A while ago I tried making ice cream using the salad-spinner approach. This did not work well, so I ended up buying an ice cream maker (affiliate link). I’ve made plenty of experiments with it so far; here’s some of what I’ve done.
My first experiment was just making an almond milk custard base (with a mixture of almond milk and heavy cream and a few egg yolks — nothing vegan here) and melting in some white chocolate, and then churning it with cacao nibs. I learned that almond milk does not make a very good ice cream base (it crystalizes too much), and cacao nibs, while an excellent ice cream topping, are horrible as an ice cream addition.
For Thanksgiving I made two semi-savory fruit sorbets; one of them was rosemary-grapefruit and the other was cranberry-orange.
For the rosemary-grapefruit I just took grapefruit juice and boiled it with rosemary and honey, and then cooled it before churning. It came out tasting pretty good, but the grapefruit bitterness was a bit too much. Also I felt like it had a bit of a slimy throat-coating texture.
For cranberry-orange I made highly-concentrated orange spice herbal tea (the same thing I use to make my herbal tea soda) and added some cranberry juice, and then boiled that down a little. That one came out pretty good, but I didn’t have enough sugar to keep it from forming large ice crystals. I added a little vodka and re-churned it, and that improved the texture a lot.
I had some soy milk, heavy cream, and iced coffee sitting around that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I made ice cream out of it. It was terrible, mostly because I decided to add some lemon extract, but ended up adding way too much so it tasted like floor cleaner. PROTIP: use an eyedropper to measure out SMALL amounts of lemon extract.
I originally set out to make mint chocolate chip, but after I made the custard base (with 200mL each of plain yogurt and heavy cream, and 200 grams of sugar), the base tasted tart enough that I figured mint wouldn’t go well with it. But lemon would! So I whisked it up real good, then added three drops of lemon extract, and the juice and zest of a large lemon. I churned it with chocolate chips. Of all the ice creams I’ve made so far, this one set up the quickest, and also had by far the best texture and flavor. Highly recommended.
Things I want to try down the road:
- Oolong tea sorbet (both with and without lemon)
- Savory vegetable sorbets as a topping to an entree, such as chard or green peas
- Mint chocolate chip, or cookies and mint creme
- Chipotle chocolate (possibly with cinnamon as well)
- Various herbs infused into heavy cream and turned into ice cream that way (and not all of those herbs would necessarily start with a trip to Ruckus)
- Lime mint (which some would call a “mojito”)