I posed the following question to The Wife: “What kind of ice cream do you want me to make? I could do peanut butter again.” Her answer was peanut butter cup, but the way she said it was more like a six-year-old being offered the choice of candy or cake for dinner.
When it became clear that I was making peanut butter ice cream again, I decided we were in need of an upgrade. The last batch of ice cream was made with Target or Wegmans (I can’t remember) store-brand reduced-fat creamy peanut butter. This time around, I wanted something that was not so processed or chemically-dulled; something with a strong peanut flavor; something more…real. So, Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter it was. Continue reading Al Dente Frozen: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
The Kid and I were making good time at Wegmans on Sunday when I was getting near frozen foods. I knew we were low on ice cream, but couldn’t figure out what I wanted next. What I really wanted was Byrne Dairy ice cream, a kick that I have been on for about three weeks now. As I was about to make the turn down the first frozen foods aisle, it occurred to me that I had an ice cream maker at home that has been dormant for a few weeks. I backtracked, grabbing a pint of heavy cream and mini chocolate chips. I didn’t know what flavor was on tap, but chocolate chips make everything better.
I was prowling around the pantry looking for what we had on hand — tuna, chicken broth, cocoa powder, black beans — and saw the answer: peanut butter. You really can’t go wrong there. Peanut butter cups and Butterfingers make for nice mix-ins, but mixing the peanut butter made for a thick but smooth ice cream.
And, like I said before, chocolate chips make everything better.
Continue reading Al Dente Frozen: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
We ate a lot of ice cream in our house when I was a kid. There was always a half-gallon or two in the freezer, open to whomever got to it first. The only problem is that my mother picked out the flavors and it was always something with chocolate. Now, don’t get me wrong, chocolate ice cream is fine but it gets a little old after a while. You wanted something different. A change of pace. I would have actually done my homework on a more regular basis for, say, strawberry ice cream. But, not that store-brand stuff with the little bits of strawberry. I wanted Breyer’s with those enormous chunks of strawberries mixed in.
Eh, who am I kidding? There’s no way I was going to do my homework. And there was no way my parents were dropping Breyer’s cash on our store-brand budget.
After Saturday’s fail with the salted caramel ice cream, I decided to get back to basics with this next batch. It doesn’t get more basic than milk, cream, sugar, salt and strawberries. Continue reading Al Dente Frozen: Strawberry ice cream
I regret not doing three things during this summer’s trip to San Francisco this summer:
- Bringing better shoes.
- Bringing home a few pounds of Blue Bottle Coffee
- Stopping at Bi-Rite Creamery.
There’s really no excuse for any of them. Worst of all was number three. We actually walked past it on our way to Tartine when we were in The Mission.
Bi-Rite is a homemade ice cream shop located on 18th Street. It’s all small-batch produced with locally-sourced ingredients. The flavors range from the usual — vanilla, cookies and cream, mint chip — to the less usual (for the lack of better words. Orange cardamom. Earl Grey. Honey Lavender. And, today’s Al Dente flavor, salted caramel. Continue reading Al Dente Frozen: Salted caramel ice cream ala Bi-Rite Creamery **FAIL**
Let’s talk about Christmas for a second. The haul was nice. I restocked the closet at L.L. Bean, added some new Under Armour to the arsenal and got a new iPhone dock/alarm clock. The big news, though, was the addition of two items to the kitchen: a panini press and an ice cream maker.
Cuisinart’s ice cream maker is pretty nifty and simple to use. Freeze the bowl. Mix the cream/sugar blend. Assemble and start the mixer. Add the cream. Mix for 15 to 20 minutes. Add any other stuff. Freeze. I’m simplifying of course, but my first outing — coffee toffee pretzel ice cream — was basically that. I mixed a double shot of espresso from Starbucks with some instant espresso powder, then whisked together in a vanilla ice cream base (heavy cream, sugar, 1% milk). About five minutes before I was done mixing, I tossed in the toffee and pretzels. Done.
The inlaws like frozen yogurt, so I thought something made with Greek yogurt would work for dessert when they came over for dinner last weekend. I had mixed berries in the freezer, so all I needed was a container of plain yogurt to make this happen. I used frozen because, well, it’s January. Berries are not in season. Plus, you will macerate the berries anyhow, so fresh really doesn’t matter here. Being frozen helps keep them from falling apart on the stove. Continue reading Al Dente Frozen: Mixed berry frozen Greek yogurt