It's summer! Time to make ice cream.

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Summer in the Swamp means two things, reading books and making ice cream. The eating is implied. Because, ice cream. The last Swamp two posts have been about reading, which means to keep the world in balance, this one must be about ice cream. I love it when ice cream balances out the world, don't you? It's kind of a super hero in that respect.

Now, if you've followed my blog for a while, you've read my ice cream posts and you know I'm a big fan of The Perfect Scoop. I thought it was all I would ever need in an ice cream cookbook. Until one day, I went to Williams Sonoma and this beautiful little cookbook crooked its finger at me and winked.

book-creamery1

I've proved the old adage that you eat with your eyes because I've gained five pounds just flipping through this baby like a teenager through Playboy. Probably not the best analogy, but I'm going to stick with it because this book is full of ice cream p0rn.

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But, really. I read it for the recipes.

Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl

Raspberry Ice Cream, Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Malted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Bittersweet Chocolate chips

Chocolate Midnight Cake

How to Make Chocolate Shavings

Chocolate Chip Cookies (because one can never have too many CCC recipes)

Cheesecake Ice Cream

How to assemble an Ice Cream Cake without it sliding off to the side and making a mess in your freezer

Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle and Milk Chocolate Pieces

Yes, yes, yes!

pictures from the cookbook

You better believe you'll have what I'm having.

Cough. Yes. Well. Back to blogging.

This summer, I'll be making ice cream from this book and reviewing the recipes here. Someone has to sacrifice their waistline for the greater good, and in summer 2014, that someone will be me.

You can download a sample of the book from Scribd.

 

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream - “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.” — Voltaire

library of congress ice cream

toasted marshmallowMy husband asked me to stop making ice cream last night. I guess my ice cream making binge isn't doing his waistline any favors, either, though I can't tell a difference. But, maybe I should stop now because ending with Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream would be ending on a high note. If you like toasted marshmallows you will love this ice cream. The toasted marshmallow flavor is subtle enough to taste but not overpower. The ice cream isn't overly sweet, which you would expect from 1/2 of sugar and a 10 oz package of marshmallows. This might just be my new favorite ice cream. At least it's my favorite this week.

The recipe, from Roasted Rambler, isn't difficult but I'm not going to lie; roasting the marshmallows is a pain in the ass. He gives two methods - broiler and torch. I used both because I ran out of fuel in the torch. The torch method was going to take a while, but I agree that it is better than the broiler method, in that it wasn't as messy. Although, the torch seemed to scorch the marshmallows whereas the broiler gave them a very nice golden brown toast. When I broiled the marshmallows, I left the oven door open with the idea that without the enclosed heat, the marshmallows wouldn't melt into a big mess. I had moderate success. The fact is, toasted marshmallows are messy no matter what, but it is well worth the mess to eat this fabulous ice cream.

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

10 ounces marshmallows 2 cups skim milk 1 cup heavy cream 5 egg yolks scant 1/2 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean (split in half and scrapped) 1 tsp vanilla pinch salt

There are two options for toasting the marshmallows in the kitchen. You can use a broiler (not recommended) or use a torch (recommended).

Broiler method:

Move one of the shelves in your oven to the highest possible position and preheat the broiler at high for a few minutes. Meanwhile, line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicon mat and spread the marshmallows over the pan in a single layer. Place the pan directly under the broiler and watching closely, let them start to brown. Once they start to toast remove and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Then flip each marshmallow over and toast the other side. If the marshmallows start to expand too much make sure to remove them before they hit the heating element.

Torch method:

Spread the marshmallows out in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silicon mat (recommended). Light the torch and begin toasting the marshmallows. If the marshmallows catch fire, blow them out, careful not to blow on the torch and mindful that you’re holding something that could burn down your house. You’ll need to rotate the marshmallows to toast every side. Be careful because the marshmallows can get very hot!

Making the ice cream base

Transfer the toasted marshmallows to the blender. Put the milk and the vanilla bean and scrapings in a heavy bottomed pan and turn the heat to medium. Stir regularly bring the milk up to a light simmer (it should be steaming, but not boiling much). While the milk warms up, put the egg yolks, sugar, and salt into a bowl and whisk together vigorously until the mixture is pale yellow.

Once the milk is hot, remove the vanilla bean and add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the egg yolk mixture while stiring. Once the milk and eggs are well mixed, add a litte more hot milk and mix again. You’re gently warming the eggs so that you don’t end up with creamy scrambled eggs. Then pour the yolk/milk mixture into the milk in the pan and start stiring gently, but constantly. Allow the mixture to heat back up to steaming, but make sure that the mixture doesn’t boil. The mixture should thicken up to about the consistency of heavy cream. Take it off the heat and stir vigoursly for about 3 minutes to cool slightly and then pour into the blender with the marshmallows.

