Experimenting With Root Beer Ice: Natural Flavor Extract 

For the 4th of July I made root beer ice and vanilla ice cream for our family get together. I made it first using McCormick’s root beer concentrate. I wasn’t happy with the really dark brown color (the first ingredient is caramel color), though the taste was OK.  I decided to try another batch using an extract made with natural flavors.

I found a reasonably priced extract with good ratings at The Spice House.


I like this extract much better then the first one I used. When I used it, the extract just seemed more like root beer.  It made my kitchen smell strongly of root beer, and the scent spread through the house. My five year old son, came into the kitchen to tell me it smelt like root beer in the house.

I think the flavor of this version was better then that of the one using the McCormicks.  Both taste sufficiently of root beer, but this one seemed to be less chemical tasting to me, which makes sense since it is supposed to be made of natural flavors.

The only issue I had was a minor one.  This extract is clear because there are no added colors.  I used gel food coloring to attempt to make my root beer ice a pleasing brown color.  I had read that an equal amount of red, blue, and yellow food color should be used to get brown.  Unfortunately, I must have done something wrong because my ice didn’t end up brown.  When I was mixing it up, I thought it was light brown.  However, when I took the ice out of the ice cream mixer it was more of a pinkish color.  That was more of cosmetic issue then a real problem.

The pictures actually look a bit brown, but in real life it is more pink.  I definitely didn’t add enough color, and I probably got to much red in the mix.

Using the natural flavor made for a superior root beer ice.  I highly recommend using whatever natural extract you can get your hands on if you make this.  If you can’t get natural extract, then using something bought in a regular store makes for a perfectly good root beer ice.

-Joshua

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Vanilla Ice Cream: Sugar Free

I have been working on vanilla ice cream and root beer ice frozen floats for our family 4th of July party.   My mom can’t eat much sugar, so I wanted to make sugar free ice cream for her.

I used the same recipe as my vanilla ice cream. I replaced the sugar with a Stevia blend.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this sugar free vanilla ice cream tastes. I do not generally like the taste of sugar substitutes. However, this almost tastes just about like the real thing to me.

If you are cutting back on sugar for some reason, but still want homemade ice cream this is a great recipe. Is is incredibly simple, but still tastes good.

I halved the recipe because I don’t expect many people to want the sugar free version.  I still had no issues with it mixing and turning into ice cream.

Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar substitute
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Prepare the ice cream mixture
In a bowl, stir together the cream and milk. Add the sugar substitute and whisk until the sugar substitute is dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes. Test for graininess by tasting a small amount of the liquid; it should feel smooth on the tongue and there should be no sugar substitute visible on the bottom of the bowl when it is stirred or spooned out. Continue whisking, if necessary, to ensure that the texture of the finished ice cream will be smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Chill the ice cream mixture
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and on top of the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Churn the ice cream
Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1-quart capacity according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the plastic wrap from the cream mixture and bowl. Pour the well-chilled cream mixture into the mixing container of the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The timing will depend on the type of machine and the temperature of the cream mixture.

 

-Joshua

Vanilla Ice Cream

For the 4th of July, I wanted to make vanilla custard and root beer ice sundaes based on Rita’s Frozen Yogurt Gelatis. Rita’s Gelati is a frozen yogurt and Italian ice.  They have a variety of flavors that changes every day. I have already been experimenting with the root beer ice part of the sundae.

All of the ice cream that I have made in the past has actually been frozen custard.  Custard uses egg yokes and is quite creamy.  Lynn told me that we have way to many egg yokes already.  She has quite a number in the freezer, so she asked me to make ice cream instead.  Since I was going to make a different style of ice cream I had to look up a recipe, my typical trusty recipe wouldn’t work this time.

I ended up learning a little bit about ice cream in this recipe search.  Apparently, the style I was making before is French-style ice cream.  I found a new recipe for something called Philadelphia style ice cream.  It uses less ingredients, and requires less work.  The custard requires cooking, and if done incorrectly can have egg chunks in the custard.  The Philadelphia style doesn’t need cooking, all it requires is mixing.

