Tag Archives: homemade ice cream

Blackberry Cheesecake Swirl Ice Cream

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Mini-Mallows - Inside NanaBread's Head

Know how I know it’s almost summer? The “101 Favorite Recipes” lists start flying around the internet. Last weekend it was Memorial Day Must-Haves. Soon it will be “Fourth of July Favorites”. Today, we’re getting a jump on summer with a celebration of ice cream. Jenni Fields, author of Pastry Chef Online has invited bloggers to join her for Ice Cream Tuesday – Marshmallow Edition. The marshmallow twist can take any form – a fluff topping, stacked on or stirred in, or incorporated right into an ice cream base. Anything goes!

Luckily, I have a secret weapon in my back pocket – Allison, my foodie friend who makes homemade marshmallows. We’re talking serious combinations like honey latte, pina colada, and the latest batch she sent – blackberry sage. For my ice cream, I started by cutting her full-size marshmallows into teeny tiny baby marshmallows. Man, I wish you could taste these blackberry beauties.

Photo from my Instagram feed @HeyNanaBread

Photo from my Instagram feed @HeyNanaBread

It was a no-brainer to pair these puppies with my homemade blackberry jam.
A cheesecake ice cream base, with its slightly tart bite, is a perfect match for Allison’s luscious marshmallows and the sweetness of blackberry jam.

I love it when a plan comes together. Granted, most people don’t have handmade blackberry marshmallows lying around, so fret not – this ice cream, even without pretty marshmallows, is still worthy of any summer party. And there’s no shame in a store-bought bag of mini-mallows. I buy them, too.

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream - So Good - at Inside NanaBread's Head

If you love cream cheese like I love cream cheese, you’re going to love this ice cream. If you like a thick layer of cream cheese on a warm bagel, this one will make your heart sing. The combination of cream cheese, kefir and buttermilk will give you all the tang you crave, and then some.

If, however, you are more of a no-bake cheesecake person who prefers a higher fruit to cream cheese ratio, you can adapt this recipe to lessen the twang. I’ll post a note at the end of the recipe and tell you how to tone it down.

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream - 8

NanaBread’s Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream:
1 package (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup kefir OR plain thick Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 box (3.4 ozs.) instant cheesecake pudding mix
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons of your favorite blackberry jam
1/2 cup mini-marshmallows (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, kefir or yogurt, sugar, salt, almond extract and dry pudding mix. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the whipping cream, buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of the blackberry jam (for color). Beat just until combined and smooth, then scrape the mixture into an electric ice cream maker. Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or until the ice cream thickens to a perfect frozen soft-serve consistency.

If you are adding mini-marshmallows, stir them in now.

Into a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid, pour half of the ice cream base and spread to a smooth layer with a rubber spatula. Add the 1/3 cup of blackberry jam and spread into an even layer. Top with the remaining ice cream base and seal the container. Pop it into the freezer for at least 2 hours to set.

Substitutions for a lighter, less twangy cream cheese base:
1. Swap a light berry flavored yogurt for the kefir or plain Greek yogurt.
2. Use vanilla pudding mix in place of the cheesecake pudding.
3. Substitute 2% or whole milk for the buttermilk.

If you’re not into blackberries, this recipe would also rock with raspberry, blueberry or cherry jam. If you really want to go big, leave out the jam all together and add a layer of caramel, fudge sauce and nuts for a Turtle Cheesecake Ice Cream. Personally, I’m really digging the blackberry combo.

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream - Ice Cream Tuesday - Inside NanaBread's Head

But wait… there s’more! Check out these Ice Cream Tuesday posts:
Posts go live throughout the day. If at first you don’t connect – try, try again!

Jenni @ Pastry Chef Online:
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Key Lime Marshmallow Swirl

Karen @ Pint-Sized Baker:
Frozen Coconut S’Mores Bars

Dionne @ Try Anything Once Culinary:
Strawberry Ice Cream with Marshmallow Swirl and Toasted Walnuts

Liz @ That Skinny Chick Can Bake:
Fudge-Topped Marshmallow Ice Cream

Betsy @ Desserts Required:
Kahlua Marshmallows/Marshmallow Sauce

Stacy @ Food Lust People Love:
No-Churn Coffee Amaretto Ice Cream with Almond Marshmallows

Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic:
Traverse City Cherry Cordial Frozen Yogurt

Donna @ Cookistry:
Strawberry Marshmallow Ice Cream

Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World:
Horchata Ice Cream with Mocha Mallow Swirl

Sophia @ NY Foodgasm:
Princess Badass Vanilla with Bourbon Cherries & Marshmallow Fluff

Jenni's Ice Cream Tuesday -Mallow Week logo

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It’s 80F so we made ice cream

Chocolate Amaretto Pecan Ice Cream - TitlePic

For the record, 80F in January is a crime against nature. My roses are blooming again. Our yard guy showed up this week to mow. We turned on the AC again. It’s JANUARY, people! This is why we can’t own sweaters. {sigh}

So what do you do when Mother Nature turns the tables on you? Make ice cream (of course). This time we decided to use the chocolate-covered amaretto pecans given to us by our friends Kaki & Donny. She said they were addictive like crack. She was right. These babies are good right outta the bag, but they’re even better swimming in a big vat of dark chocolate ice cream.

