Monday, June 21, 2010

We All Scream For Ice Cream (Recipes)!

Homemade ice cream is truly one of life's best pleasures. Incredibly easy (and inexpensive!) to make, it tastes far superior to even the most gourmet of brands. I have experimented with all manner of ingredients, including cream cheese, searching for the perfectly textured and flavored vanilla ice cream. Unbelievable as it sounds, the simplest and easiest recipe happened to be the best... no custards, no staining, no chilling, no expensive vanilla bean pods, which means it is just that much easier to always have some on hand! To make the ice cream, however, you will need the help of an electric ice cream maker- Cuisinart has a great one on the market, and is very reasonalbly priced at $59.99 (available at Williams-Sonoma).

Hot fudge sauce (vanilla ice cream's must have accessory) that is not laden with HFCS, artificial flavors, need I go on, is almost impossible to come by in the grocery store. The good news is that I have a recipe that tastes better than any sundae sauce you have ever tried and is all natural to boot! The even better news is that it is on this page : )

See "Women On The Rise" entry for a fun self serve ice cream bar idea!

Very Vanilla Ice Cream

1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well, then pour into electric ice cream maker and flip the switch. In 20 (25 minutes if you would like it more fluffy and less creamy) minutes you will have amazing soft serve, or pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours until firm.
*be sure to place a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper directly on top of the ice cream, to keep it from getting ice crystals and developing off flavors.

variation: in the last 5 minutes of churning, let your imagination run wild- add crushed cookies, candies, fruits, nuts, anything you want! My favorite variation is my take on Ben& Jerry's Chunky Monkey- I add one mashed ripe banana, chocolate chunks, and walnuts (and sometimes some toasted coconut).

Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce

1 1/2 cups (9oz) semisweet chocolate morsels
2/3 cup sugar
10 oz evaporated milk
1 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often
boil for one minute stirring constantly
remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla, cool slightly
*this week keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for 2 weeks


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