My all-time favorite sweet treat is ice cream. As a kid, whenever my sisters and I visited our grandmother, we'd have a big dinner which was inevitably followed by dessert. And there were always choices. Thinking back upon it now, I judge myself an idiot.
Time after time, year after year, I passed up grandma's home made apple, pumpkin or berry pie (complete with a home made flaky crust), for cheap, store bought, vanilla ice cream. But wait! She always kept sprinkles in the house (some of you may call them "shotz"). So after dinner, some adult would scoop one and half stingy scoops of ice cream into a bowl for each of us kids, then we'd stand at the kitchen counter and decorate our respective bowls with way too many sprinkles.
If I could go back, I'd take a slice of grandma's pie over the ice cream. But I still adore ice cream. I am a purist though. My favorite flavor of all time will always be vanilla. My favorite brand is H.aagen D.azs. Their vanilla is a heavenly dream. My second favorite flavor is H.aagen D.azs coffee ice cream. Light creamy flavor, rich, perfect.
As the number of words in the name of an ice cream flavor increase, my preference for that flavor decreases. Don't get me wrong, the only ice cream flavor I would actually decline to eat is probably Bubble Gum...that blue ice cream with hard little bits of colored gum in it. But a flavor named something like "Double Fudgy Striped Caramel Nutty Marshmallow Chip" is just too.....busy.....for me. I am interested in the smoothness of the cream, the perfect level of sweetness and the delicacy of the predominant flavor.
So, a year or so ago, I invested in an electric ice cream machine. Sorry, the ole hand crank, wooden barrel style is a little too rustic for me. I want product, not pain.
I read the booklet, bought the ingredients, and set my new friend to work. The results to date had been....well...mediocre. I had not made any ice cream in a while. Last week, with a ton of fresh blueberries in the fridge, I decided to make blueberry ice cream. As always, though, it was more like blueberry hard-as-a-rock-ice brick.
I searched Chef Google. You know, his twin brother is Dr. Google? Anyway, I made some interesting discoveries. Use more egg yolks. Add booze (it doesn't freeze!). Make sure all the ingredients are COLD, best if mixed and put in the refrigerator overnight. Let the machine run longer. Keep ice cream in a shallow container.
Armed with new knowledge, I tried again. I decided to go for coffee ice cream - H.aagen Daz.s style. Three cups whole milk, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar. Simmered. Cooled in the fridge for 3 hours. Three tablespoons strong coffee and 1.5 tablespoons Kahlua added. Three hours later the mixture went into the machine. Thirty minutes later I had the smoothest, richest, most delicious coffee ice cream this side of H.aagen Daz.s! Maybe a wee stronger (their list of ingredients does not include Kahlua) but wow - it is fantastic.
Almost like Italian gelato. Here's my handiwork:
I feel like I have discovered a new world! I have visions of making fantastic batches of ice cream. Peach. Strawberry. Cinnamon. Pineapple coconut (I know, two words, living dangerously here!). And of course, Vanilla.
My hips and thighs are never going to be the same. But neither will my taste buds!
7 months ago