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The most glorious summer of all…

July 13, 2007

Ice Cream Maker

This summer promises to be extra spectacular. Why? Because my kind and generous parents sent me the greatest summertime diversion ever as a birthday gift: an ice cream maker. A red, shiny, beautiful ice cream maker. And because they are so brilliant, they also sent a copy of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, the book that is showing its lovely cover all over the internets these days. My excitement for ice cream is boundless. I want to make new and different varieties every single day, but if Crystal and I went through that much ice cream, well, let’s just say neither of us can afford a whole new wardrobe. As it is, I’ve only had the thing for a week and I’ve already made two batches.

Admittedly, my first foray into ice cream making, a watermelon sorbetto, didn’t turn out quite as I expected. It made me a little nervous. Like maybe this ice cream making thing wasn’t going to be as easy as I was expecting. It turned out kind of…slushy. And I don’t even really like watermelon, so to my mind it didn’t really taste that great, either.

Thankfully, the second attempt resulted in something so perfect and creamy and delicious all my fears have been assuaged and I’m ready to jump right in and try out every flavor my little imagination can concoct. Bacon and pickle ice cream, anyone?

Watermelon Sorbetto

I’ve been trying to figure out what went wrong with my watermelon sorbetto, and I’ve come up with a few possibilities, but being a beginner with the homemade ice cream thing, I don’t know if any of my guesses are even plausible. I wonder if perhaps I didn’t puree the watermelon enough (our blender is kind of crappy), or if I didn’t chill the mixture enough before pouring it into the ice cream maker. I wonder if the watermelon’s not-so-freshness might have anything to do with it. Whatever the answer, I have a container of something more akin to watermelon granita than sorbet in my freezer. All I can figure to do with it is make daquiries. Not a bad idea at that.

I followed Lebovitz’s Watermelon Sorbetto recipe exactly, minus the vodka, and I refuse to blame him for my sorbetto failure. Besides, my next batch was perfection.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

In the days when Crystal and I were merely dreaming of having an ice cream maker, she kept begginig me to eventually make chocolate banana ice cream. “It’s my favorite! It’s my favorite!” she kept saying. And because I love her so much, I made her chocolate banana ice cream. But I took it one step further: Chocolate and Roasted Banana Ice Cream.

This is pure decadence. The bananas add an extra bit of creaminess and even though I went Philadelphia-style and left out the eggs (I wasn’t feeling quite ready for custard), it ended up being beyond my wildest ice cream dreams. I didn’t even know the stuff could be so…so…luxurious. I just want to sit on the porch inhaling creamy spoonfuls of banana-y goodness all day long. It’s dangerous.

For this one I basically melded two recipes from The Perfect Scoop together into one. I was a little worried that it was going to overflow my ice cream maker, but there was no ice cream flood, we were all safe. This did turn out more banana than I expected, so if you want the chocolate to have a more dominant role, you might want to halve the amount of bananas you use.

Chocolate and Roasted Banana Ice Cream

  • 3 large bananas, peeled and sliced into half inch pieces
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. butter, cut up into small pieces
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 6 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips, even though Lebovitz says you shouldn’t, because that is what I had)
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the banana slices, brown sugar, and butter in a baking dish, and bake them for about 40 minutes. Stir once during baking to make sure everything’s not sticking to the pan and getting yucky. They will smell like sheer heaven, and they should be browned and very, very soft when you’re done.

Meanwhile, whisk the cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep whisking and heating until it comes to a rolling boil and gets a bit foamy. This will probably take a little longer than you expect, but just keep whisking. Once it reaches that slow, rolling boil, remove it from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it’s completely melted. Then whisk in the milk (it’s ok if it’s cold) and the vanilla extract, and let it cool a little.

Once the bananas are roasted and have cooled off a little, put them in a blender and puree them. Then add the chocolate mixture, and blend it all together until it’s very smooth.

I learned from my watermelon experience and let this chocolate mixture chill overnight in the refrigerator. Then the next day, after going to see Harry Potter Five (awesome), I just poured it into my ice cream maker and twenty minutes later, we had the an amazing ice cream experience.

It was plenty delicious right out of the canister, but I think it benefitted from being in the freezer for awhile. It’s been so hot here lately that I suspect my poor ice cream maker is just struggling against the humidity to properly freeze whatever I put in it!

Ice Cream

I’m impatient to experiment further, so I’m going to have to bring the rest of this ice cream to Dmitri’s and Max’s dinner party tonight, to share with everyone. It might not really fit the Mexican theme of the evening, but I suspect people will enjoy it nonetheless.

As for the dinner party tonight, my house is currently filling up with the smell of cooking beans, one of my favorite things in the world, and I should probably get a move on and make a batch of tortillas. I am pretty excited for a plate full of enchiladas, green chile sauce, beans, and carne asada tonight. Whoot whoot! Yay for summer.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 22, 2007 8:25 am

    I am SO ENVIOUS!! I’m dying for an ice-cream maker. The only thing that’s stopping me is knowing how I’ll make ice cream after ice cream and not know when to stop (other than when they have to roll me out of the house after taking down the door to fit me through it). I’ve order the book.. it’s the first step.. at least I’ll be able to drool over the recipes and photos, eh? And now I’ve got you and your blog to live vicariously through!! hehee

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