I’m going to daydream about that for a minute…

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate-Dipped Amaretto Pecans
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk (we use 2%)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate syrup
3/4 cup chocolate-dipped amaretto pecans, chopped

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes); slowly add sugar and whisk for one minute more. Add the cream, milk, salt, vanilla and chocolate syrup and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour into an electric ice cream freezer and process until done. We use the Cuisinart machine, which takes about 30 minutes. Stir in the chopped pecans, spoon into a a freezer-safe container with a tight fitting lid & place in the deep freeze overnight. (Makes 1 quart)

Chocolate Amaretto Pecan Ice Cream - CloseUp

So while the rest of the nation basks in the glory of fluffy snow or cute sweater weather, we’ll be down here pulling weeds in our flip-flops. And eating ice cream.

PS – If that makes you jealous, call me. House-swap offers will be considered.

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Oops. He did it again.

Quite possibly TCP's greatest creation yet - Cherry Coconut Pecan Ice Cream

The Complete Package made ice cream again this weekend. I know! He’s totally on a roll this year and it’s not even summer yet. This time he outdid himself. He made cherry ice cream with toasted pecans and coconut. Earth shattering doesn’t begin to describe it. It was more like life affirming. Here’s how he did it:

TCP’s Cherry Coconut Pecan Ice Cream:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 16-ounce jar of maraschino cherries (and the syrup)
2/3 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

To start, place the freezer bowl of an electric ice cream maker in the freezer overnight so it’s ready to go when you mix this up. Once the freezer bowl is ready, gather all of your ice cream ingredients.

Pre-heat your oven to 400F and place your pecan pieces and coconut in a shallow baking pan, spreading them out so they toast evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the pecans become fragrant and the coconut is starting to turn a pretty golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Drain the cherries, saving the syrup in a bowl, and chop the cherries into large chunks. TCP quartered his.

While the pecans and coconut are toasting, break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk or mixer until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Whisk in the sugar a little at a time and continue to whisk until completely blended. Add the half-and-half, milk and the syrup off the jar of cherries and whisk to incorporate. Then add the salt and vanilla extract and whisk for one minute more.

Once the ice cream base is thoroughly blended, stir in the cherries, pecans and coconut and pour into the freezer bowl of your electric ice cream maker. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, process until the ice cream thickens and/or the machine shuts off. This step usually takes about 30 minutes.

NOTE: If you have one of those old-fashioned crank ice cream makers, just pour the prepared ice cream into the canister and place in the tub. Work your magic with ice and rock salt and get your friends out on the porch to help you crank. Once you can’t crank it without thinking your arm is going to fall off, it’s done. Electric is easier, but cranking is all kinds of retro fun.

This is the torturous part. The Complete Package likes to scrape the finished ice cream into a freezer-safe air-tight container and pop it into the freezer to set up completely. Luckily, he let me sample it before it took a freezer nap. And then we rested. And it was good.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give this a solid 10. Cherries mixed with pecans and coconut are one of my favorite flavor combinations of all time. Dropping all of that into homemade ice cream just makes it sing. Or maybe that was me.

Truth in Development: This recipe is based on a knock-off recipe for Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base my husband found on the internet back in 2003. Is it authentic? Who knows for sure. But it’s the cornerstone of every great ice cream he’s ever made, so we’re sticking with it. If it ain’t broke…

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TCP Cooks: Raspberry Ice Cream

TCP's homemade raspberry ice cream

Those of you who visit this blog regularly know that The Complete Package, my beloved husband, loves to make ice cream. He has ever since he brought Christine home. Using a knock-off recipe for Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Base, he has experimented with many flavor combinations. Some were treasures (coffee, maraschino cherry & pecan, peanut butter) and some were just plain good (coconut, peppermint brownie chunk). This weekend, while I was visiting the kids in Austin, TCP tried a new one – raspberry. It’ not just good, it’s fabulous. Like seriously wonderful. Last night, he kicked it up a notch and made me a raspberry milkshake. While I watched The Bachelor. And it was life altering. Here’s how he did it.

The Complete Package’s Raspberry Ice Cream:

For the raspberry puree:
2 cartons of fresh raspberries (6 ozs. each)
3/4 cup sugar
water

Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan; add just enough water to cover the berries and whisk with an immersion blender. Bring to a rolling boil so sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Strain to remove the seeds, and set it aside to cool down to room temperature.

For the ice cream custard:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
raspberry puree (from above)

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the sugar a little at a time until completely blended, then beat one minute more. Add the cream and milk and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add in the salt, vanilla extract, and cooled raspberry puree; whisk until smooth. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze. (Note: you may have to divide the mixture in half and run as two batches depending on the size of your ice cream maker.)

Makes approximately 1 quart. Or 8 bowls. Or 10 milkshakes. Or 1 really colossal ice cream binge (including freezy headache). Consider yourself warned.

