Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First popsicles, now ice cream? Yes, because it's PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE!!!

Making popsicles in the Zoku reminded me of my old Donvier Ice Cream maker. We bought it back in the 90s, and design-wise, it's similar to the Zoku. You've got a metal canister filled with coolant that goes in the freezer, and once the coolant is frozen you put the ice cream wannabe liquid in the canister & crank the dasher occasionally. 20 minutes or so later and you get soft serve. Freeze it to get full-blown ice cream. Sweet!

My favorite flavor of ice cream, since my youth, has been peanut butter & chocolate. No, not peanut butter ice cream with chocolate bits. That's just so wrong, Ben & Jerry! You want it like old school Baskin Robbins, where I enjoyed many pb & c cones as a child. Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter chunks...that's good eatin'! So now at 41 years old I decide it's time to make some pb & c ice cream at home, since I've got this Donvier machine waiting to be used again. I planned to make Cook's Illustrated chocolate ice cream & then add peanut butter, so I searched for "peanut butter chocolate ice cream" to get ingredients for the peanut butter "ribbon". And the first recipe that came up was from Joy the Baker's site, . Looking at the recipe, I said, heck, I'm just going to try this one! I found the use of cornstarch in the base instead of eggs particularly intriguing, especially since I'm not very fond of eggs. (Cookies & cakes & meatloaves are fine for eggs. Raw or partially cooked eggs are yucky, IMO. And I only eat scrambled eggs once or twice a year. They are just not my favorite thing.)

I did a few things differently from her recipe. I used darker chocolate (a Dutch cocoa blend for the cocoa, and a 60% semisweet/bittersweet chocolate chip) in order to get a richer chocolate flavor. I also added some agave syrup (probably no more than 1/4 cup) to the natural peanut butter to sweeten the pb, since I think they usually sweeten the peanut butter in the commercial recipes. You can find Joy's original Double Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream here: . And yes, you should go there. :)

The other difference for me, aside from the different chocolate and the sweetened pb, is that I didn't have whole milk on hand. So I used 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk plus 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream for the 2 cups of whole milk, and used 1/4 cup 2% and 1/4% heavy whipping cream for the 1/2 cup of whole milk that gets mixed with the cornstarch. Hey, don't judge; it worked out ok. :)

And tastewise? Well, I'm blogging about it, aren't I? :D Really, really good ice cream. The texture is akin to a super-premium ice cream like Ben & Jerry's , although part of the texture will depend on your ice cream maker. (The more air that gets whipped into the ice cream, the "icier" and less dense your final product will be, I believe.) I like to think this ice cream is what frozen Nutella would be like, if Nutella was made with peanuts instead of hazelnuts. Maybe it comes off more like a frozen custard or frozen pudding, but I don't care. I just want to eat it! Chances are if you're a pb & c freak like me, you'll want it,too.

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