Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Archive for November 2009

Tangy!

This was one delicious ice cream. I’d heard of Sour Cream Ice Cream, but had never made it before. I shouldn’t have waited! This was creamy, frosty, rich and tangy. It reminded me a bit of buttermilk ice cream, which is one of my favorite ice cream flavors of all time. And like buttermilk ice cream, I think that this would make an inspired accompaniment for a wide variety of desserts. I could easily see a scoop of this ice cream perched atop a fat slice of chocolate cake or slowly melting over a dish of warm strawberry rhubarb crisp. The slight acidic tang of the sour cream really accentuates the flavors of many desserts, a good thing to keep in mind during the sweets-filled holiday season.

High quality sour cream.

For this recipe, I used full fat, organic sour cream. Of course, when you use the best ingredients you will end up with the most delicious ice cream. That being said, though I’ve never tested it out, low fat sour cream might work in a pinch. Just remember to stay away from the fat free variety- your ice cream is likely to turn out icy and winey tasting.

Whisking in the sour cream.

Not only does Sour Cream Ice Cream taste great on top of other desserts, the recipe itself is also very easy and adaptable. For instance, you could easily change the flavors with different extracts (I used vanilla) or the addition of such mix-ins as chocolate chips or a strawberry swirl. If you’d like, you could also substitute brown sugar for white. Brown sugar and sour cream is classic combination that would work well in an ice cream.

Pure White

Sour Cream Ice Cream is a beautiful and delicious flavor to behold. Its snowy white color reminded me of the upcoming seasonal change from fall to winter. This is what snow tastes like in my dreams! Tangy and creamy, its the type of ice cream that never dulls the taste buds but refreshes them with each zippy bite. Try it solo, or in harmony with any of your holiday cakes or pies.

Sour Cream Ice Cream

 Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/4 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

8 oz. sour cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1.)    Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla extract. Chill completely, 4 hours to overnight. Churn in ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions.

 Make it a Sundae!– Chocolate and sour cream get along swimmingly, so add some hot fudge or chocolate sauce. Cherries jubilee or brandied cherries on top would also make for a sundae that is both chic and scrumptious. As always, don’t forget the whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

I thought up this recipe one day while I was shopping for calvados at my local liquor store. They had a little bin of liquor nips to choose from for only $1 each. I ended up picking up a tiny bottle of honey flavored Wild Turkey liquor on a whim. I’d never really heard of this brand before, but I loved the fun name! One day when I was brainstorming for possible Thanksgiving flavored ice creams, my mind suddenly wandered back to the little unopened bottle of Wild Turkey in my cabinet. Eureka! The perfect flavor for Thanksgiving and a playful homage to the big roast bird. I added pecans because not only do they complement the Wild Turkey, but they remind me of good ol’ American pecan pie, another Thanksgiving staple.

 

I tamed the Wild Turkey!

 

I actually live in area that has lots of real wild turkeys roaming around. The first time I saw them I was intrigued and  foolishly tried to call them over to me. Big mistake. As I soon discovered, wild turkeys are very aggressive and territorial. They tried to attack me and had I not found a stick to defend myself with, I surely would have been turkey-chow. Whenever I see a turkey now, I can’t help but chuckle to myself in revenge and think of cranberry sauce and gravy.

 

Toasted pecans

 

As always, I recommend toasting and cooling the pecans before adding them to the ice cream. Toasting nuts and spices is an incredible flavor booster. It somehow makes them taste more buttery and definitely adds a succulent roasty flavor.

 

Churn it up!

 

The Wild Turkey, a type of bourbon, tasted wonderful in the vanilla scented ice cream. The use of honey flavored Wild Turkey paired particularly well with the sweetness of the ice cream and the buttery crunch of the toasted pecans. It ended up tasting like a very adult, frozen reimagined pecan pie. As you may have noticed, I tend to use a lot of liquors in my recipes (I’m not a boozer, I swear!). My reason for this is that liquors are simply one of the greatest flavor enhancers you can use in ice cream. And let me tell you, this fun and delicious Thanksgiving recipe proves it. Needless to say, at my house we all “gobbled” it up! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and have a happy Wild Turkey Day!

 

Wild Turkey and Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup white sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans

 

      1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.     Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

 

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

 

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

 

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla extract and bourbon and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add chopped pecans. Enjoy!

 

Make it a sundae!

 

You could bring out the pecan-pie flavors in this ice cream even more by creating a pecan pie sundae! Drizzle this ice cream with homemade butterscotch sauce or dulce de leche flavored with a few pinches of ground cinnamon and cloves. Top with more toasted pecans and whipped cream. Garnish with a few pie crust pieces, baked until golden brown and cooled. Enjoy!

 

The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.

A Sophisticated Treat.

