Ice Cream Basics

Hi Friends,

I get lots of comments and questions after I post an ice cream recipe.  In this post I will share my knowledge with you.  I have by no means mastered all the finer points of making ice cream, but I have figured out a few things not to do and gotten a basic coconut milk base that works pretty well.

Sugar and fat content are the two key components two a creamy batch of ice cream that will hold up well in the freezer.  I have tried subbing different sweeteners, but nothing works as well as plain old white sugar.  The white sugar doesn’t get solid at colder temperatures.  Same goes for fat.  I attempted frozen yogurt with all low fat yogurt and it got way harder in the freezer than batches with full fat yogurt.  So make sure there are liberal amounts of sugar and fat in your ice cream bases. 

I have read in a few places that you can use a tablespoon or two of vodka in your ice cream bases in order to prevent freezer icing.  We only keep gin in the apartment and I am too cheap to buy a bottle of vodka for ice cream making purposes only so I haven’t tried it.  Anyone have experience with this?

Before I made my frist batch of ice cream, I visited Barnes and Nobel and snooped through some ice cream making cookbooks to steal ideas (again, I am too cheap to buy them!).  The recipes that require dairy are kind of intimidating with all the tempering of the eggs and what not so I mostly stick to vegan ice cream recipes with soy or coconut milk.  The coconut milk base that I am going walk you through is based on what I found in The Vegan Scoop.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream 

The ingredients: 1 can coconut milk, 1 can light coconut milk, 2 TB arrowroot powder, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, 1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut.

In a small dish, dissolve the arrowroot powder in 1/4 cup light coconut milk. 

Shake the can of full fat coconut milk well to make sure it is combined before opening it.  In a pot, heat both cans of coconut milk, sugar and vanilla bean paste over medium high heat.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and small bubbles form around the edges of the pan.

Remove from heat and continue to whisk the mixture.  I usually whisk for at least 4 mins.  Stir in the dissolved arrowroot.  Place mixture in the refrigerator until completely cool.  If the base isn’t completely cool before you put it in the ice cream maker, it will instantly freeze when it touches the cold walls and messes up the mixing of the ice cream.

Once cool, mix according to ice cream maker directions.  Make sure you mix long enough.  I know some ice cream makers shut off automatically.  The first few times I used my Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker attachment I did not let it mix long enough.  The ice cream was still pretty liquidy when I put it in the freezer which made it freeze solid.

With about five mins left of mixing, add the toasted coconut.  Voila, ice cream!

We enjoyed a small scoop last night fresh out of the maker with cheesecake bar from work.  It comes out of the maker very much like soft serve which I love.

I staged the above picture this morning so you could see the difference in consistency after a night in the freezer.  This general format holds up well in the freezer and does not get too icey.  I usually let it sit out for about five min before I scoop it.

So there you have it.  All I know about ice cream making.  I hope that was somewhat insightful :)

Have a good week friends!


11 Responses

  1. Wow that is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Thank you for sharing. I sit here reading this as I’m whining that the fridge froze my yogurt again ahaha. I love ice cream so much!

  2. I cant wait to get an ice cream maker!! I need you to make a horrible unhealthy chocolate one lol That is what my hubby will want. I will make froyo for me and unhealthy ice cream for him ;)

  3. Thanks for these tips! Even though I don’t currently have an ice cream maker, I’d love to get one before the Summer. I’ll definitely be referring back to this whenever I do. :)

  4. I had an ice cream making phase awhile back, the best flavor I could make was vanilla. I didn’t experiment with other types of milk though, I’m so intrigued by the use of coconut milk!

  5. Fun. We have an ice cream maker (I think it’s a nice one, too!) but we haven’t used it since we got it for our wedding… 2years ago! Woops. I’m inspired now. I think it’s time for ice cream! Never mind that the temp is below zero…

  6. Oh yummy yum yum!

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