Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I Scream for Ice Cream

Ever since I saw the lovely picture of the brownbread ice-cream that Keiko made, I knew I had to put ice-cream maker on the top of my shopping list when I was back in the States. I decided on the 1.5 Qt version made by Cuisinart because of its sleek design, and its perfect size to stuff into my suitcase. Since it doesn’t make a ton, hopefully there won’t be any detrimental effects on my waistline, hopefully.

I was going to show a picture of the mouthwatering mango sorbet that I made back in the States (Cuisinart’s original recipe) posing next to my ice cream maker, but the picture was taken hostage in a damaged CD. So I guess you’ll just have to take my words when I say it was not only the most flavorful sorbet I’d ever eaten, but had the best golden color and firm texture, superior to any commercial sorbet.

My first attempt at making ice-cream, however, was somewhat of a disaster. It was after I came back to Japan. Eager to show off my brand new toy, I made a batch of banana ice-cream from a recipe found on the internet. The cooled mixture did not solidify at all after churning for half an hour in the ice-cream maker. I went back to the recipe but didn’t find anything that I had done wrong. It was only after cross-referencing other recipes that I found the problem. I think I was supposed to cook the mixture until it resembles custard, but the recipe was not clear on that and I had stopped cooking way too early. To salvage the situation the best I could, I re-cooked the mixture, to the effect of a gooey lumpy mess. I don’t know whether it’s due to the double-cooking or the fact that I had substituted all the milk with skim milk, the resulting ice-cream tasted like wax. To top it all off, the chocolate chips that I decided to throw in at the very last minute tasted like steel bits after they’ve been frozen. Although I would’ve been happy to throw the whole thing down the drain, Jason and the in-laws ate every last bit of it graciously (half of it made into a milk shake with ground black sesame added in, which was actually pretty good), saying that it wasn’t bad as a first attempt.

Knowing the ice-cream maker can do better than this, and determined not to let the in-laws leave Tokyo with nasty aftertastes of the waxy ice cream, I tried again. This time, it was a simple chocolate ice cream, and I spared no calories. It made me feel full just stirring all that cream into the mixture, but I was rewarded with such creamy texture and silky taste, it was worth risking a clogged artery or two, just this once. If this ice cream maker wants to see the light of the day often, I will have to find some low fat and tasty recipes.


Rachel said...

I loved the piggy lapping up ice cream and seemingly eyeing the real stuff. How funny!

Both ice creams look really good. Have you done any more experiments yet?

Hsin said...

So.... were the in-laws bowled over by the second attempt? Certainly sounds like my kind of ice cream - copius amounts of full fat cream!

Lynn said...

Yes, they loved the chocolate one, but my MIL thought I probably shouldn't be making ice cream too often, because of all the fat.

I made a cinnamon one two days ago, and it again has a waxy aftertaste. Skim milk is the only common factor, so I think I am going to stay away from it all together.

keiko said...

Lynn - I'm glad you got a machine, how big is it? Did you get KitchenAid as well? I'm sorry you weren't happy with the result of the first one, but both look delicious to me!

I use full-fat milk but have seen quite a few recipes suggesting to use semi-skimmed... I don't know how much it makes taste different.

Lynn said...

Keiko, the one I got makes 1.5 Qt, which is plenty for two people. I almost got the KitchenAid, and it was on sale too. But in the end, it just looked so huge (I wanted the 6Qt one) that I decided to wait till I have a bigger kitchen =o(

Michelle B said...

I read your review of the cinnamon ice cream on I think a good topping would be warm sauteed apples. Kind of like apple pie a la mode minus the crust. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures on!

Lynn said...

Michelle, you are right, I bet that would taste awesome! Thanks for the suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to break it to you, but you cannot make good low-fat ice cream in a home ice cream maker. Try looking at the ingredients list on your favorite store-bought brand of low-fat "frozen dessert" (the term "ice cream" is reserved only to those treats with a certain (high) fat content in the U.S.) -- you will find all sorts of stabilizers, chemicals and other not-so-appetizing fillers that drive you to home cooking in the first place.... You can make great gelato using all whole milk (especially nut flavors made by infusing the milk with the nutmeats overnight then draining for a smooth, rich gelato) instead of part cream (the usual ice cream contains both) or frozen yogurt. You can lower the calorie count by using Splenda, but the texture will suffer. You can also go for fruit gelatos that replace some of the processed sugar with fruit puree in the sweetening.

Do not despair, however, in your search for low-fat ideas for your ice cream maker -- you can make amazing fat-free sorbet. Go for the recipes with the highest percentage of fruit puree for the strongest flavor. Another great hint -- I always add a bit of liquor both to boost the flavor and to inhibit over-freezing. Good luck!