Tag Archives: vanilla ice cream

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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Nothing says fall like apple dumplings.

Homemade apple dumplings with ice cream & cinnamon apple cider syrup

There’s no recipe here, at least not formally. I just wanted to share this photo of the apple dumplings I made today. We’re having our friend Kaki over for dinner, and I made these for dessert. Thought she’d like them. They’re just Granny Smith apples that I peeled and cored, then stuffed with a mixture of softened butter, cinnamon and sugar. That pie crust was made from a batch I had in the freezer. When I make pie crust, I like to make a big batch and freeze some for last-minute stuff like this. I cut out a leaf for each with a cookie cutter, brushed them with melted butter, then sprinkled them with sugar. It’s just that simple. You don’t even have to use homemade pie crust. I’ve done this same thing with those Pillsbury rolled crusts from the dairy case. Nothing goes better with hot apple dumplings than Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. Man, that’s good stuff. To top it all off, I bought a small bottle of local MacIntosh apple cider, mixed in a little cinnamon sugar, and reduced it down to about 3/4 of a cup. Now it’s cinnamon apple cider syrup. That’s going over the top of the ice cream and dumplings right before I serve them. Mmmmm…warm apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon apple cider syrup. This is one of the many things I love about fall. Well, this and flannel pajama pants.

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