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Beer Cookies and Cream

Remember when I first made beer cookies? I was convinced that they’d be perfect for ice cream sandwiches. It may have taken me more than six months to test that theory, but good things come to those who wait, right?

That theory definitely held true in this case. The frozen cookies aren’t quite as soft and chewy straight as the fresh-from-the-oven cookies (no surprise there, right?), but the flavor goes perfectly with vanilla ice cream.

I used the same ice cream base from the rhubarb ice cream sandwiches, and it worked perfectly. I lined a 9″ x 13″ pan with waxed paper and spread the freshly-churned ice cream in the bottom of the pan before putting it in the freezer for a few hours. Once it was frozen solid, I used a round cookie cutter to cut out perfectly round circles of ice cream. (I have several round “biscuit cutters,” so I chose one that was closest in size to the cookies.)

I had stashed half a batch of cookie dough in the freezer, so all I had to do was mix up the ice cream base and bake a few cookies while the ice cream hung out in the freezer. Easy, and perfect for a football Saturday.

The only downside to my plan was the fact that we had been snacking on the frozen cookie  dough for a while, so when I went to bake the cookies, I discovered that there were only 16 balls of dough left in the bag. And, naturally, Andy and I each had to “sample” a plain cookie after they came out of the oven (for quality control purposes, of course), which left me with 14 cookies. Which means I only got 7 sandwiches. I’ll have to plan better next time.

beercookieicecreamsandwiches

Brown Sugar & Ale Ice Cream Sandwiches

Note: I am not sure how many sandwiches this will yield. It will depend on how many cookies you have and what size the cookies are. If you start with a full batch of cookie dough, it’s possible that you will need more than one batch of ice cream. 

For the cookies: 
1 batch (more or less… we had significantly less) of Brown Sugar & Ale Cookies

For the ice cream:
5 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the ice cream, combine the milk, one cup of the cream, sugar, salt and the vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl until smooth. Gradually add the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until the mixture is warm and well-combined. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Place the remaining cup of cream in a large glass bowl and set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the bowl. Pour the cooked custard through the strainer and into the cream. Mix the custard and the cream together and add the vanilla extract.

Cover the bowl and cool the ice cream base in the refrigerator until it’s thoroughly chilled. 

Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, line a 9″ x 13″ pan with waxed paper, leaving an overhang on the edges. Spread the churned ice cream in an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer until the ice cream is frozen solid.

While the ice cream is firming up, pair up the cookies by size and select a round cookie cutter to cut the ice cream.

To assemble, use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds of ice cream. Sandwich the ice cream rounds between two cookies. Continue until you run out of cookies or ice cream, whichever comes first. Place the sandwiches in an airtight, freezer-safe container and return them to the freezer so they can firm up before serving.

Cookies from Erin’s Food Files, originally adapted from the Beeroness. Ice cream base adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from “The Perfect Scoop” by David  Lebovitz.

Click here for a printable version.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2016 in Dessert

 

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Our Raspberry Rendezvous

Last month, Andy and I met some friends in Michigan for the 4th of July. We made it our goal to find the best ice cream place near our campground, which led us to Bud’s. Not only do they have an award-winning chocolate milkshake (made with chocolate and love, I’m told), they also have delicious ice cream. Three of us had the raspberry rendezvous, which is a raspberry ice cream with raspberry-filled chocolate cups. It was pretty great.

There were so many flavors that we had to go back to Bud’s the a second day, and we were surprised to find that we’d made an impression. (Apparently we had a lot of questions. In our defense, how do you know what’s in “happy camper” ice cream unless you ask? Marshmallow and crushed graham cracker, in case you wondered.) I ordered the award-winning shake the second day, and, while it was good, I should have stuck with the raspberry rendezvous from the day before. Turns out the shake only won second place. 😉

I meant to share this with you last month. Not only is July national ice cream month, but Andy and I also found a place to pick raspberries and some of them found their way into my own version of this ice cream. Perfect timing, right? Well, just like every summer, things got busy, and before I knew it, July was over! Good thing I’m not limited by manufactured holidays. Any month is ice cream month around here. And since this recipe should work with both fresh and frozen berries, you won’t have to drive to Michigan to try it.

