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Adventures in Ice Cream: A KWB Report

September 23, 2008

Kentucky is the birthplace of many greats: Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali, Hunter Thompson, and Kitchen Workout Buddy Nicky B’s first foray into homemade ice cream. Here is her story:

“For my most recent birthday, my dear husband presented me with my very own ice cream maker (I’d given him a smoker for his birthday, so we were officially even, in terms of our new culinary toys). It’s a Cuisinart 2 quart deal, and it’s rapidly becoming my best pal. As I’ve got a crazy sweet tooth, and live in rural western Kentucky where my only ice cream options are Dairy Queen or the Wal-Mart freezer, the chance to have nonchemical, noncorporate ice cream was indeed a cause for celebration.

For those who are looking for a way to use local nuts and fruits, I can’t recommend an ice cream machine highly enough, not to mention David Lebowitz’s The Perfect Scoop. He’s got great recipes for the basics (chocolate, vanilla, coffee), as well as the more esoteric (roasted banana, goat cheese), and his prose is perfect for the beginner, straightforward and unsnobby—you’ve got to love a guy who argues that peach ice cream demands dispensing with the niceties of freezing & advises just to eat it straight out of the machine instead. And of course, the nifty thing about making ice cream is that almost every recipe calls for the same basic stuff: milk, cream, sugar, and sometimes eggs: it’s a template that can be modified to just about any sweet or savory ingredient you’re looking to play with.

I’ve made a couple of batches of vanilla that turned out really well, but my most recent foray into chocolate brought on a certain philosophical crisis on my part. The recipe seemed innocuous enough: milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, pinch o’ salt, and Green & Black’s Dutch-processed cocoa and Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate that we’d gotten at a Whole Foods during our last trip to Nashville (such “stocking up” trips are pretty much S.O.P. for many folks in our neck of the woods). All the recipe required was heating the cream, sugar, cocoa, and salt to a boil, then adding the chocolate until melted, then the milk & vanilla (all the recipes are the same from here on out: chill the mixture, churn in the machine for 25 minutes or so, then freeze for a couple of hours).

As crazy as it sounds, I think it actually came out TOO rich and TOO creamy, something I NEVER thought I’d say about ice cream (and I usually gravitate towards chocolate so dark that light cannot escape it). My first thought after the initial taste was, “Dear God–have I gone too far?!?” It was actually difficult for Smokin’ Husband and I to eat more than a few small scoops a night without feeling slightly ill afterwards. If I were to make it again, I think I might try to dial down the unsweetened chocolate a little, maybe using only 5 oz. instead of 6, and possible substitute more whole milk for the cream. When I finally get brave enough, I’m going to try my hand at the “bacon ice cream,” since fantasies of it have been dancing in my head ever since Richard Blais busted it out on the latest season of Top Chef. Wish me luck!”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2008 2:01 am

    Glad that you are enjoying your Cuisinart ice cream maker. I love mine too. You mentioned that the chocolate ice cream you made was too rich. On my ice cream website there is a chocolate ice cream that , to me, tastes like a fudgsicle. It’s sweet, but I don’t find it to be too rich. You could try it and tell me what you think.

  2. cathy permalink
    September 24, 2008 7:38 am

    Are you pulling my leg?? Is there really such thing as bacon icecream ?

    To be served with maple surup and panacakes in the morning????

  3. September 24, 2008 12:00 pm

    Oh fun! I’ve been dreaming of an icecream maker for a year now, but can’t figure out where I would put it! You could decrease the amount of cream in your ice cream and substitute in whole milk or half and half–you’re getting that extra creamy mouthfeel from the fat in the chocolate, and also probably from the fiber in the cocoa.

  4. Christy permalink
    September 24, 2008 7:59 pm

    A year in heat of Tucson and I am eyeing all sorts of ice-cream makers. Thanks for the inspiration.

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