PS – Yes, I posted two ice cream stories in a row. For that, I sincerely apologize. To make up for it, I’ll be posting a soup recipe later in the week. It’s delicious and healthy, so thanks in advance for forgiving me.

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Recipe Review: ATK’s Chewy, Fudgy Triple-Chocolate Brownies

Triple Chocolate (Mint) Brownies from America's Test Kitchen

I love recipes from America’s Test Kitchen. You know what I love the most? That they do all the work for you. They pick a recipe, research the heck out of it, find what works best (and what doesn’t) and then explain it all in easy to understand instructions. When you make an ATK recipe, you know it’s going to work out every single time. This weekend, I tried the Chewy, Fudgy Triple-Chocolate Brownies from their Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Cookbook. What a book! It contains all of the recipes featured on their show from 2001 to 2011. It’s a 10-year anniversary gift to ATK lovers everywhere. Don’t have it yet? Well, you should. It’s a keeper.

Of course, you know me. I can’t make anything exactly as written. It’s my unspoken rule, except that I speak openly about it. My tweak – I added a bag of Andes Chocolate-Mint baking pieces. The colorful green striped variety. And I make no apologies for it. Sometimes a girl needs mint in her chocolate.

Here’s how it’s done:
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (8 ounces) butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (8.25 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 bag of Andes Mint baking pieces (my addition)

Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat to 350F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with foil (sling-style so they’re easy to lift out) and spray lightly with PAM or other non-stick spray.

In a heatproof bowl, place chopped chocolate and butter into a double boiler or in the microwave in 1 minute intervals until melted and smooth. Whisk to remove any lumps. Whisk in the cocoa powder and beat to combine. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir in the flour (and mint baking pieces) until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and shake gently to distribute, or use a spatula to spread the batter evenly out to the corners.

Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Baking time will be approximately 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack to room temperature (about 2 hours). Lift the brownies from the pan using the foil sling. Cut into 1″ squares and serve. NOTE: these are really dense and very rich; 1″ squares is a really good size for these!

Remaining brownies can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days OR you could chop some of them into 1/4″ to 1/2″ chunks and do what we did – make Chocolate Mint Brownie Chunk Ice Cream. No, I’m not kidding. I’ll prove it:

TCP's Chocolate Mint Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

The Complete Package is the master of ice cream in our house. Christine, our evil but effective Cuisinart ice cream maker, is his baby. He plays her like an instrument. Using his favorite knock-off recipe for Ben & Jerry’s sweet cream ice cream base, he added mint extract and a few drops of green food color to make this pastel peppermint concoction. And it was good. Really, really good.

So, there you have it. Yet another America’s Test Kitchen recipe that came out exactly as advertised. Tweaked into a minty pair of lovely treats by yours truly, because I just can’t seem to stop myself. And I’m okay with that.

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TCP Cooks: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Subtitle: Meet Christine. She’s evil.

No, not this Christine. Although she was The Complete Package’s inspiration.

Christine photo from moviewallpapers.net

This Christine. TCP’s Christine. She’s every bit as dangerous & just as evil.

The Cuisinart Electric Ice Cream Maker

The Complete Package brought her home a few years ago. Seems he was craving ice cream and decided he could just make his own at home. Enter Christine. Three months and 15 pounds later (okay, that’s an exaggeration), he declared her evil and put her away. Every once in a while, when summer temperatures soar above 100F, TCP will pull out his former love and take her for a spin again.

This weekend, he made coffee ice cream to go with the Oooey Gooey Little Chocolate Cakes I baked. It was a good call. His coffee ice cream was a perfect complement to those dark chocolate beauties. Peppermint or mint chocolate-chip would have also worked perfectly with dark gooey chocolate. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It all starts with this recipe for Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base, which TCP found on the internet a few years ago. While I can’t vouch for its authenticity, I can vouch for its creamy goodness.

Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base (makes 1 quart):
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (TCP’s addition)

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time; continue to whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the cream, milk and vanilla extract and whisk until blended.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker and process according to the machine’s instructions. If you don’t have an electric ice cream maker, just put the ice cream base into a bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the freezer. Take it out and stir it every 15 minutes or so until it gets too firm to stir. Return to the freezer until it is firmly set.

This ice cream base lends itself to all kinds of experimentation.

Variation #1: For coffee ice cream, add an additional 1/4 cup of sugar to the vanilla base. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of espresso powder in 1/3 cup of brewed coffee; cool completely and add with the milk and cream.

Variation #2: For peanut butter ice cream, partially freeze the vanilla base; layer the vanilla ice cream with 1/2″ layers of softened peanut butter. Return to the freezer until firmly set.

Variation #3: For fruit flavors, partially freeze the vanilla mix, then stir in fruit that has been macerated in sugar. Return to the freezer until firmly set.

Variation #4: For mint chocolate-chip, add green food coloring (optional), mint flavoring and miniature chocolate chips or shaved dark chocolate. Freeze until firmly set.

This weekend, we were all about the coffee ice cream. It was spectacular, especially when scooped over those warm, gooey little dark chocolate cakes. Oh, Christine… you are evil. Deliciously evil.

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