisked with coconut milk beverage until smooth. (The great thing about homemade ice cream is that we can customise the ingredients. Cow's milk and the Micawber tummies do not get along, hence the coconut milk.)
Then heavy cream is stirred in, with a bit of vanilla extract...
...and that's all. (Let's see: cocoa, sugar, salt, coconut milk, cream, vanilla. Compare that to the ingredient list of most storebought ice creams - what a difference!)
The mixture is chilled for about 30 minutes (though the recipe book recommends 1-2 hours), then poured into the frozen bowl (which is kept in the freezer between batches so as to be ready whenever we want it):
Paddle and lid sit atop the bowl, leaving nothing to do but press the power switch.
The bowl begins to rotate, and the liquid swirls around the stationary paddle. In just a minute or two, frozen chunks begin to appear...
...and a few minutes later, the mixture is thick and ready to go. (The instruction booklet gives a freezing time of 15 minutes, but since we make half-batches, ours is usually ready in about 5.)
The ice cream is soft (and utterly tempting) at this stage. Trying to control ourselves, we scrape most of it into a freezer container...
...and freeze for a bit before digging in. (It takes several hours to firm up completely, but we can never wait that long.)
Our chocolate ice cream is rich and creamy and astonishingly good, with a slight molasses-y edge from the brown sugar. Here it is atop a scoop of vanilla (the last of the previous batch):
Thanks to the generous fat content, a small serving is completely satisfying.
Next time, we'll try adding peanut butter. And we have grand plans for coffee ice cream ... fresh mint ice cream ... strawberry ice cream ... the delicious mental list keeps growing. I'm eyeing the nectarines in the fruit bowl, envisioning them swirled into frozen custard with mulberries from the tree behind the house....
It's going to be a good summer. :)
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Do you make homemade ice cream? What's your favourite flavour?
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