RaspberryRondevousIceCream

Raspberry Rendezvous Ice Cream

18 ounces (approximately 4 cups) raspberries
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate raspberry cups (I found these at my local bulk food store.)

Combine the berries and 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries soften and begin to release their juices, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly, stirring often so it doesn’t stick or burn.

Remove the pan from the heat and reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce. Use an immersion blender to puree the remaining sauce until smooth. Strain the mixture into a glass bowl through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any stray seeds. (Save yourself a dish and use the same saucepan to cook the custard in the next step!) Let the sauce cool.

In a medium bowl (or glass measuring cup for easy pouring), whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar together. Pour 1 cup of cream into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the egg-sugar-cream mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large glass bowl (or my often-used Pyrex measuring cup) and pour the custard through the strainer. Add the berry puree (not the reserved 1/2 cup), lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup of cream to the custard. Stir to combine, then cover and chill until cold.

Freeze the custard in a ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is done, add the chocolate raspberry cups, letting the machine distribute them through the ice cream. Ladle about one-third of your reserved raspberry sauce into the bottom of the airtight, freezer-safe container that you plan to store the ice cream in. Transfer about one-third of the ice cream to the container and use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry sauce through the ice cream. Layer some more of the raspberry sauce in the container and then top with more ice cream. Swirl the sauce through the ice cream again, then top with the remaining ice cream and any remaining sauce. Give the sauce one more swirl to distribute it through the ice cream. Cover the ice cream. Freeze until firm.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, inspired by the Raspberry Rendezvous at Bud’s in Interlochen, Mich.

Click here for a printable version.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in Dessert, Ice Cream

 

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Another Successful Experiment!

When I started thinking about this ice cream, I was pretty sure that it would either be really odd or really good. I like the chai flavor, and I have yet to meet a chai latte that I didn’t enjoy, but still. I’d rather not waste perfectly good eggs and cream on sub-par ice cream. Especially when I could make chocolate ice cream instead.

But, like most of my crazy ideas, I couldn’t let it go. (I have no idea where my mind wanders to come up with this stuff. I was probably drinking chai at my desk one day.) I started Googling, which made me doubt my idea even more. Some recipes had a mile-long list of ingredients, including things that have never entered my kitchen. Star anise? Cardamom pods? I’m sure that creates a more authentic chai flavor, but I was looking for something a little less involved.

This recipe looked promising, and I was intrigued by the use of honey instead of sugar. I decided to add a vanilla bean to the custard, since vanilla and chai just go together in my mind. Plus, then you get all those fun flecks of vanilla bean in the ice cream.

I opted to steep the tea bags for much longer than the recipe said to. I figured a stronger flavor was better than a faint, barely-there hint of spice. It tasted just like a chai latte, which meant that, like most desserts at our house, it was short-lived. 🙂

VanillaChaiIceCream

Vanilla Chai Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup honey
pinch of salt
4 chai tea bags
1 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, one cup of cream, honey and salt. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Drop the vanilla bean pod into the pan and add the tea bags. (I tied them together for easy removal later.) Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Once the honey and salt have dissolved, turn the burner off and let the mixture steep for 15 minutes to a hour, depending on how strong you like your chai. (I tasted the milk / chai mixture after about 15 minutes and then decided to let it go the full hour.) Remove the tea bags, squeezing any extra cream mixture out into the saucepan. Rewarm the chai mixture over medium heat.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining cup of cream into a large bowl (or your favorite Pyrex measuring cup) and set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the bowl.

In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of the warm chai mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.

Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Pour the custard through the strainer and into the bowl of cream. Discard the vanilla bean pod. Add the vanilla extract and then stir the custard and cream together. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, or overnight.

Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and place in a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm.