Cover the blender and run it for about a minute to mix well and then allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes (this helps the remaining marshmallow chunks to start breaking down). Run the blender again for about a minute and then add the vanilla and the cold cream and run the blender for about 30 seconds more. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Right before churning in your favorite ice cream maker, whisk the ice cream mixture to throughly blend everything together. Churn in your ice cream maker and then allow the ice cream to ripen (freezer harder) in the freezer for at least two hours.

Malted Milk Ice Cream

library of congress ice cream

My 11 year-old son, Jack, loves ice cream shakes. Whenever we go to a restaurant with shakes, he gets one. Chocolate is his flavor because he is my son and we love us some chocolate. With as many shakes as he's had in his life, and I'm sorry to say he's had probably more than he should, he saw "Chocolate Malt" on a menu and didn't know what it was. I'm not sure where he was when I made this Malted Milk Ice Cream a year or so ago, but my guess is I ate the ice cream so fast I didn't give him the chance to try it.

Malted Milk Ice Cream

  • 1 Cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 Cup malt powder
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 Cups Malted Milk Balls, coarsely chopped

Warm the half-and-half, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, vanilla, and malt powder and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and whisk it into the malted milk mixture. Stir until cool over and ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the chopped malted milk balls.

NOTES:

  • Recipe from The Perfect Scoop.
  • The malt balls soften slightly as it sits in the freezer, but they retain their texture. The softening isn't a bad thing; sometimes the feel and sound of the crunch when I eat a Whopper gives me the shivers. Does that happen to anyone else?
  • So, now you have malt powder and don' want it to languish on your pantry shelf? Make these Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Pioneer Woman. OMG. Then join a gym, because you're going to need to workout after eating all that yumminess.
  • Want a bit of malted milk overload? Make an ice cream sandwich from the Malted Milk Ice Cream and the Malted Milk Chocolate Chip cookies.

Call me vanilla. I won't be insulted.

library of congress ice cream

I don't make vanilla ice cream very often because my husband doesn't like it. He thinks homemade vanilla tastes too strongly of vanilla extract. To me, that's not a bad thing but I have to make ice cream that will appeal to everyone in the family so I'm not the only one eating it. That's why I usually stick to some variation of chocolate.  But, I had a request from Super Spouse to make Monster Cookie ice cream sandwiches which called for vanilla ice cream. I didn't have enough eggs for the custard based vanilla so I tried this recipe. I decreased the amount of vanilla extract from 3/4 tsp to 1/2 and my husband said it might be the best ice cream I've ever made. Go figure. I think the key to the mild vanilla flavor is steeping a vanilla bean in the cream mixture, as well as cutting the amount of extract. Because this is Philadelphia style and doesn't have eggs, it won't have the pale yellow coloring you usually see with vanilla ice cream, and instead will be bright white with little flecks of vanilla beans.

Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia Style

  • 3 Cups heavy cream, or 2 Cups heavy cream and 1 Cup whole milk
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract (for a milder flavor, decrease to 1/2 tsp)

Pour 1 Cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and add the remaining 2 Cups cream (or the remaining 1 Cup cream and the milk) and the vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

 

Notes: Of course, I had a Fail to go along with this. I planned to make the ice cream sandwiches, wrap them in saran wrap and freeze them. Instead of letting the ice cream harden in the refrigerator freezer, I scooped the soft ice cream right out of the maker. I won't go into details, but it was an amazing mess and I ended up ruining half of the batch of Monster Cookies. So, if you're going to make ice cream sandwiches, let the ice cream harden in the freezer before making the sandwiches.

Swamp of Boredom Ice Cream Week - Peach Ice Cream

When I think of Peach Ice Cream, I think of my brother-in-law, Tommy. When he joined our family in 1979, he brought us tennis, War Damn Eagle, the idea you didn't eat watermelon until July 4 and peach ice cream. His peach ice cream had ribbons of peaches running through it and it was, possibly, the best tasting summer treat I'd ever had. As much as I love chocolate ice cream in all its incarnations, Peach Ice Cream is summer, which is why it's appropriate it is the first recipe in Ice Cream Week.

This recipe is from The Perfect Scoop, my ice cream bible. It was ridiculously easy and very good; the tang of the sour cream was a  nice contrast to the peaches. It wasn't as "peachy" as I hoped, but that was because the peaches I used weren't as ripe as I wanted. Make sure  you use sweet, ripe peaches for the best flavor. As usual, this recipe only makes a quart. If you want to use a large, ice/salt ice cream maker, you will need to double the recipe.

 

Peach Ice Creampeach ice cream

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe peaches (about 4 large)
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Peel the peaches, slice them in half and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring once or twice, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes

Remove from heat, stir in the sugar, then let cool to room temperature.

Puree the cooked peaches and any liquid in a blender or food processor with sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla and lemon juice until almost smooth but slightly chunky.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

 

It's Ice Cream week in the Swamp - First up, Homemade Ice Cream Rules and a FAIL!

