The special texture and the joy of homemade ice cream
The ice cream I make has a nice, almost velvety texture, and surprisingly sweetness, since I don’t start with an egg cream. Most ice creams are made with cream and milk, sugar and, if it’s French, egg yolks. Considered classic, French ice cream begins as custard, pastry cream, and becomes ice cream in the churn. Only a few years ago, I found a way to make egg-free ice cream, better known as Philadelphia-style, look as rich as custard: I added powdered milk, to give fullness; honey, more for smoothness than for flavor; and vodka – a dose of alcohol lowers the freezing point of ice cream and makes it easy to pick up.
My new recipe was good for all types of ice cream, including berry ice cream. Berries can be the arch enemy of ice cream: the juice that makes them delicious in almost every other dessert makes them uncompromising in ice cream. But the trinity of powdered milk, honey and alcohol, especially alcohol, was a game-changer. Whether I use fresh or frozen berries, the texture of ice cream has always been luxurious, and for me a lot of ice cream is all about texture – how it melts. A languid font is perfect. The slower the melt, the more flavor you get. Because no one can take one piece of ice cream and not have another (except my husband – that’s one of his most enviable, but boring traits), it’s good when the flavor of a spoonful enhances the flavor of the next.
As the lockdown continued, and even as DQ opened, I continued to churn our family favorites, most involving my latest take on chocolate chips made with this magical blend of melted dark chocolate shell with a little coconut oil. Just when the ice cream is almost ready, when the rhythm of the churn has slowed down and the ice cream begins to bend and ripple as it turns, I pour a drizzle of melted chocolate, which firms and forms flakes. – some small, some thin, some thick. I save the rest of the chocolate for a spoon on scoops. Shiny and lava-like at first, chocolate tarnishes and hardens, coating and styling ice cream, so it shatters with the tap of a spoon. Soft ice cream, eye-catching shell and the crunch and melt here and there chocolate flakes. So many great flavors. So many good textures. Everything I’ve always loved about ice cream, minus the little chunks of ice cream.
Recipe: Raspberry and Chocolate Flake Ice Cream