Barely adapted from Coffee and Quinoa, who adapted it from Cookie + Kate

Click here for a printable version.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Dessert, Ice Cream

 

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Not Your Average Ice Cream

Are you ready for this? I went from being the girl who wasn’t into beer at all to being the girl who puts stout in her ice cream. And you thought beer cookies were weird… 😉

On one hand, I figured this was going to be good. After all, we’re talking about ice cream here. On the other hand, however, I was a little skeptical, especially since the recipe only had two cups of cream and 12 ounces of beer. Most of my other ice cream recipes have milk or half and half in addition to the cream, so I was afraid that I would end up with a tiny amount of ice cream. The beer must make up for the missing milk, since the final product filled my standard “ice cream” Pyrex container.

I loved the fact that, in spite of using six egg yolks, this recipe didn’t make you temper the eggs. Instead, you whisk the eggs, sugar and salt together and then cook them with the cream until thick and custard-like. Then, you simply pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any egg pieces. Talk about a time-saver!

The recipe suggested two beers, neither of which matched up with what was in my fridge, but after consulting  Arron (the beer expert in my group of friends), I decided to use my last bottle of Stone Arch Vanilla Stout. (Of course, now that I’m looking it up online, I see that it’s only 4.7% ABV, and the recipe called for something between 8 and 11 percent. Whoops. It worked anyway.) The original recipe and article from America’s Test Kitchen has some good information about what beers to use, in case you can’t find Stone Arch vanilla stout. Most importantly, it said not to use anything too hoppy, as they will make the ice cream bitter.

Seriously, though, this was some good ice cream. It was smooth and creamy, and it didn’t melt nearly as fast as Andy’s favorite vanilla bean ice cream. The beer flavor wasn’t overpowering, and its coffee, vanilla and caramel undertones came through nicely. It went really well with a serving of hot fudge pudding cake (from Cook It In Cast Iron), and I really want to make another batch, just so I can sandwich it between some cookies.

BeerIceCream

Beer Ice Cream

12 ounces 8-11% ABV beer (not an IPA!) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream

In a large saucepan, bring 5 ounces of the beer to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the beer is reduced to about half its original volume, lowering the heat as necessary to keep the foam level to a minimum.

Remove the beer from the heat and add the remaining 7 ounces of beer and vanilla to the mixture. Pour the beer-vanilla mixture into a bowl or Pyrex measuring cup and set aside.

In the now-empty saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt and egg yolks. Whisk in the cream and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it is thick and coats the back of a metal spoon (about 180° on an instant-read thermometer). Immediately remove it from the heat.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over an empty bowl (or a 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup) and pour the custard through the strainer. Whisk the beer mixture into the custard. Cover the ice cream base and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. (Both ATK and Bridget said to place the bowl full of custard over an ice water bath to cool the mixture before placing it in the fridge. I skipped this step, mostly because I’m lazy like that.)

Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and place in a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.

Rumor has it that this keeps in the freezer for 5 days. I couldn’t tell you, since we finished ours in one evening.

From The Way the Cookie Crumbles, who adapted it from America’s Test Kitchen

Click here for a printable version.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Dessert, Ice Cream

 

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Strawberry Ice Cream, All Grown Up

So, July is national ice cream month, and for once in my food-blogging existence, I am actually sharing a recipe before the “season” is over. Not that ice cream has a season, at least in our house. We eat it year round. (Although, we have been on a popsicle kick lately. Best investment of the summer.) 😀

A few months ago, one of my friends gave me a bottle of strawberry balsamic vinegar. The stuff is amazing. I’m talking “drink it straight from the bottle” good. It took my salads to another level (especially with some crumbled blue cheese and sliced strawberries). It was perfect in one of my favorite summer pizzas. I drizzled it on top of my birthday cake (chocolate red wine cake with a strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream, in case you wondered). And then, I saw this recipe and realized that my fancy vinegar would be perfect for ice cream too.

I know that strawberry season is over, at least for most of the Midwest. (We’ve moved onto blueberries, raspberries and peaches now. Oh, how I love summer produce). However, one of the best things about strawberry ice cream is the fact that you can use frozen berries and still end up with a great-tasting ice cream (at least in my opinion). So if you were crazy lucky enough to put 40+ pounds of berries in the freezer, you’re all set.

