Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cooling off

A fair number of kitchen gadgets reside in our cupboards and drawers. We do use most of them (I rarely--or at least, no longer--buy gadgets just because they're gadgets), but some rank higher in my heart than others.

A particular gadget that is currently near and dear is our Kitchen-Aid ice-cream maker. We keep the bowl in our extra freezer at all times. It fits right into the mixer stand and whips up soft serve in under half and hour.

The big downside to most ice-cream recipes is the amount of time from start to finish. With a custard-based recipe, there's the cooking time and then it has to go back into the fridge to cool off completely before it can be put into the ice-cream maker.

Enter the no-cook ice-cream recipe. With this, you can be eating soft serve in about 30 minutes. The basic recipe: 1 cup whole milk, 3/4 cup sugar (though you could go with less), 2 cups cream, a little vanilla extract. Whisk the milk and sugar together, add the cream and extract, throw into the mixer for about 25 minutes. Once you've dished out what you want of the soft serve, put the rest into a container to ripen in the freezer.

Being the kind of cook I am, I improvised a chocolate version. And since we didn't have whole milk, I started with 1/2 cup of 2% and 1/2 cup of 1/2 and 1/2. I whisked this with a generous portion of some chocolate syrup we have on hand and a little cocoa powder plus a scant 1/4 cup of sugar. Then I added the cream and extract and continued as above.

I packed one of our food-storage containers completely full and put it in the freezer. With the rest, I made an ice-cream cone for Scooter and a small bowl for myself. Scooter didn't care for his, possibly due to the texture--he generally eats harder ice cream. Trillian happily finished it off for him.

Kind of like the truffles, it's almost dangerous that this is so easy to make. But it sure will be a nice, quick treat this summer.