Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

For Christmas this past year (or my birthday?) Ben got me an ice cream maker. He jokes that he got it for me simply so that I would make him ice cream, but I don't think that's the only reason. I love to experiment with food and there's no easy way to make ice cream without one of these. As part of the gift there was also a Molly Moon's ice cream book. If you live in Seattle and haven't been to this ice cream shop, you should! It's delicious.

After a couple of failed attempts at making ice cream (I used half and half as the base - and it didn't set. A working theory is that half and half doesn't generally include actually one-half cream, and hence it's not enough fat for a working ice cream). When I buy heavy cream and mix it with milk according to the recipe, it works much better. The recipe I'm featuring here this week is for peanut butter cup ice cream, with fudge and peanut butter swirl.

(Left: Inspiration   and    Right: Ingredients)

First I made the chocolate sauce, followed by the peanut butter swirl.

(Left: Chocolate sauce. The chocolate clumps did dissolve eventually, I promise, I just forgot to take another picture. Right: Peanut butter swirl).

For the ice cream to set properly in the bowl, it needs to be very cold, and I didn't want to heat the base and then wait for it to cool. So instead of adding sugar, I used agave nectar as the sweetener. Not only would it be a liquid sweetener (no melting or dissolving needed!), it also should be better for you, although I don't know much about the science behind whether it is better or not. My taste buds are extra sensitive to Splenda (sucralose), NutraSweet (aspartame), and Sweet 'n Low (saccharin) and they really taste horrible to me, but agave nectar doesn't. Maybe I'm just a sugar snob, but I tell myself that it must be better for me since it doesn't taste as bad! While we were watching Star Trek (yes, I am a geek) I started the vanilla base churning in the machine, and came back to thick yummy ice cream.

And then, it became really difficult. The recipe called for layering 1/3 of the ice cream followed by spoonfuls of the chocolate and peanut butter sauces, repeat, but the ice cream was melting much too quickly for my comfort. Instead, I ended up throwing everything in really quickly while the ice cream machine was still churning, then scooped it all into a bowl. Heh, oops. At first the ice cream is a soft-serve like consistency, but after a few hours in the freezer it was all set! 

Funny story: after transferring into the ice cream container, I decide to immediately wash the bowl, dry it, and put it back in the freezer. Look how that idea turned out:

It was just like licking a pole when it's cold outside. After attempting to pull the towel off (which resulted in a bare spot in my towel), I decided to let it defrost overnight, and the towel came off just fine. Lesson learned...

In other news, I just got back from a conference in Ventura, CA. Pictures and stories to follow - Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


Benjamin Leipzig said...

I loved this recipe one of the best ice creams i have ever eaten. a great gift idea pat on my back!!!!

Sophia said...

I like how Ben is patting himself on the back for the gift. hahaha The ice cream looks so nom nom delicious!!

Edie said...

OMG that looks so yummy! So wait, the bowl was so cold the towel froze to it?!