Thursday, May 16, 2024

Ice Cream Recipe Review: Rose Levy Beranbaum's Dark Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Black Pepper

  “Dark Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Black Pepper” from Rose's Ice Cream Bliss by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

  • My other ice cream reviews can be found here.

I can't find the recipe online except behind a paywall, so I've included the ingredients below, so you can get a sense of the flavors:

  • Dairy: 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk
  • Eggs: 7-11 (I used 9)
  • Sugars: - 3/4 cup dark brown sugar and 2 tbsp liquid sugar
  • Other flavors: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt
  • Black pepper: Added as a "to-taste" topping when the ice cream is served.

I didn't like the black pepper as a topping very much - it felt out of place and didn't meld the flavors at all. We also managed to inhale it a bit from time to time, making us cough a little now and then as we ate.  I'm inclined to either add black pepper to a caramel sauce and layer that in, OR cook the black pepper inside a fine mesh bag to infuse the flavor, then remove it before churning. 

I didn't think the brown sugar flavor was quite strong enough, so I stirred in 2 tsp of molasses to the chilled custard (molasses is acidic, so it's best added when the milk is cold to avoid curdling the dairy). One family member thought the molasses flavor was too strong, and others liked it.  

Alas, my ice cream maker decided to leak coolant out the bottom (fortunately NOT into the ice cream), so I transferred the partially frozen mixture to my backup ice cream maker and promptly broke the hub assembly on the second bowl, so I finished churning by hand (just mixing it in the frozen bowl).  I went from two ice cream makers to zero in about 5 minutes.    I now have a replacement bowl (under warranty) and a new hub assembly on their way to me.  Obscenities could probably be heard at my neighbor's house.

Substitutions and Techniques:

  • I used brown sugar as the recipe called for instead of my usual turbinado.
  • I used glucose as the liquid sugar.
  • I (mostly) followed Rose's no-temper technique; I put the egg yolks into the pan, added the granulated sugar to them and beat them a little to combine. Then I added all the other ingredients except the vanilla, turned on the heat and cooked, gently whisking nearly constantly until the temperature passed 165F/74C and it was starting to thicken.  I didn't use a double boiler, and the texture was nice and smooth.
  • I transferred the mixture to my milk can, added the vanilla extract, and set the can in a sink of cold water. I mixed for a few minutes, then left it to chill for an hour before transferring to the fridge to finish chilling.


  • Same day: Nice and smooth despite the hand-mixed finish. Very nice flavor.  I think I'd recommend people start with 1 tsp of molasses to amp up the flavor, and add a second (as I did) if they like it strong.
  • Next day: Not as smooth as I'd like, but very very good considering how I churned it.


  • Strawberry sauce goes nicely on it. I think an apple caramel sauce ribbon would be good, as well as graham crackers, or a cookies-and-cream variation using ginger snaps.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Neither spam nor mean comments are allowed. I'm the sole judge of what constitutes either one, and any comment that I consider mean or spammy will be deleted without warning or response.