This recipe is a little more involved than some other ice creams that I’ve made, since you cook the strawberries and then the custard base, but overall, it’s not too much work, and the flavor is definitely worth it. The vinegar isn’t overpowering; it just makes it a little more “grown up.” And while it won’t rival chocolate or moose tracks for my favorite flavor, it’s definitely good enough to make again. You know, since we have a few berries in the freezer. 😉

Strawberry Balsamic Ice CreamStrawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

3 cups of strawberries (fresh if they’re in season, frozen if not)
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup of sugar, divided
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided (I used my fancy strawberry balsamic, but any good balsamic vinegar would work fine.) 
5 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large, nonreactive saucepan, combine the strawberries, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries are softened and the juices have thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the strawberries until smooth. Refrigerate the puree until you’re ready to churn the ice cream.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar and salt. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until it simmers, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar together in a medium bowl or measuring cup. (I use my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup for this.) Reduce the heat on the saucepan to medium.

Slowly add the warm cream to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. (I use my 1/2 cup measuring cup to transfer the milk from the pan to the measuring cup.) You want to gradually add about 1 cup of warm cream to the egg yolks. Then, gradually add the yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining milk, stirring constantly. Cook the mixture until it thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove the custard from the heat.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the cooked custard through the strainer. Chill the custard in the refrigerator until it’s fully cooled, or overnight.

When you’re ready to churn the ice cream, whisk the strawberry puree and the remaining 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar into the custard. Freeze the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and place in a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm.

From Pink Parlsey, who adapted it from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones

Click here for a printable version.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in Dessert, Ice Cream

 

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Seasonal Eating

I have to admit, as a food blogger, I’m kind of jealous of people in other parts of the country right now. I mean, Kirsten’s farm share started this week. (If you want new ideas for your veggies this summer, she is the woman to follow. Seriously.) Shawnda is PICKING PEACHES ALREADY. (Yes, she lives in Texas, and I live in Wisconsin. Let’s not get hung up on the details here, people.) I feel like everyone else in the world has all sorts of tasty, seasonal produce at their disposal, and here I sit, wondering why I have NINE measly bean plants coming up when I put an entire seed packet into the ground three weeks ago. Something must have been wrong with those seeds. Grrr.

Right now, rhubarb is the only pickable thing in my garden. So, rather than moping about the situation, I’m embracing it. I’ve made rhubarb muffins. And rhubarb lemonade. And now, rhubarb ice cream sandwiches. Oh yes. Last year, when I made rhubarb ice cream, I mentioned that my original idea had been a vanilla custard with a rhubarb swirl. I took that idea and turned it into the world’s most portable frozen dessert: the ice cream sandwich.

Based on last summer’s success with Annie’s lemon raspberry ice cream sandwiches, I used the same method for these bad boys. (Except, just like last year, I went with graham crackers from the store. I’m sure homemade graham crackers are amazing, but I only have so much free time. And if I’m going to bake something, it’s going to be more exciting than graham crackers. Just saying.) I used a slightly modified (one less egg yolk) version of my favorite vanilla ice cream. I went with a custard-based ice cream, rather than Andy’s favorite Philadelphia-style ice cream because the custard ice cream doesn’t melt quite as fast, which is important for both assembly AND for eating. I lined a 9″ x 13″ metal pan with waxed paper and spread the freshly-churned ice cream in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Then I swirled the rhubarb compote through the vanilla ice cream and put the whole thing in the freezer to firm up overnight. The next morning, I cut the ice cream into squares and sandwiched it between the graham crackers, and then returned the sandwiches to the freezer for a final freeze.

