Sunday, February 4, 2024

Ice Cream Project

 I love ice cream.  And yeah, as an overweight person, I can see the irony in that, but for whatever reason, I can keep ice cream in the house and not over-indulge, so that makes it a natural fit for me.  I can't say the same for cookies or brownies (which I also love), so I pretty much never keep those around.

I tend to make mini-versions of everything. Mini root beer floats. Mini sundaes. Mini scoops (about 1/4 cup). Those end up being around 250 calories, and I can usually make room in my calorie budget for that.

And once you get used to homemade ice cream, the stuff at the store starts tasting ... well, lacking.  I think the only commercial ice cream that I still love is Ben and Jerry's. I also quite enjoy Cold Stone even though their ice cream is merely OK - their confections are more about the goodies they fold into the ice cream.

Sections in this article:


I have an embarrassing number of ice cream cookbooks.  Really.  

  • Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop by Dana Cree <-- Favorite!
  • Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
  • Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories by Fany Gerson
  • The Perfect Scoop, Revised and Updated: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
  • Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook by Tyler Malek and JJ Goode
  • Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough

  • Dana Cree's book is my favorite because it explains the science and chemistry of ice cream making and provides a base (pun intended!) for creating your own flavors. My second favorite is Jeni's book and that's the one I'd recommend for anyone who can't have eggs (all of her recipes are egg-free).  The Lebovitz book is solid as well.  The others are new to me, so they may also be excellent, but I don't know them well enough yet to recommend them.

    I intend to add the following books to my collection (I'm waiting for a cheap enough used copy to become available):

    Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Toppings:

    Here's a list of my tips and tricks for ice cream-making (ingredient substitutions, tools, tedious-but-effective egg tempering, etc.):
    Here's are my favorite topping recipes (I'll be adding to this over time):
    • Dorcas Gallaher Byland's Hot Fudge Sauce (my grandmother's recipe)
    • Chambord - a lovely raspberry liqueur that is delicious poured over vanilla ice cream.
    • Root beer - I love root beer floats!  
    • Caramel sauce - I'm still trying to find one that I like that remains soft and not too chewy when frozen.
    • Toasted almonds

    Vanilla Ice Cream Project

    I'm currently working on a vanilla ice cream project (and a vanilla extract project, but that's for another post).  I'm trying at least 6-8 different vanilla ice cream recipes and reviewing them and setting 6 ounces aside of each for a taste test in a few weeks.  I'm also experimenting with using different kinds of vanilla beans (Madagascar, Ugandan, and Mexican, at least) and different vanilla extracts (commercially available varieties for now, but eventually, I'll use my own). I'm mostly using Madagascar beans from Vanilla Bean Kings, which I highly recommend. 

     I am hoping to figure out my favorite flavors and maybe even adapt the best aspects into one recipe.  Here are the recipes and reviews (if the recipe is available online - and most are - I link to the online recipe in the review):

    Note: I'm alternating trying egg-based and egg-free custards. I may also add to that list of recipes.

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