What I like most about spending Holy Week alone at home is the chance to catch up on doing what I love most: eating and cooking. As far as I’m concerned, this is the most exciting time for me, to be able to catch up with me and myself, get a general cleaning of the house done and test my prowess in the kitchen. The latter won. And I found myself pulling out my mom’s dormant ice cream maker inside one of her closet.
I was giggling when I found it and promised myself to start making ice cream since I bought a Yummy magazine (Summit Publishing) November 2011 issue where they featured the works of Jeni Britton Bauer’s ice cream creation, excerpted from her book Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Since mom is away somewhere on a retreat, I had all the time to prepare at least two variations: peanut butter and dark chocolate ice cream!
I was afraid at first, thinking I would make a huge mistake and all the ingredients I bought (a bit pricey) would go to waste. So I made sure to read and reread the recipe again and again while making a mental note of the procedures I needed to follow. I started with Peanut Butter ice cream because I felt more confident following the recipe.
I had to start off assembling all the ingredients needed which are 2 cups whole milk, 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 ½ ounces cream cheese softened, ½ cup natural peanut butter, ½ teaspoon salt (I used less because the peanut butter I used is already salty), 1 ¼ cups Nestle cream, 2/3 cup white sugar, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons honey.
First, I had to make a slurry by combining 2 tablespoons of milk with cornstarch. In a medium bowl, I whisked together the peanut butter, cream cheese and salt until smooth.
Then in a 4-quart saucepan, I combined the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and honey and brought it to a rolling boil for four (4) minutes. I had to remove it from heat for a while and gradually added the cornstarch slurry, then brought it back to heat (about 1 and a half minute) until it slightly thickened. After removing it from heat, I gradually whisked the hot milk mixture to the peanut butter mixture until smooth. I had to be careful though because it is so hot.
After mixing it thoroughly, I set it aside to prepare a large bowl and fill it with ice and water. Then I proceeded to pour the mixture into a 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag, sealed it and submerged it in ice bath. To make sure it will cool faster, I put the bowl inside the freezer to speed up the process together with the canister of the ice cream maker. After 30 minutes, I retrieved the freezer bag and poured its content on the frozen canister and began to spin the ice cream maker.
And after 30 minutes, tada! I have my creamy peanut butter ice cream! I packed the ice cream into a little storage container and pressed a sheet of parchment paper directly on its surface. I think this is to prevent freezer burn. Then I put the container at the coldest part of the freezer and freezed it overnight.
The following morning, my Peanut Butter Ice cream was a success. And this made me excited and confident to start off with my dark chocolate ice cream.
Now, I didn’t know making the chocolate ice cream was easier! All I had to do is to gather ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ cup brewed coffee (good thing I had brewed coffee in the morning), ½ cup white sugar, 1 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate chips.
The rest of the ingredients for the ice cream base were relatively the same (except for the honey which I used in the peanut butter ice cream). And so all I had to do was to make the chocolate syrup: in a small sauce pan, I combined the cocoa, coffee and sugar, bring to a boil (about 30 seconds) over medium heat and stirred it until everything is dissolved, removed it from heat before adding the choco chips and let it stand for five (minutes).
For the ice cream base, I whisked together the cream cheese, warm chocolate syrup and salt until everything is incorporated. Using the same recipe and procedure, I made the milk mixture and made it slightly thicker again with the cornstarch slurry.
When I had both the milk mixture and the chocolate syrup ready, I gradually whisked the hot milk into the chocolate mixture until smooth then proceeded to put it into a 1-gallon freezer bag again and submerged it in a cold bath.
After 30 minutes, I put everything again inside the frozen canister of the ice cream maker and proceeded to churn the mixture. This time around, freezing the chocolate ice cream was much faster and I enjoyed eating it after four hours.
After I surveyed my creations, I couldn’t keep myself from uttering: “Hallelujah!” Thank God for summer because it’s the season we can help ourselves from having some of the best things in life…
This is just heavenly! 😀