Making Ice Cream at Home
The weather is hot and steamy, and I've had this Cuisinart Ice Cream maker staring at me from my kitchen shelves for months now. It's time it go some use. I went and put the inner bowl into my freezer the other night, and it will be good and frozen for when I put together the ingredients and turn it on.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a couple of articles on making home made ice cream this week, just in time for my foray back into the process of making this treat at home. The article is full of good tips on making ice cream at home, and includes this advice on ingredients:
The type of dessert you make will probably depend on individual preferences as well as what kind of fruit is in season. But also keep in mind that when it comes to choosing a recipe, the higher the butterfat, the richer (and some might argue, better tasting) the ice cream. Heavy cream, for instance, is a standard ingredient in premium chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and has 36 percent to 40 percent butterfat, while whipping cream has 30 percent to 36 percent and half and half has 10 percent to 18 percent. Whole milk, often used in gelato and "quick" ice cream recipes, has less than 4 percent butterfat.There is also an article on how ice cream makers stack up, as well as a podcast with more advice on making this treat at home.
Similarly, use the best-quality bittersweet chocolate you can afford (semi-sweet will make the ice cream taste too sweet) as well as real vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract.
For recipes that call for cocoa, Dutch-process cocoa, which is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids, will provide a deeper taste and color.