One of my favorite things about summer is ice cream. A few years ago, I got into making homemade ice cream so I could choose my own ingredients and tweak the flavors the way I wanted them. While I’ve done several projects straight from the book (or Internet), I’ve also adapted a number of recipes to do my DIY ice cream the way I want it!
If you’re hosting any upcoming gatherings and have a need to show your college friends that you’ve got a knack when it comes to this summer sweet treat, check out some homemade ice cream recipes, tips for finding vegan ice cream recipes, or just some quick ways to take packaged ice cream and make it look (& taste) fancy!
French ice cream: stovetop and ice cream maker
While I’ve experimented with both Philadelphia (no egg) and French (with egg) style ice creams, I tend to prefer the French. Sure, it makes the color a little different if you’re making a mint ice cream (if you want a bright green, you’ve got to go Philly style and use food coloring rather than count on the mint extract to make a difference), but for a really rich flavor, French is the way to go. Because French style ice cream requires stovetop access, possibly a double boiler, and an electric ice cream maker, it may not be the best to whip up in the dorm kitchenette.
If by chance you have access to an ice cream maker, you can make one of my very favorite of our family recipes: Mexican hot chocolate ice cream. We started tailoring our recipes from the ones posted by Kieran Murphy, director of Murphy’s Ice Cream in Dingle, Ireland, on his Ice Cream Ireland blog, so all the measurements are in metric. You can use Google to convert as needed.
- You need 100g sugar, 4 egg yolks, 220mL whole milk, 200 mL heavy cream, 90 grams 70% cocoa chile chocolate, 60g 70% cocoa normal chocolate, 2 cinnamon sticks
- Put the milk on low heat with the cinnamon sticks in it for 15-20 minutes, until it lightly simmers. If you want more cinnamon, heat the milk and don’t let it simmer, but leave the sticks in longer.
- Separately, melt the chocolate in a double boiler being careful not to burn the chocolate.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Take the cinnamon sticks out of the milk. Then temper the eggs slowly by adding the hot milk to the eggs and sugar, stirring the whole time.
- Put the custard back in the pan that had the milk, heat while stirring until it coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Add the custard a little at a time to the warm chocolate, stirring fully, to make a chocolate emulsion. Once you’ve combined it all, put the chocolate custard in the refrigerator until cool (we usually do overnight).
- Put the cream in a mixing bowl and whip it until it doubles in volume (we use an electric mixer on high). Fold the cream a bit at a time into the chocolate custard.
- Once it’s all mixed, pour it into the ice cream maker, hit on, and all you have to do is wait until it’s frozen to eat it!
For more French or Philly style DIY ice cream recipes, pick your favorite search engine and go! There are tons of recipes online; my favorites still come from Murphy’s. Vegan ice cream recipes are similarly easy to find, but it’s not as simple as just substituting coconut milk for whole milk. There are also vegan recipes that don’t require an ice cream maker! Check out these tips from Rachel Sanders of BuzzFeed for “29 Amazing Vegan Ice Cream Recipes,” posted June 10, 2013.
Quick ice cream DIY adaptations
All right, that’s all well and good when you have a kitchen, but what if you want to just make some great looking treats on the fly? I got a couple of tips in my e-mail this week from Friendly’s Ice Cream! My favorite? Sprinkle-wiches.
- Grab some premade ice cream sandwiches from the store.
- Cut them in half.
- Dip the exposed ice cream in sprinkles.
- Stick a short popsicle stick in one end.
Voila! Ice cream on a stick! You can get more tips for DIY treats from the Friendly’s Facebook page.