Monday, August 16, 2010

Technically it's frozen custard...

Here's the follow-through on my hair-brained idea - homemade Rocky Road ice cream. Though in reading Wikipedia, it's technically a frozen custard since home-based versions of ice cream have more egg yolks, less air whipped into it, and no commercial binders to get the ice cream consistency we're used to from the store. Hell, whatever you call it, it was good.

I followed David Lebovitz's recipe from one of last year's Fine Cooking magazine issues which involved purchasing the following:

  • Whole milk from Crescent Ridge Dairy at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square
  • Heavy cream and eggs from Formaggio Kitchen (I forget which farms those came frome)
  • Taza 60% dark chocolate from Taza directly at the Somerville/Union Square Farmer's Market
  • Green & Black's organic cocoa (leftover in our cupboard from some earlier experiment)
  • Mini marshmallows and cashews from Whole Foods
It's been a very long time since I made a custard, so I'm glad I didn't screw that up. The melted chocolate wasn't quite as successful - I added it to the custard in the ice bath, which caused it to initially harden but was eventually broken down into micro-pieces distributed throughout the mix. It gave the ice cream a slightly gritty feel since the bits were far too small to chew individually, but it wasn't a big deal to me since it was appropriately chocolatey. I think next time I'll add the melted chocolate to the custard mix in the pan to avoid the unusual texture. As I sampled through the process, I also decided the next time to cut back on the sugar - we don't like things overly sweet, and I had cut back a little on the recipe but not enough to compensate for the sweetness from the chocolate.

The freezing part was surpisingly easy. I first tried using the hand held stick blender (the kind I associate with soup-making) but that ended up being a bit messy and it was far easier to put a little elbow grease behind it and give my arm a workout. The marshmallows and nuts went in to the mix right before it froze solid overnight. Apparently our freezer is set to deep freeze since the next day it had frozen into a block - we couldn't scoop nice mounds of ice cream so instead we made do with the blobs seen below. It's probably more aptly named "concrete". We are definitely not food stylists and neither one of us had the patience to try and take a pretty picture before diving into the bowl.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results, despite the labor-intensiveness of the process. However, when I was describing my ice-cream making adventure to a friend, I realized the KitchenAid mixer paddle is fairly similar to an ice cream maker paddle so I thought I would try the freezing part using the big stand mixer. On a whim, I googled to see if anyone had tried using the KitchenAid mixer for ice cream and lo and behold, this came up:

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment

Of course I promptly bought it. I don't want a separate machine to make ice cream, but a special bowl and paddle suits me just fine. The next flavours that I want to try are David Lebovitz's double ginger and salted butter caramel ice creams, but I'll wait until the new gadget arrives. I also think we need to invite some people over since this will be far too much ice cream for the two of us to eat...


Jennifer said...

Your ice cream looks really tasty!

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