Archive | Ice Cream/Frozen Treats

Strawberry Gelato

Strawberry Gelato

Until just recently, when I made this strawberry gelato, I had only tasted gelato one time ~ while vacationing on the island of St. Maarten.  My son introduced me to it and I loved it.  In fact, I went back for seconds!

A few weeks ago I was searching on the internet for a frozen strawberry custard recipe when I came across this gelato recipe and decided to make it instead.

It had really never occurred to me that I could make gelato in my ice cream machine.  But it was so super easy. And now we’re hooked.  We have plans for making a few different flavors between now and the end of summer.

This gelato is creamy and light and bursting with intense strawberry flavor ~ it’s definitely a keeper recipe!

I knew there were differences between ice cream and gelato but I didn’t know exactly what they were.  They also share similarities.  Below is what I’ve learned, thanks to the info at The Reluctant Gourmet.com.

The Similarities:

They use mostly the same ingredients yet use different proportions and are combined slightly differently.

The Differences:

Both ice cream and gelato depend on three basic factors:  fat content, air, and temperature.

Fat:  Milk fats are responsible for the creamy smoothness and taste.  Ice cream has a higher fat content {10% or higher} because it’s typically made with more cream and less milk.  Gelato is made with more milk than cream making it significantly lower in fat content {4-6%}.  Also, gelato tends to stay away from egg yokes and if they’re ever added, it’s quite sparingly.

Air:  The varying textures between ice cream and gelato is reflective in their different churning processes. Commercial ice cream is churned extremely fast, which adds volume to it and gives the base a light and airy texture.  Gelato is churned slowly, making it denser and harder to melt.  The at-home gelato and ice cream makers usually churn at one pace but because of the difference in ingredient proportions the textures are still different.  Commercial ice cream can have as much as 50% air whipped into it’s base while gelato has, at most, 30% air churned into it.

Temperature:  Ice cream and gelato have about a 10-15 degree temperature difference when served.  Ice cream is usually served at 10 degrees F, but because gelato has less air and fat it’s served at a warmer temperature.  If ice cream was served at the warm temperature of gelato, it would quickly melt.

One Final Note:  Because there is less fat and air in gelato, the flavors are richer than ice cream.  And despite the reduced fat content in gelato, it has a wonderful creamy texture that will melt in your mouth.

Fresh Strawberry Gelato

Yield: about 1 quart

Fresh Strawberry Gelato

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups sliced, very ripe, fresh strawberries

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk and whipping cream.
  3. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool completely {either by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerating or nesting the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and stirring until it's cool to the touch}.
  5. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until they are very smooth.
  6. Once the gelato base has cooled completely, strain the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the creamy mixture. {Use a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon to press the strawberry puree through the strainer so all the strawberry liquid gets strained into the gelato but the seeds are left behind.}
  7. Stir well.
  8. Cover the gelato by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  9. Process the gelato in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions.
  10. After it's frozen, scrape the ice cream into a container, cover it, and freeze for at least two hours.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/strawberry-gelato/

 

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Frozen Chocolate-dipped Bananas

Frozen Chocolate-dipped Bananas are delicious anytime, but especially on hot summer days.

I first tried frozen chocolate-dipped bananas at Disneyland when I was about 14!  I had never heard of them before but I thought they were delicious.  I still remember how refreshing it was to eat a frozen banana on that hot summer day.  Then I didn’t have another one for about 20 years because it didn’t occur to me that I could make them myself.

I don’t make these very often but when I do it’s a real treat, whether it’s for an after dinner dessert or a mid-afternoon snack while reading out on our patio swing. They’re nutritious, too, right?  Potassium.  Antioxidants. Ha.  At least that’s what I like to tell myself.

They store well in the freezer and are so simple to make so it’s easy to increase the amount to share with neighbor kids and visiting moms.

Frozen Chocolate-dipped Bananas

Frozen Chocolate-dipped Bananas

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe but firm bananas
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or sprinkles {optional}

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the bananas in half and insert a wooden popsicle stick into each half. Place them on the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the oil in a pie dish or other low-sided dish. This can be melted in either a double boiler or the microwave. If using a microwave, warm the chocolate 1 minute at a time at 50% power, stirring after every minute, until completely melted. Stir until smooth.
  4. Roll each banana half in the chocolate, using a spoon if necessary to spread the chocolate over the banana.
  5. Quickly sprinkle with the toppings {if using} before the chocolate hardens.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/frozen-chocolate-dipped-bananas/

Recipe source: adapted from Epicurious

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Orange Creamsicles

Orange CreamsiclesThis little beauty is the reason I’ve been staying stocked up on orange juice and heavy cream this summer.  For me, the blended flavor of orange and cream is not only delicious, it brings back such good memories of eating them on hot summer days when I was growing up.  These past couple of months we’ve really been enjoying these cold, refreshing orange creamsicles while sitting outside after the sun goes down.  Aah.  Warm summer nights and frozen treats.  In my opinion, that’s what summer is all about.

