Monday, October 22, 2012

simple chocolate ice cream

We have joined a dairy co-op.  This particular group of people buys raw milk and other dairy products (cheese, sour cream, butter) from a farmer who practices safely and sustainably in Kentucky.  We take turns driving there and picking up for everyone else on Mondays.

So far, we've just dipped our toes in the water with one gallon of milk per week.  This one gallon of milk is for the unbelievably low price of $3.75 (plus fifty cents for the jug).  When you consider that the Kroger brand milk is almost three dollars for the same amount, this fresh, wholesome, delicious raw milk begins to seem like quite a bargain.

The milk is non-homogenized in addition to being unpasteurized, so there is a thick creamline across the top (really more like the middle - 1/3 the way down.  LOTS of cream!).  I made the mistake of not shaking it up before pouring it over my raisin bran the other morning:  it was like eating cereal with whipped cream.  Intense.

My immediate thought was:  ice cream.  I needed to harness the potential of this gorgeous milk and cream and make something frozen and delightful.  I settled on chocolate because we had cocoa powder and it sounded good.  Not much seasonal fruit besides apples right now, and apple ice cream didn't sound super-delicious.

This is so simple.  I use an eggless base for ice cream - also known as Philadelphia-style.  As I wrote in one of my very first recipe posts, I tried a custard base, and it was just too much cold fat in my mouth.  I like the milky/icy nature of the eggless (it reminds me a bit of an old-school Frosty).  There is no cooking involved in this recipe, because I don't need to impart any fruit or other flavor aside from the cocoa into the base.  The one downside was that the cocoa powder caused a bit of graininess (I noticed, Jeff didn't).  If you want it velvety, melt 6 or 8 oz of good-quality dark chocolate over a double boiler and stir in rather than using cocoa powder.

Chocolate Ice Cream
Whole milk and cream to make 3 cups (the more cream, the richer the ice cream - try for at least half and half)
3/4 C cocoa powder
1/2 C honey
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt

Whisk the milk and cream together in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in the cocoa powder until well-combined.  This will take a bit.  Just keep whisking.  Whisk in honey, vanilla and salt - again, the honey will take a little while to incorporate.

It's helpful to use a spouted cup for pouring into the maker, rather than pouring from the mixing bowl.
Put the mixture in the fridge for half an hour to really chill down. Pull out your ice cream maker. Freeze the mixture according to the directions for your individual machine. When it's done, scrape it out into a container and let it harden in the freezer for several hours.

 I've heard it's really good scooped into a cup of coffee. Maybe for breakfast.


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