Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ice Creamery

I'm totally obsessed. I'll admit it. In spite of the lingering cold weather, I just can't get enough. What is the focus of my new culinary craze? Homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt! A good friend recently passed her ice cream maker on to me, and I've been having a blast coming up with different concoctions. I broke in the ice cream maker by recreating Laurie's pomegranate ice cream for Taste&Create. If you remember, though, while the ice cream tasted lovely, the texture was off.

Determined to achieve frozen dairy success, I did a little Googling, regrouped, then returned to the fray. This time, I arrived armed with a recipe: Happy Herbivore vegan blogger Lindsay's 99% Fat-Free Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream. Whew! How's that for a mouthful? Even though I'm not a vegan, I had high hopes for the texture of the ice cream that this recipe would yield. With a tofu base, I thought it would surely churn into smooth, creamy goodness. I was right! This ice cream was rich, silky, and quite tasty. Based on my success with this recipe, I'm excited to try using tofu as a base for future creations. I did unveganize this a bit by using regular skim milk and sugar-free varieties for the two syrups. However, even the Best Husband Ever liked it! He did mention that he liked the pomegranate ice cream better, though. Regardless, between the two of us the vegan chocolate ice cream did not last long.

Invigorated by my first true ice cream success story, I returned to the challenge. This time I wanted to make a fruity frozen yogurt. I used my ice cream maker's manual for inspiration this time around. I mixed the following in a bowl, then churned it for about 30 minutes in the ice cream maker:
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 3 oz. plain yogurt
  • about 1/2 cup skim milk
  • half of an individual serving packet of stevia
  • 1 banana, chunked/mashed
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and diced
I think that was it. The resulting frozen yogurt -- Banana Kiwi Frozen Yogurt -- was my favorite concoction to date! It tasted light and refreshing, and the fruit combination added a nice kick. The Best Husband Ever thought it was too banana-y at first taste, but later amended his critique to say that the fruit mixture was in fact quite good. Huzzah for success number two!

Remember how I mentioned that I was obsessed? Well, my second ice creamery victory of course only spurred me to make yet another batch. I must have been feeling a little cocky, though, because I forgot to follow some basic procedures. Instead of combining this frozen yogurt's ingredients in a food processor or a mixing bowl, I stirred them all together right in the frozen receptacle of the ice cream maker. This proved to be a grave mistake because a) I couldn't get the churning arm to sit properly in the receptacle, and b) the ingredients froze to the side of the bowl, jamming up the churning arm once I finally got it in there. I had to unstick the arm, scoop out as much of the ingredients as possible, and then wait for the receptacle's frozen interior and the bowl's remaining contents to melt so I could start the whole process again. Several hours later, I mixed up these items in a separate bowl before setting them to mix in the ice cream maker for about 30 minutes, creating Lemon Blackberry Frozen Yogurt:
  • 6 oz. lemon yogurt
  • 3 oz. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • splash of lemon juice
  • half of an individual serving packet of stevia
  • about 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, slightly thawed and mushed
If possible, this fro-yo was even more refreshing than the banana kiwi variety. However, it was not my favorite due to the blackberry seeds, which I had to chew. The Best Husband Ever made this same critique, so the next time I try to make berry-based ice cream, I'll be sure to puree the berries and the seeds they contain first.

Ice cream creation is fun! And not only is it enjoyable, but it's super easy to boot. It takes only a few minutes to blend the ingredients before leaving them for the ice cream maker to have it's way with for a half an hour. Plus, homemade ice cream lets me go for healthier options than its store-bought brethren. I can make low- or no-fat calcium-rich dessert, and it's cheaper. Besides, it leaves me with a sense of accomplishment and something to blog about. What more can a food blogging gal ask for from her sweets?

3 comments:

  1. These all look so good! It makes me want to break out my ice cream maker too. Who needs warm weather in order to make tasty treats!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My thoughts exactly, Danae!

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  3. happyherbivore.comApril 2, 2009 at 3:09 PM

    Im so glad you liked it... and what great bowls! jealous

    ReplyDelete

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