September 22, 2011

Homemade Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

I'm flabbergasted.  After trying all those custard-based ice cream recipes with ingredients that need to be steeped and the required chilling time that goes along with it, I've figured out how to make an ice cream that my husband raves about and it only takes five minutes (plus churn time).

This weekend I tried Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream Base exactly how they have it written in the book.  (What a novel idea-following an entire recipe!)  I didn't temper the eggs or heat the milk, I just followed the recipe, which means that yes, we did eat raw eggs, and no, I'm not concerned.  

Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream Base
adapted from Ben & Jerry's Dessert Book.  Makes approximately one quart of ice cream base.

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups cream

Whisk eggs by hand or using the whisk attachment in an electric mixer.  Slowly, while whisking, pour in sugar.  Then whisk in milk and cream, followed by any desired flavoring. Churn according to manufacturer's directions, folding in any desired mix-ins at the end.

Following is the list of ice creams I've made using this Sweet Cream Base.  This list is in order of those we liked least to those we liked the most:

Vanilla-Blueberry Swirl (vanilla ice cream with blueberry jam swirl) -This is the first one we made.  We cooked the base, because it sounded like a good idea at the time.  We were so intrigued by the Ben-&-Jerry's-esque  flavor, that we made more sweet cream base and made more ice creams.  We liked this ice cream, but for me, something about the Ben & Jerry's base cried out for chocolate flavors and chunky mix-ins.

Rocky Road (chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and chopped almonds)  -This one did require melting four ounces of semisweet chocolate and then pouring in the milk and (one cup of) cream, heating it some more while stirring to blend in the chocolate, so I did temper the eggs in this batch.  It was good, but next time I think I would try a different chocolate, maybe milk chocolate or a combination of chocolate and cocoa.

S'more (vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and milk chocolate-covered-graham crackers) -Break three or four graham cracker squares into 16 little squares each.  Dip in melted milk chocolate and store in the freezer until ready to mix in.

Black Bottom Pie (vanilla-rum ice cream with fudge brownies, graham crackers and a rum-cream cheese frosting swirl)  -This one I made with the uncooked version.  You have to be careful in adding alcohol to ice cream, because, I've read, there's fine line between perfect flavor and a boozy mess.  I added about a tablespoon of rum to the vanilla ice cream base and about two tablespoons of rum to the cream cheese frosting (approximately 2ounces cream cheese beaten in an electric mixer with 1 cup of powdered sugar and and two tablespoons of rum), but the rum flavor was very faint.  Maybe it needs a little more rum, or maybe I should be using rum extract?  Or maybe it's perfect the way it is.  We all liked it a lot. Yes, we fed our kids rum ice cream; no, I am not concerned.

Coffee Fudge Brownie (instant coffee ice cream with fudge brownies folded in) -I've made this one twice; once with the cooked sweet cream base and once with the uncooked sweet cream base.  We did not notice any difference in flavor.  Jason and I agree, this is our favorite flavor.

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