They’re so easy so whip up and have no added refined sugar, which I love, by the way.

There’s still plenty of summer left so give them a try!

Popsicle MoldRemember these tupperware popsicle sets?  By the looks of mine you can probably tell that I’ve had it for about forever.  I use it all the time and love it for three main reasons: 1) they’re completely reusable, 2) plastic sticks ~ I don’t like the feel of wooden sticks in my mouth when I’m eating a frozen popsicle or ice cream bar, 3) I like handing them out to other people this way better than pulling the popsicle out of the mold and not having it covered.

Orange Creamsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice, fresh or frozen {You could use orange juice concentrate for a stronger flavor ~ I made them this way the first time because I thought a strong orange flavor sounded yummy but it was too strong and a bit bitter for us, almost orange-medicine tasting.}
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar {I've tried it both ways with delicious results}
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together.
  2. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds. {If you're using popsicle sticks that are free standing let the mixture set for 30-60 minutes before adding them.}
  3. Freeze for 4-6 hours or until frozen.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/orange-creamsicles/

Recipe is from here.

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Chocolate Ice Cream ~ What’s your style?

National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

Ice Cream Cones

Having a National Chocolate Ice Cream Day is good news for chocolate ice cream lovers {like me} because it gives us a day that we can actually feel good about indulging ourselves in this frozen confectionary.   After all, we’re celebrating a National day.  And since this particular occasion only comes once a year it’s deserving of an especially delicious, perfect in every way recipe.

Or two.  One for dark chocolate lovers.  One for light chocolate lovers.

First up is this Rich Chocolate Ice Cream – Custard Based recipe that I saw a few weeks ago at Chocolate, Chocolate, and More.  When I saw Joan’s pictures I thought… hmm… National Chocolate Ice Cream Day is coming up… these pictures make this ice cream look mighty delicious… and Joan’s descriptive words such as decadent, rich, creamy, and silky convinced me that this is the chocolate ice cream to make.  So, here is my testimonial: it’s decadent, rich, creamy, and silky.  And it has that dark chocolate slightly bitter taste that I love when I’m in the mood for it.

But I’m not always in the mood for a dark decadent chocolate so second up is this Light Chocolate Ice Cream recipe, found here.  It’s a light, mild chocolate ice cream that kind of reminds me of chocolate milk bought in the gallon container at the grocery store.  You know, the kind that’s pre-mixed and creamy and simply delicious?

So take your pick.  Maybe you don’t need an excuse to make and eat chocolate ice cream.  But if you do, June 7th is tomorrow.  Probably the only ingredients you don’t have in your house right now are the heavy cream and half and half.  So run to the store right now and then get your ice cream mixed up and refrigerated so it’ll be ready to churn tomorrow.  And then you can celebrate National Chocolate Ice Cream Day with the people you love most.

And if you’re reading this after Chocolate Ice Cream Day has come and gone, make some anyway.  It’s yummy anytime.

Rich Chocolate Ice Cream ~ Custard Based

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine cream, milk, and cocoa, whisking to combine.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until completely melted.  Set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in color and thickened {about 2-3 minutes}.  Add 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the egg/sugar mixture while continuing to whisk {so the egg don’t cook}.  Repeat 2 more times adding 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture.
3. Stir the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture.  Place the pan back on the stove and over medium-low heat bring it back to a simmer.  Continue to stir until the mixture thickens slightly and coats a spoon {about 5-7 minutes}.
4. Remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer into a medium sized bowl to remove any lumps that may have formed.  Stir in vanilla and place the bowl in an ice bath to cool to room temperature.
5. Completely chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours {overnight is best}.
6. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Light Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Place the cocoa powder and 1 cup of the half and half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine.
2. Add the remaining half and half and the heavy cream.  Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color.  Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.
4. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added.  Pour in the remainder and then return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat.
5. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170-175 degrees.
6. Pour through a mesh strainer into a medium sized bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
7. Stir in the vanilla extract.
8. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours {overnight is best}.
9. Pour into an ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s directions {approximately 20-25 minutes}.
10. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden. Light Chocolate Ice Cream

 

Make ice cream sandwiches by putting a small scoop of ice cream between two cookies.
They’re delicious made with Oatmeal Cookies {Fully Loaded}.  {Click here} for the recipe.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you’re going to serve your ice cream in sugar cones or waffle cones here’s a fun idea to make them extra cute and special:

Take some scrapbook paper {the possibilities are endless} and make some paper sleeves for the cones.  For a sugar cone template {click here} ~ I needed to make them about 1/2 inch wider to get them to fit around the cone ~ and then tape closed with clear tape.  For a waffle cone use the idea of the template to make a larger one to fit the cone. Ice Cream Cone Sleeves

Enjoy your chocolate ice cream and National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!

These recipes were featured on:
A Pinch of Joy
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Home to 4 Kiddos
The 2 Women
One Sharendipity Place

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