Oh my, these were good. The only people who didn’t love them were the ones who don’t like rhubarb. (AKA… weirdos, haha.) The graham cracker softens slightly, and you get a perfect mix of tart and sweet. There’s one sandwich left in the freezer, and there could be a fight over who gets the last one… unless I eat it when Andy’s not around. 😉

Rhubarb Ice Cream Sandwiches

A couple notes about the compote: This makes WAY MORE than you’ll need for the ice cream sandwiches, which I probably should have realized BEFORE I made the entire batch. I actually upped the rhubarb quantity in the compote, just because that’s what I had in the fridge. I also increased the brown sugar to an entire cup, since I had an extra three or four ounces of rhubarb. You could cut the recipe in half, or you could just make the entire batch, and do exciting things with the rest of it. (So far I’ve filled brown butter cupcakes – SO GOOD – and I’m hoping to take the rest of it and make a rhubarb version of these popsicles.) It’s also really good by itself, and I’m guessing it’d be a nice addition to my morning oatmeal. In other words, I’d rather use extra compote than do the math to reduce the recipe. 🙂

Vanilla Rhubarb Ice Cream Sandwiches

For the ice cream:
5 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scrapped
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the rhubarb compote:
1 3/4 lbs. of fresh rhubarb, diced
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

For assembly: 
Graham crackers, broken into squares (I used about 1 1/2 sleeves of store-bought graham crackers.)

To make the compote,combine the rhubarb, brown sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium low heat and cook, covered, until the mixture is saucy, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes or so. Allow the compote to cool completely before using. Remove the vanilla bean before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

To make the ice cream, combine the milk, one cup of the cream, sugar, salt and the vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl until smooth. (I use my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Gradually add the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until the mixture is warm and well-combined. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Place the remaining cup of cream in a large glass bowl (again, I use my 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup) and set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the bowl. Pour the cooked custard through the strainer and into the cream. Mix the custard and the cream together and add the vanilla extract. If desired, you can remove the vanilla bean pod from the strainer and add it back into the custard base (after you make sure there aren’t any cooked egg chunks stuck to the pod).

Cover the bowl and cool the ice cream base in the refrigerator until it’s thoroughly chilled. (You can speed this process up by putting the bowl in the freezer and stirring it occasionally.)

Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, line a 9″ x 13″ pan with waxed paper, leaving an overhang on the edges. Spread the churned ice cream in an even layer (about an inch thick) in the bottom of the pan. If the ice cream seems really soft after this step, put the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow it to firm up.

Dollop several spoonfuls of rhubarb compote across the top of the vanilla ice cream. (I’m guessing that I used about 1/2 cup of compote, but I didn’t measure.) Using a table knife or a wooden skewer, swirl the rhubarb through the vanilla ice cream. Cover the pan and return it to the freezer to freeze completely. (I left mine in the freezer overnight.) 

To assemble the ice cream sandwiches, remove the pan from the freezer and cut the ice cream into squares, using your graham cracker as a guideline. (I made my ice cream squares slightly smaller than the graham crackers so there wouldn’t be an overhang that could potentially melt before you had a chance to enjoy it.) Use a metal spatula to remove the ice cream squares from the pan and sandwich the squares between the graham crackers. Return the sandwiches to the freezer for one last time, and allow them to freeze until solid before enjoying. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Ice cream base adapted from Annie’s Eats, who got it from David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop.” Rhubarb Compote from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from “Good to the Grain.” Method from Annie’s Eats, who adapted it from Tartelette.

Click here for a printable version.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Dessert, Ice Cream

 

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One Thing Leads To Another

You know the kids books “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” or “If You Give a Moose a Muffin“? Where one thing just leads to another, and before you know it, something simple has morphed into a giant project? I feel like that happens to me sometimes. An idea will pop into my head, and it won’t go away until I do something about it. And the longer it sits and stews in my mind, the more involved it gets.

I’ve been thinking about a Guinness/Bailey’s cake/cheesecake combo for several months now, but the timing hasn’t been right to make one. (The time is coming, though. I can’t wait.) Anyway, with chocolate and Irish cream thoughts floating through my head, it was only a matter of time before they came together in my ice cream maker. Especially after a baby shower cake left me with an overabundance of egg yolks.

