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Category: Food

Ice Cream, Take 2 (Vanilla Chai)

I started with my previous recipe, and modified it to be in line with this one. I dropped the vanilla and changed the dairy products to one quart of half-and-half as per the second recipe — I’d wanted to thin out the fat content a bit, and getting rid of the whipping cream should take care of that. I also used just 3/4ths of a cup of sugar, and a smidge less than 2 eggs. I suppose I could have scaled the second recipe up but using 1 quart of half-and-half is awfully convenient. The ratio of sugar is a bit lower than before, which should allow the tea flavor to come out more.

I used vanilla chai tea bags instead of loose-leaf tea, so I randomly guessed at 5 teabags for the infusion step. Now that I’ve made the custard and tasted it I think I was too light on the tea, but I didn’t want to do a second infusion because the custard isn’t all that hot. Also I sort of wish I’d gone for a simpler black tea; the vanilla chai will taste really good but it will refer back to plain vanilla ice cream because, well, it’s still vanilla. This is a pretty postmodern flaw when you get right down to it. Maybe I’ll do another batch with Earl Grey and more tea bags. Alternatively, I could squeeze the tea out of the bags more. Or use loose-leaf, but I’m not sure I care that much.

The custard is now cooling on the counter since I’m not in a hurry. In an hour or so I’ll transfer it to the fridge, and I’ll pull out the ice cream maker tomorrow night. I believe this means I’ll have actual ice cream on Wednesday.

Edit: I got impatient and ran the ice cream maker this morning before work, to match the chilly ice storm outside. Looks promising.

Ice Cream, Take 1

I started with this:

2 eggs (used Eggbeaters to avoid raw egg problems)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

Chilling custard The original recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream, but I wanted to make it a tad less rich and they sell whipping cream by the cup, so it was simplest to just put half a cup of milk in. I cooked everything but the vanilla over lowish-medium heat till it hit 160 degrees, then poured it into a bowl over ice to cool quickly. The custard texture wasn’t super-thick, but it coated a metal spoon nicely enough.

Because I am impatient, I’m trying to cool the custard in the freezer. I may regret this. I’m going to give it an hour, then if it’s cold enough, I’ll turn it into ice cream. If it’s not cold enough I’ll transfer it to the fridge to sit overnight.

Update: one hour in the freezer cooled it down nicely; it then spent 25 minutes in the ice cream maker and is now in the freezer. It looks pretty good, so I’m optimistic.

Update 2: after freezing, the texture and mouthfeel are perfect. This is a winning procedure for custard-style bases. I want to try the Cuisinart-supplied simple recipe next; I’m curious to see how it’ll change. Flavor-wise, it was a tad sweet and a little bit bright. Possibly a smidge more salt and a bit less sugar is called for? Or it might be that the Mexican vanilla we used is super-flavorful. Definitely tasty, though.