I never planned on making this ice cream. I love cooking seasonally, so I usually confine berry based ice creams and sorbets to summer, when they’ve reach their very zenith of ripe freshness. But truth be told, I love raspberries and strawberries whether or not it’s the middle of July or the dead of winter. What truly inspired me to make this ice cream was the simple fact that pints of raspberries were on sale for only a $1 each at my local supermarket. Where I live, that’s an unheard of, ridiculously low price! I came home from the grocery store with a great bounty of beautiful raspberries and I knew I couldn’t let them go to waste. Flipping through David Lebovitz’s extraodinary ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop, I came across his recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream and was sold on the idea immediately. The dark chocolate with the tart, yet sweet raspberries made for an incredibly rich, luxurious ice cream. This is the tuxedo or the evening gown of frozen desserts. Rich, velvety and luxe- perfect for the sophisticated palate.

Fresh berries!

Even though raspberries aren’t in season right now, I still think that a Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream qualifies as a fall/winter ice cream. Sure the berries are summery, but for some reason chocolate ice cream always struck me as more of a winter flavor. Speaking of chocolate, this recipe calls for dutch process cocoa. Different from the regular variety, “dutched” cocoa is treated with alkali, which neutralizes acids. The resulting cocoa powder is a bit milder, and darker in color and flavor in comparison to natural, unsweetened cocoa. Unable to find pure dutch process cocoa, I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, which is a mix of both cocoas. This cocoa worked beautifully, and gave the ice cream a deep, dark chocolate flavor.

My Perfect Scoop!

Part of what makes this ice cream such a treat is the fact that so often the raspberry/chocolate combination can result in a dessert that’s sicky sweet and cloying. Artificial raspberry flavor is truly gross, and tends to taste more like cough syrup than anything found in nature. This ice cream is the opposite of that, using only real, fresh and natural ingredients. When I told a friend that I was making this ice cream she remarked that she didn’t like chocolate and raspberries together. After having one  bite of the finished product she quickly changed her mind.

Haute Ice Cream

I know I say this every week, but this truly has to be up there with my all time greatest ice creams. Once again, David Lebovitz delivered with another fabulous recipe. My family and I enjoyed this so much that we’re planning on using it as a centerpiece dessert after a filet mignon dinner on New Year’s Eve. We’re actually planning on turning it into a deluxe ice cream pie by filling a chocolate cookie crust with the freshly churned ice cream and topping it with a whipped cream/creme fraiche mixture, chocolate shavings and more fresh berries. Yum, I can’t wait!

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 Cups Heavy Cream
7 Tbsp Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 3/4 Cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

 
1.)Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the raspberries. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

2.)Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. If you wish, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

3.) Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly, then freeze it in an ice cream maker.

Make it a Sundae!- Top with hot fudge laced with a few tablespoons or Chambord or Framboise to heighten the rich flavors. Add whipped cream and more fresh raspberries and enjoy!

Lighten Up!– You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream pretty successfully in this recipe.

The taste of cereal and milk!

I actually got the idea for this ice cream from a little frozen yogurt shop called Cafe Podima which was down the street from a college I used to attend. Cafe Podima has a wide and wonderful menu of sandwiches to choose from, but what they’re really known for is their frozen yogurt. The frozen yogurt itself, while very good, is nothing to write home about. What makes Cafe Podima great is the incredibly long list of mix ins you can choose from to customize your frozen treat. You can pick as many mix ins as you’d like, and the options range from carrot cake to oreo brownies to chocolate covered espresso beans. My personal favorite however, was always Cracklin Oat Bran cereal. Crunchy, and oaty and nutty, it’s a cereal that’s not healthy enough for me to want to eat everyday for breakfast, but perfect as part of cool, creamy frozen treat. For this recipe, I took it up a notch and swapped out the frozen yogurt for sweet cream ice cream.

Think inside the box!

Once again, I schlepped my butt over to Whole Foods to pick up some unhomogenized, once pasteurized  cream (I used Skytop Farms). Even though the Whole Foods is out of my way, it’s completely worth it to me to search out this type of dairy product. Unhomogenized, once pasteurized cream and milk tastes richer for the same amount of calories, has deep layers of flavor, and is the most lovely shade of warm butter yellow. In contrast, the ultra pasteurized stuff literally pales in comparison. Its thin consistency and starkly white color underscore the enormous disparity in flavor . Anytime you make a philadelphia style (the term for an uncooked ice cream base) do try to search out the very best cream you can get your hands on. It will deliver you homemade ice cream that’s so good, it’s life changing.

Cracking the Cracklin' Oat Bran!

