Have you ever made ice cream? Up until a couple of days ago, it had been years since I made homemade ice cream. I don’t own an ice cream maker, so when Lindsay from Scoop Adventures approached me about making a recipe from her new ice cream book, I was hesitant. It turns out, it is really easy to make ice cream without an ice cream maker! You may remember Lindsay was featured on my blog years ago in my Friday Foodie Feature; I was so excited to learn she wrote a book! Lindsay’s blog, which was the starting point for her new ice cream book, features easy instructions for making ice cream by hand. I would say to just give yourself plenty of time, as the process of freezing and mixing took a little longer than I expected. The end result was well worth it!
I had the opportunity to choose from several ice cream recipes, and since my parents are both from Pennsylvania (and I love chocolate covered pretzels), I immediately chose Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate–Covered Pretzel Ice Cream. I didn’t realize it until the book arrived, but the recipe was inspired by an ice cream shop in New Hope, PA, one of my all time favorite places to visit.
I decided the best time to make the ice cream would be with my niece and nephew, since there were a lot of opportunities for mixing, something little ones can easily do.
My nephew was more than happy to help make the chocolate liquor to go into the ice cream base. We only needed two ounces of chocolate, so we nibbled on the rest of the bag throughout the afternoon.
The whole ice cream making process was a lot simpler than I imagined. The chocolate liquor was quickly ready and set aside so that we could prep the ice cream base. As I said earlier, the most time consuming part was definitely the freezing and whipping of the ice cream, turning it from a liquid into a fluffy, soft-serve-like ice cream.
The baking pan above was in and out of the freezer many times to be scraped and stirred. I also tasted it each time, and the flavor was definitely like that of a rich hot chocolate. In fact, the ice cream base would make an incredibly decadent drink, either hot or slightly slushy. . . kind of like the Serendipity frozen hot chocolate!
Once the ice cream was thick and frozen, I stirred in the chocolate covered pretzels. Because we didn’t allow enough time, this was well after dark, so I will spare you the bad photo I took. Instead, I will share the beautiful photo from Scoop Adventures. In addition to the recipe I made, the book has some delectable and interesting flavors like Ginger Chocolate Chunk, Juniper Gin, Mimosa Ice Cream, and Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Pickled Blueberries. Now that I know how to make ice cream by hand, I look forward to experimenting with some of the flavors from the Scoop Adventures book as well as from the Scoop Adventures blog.
Making ice cream is definitely something I would recommend doing with kids since there are parts that don’t involve cooking or cutting. The end result is also something they- and you-will be excited about! Lindsay kindly allowed me to share the recipe for the ice cream I made below. For information on ordering the book, please visit Scoop Adventures.
Recipe from Scoop Adventures
Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate–Covered Pretzel Ice Cream
Inspired by Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream, New Hope, Pennsylvania
MAKES 1 QUART (940ML)
In addition to the cheesesteak, Philadelphia is a city famous for its soft pretzels. Philadelphians are rumored to consume twelve times as many pretzels as the average U.S. citizen, and the city boasts a pretzel museum. Given that cheesesteak ice cream would taste pretty bad, chocolate pretzel ice cream was the go-to flavor for Bob Gerenser to best represent “The City of Brotherly Love.” Situated in a small town outside of Philly, Gerenser’s has been serving classic and exotic ice cream flavors for 55 years. He knows how to make a winning dessert.
⅓ cup (37g) cocoa powder
⅓ cup (79ml) water
⅓ cup (67g) sugar
2 oz (56g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
ICE CREAM BASE
1 ¾ cups (414ml) whole milk, divided
1 tbsp (9g) cornstarch
1 ½ cups (355ml) heavy cream, divided
⅓ cup (67g) sugar
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (180g) chopped chocolate-covered pretzels
To make the chocolate liquor, combine the cocoa powder, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low boil, whisking constantly. As soon as you see bubbles, remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, and then stir the chocolate liquor until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside.
To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the milk with the cornstarch, whisk and set aside. Combine the remaining milk, ½ cup (118ml) of the cream, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.
Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour the base into the chocolate liquor and whisk to combine. Stir in remaining 1 cup (237ml) cream. Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Once cool, add the vanilla. Refrigerate the ice cream base until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Pour the base into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is complete, gently fold in the chocolate-covered pretzel pieces. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.