A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vanilla Ice Cream & Classic Hot Fudge Sauce

If you've never tried homemade ice cream, you must.  There is a noticeable difference between store-bought and homemade, and let's face it, some of those store-bought brands are pretty darn good.  It's not hard to make, but it is time-consuming.  You want to make it in advance and you need an ice cream maker.  Don't bother with those hand-cranked ones either, even if they save you a few bucks.  The electric kind is not very pricey and easy to find.
With so many different flavors, you can get really creative, however, I went with "plain old vanilla", which in my opinion, doesn't always get the credit it deserves. Yes, it could be perceived as boring, compared to some of the other flavors out there, but it pairs well with almost anything.  When you see the black flecks of vanilla bean, and you can actually smell the vanilla aroma, and it transforms itself in your mouth from a frozen custard to a thick, rich, velvety cream, "plain" is not a word that comes to mind. Besides, if you served homemade vanilla ice cream alongside warm homemade brownies, you'd look like a super-star. Or, you could drizzle some homemade hot fudge sauce on top and your kids will forgive you for making them eat their vegetables.
David Lebovitz is the ice cream guru.  His book "The Perfect Scoop" is almost as important as the ice cream machine should you decide to try making your own ice cream.
Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream
(Source: David Lebovitz "The Perfect Scoop")
1 c. whole milk
3/4 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 t. vanilla
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream and salt in a medium saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture in the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Stir mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Recipe for Classic Hot Fudge Sauce
(Source: David Lebovitz "The Perfect Scoop")
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. light corn syrup
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 T. salted butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Mix the cream, brown sugar, cocoa powder and corn syrup in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and add the chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth.  Add the vanilla.  Serve warm.

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