A Scoop of Ice Cream for a Not-So Spring Chicken!

Milk = Ice CreamThat’s me, on the back side of the big 6-0!  No “spring chicken,” though I still have a lot of energy to go non-stop like the famous pink bunny until I finally wear myself down.  I’m up at o’early every morning and go strong for 12 to 14 plus hours a day (mind you, that is 14 hours of standing and walking).  I’m not a sit-down person, nor is my job. It takes an energized person to teach high school, and being a chef/instructor means several things: keep them safe, keep them learning, and keep them active. “Walk a mile in my shoes” takes on a whole new meaning as I can blow up a step counter in just one day.  Maybe someday someone will able to keep up with me, but until then, I’ll set the pace for the other spring chickens!

We were gearing up this week for an annual showcase of our area schools and the programs each offers. The hum of ice cream churns and the wafting smells of a variety of cupcakes filled our commercial kitchen.  Our “real” ice cream made with cream and egg yolks has been sampled by all of my students and several faculty/staff members as we practiced the recipe last week.  A few of my students helped serve, sell, and promote our program at the showcase with sample cups of vanilla ice cream, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, devil’s food cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, and carrot cake cupcakes with Italian buttercream frosting.  We sold out of the delicious cupcakes with handmade decorations in 45 minutes and sold most of the ice cream cups for 50 cents each!

Ice cream is a staple at Nana’s house and graces the table for every special birthday chocolate-cold-dark-1346341.jpglunch.  Chocolate, cherry “vilinna,” as my granddaughter calls it, and other varieties that complement the birthday cake are on hand.  The little ones enjoy a small cone filled only to the top as they tend to share their quick melting treat on everyone and everything.  We have even had an ice cream baby shower!  A variety of toppings covered the island in my kitchen and each person created their own concoction in glasses with sundae spoons to reach the bottom.  With the warmer weather approaching, I urge you to break out your churn (or purchase one if you don’t have one) so you too can “churn” up some memories with your family and friends.

As I listened to the hum of the electric churns, I reminisced about making ice cream when I was a child and the old hand crank churn that had a folded towel on top so one of us could hold on to it and take turns with the crank.  Vanilla or fresh peach were my daddy’s favorites. “Butter-be-gone” was my sweet husband’s favorite.  I sure miss having an occasional “little scoop” with him and slowing down long enough from my fast-paced life for some simple joy.

I am including this simple ice cream recipe that can be adapted to include your favorite flavor and some ice cream sauces/topping recipes.

May God bless you and your family as He continues to bless ours,

Chef Woods

Vanilla (Bean) Ice Cream

Yield-@ 3 c. Ice Cream Base, @ 2 quarts after churning

Tools and Utensils:

  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Food thermometer
  • Strainer
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Ice cream churn

Ingredients

  • 2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/8 t. fine Sea Salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • *1 vanilla Bean, OR 1 t. vanilla Extract

*To prepare the vanilla bean, use the tip of a knife to split the bean lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds (caviar) adding both the vanilla bean and the caviar to the heated ice cream base to steep.

Procedure

  1. Heat heavy cream, milk, sugar and sea salt in a small saucepan until the sugar is melted.
  2. Temper the egg yolks with the heated mixture.
  3. Return the saucepan to heat the mixture, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, to 170 °
  4. Remove and stir in steep the vanilla bean and caviar for 15-20 minutes OR add vanilla extract
  5. Remove the vanilla bean and carefully strain the mixture through a strainer into a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Cool the mixture, cover and refrigerate several hours or over night.
  7. Churn the ice cream mixture per your ice cream churn directions with ice and rock salt for @ 1 hour to 90 minutes or until thick.
  8. The ice cream will be at a soft serve-stage.
  9. Remove ice cream for the churn and freeze (cure) in a plastic container over night or several hours, or enjoy it straight from the churn!

*Note-this ice cream does not have preservatives and melts quickly.

Hot Chocolate Sauce

4-6 servings

Tools and Utensils:

  • Electronic scale
  • Small double boiler
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 3.5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 T. dark corn syrup
  • 4 T. water
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract

Procedure

  1. Combine chocolate, syrup and water in the top of a small double boiler.
  2. Heat over simmering water until chocolate melts.
  3. Stir in butter and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container.

Fudge Sauce

2½ cups

Tools and Utensils:

  • Large saucepan
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 6 unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 13.5 oz. skim evaporated milk
  • ¼ c. milk
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 ½ c. corn syrup
  • ½ t. instant coffee granules
  • ¼ t salt

Procedure

  1. Combine ingredients in a large saucepan.
  2. On medium, heat until boiling.
  3. Boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container.

Caramel Sauce

4 cups 

Tools and utensils

  • Electronic scale
  • Medium saucepan
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pastry brush
  • Whisk

Ingredients

  • 34 oz. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 ½ t. lemon juice
  • 8 oz. heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 1.25 oz. unsalted butter

Procedure

  1. Combine sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan.
  2. On high, bring to a boil.
  3. Brush down sides of saucepan with water on a pastry brush to remove sugar granules.
  4. When sugar come to a boil, add lemon juice, but do not stir.
  5. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches 338°F, and is dark brown.
  6. Remove saucepan from heat, and gradually add cream as it may spatter, whisking until smooth.
  7. Add pieces of butter, stir until smooth- may be necessary to place back on the heat to melt.
  8. Serve warm.
  9. Refrigerate cooled sauce in an airtight container.

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