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I first heard about the ice cream genius that is David Lebovitz from  Michelle of the Brown Eyed Baker, who posted about this recipe for chocolate ice cream almost two years ago. When she said that this was the best chocolate ice cream that she’d ever had, I knew I had to make it. Unfortunately I had to wait a while because I couldn’t find Dutch process cocoa powder in my grocery store, and while it is available on Amazon, I was hesitant to double the price of the cocoa with the cost of shipping. Luckily, my local Whole Foods carries it, and when I discovered that, I bought a box and hustled home to make this ice cream.

It has since become my go-to ice cream recipe. I now own David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop, which is a beautiful book full of glorious recipes for all sorts of decadent ice creams and sorbets but also mix-ins and vessels to serve ice cream upon, like brownies and cookies and other delights. But before I get to any of those (and believe me, I will!) I had to make chocolate again. I’ve made it a few times before, and I’m always amazed at how rich and chocolatey and dreamy it is. This time, I decided to spice things up with the addition of peanut butter patties, a recipe from the mix-ins section of the book, which couldn’t be simpler: peanut butter + confectioner’s sugar, drop lumps of it on a plate and freeze, then fold into the ice cream before freezing it. It was a stellar addition!! But, you can always leave it out if wish.

And Michelle is right: this is, without a doubt, the very best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had.

Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Patties

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt (Lebovitz recommends kosher or coarse sea salt, table salt will work however)
5 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 recipe peanut butter patties, if desired (recipe follows)

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat 1 cup of the cream and the cocoa powder, whisking thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth, then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl. This is a good time to set up an ice bath in a vessel that is large enough to hold  the bowl of chocolate. Set it aside – you’ll need that later.
  2. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. (The idea here is to bring the eggs up to temperature slowly so they don’t curdle.) Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  3. Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Move the bowl into the ice bath and stir until cool.
  4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.) Stir in the peanut butter patties.

Peanut butter patties 

Makes 40 1/2 inch patties

Lebovitz recommends not using a natural peanut butter here, but I used Skippy Natural without a problem. But then, I’m not sure how “natural” Skippy Natural actually is – an truly natural peanut butter that has to be stirred would be too runny here.

6 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Stir together peanut butter and sugar in a small bowl. Line a dinner plate with plastic wrap (I neglected to do this and it was fine.) Scoop out half teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture and drop them onto the dinner plate. Once you’ve used all of the mixture, freeze the patties.

From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz











We’ve been having a lot of rich, cakey and often chocolatey desserts lately, it seems, and I wanted to change things up. Maybe something with fruit. Because fruit makes it healthy, right?


I thought so.

An apple crisp with a good, crunchy, oat-y topping seemed like just the thing. And then I remembered a recipe for cinnamon ice cream that popped up in my google reader in the fall. Apple crisp with homemade cinnamon ice cream? Yes please!

The recipe came together fairly quicky, once I peeled and chopped up all the apples. I was rushing and some of the apple chunks were a bit big, so there were some bites that were still pretty crunchy. I think next time I’ll slice the apples rather than make chunks, because they didn’t really cook down to my liking. I liked that the topping whirled together very quickly in my food processor. It’s a very yummy crisp, and the topping is really good.

But the star of the show was definitely the ice cream. I was bustling about the kitchen making dinner while James emptied the ice cream maker into a Tupperware so we could pop it into the freezer to firm up before dinner, when he stopped me with a spoonful of the ice cream. It knocked my socks off! It’s rich and delicious with a wonderful cinnamony flavor. You wouldn’t even know it doesn’t have eggs in it, it was so rich and creamy.

Apple Crisp

From America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

For the filling:
3 lb apples (6 to 9), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the topping:
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (or almonds or pecans)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (I used quick oats)

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the apples, cornstarch, sugar, lemon and cinnamon. (I also added a pinch of nutmeg and cloves.) Transfer the fruit filling to an 8-inch square baking dish, cover with foil, and set on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (for easy cleanup) (I forgot to do this and it wasn’t an issue). Bake the fruit until it is hot and has released its juices, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, pulse the walnuts, flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a food processor until the nuts are finely chopped, about 9 pulses. Drizzle the melted butter over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbly, wet sand, about 5 pulses. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and pinch between your fingers into pea-sized pieces (with some smaller loose bits) (oops I forgot to do this!).

3. Remove the fruit from the oven, uncover, and stir gently. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake the crisp until the topping is deep golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 15 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through baking. Let the crisp cool for ten minutes before serving.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

I got it from Erin’s Food Files. Erin got it from Demolition Desserts, by Elizabeth Faulker, as seen on MarthaStewart

Yields: 4.5 cups

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (I used regular granulated sugar)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.

Combine the milk, sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to bubble and sugar has dissolved, 6 to 8 minutes. Add cream, vanilla, and salt; stir to combine. Pour mixture into a medium bowl set in the ice-water bath. Stir occasionally until cooled. Cover and transfer to refrigerator until chilled at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Stir mixture briefly; pour into an ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store ice cream in a covered container in the freezer, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. Ice cream is best served within 3 days.


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