I went back and forth about the chocolate base. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? What would go better with Irish cream? What about spiking the brownies? (The first few recipes Google turned up started with a mix. And we all know how I feel about boxed mixes.) Should I add a fudge swirl, or would that be too much? (As if there could ever be too much chocolate.) Decisions, decisions.

I decided on milk chocolate ice cream, thinking that the Irish cream in the brownies would stand out more against the milk chocolate than the dark chocolate, and since I had five egg yolks in the fridge, I upped the egg yolks to five, rather than four. I used the same fudge swirl that I used in my moose tracks ice cream, and I found a reasonable (and easy) sounding recipe for the brownies.

I began to doubt my milk chocolate decision when I tasted the ice cream base. It seemed overpoweringly sweet, and I was concerned that we were going to have some sub-par ice cream on our hands. And then I was afraid that the brownies were going to be too greasy. But the show has to go on, right? (After all, I’d already offered to bring ice cream to a friend’s house that evening.) So I churned the ice cream as planned and mixed in the brownie chunks, then swirled the fudge through the ice cream and popped it in the freezer to firm up.

Wow. I don’t know if it’s the contrast between the milk chocolate and the fudge swirl, or the hint of Irish cream in the brownies, or what, but we are definitely talking about the sum being greater than its parts. The ice cream is rich, for sure, but that’s never a bad thing. I keep trying to convert Andy from team vanilla bean to team chocolate, and thanks to this ice cream, I think I’m closer than ever. 😉

ChocolateBrownieIceCream

Fudge-Swirled Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Irish Cream Brownie Bites

For the ice cream base: 
8 ounces of good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped (A shout-out to my brother-in-law, Dan, who gave us some fantastic milk chocolate for Christmas and made this possible.) 
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar

For the fudge ripple:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the Bailey’s Brownies*: 
1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Irish cream liqueur, divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

First, bake the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8″ square baking pan with aluminum foil. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Place the chocolate chips and butter in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips and butter in 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted. Set the chocolate mixture aside and combine the brown sugar, eggs and Irish cream in a small bowl. Pour the sugar-egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until just combined and spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is cracked and a toothpick comes out almost clean, about 45 minutes. (The brownies will be very thick. I’m guessing you could bake them in a 9″ x 13″ pan and cut the baking time in half.) Remove the brownies from the oven. Brush the top of the brownies with the remaining tablespoon of Irish cream. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack before cutting them into bite-sized pieces.

While the brownies are cooling, make the fudge swirl. In a small saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the vanilla. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to bubble. Let it boil for one minute, then remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool until needed, being sure that the fudge has cooled at least to room temperature before using.

To make the ice cream base, place the chocolate and the cream in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth. When the chocolate has melted, pour the mixture into a large glass bowl and set a fine mesh sieve over the top of the bowl. (I use my Pyrex two-quart measuring cup for this so I can easily pour the ice cream base into the ice cream maker.) 

Mix the sugar, half-and-half and salt together in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl. Gradually add the warm half-and-half to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until most of the warm milk has been combined with the eggs. Add the entire mixture back to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon. Pour the custard through the sieve and into the chocolate mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the ice cream base is thoroughly chilled.

Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is finished churning, stir in about 1 1/2 cups of brownie bits. Drizzle a tablespoon (or so) of the fudge across the bottom of a freezer-safe container. Spread about one-third of the ice cream on top of the fudge. Drizzle some more fudge on top of the ice cream, then top with more ice cream. Repeat until the ice cream is all in the freezer container, and then top with some additional fudge. Freeze until firm.

*Note: This brownie recipe makes an entire 8″ pan of very thick brownies. I used about 1/4 of the pan for the ice cream, which left us with plenty of brownies to enjoy alongside our ice cream – something that no one complained about. 

Ice cream from The Perfect Scoop, as seen on Annie’s Eats; Brownies from The Recipe Girl Cookbook, as seen on Eats Well With Others; Fudge swirl from the Perfect Scoop, originally seen on Annie’s Eats

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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Dessert, Ice Cream

 

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