I decided to chop up the cereal pieces for a more even distribution throughout the base. When it comes to mix-ins, the general rule is that if the pieces are small, add them right into the base at about 3 minutes before your ice cream is done churning. Mix-ins larger than a half inch should be mixed in by hand after the ice cream is finished churning. To make sure that my ice cream doesn’t start to melt while adding mix-ins, I put my ice cream storage container, which is made of glass, along with a metal spoon in the freezer while the ice cream is churning. By doing this you can create your very own “cold stone” at home, minimizing your risk of ice cream meltage.

Cereal and sweet cream.

This ice cream turned out to be a simple pleasure. It couldn’t have been easier to make, and the taste was super creamy and sweet. The Cracklin’ Oat Bran gave the ice cream a nutty crunch and did remind me of college days at Cafe Podima. The only difference was that the sweet cream base was an enormous upgrade in flavor. If you love cereal and milk, this recipe is definitely for you. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Cracklin’ Oat Bran Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream, preferably unhomogenized

1 cup Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal, chopped in half

1.)    Whisk eggs together in a large bowl for a few minutes. Then, gradually add the sugar to the eggs, all the while whisking. Add the milk and cream and whisk until well mixed. Pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Three minutes before the ice cream is finished churning, add in the cereal and enjoy!

 

Make it a Sundae!- I think that any sauce on this delicately flavored ice cream would take away from the sweet simplicity of that cereal- and- milk flavor. However, I think that a dollop of freshly whipped cream would enhance the rich cream flavor and a sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds would bring out the nuttiness of the cereal.

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Golden molasses-y swirl!

This ice cream flavor was inspired by of all things- Cracker Barrel Restaurant. I’m a foodie through and through, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for this restaurant. I can best describe Cracker Barrel in one word- cheesy. And I mean this in the best of ways. The gift shop? Pure cheese. The food? Even cheesier (particularly their velveeta laden mac and cheese-yum!). I know very well that it isn’t “good food” but damn it, I like it anyway. Especially the ice cream sundae in the frosty mug with sorghum molasses on top. Straight up down-home deliciousness. I like it so much, that one time I asked my waiter if I could buy some sorghum molasses from the restaurant. They wouldn’t sell it to me, those stinkers, so I ended up buying it over the internet. As soon as it arrived I knew I had to create an ice cream flavor that revolved around the sorghum. It ended up being as beautiful as was delicious.

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The Sorghum Syrup.

You might be wondering, what does sorghum syrup taste like? Well it depends on the brand that you get, but generally it tastes like a very mild molasses. Sort of a cross between molasses and golden syrup, if you’ve ever had that. It’s a unique flavor that tastes great on ice cream because it’s assertive without being overpowering the way that a stronger brand of molasses might be. If you live in the south (which I obviously don’t) you may even find it readily at your local grocery store. If not, it’s completely available to order from a variety of online vendors over the internet. When adding the swirl to the ice cream, I layered the ice cream base in three layers, with two layers of sorghum in between. Then, I gently swirled and folded the ice cream over a few times with my spoon. It’s a delicate balance, you want to make sure the sorghum gets swirled throughout the base but not incorporated so much that you get sorghum ice cream.

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The Spice Ice Cream.

In the ice cream base I wanted something that would complement the sorghum and without being too overpowering. I decided on a blend of traditional pumpkin pie spices which worked very nicely with the mild molasses flavor in the swirl. I used a blend of freshly ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. If you can, I would definitely recommend buying your spices whole and then grinding them fresh in a spice mill or coffee grinder. It makes such a difference in flavor!

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Syrup and spice.

This ice cream tasted warm and autumnal with its blend of fall spices and its undertone of molasses flavor. It’s a great ice cream to make during the fall and winter. It will make you feel cozy and remind you of a freshly baked spice cake or pumpkin pie. I definitely think I elevated my favorite sundae at Cracker Barrel, while staying true to the heart of what I loved about the original. Make this ice cream if you’re looking for a treat that’s both comforting to eat and gorgeous to look at.

Spice Ice Cream with Sorghum Swirl Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup light brown sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cloves

heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground allspice

¼ cup sorghum syrup or molasses or regular molasses if unavailable

  1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.     Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and spices and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, layer ice cream and sorghum or molasses in a pre-frozen, cold container. Gently swirl and fold over the ice cream and swirl layers until the sorghum is well swirled throughout but not fully incorporated. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

I think that this ice cream would taste fabulous with a bourbon-caramel sauce drizzled over the top. Add plenty of toasted pecans and whipped cream for a autumn/winter sundae taste sensation.

The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.

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One of my most successful recipes, ever.

