During the hot summer months, homemade ice cream is a treat. However, many ice cream recipes call for cooking the mixture on the stove and then chilling in the refrigerator. For those looking for easier and quicker ideas, here are some suggestions.
The Homemade No-Cook Base
To make homemade ice cream, gather the ingredients for the base. After your form the base, you will add other ingredients. While some bases for custard-like ice cream require cooking the mixture with the eggs, there are several options that require no cooking. The most common ingredients in the base include heavy cream or half-and-half, sugar and vanilla. For other variations, including chocolate ice cream, add cocoa powder.
A quick chocolate ice cream recipe from Cuisinart is a good example of an easy base. Mix 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2/3 cup sugar, and ½ cup packed brown sugar; add 1 ½ cups whole milk, beat with a hand mixer until the sugar is dissolved, and then add 3 ¼ cup heavy cream and 1 tbsp. vanilla. This recipe's combination of whole milk and heavy cream creates a mix that is creamy, yet not too thick.
To make a custard-like base, try Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream Base. Although this recipe calls for raw eggs, it requires no cooking. Whisk 2 eggs until fluffy. Whisk in ¾ cup sugar a bit at a time until completely mixed in. Pour in 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup milk; whisk to combine.
Variations and Additions
There are several options for adding flavor to the base of ice cream. Once you put the base in the ice cream machine, you can add anything. In the last 5 minutes of freezing time, add mashed brownies and ¼ cup chilled hot fudge. For a familiar favorite, add a cup of chopped Oreo cookies. To make mint chocolate chip ice cream, add 1 tsp. of peppermint extract before freezing; in the last 5 minutes, add mini chocolate chips.
Another no-cook option that strays from plain vanilla or chocolate ice cream is graham cracker ice cream. This recipe calls for 1 cup finely crushed graham crackers. Mix this with ½ cup of sugar and 2 cups of light cream (1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 ½ cups half-and-half will also work). Mix this well, and add 1 tsp. vanilla. Freeze in the freezer or in an ice cream machine. This recipe produces a creamy and thick dessert that rivals cooked bases.
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