Just this second, I've decided today starts the First Annual Swamp of Boredom Ice Cream Week. Why? Why not?! First, there are a couple of rules I want to impart about making homemade ice cream. Now, I call these rules but, really, they are opinions. Opinions based on experience and preference. So, let's just go with rules. Makes me feel important and in charge, almost like I'm the boss. I like that feeling, it's one I feel rarely.

See this? I made this in 2010. I need to make it again. Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

It's Called Ice Cream For a Reason

If you're making ice cream, make ice cream. Don't be "good" and try to lighten it up. All you're going to do is ruin a perfectly good ice cream recipe. If you want something "healthier" find that recipe and follow it.  Don't, whatever you do, substitute skim milk for half and half or whipping cream. If you are in a pinch, you can substitute 2% milk for whole, but that's about it. Why? Well, the skimmer the milk the more water it has. Would you substitute water for milk in your cereal? No? Then don't use skim milk in homemade ice cream, cause that's basically what your doing. You know what water turns into when it freezes? Ice. Icy ice cream is an affront to homemade ice cream. Make a granita instead. Or buy a sno-cone. Or better yet, buy low fat ice cream in the store. The have somehow discovered how to make low fat ice cream that isn't icy, though you probably don't want to know what they've put in it to achieve this low fat creaminess.

Custard Based Ice Cream is Best

Yes, making the custard base can be intimidating the first time or two, and you have all of those leftover egg whites to deal with, but once you do it, and taste the results, I don't know that you'll ever go back. If you've ever had a scoop of ice cream change your life or haunt your dreams, I can pretty much guarantee it was a custard based recipe. It's tough to beat the creaminess of the custard base.

Pretty sure this is Rocky Road Ice Cream.

If You Want to Win the Family Ice Cream Contest, Make a Kid Friendly Flavor

My mom's side of the family is big on ice cream. Whenever we have our family reunion, we have a ice cream making contest. I've won the last couple of times, not because my ice cream was superior, but because I made what the kids liked and I didn't try to make it healthy.

Follow the Recipe

This is the rule I break the most often. "Do as I say..." and all that. Breaking this rule is also what leads to my ice cream fails, the most recent of which I will get to now. A couple of weeks ago I made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe I'd made previously with awesome results. The family loved it, it was easy and surprisingly inexpensive for a chocolate ice cream recipe. Win, win, win. When I made it a second time, I didn't have half and half, only whipping cream, so that's what I used. I suppose there was too much fat in the base, because when I froze it, it had the consistency and taste of cheesecake instead of ice cream. Not a bad mistake, but still. When we scooped it out of the freezer, it wasn't even cold. It was the strangest ice cream eating experience of my life. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't ice cream.

My suggestion is to follow the recipe exactly the first time you make it, then if you must make substitutions you can.  My biggest problem with substitutions is I don't think them through. In my case, I thought "half and half made it creamy, whipping cream will make it even better!" and I was wrong. So, keep in mind,  the recipes in a cookbook have been tested for the best consistency and taste. Substitute wisely, infrequently and be prepared for failure.

Share With Your Friends, or Workout Two Hours a Day

If you're making and eating homemade ice cream, you're going to gain weight. It's inevitable. Unless you want your husband to pack on a few, too, invite your friends over to sample your ice cream. Spread the calories out. Plus, you get the added benefit of seeing your friends and socializing.

 

So, wonderful readers, question time: Do you make homemade ice cream? Why or why not? If so, do you have a go to recipe? What is your favorite ice cream flavor (homemade or store bought)? Favorite brand?

It's July! We are halfway to 2014 and it's National Ice Cream Month. Yea!

Actually, I'm not excited about 2014, but National Ice Cream month does excite me.  I wish it didn't because the pounds are creeping onto me again. They wouldn't if I would just Work Out like any sane forty something woman should do. But, I don't want to work out. Or run. Or eat better. I want to make ice cream and sit on my deck at 5 pm and drink a beer! Which is what I'm doing right now because it's 84 degrees at 5 pm on July 1 in Texas. That? Has never happened in my lifetime.

Hey, at least I'm drinking a Michelob Ultra.

Anyway. Three things are going to happen on the blog this month. One, I'm going to post every weekday. Two, I'm going to make ice cream and tell you all about it. Three, I'm going to read Historical Fiction and do a better job of writing reviews for each book. I'm going to have to if I want to post 23 times. I might even post about writing again since I haven't in a while. I've been a slacker for the entire month of June in the writing department but that stops tomorrow! I need to do a little revising of my MS then get back on the wagon with the sequel.

But, back to ice cream because, really. Ice Cream.

My first ice cream post will be about a fool proof, inexpensive chocolate ice cream recipe I found. Except nothing is fool proof when it comes to me and cooking. More on that later.

I want to find a banana pudding ice cream recipe because, really. Banana Pudding.

I also want to make Peach Ice Cream because, really. Peaches in the summer is nirvana.

What's  your favorite ice cream flavor? Do you make homemade ice cream? If not, why?

Also, unrelated to any of this: Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon was the stupidest movie I've ever seen, and I've seen my fair share of stupid movies.