This ice cream was just phenomenal. Seriously, everyone kept going back for seconds and we finished the whole thing in under a half an hour. Even though this ice cream might sound novel, I actually stole the flavor combination from a popular ice cream parlor in Cambridge, MA called Toscanini’s. To give you an idea of how awesome their ice cream is, The New York Times once said that they make the best ice cream in the world. Part of that greatness is their ever new and creative ice cream recipes that change from week to week. I’m so glad that Tosci’s thought up this flavor combination because who knows if I would have. And recreating it at home makes it even better because you get to eat it fresh and at its peak; right out of the ice cream maker!

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Surprisingly good!

I never would have thought to put Vienna Fingers in my ice cream. Not that it’s wild and crazy idea, but Vienna Fingers in my mind were so, well…boring. After one taste of this ice cream I realized the grievous error of my ways. Vienna Finger cookies contribute a subtle creamy vanilla flavor and textural crunch that combines beautifully with the bourbon. Vanilla and bourbon are a match made in heaven, and the cookies really boosted that pairing.

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Bourbon and Cookies, what could be better?

For the bourbon component of this recipe, I used Jack Daniel’s which tasted great in the creamy, sweet custard base. This ice cream was sophisticated without being too boozy. Just make sure that you don’t add too much liquor to any ice cream recipe. Alcohol doesn’t freeze very well, so if you add too much booze to your ice cream it may never set up and you’ll end up with a runny milkshake instead of ice cream. The upside of alcohol in ice cream is that if you use it in small amounts, it will prevent the ice cream from freezing too hard; a common complaint with homemade ice cream. Usually, you’re pretty safe with three tablespoons of liquor and under.

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The ice cream just crying out for some cookies.

This flavor had an amazing depth of flavor with the bourbon and vanilla in perfect harmony. This has to be in my top five favorite flavors of all time, which is saying something because I’ve made a lot of homemade ice cream. The Vienna Finger cookies make you feel like a kid, while the bourbon is decidedly adult. Make this irresistable ice cream for your family and watch your efforts quickly vanish.

Vienna Finger Cookie and Bourbon Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup white sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons Bourbon, I used Jack Daniel’s

5-6 Vienna Finger Cookies, chopped

1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.     Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and bourbon and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add chopped Vienna Finger Cookies. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

This ice cream is beautiful and complex as it is, but if you really wanted to make this into a sundae, I think any type of chocolate or hot fudge sauce would taste wonderful in combination with the vanilla and bourbon flavors.

 The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.

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A Classic!

As plebian as this flavor sounds, it truly is one of my all time favorites. First of all, chocolate and almonds are just plain delicious to begin with. And when you add fluffy marshmallows to the mix you get an ice cream that’s both tasty and fun to eat. In doing some research on this flavor I discovered that it was invented during the Great Depression, a time when our country was undergoing a “rocky road”. In our own times of economic trouble, I recommend that you go out and buy the very best ingredients and make this ice cream at home. How’s that for a stimulus plan?

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The Cocoa Base

I started off with a slightly different ice cream base from my usual. I used constarch instead of eggs to stabilize and thicken my ice cream. I have to say that this method worked pretty well and couldn’t have been easier. You just boil milk, cream and sugar together and then add in a slurry of cocoa and constarch, liquified with a bit of milk. The next step is to boil it for a few minutes until it thickens slightly, and cool in the fridge. This ice cream base was very fudgy, and highlighted the cocoa flavor over the cream. Upon tasting it, I thought it tasted a bit like a frozen hot chocolate.

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Fudgy!

This base was great on its own, but even better with the toasted almonds and mini marshmallows in it. There’s is just something about almonds and chocolate together. They complement each other so well, I think it could be true love. And marshmallows are whimsical and fun. Some prefer a rocky road with marshmallow swirl in it, but I find that with a swirl you don’t get enough of marshamallow flavor in comparison to a tangible, solid marshmallow chunk. I’m also a purist when it comes to nuts, I only use toasted almonds or pecans. I’ve sometimes seen peanuts in this flavor in lieu of almonds, but I would never use them. Don’t get me wrong, I love peanuts in ice cream, but they just don’t belong in Rocky Road.

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Chunky!

Ever since childhood, I’ve loved Rocky Road and some things never change. Eating it, I felt like a kid again with its fluffy marshmallows and chocolate milk flavor. I think this ice cream is just as comforting in times of economic turmoil as it was way back in the Great Depression. And how can we not hope in the future, when such a dark time in our nation’s history produced such a scrumptious frozen dessert? So take heart, things will get better, and in the mean time there’s always ice cream.

Rocky Road Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup toasted almonds, chopped

1 cup mini marshmallows

1. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat. Combine 1 cup cream, sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a bowl, add to hot milk, and cook until sugar and cocoa dissolve and the base thickens slightly. Add salt and vanilla extract.

2. Set aside to let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Add mini marshmallows and almonds.

Make it a Sundae!–  Amp up the flavor by topping this ice cream with hot fudge and marshmallow sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and chocolate chips. Enjoy!