It’s been way too long since I posted anything up here, and now that schools is practically out I really need to go back and post about various happenings over the past three (gasp!) months. Hopefully I can post date them so the order makes sense. Stay tuned!
But the main reason for this post – nothing says summer like ice cream. I had been wanting to make root beer floats for a while now and wanted to make my own ice cream. All it takes is the investment of a little time, some freezer space, and an ice cream maker – and never again will you have to suffer from the unsatisfactory stuff or shell out the big bucks for premium ice cream!
For the root beer float I made vanilla bean ice cream. And for variety I also made ginger ice cream by infused ginger into another batch creme anglais and threw in some finely chopped crystallized ginger in the end for added texture and flavor intensity.
I based my ice cream off of Bi-Rite Creamery’s “Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones” book. Their recipes generally call for 2-3 cups of a combination of heavy cream and milk, 0.5 cups sugar, and 5-6 egg yolks, in addition to various flavorings and a pinch of salt. I used half and half since it seemed easier to get it that way in the grocery store. This ice cream base is in essence a creme anglais, which is a vanilla sauce thickened only by egg yolks. Just make sure not to heat the mixture over 180°F or you’ll end up with a sweet egg drop cream soup. It tastes pretty weird – I don’t recommend it. Probably doesn’t make good ice cream either. Put the mixture in the fridge overnight to chill. I usually don’t plan far ahead enough and need to freeze my ice cream bowl overnight too. The faster the mix freezes the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother the texture, so don’t go dumping in your warm ice cream base straight into the ice cream maker. Once the freezer bowl is frozen solid and the ice cream base is thoroughly chilled, there’s just 2 steps left – churn & eat! Easy peasy.
For additional reading, this is an interesting article about the difference between ice cream and gelato.