This is a very easy recipe to make.  I am going to use this one through out the summer and add different flavors to it.  There was so much less mess and work compared to the custard I usually make.

Recipe is courtesy of Williams Sonoma. 

I think the recipe included unnecessary steps, so I omitted those.  For instance it says to chill the ice cream mixture in a bowl of ice.  I didn’t do this because it is a cold mixture that is being put into the refrigerator.  Why waste the time and the ice?  The ice cream turned out well without doing that part.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Prepare the ice cream mixture
In a bowl, stir together the cream and milk. Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes. Test for graininess by tasting a small amount of the liquid; it should feel smooth on the tongue and there should be no sugar visible on the bottom of the bowl when it is stirred or spooned out. Continue whisking, if necessary, to ensure that the texture of the finished ice cream will be smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Chill the ice cream mixture
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and on top of the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Churn the ice cream
Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1-quart capacity according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the plastic wrap from the cream mixture and bowl. Pour the well-chilled cream mixture into the mixing container of the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The timing will depend on the type of machine and the temperature of the cream mixture.

 

This is a really good vanilla ice cream.  It isn’t near so heavy as the custard, so it is much less filling.  I think it is better for hot summer days when you don’t want to be over full.

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I made another batch of the root beer ice to try with the ice cream.  I don’t want to bring something to a party that I have never tried myself.

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This is a really good combination, and I highly recommend it.  I know I made it, but it is really good. Today, I am going to make the root beer ice with the natural root beer extract we bought. I will probably make a post about it since it is a little different.

-Joshua

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Ever since I got my ice cream maker a few months back, my children have been asking for chocolate ice cream.  While I could have been boring and made just that, I decided to add a little something to the ice cream.  Personally, I think peanut butter tastes great with chocolate, and I don’t think I am ready to put chunks in my ice cream yet so I attempted to do a peanut butter swirl.  I ended up with something less than a swirl, but the ice cream itself is amazing.

Since it is more a frozen custard than ice cream, it is very rich.  I can usually eat a lot of ice cream, but even I had problems eating what I gave myself.

I created a double batch since there are 7 of us.  If you need or want less, you can easily cut the recipe in half.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • Servings: 2½ quarts
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1½ cups cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a saucepan over medium heat whisk together cream, half and half, and cocoa powder.  Bring to simmer. Stir in chocolate chips until melted.  Take off heat and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow and thickened.
  • Add ½ cup of the cream mixture to egg mixture while continuing to whisk.  This will keep your eggs from cooking. Repeat two more times, adding ½ cup cream mixture to egg mixture.
  • Add the egg mixture to the remaining cream mixture.  Put back on stove over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer. Continue to stir until mixture thickens and coats the spoon.
  • Remove from heat, and pour through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Place mixture in ice bath to cool to room temperature.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, making sure to have plastic wrap on the custard to prevent a skin from forming as it chills.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, over night is best.
  • Make ice cream per your maker’s directions.

 


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We ended up serving the ice cream with one of the chocolate chip cookies that Lynn made, and some of our home made hard shell.

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-Joshua

Dragon Fruit Ice Cream

A few days ago my in-laws neighbor gave them 2 Dragon Fruits, one of which was given to us.  Coincidentally, we bought and received an ice cream maker around the same time.  In my mind, this meant I needed to make dragon fruit ice cream.  Yes, my mind works in odd ways sometimes.  I found that most dragon fruit ice cream recipes called for 2 or 4 dragon fruits.  I was able to talk my in-laws into giving me the other dragon fruit with promises of ice cream.

While looking for recipes for dragon fruit, I learned that there are different colors of dragon fruit.  There are pink, magenta, and white dragon fruit.  The ones we were given were white on the inside.  Many of the ice cream pictures I saw online used the magenta-colored fruit.  Our white fruit is visually less interesting, but I believe the different colored fruits taste much the same.

I wasn’t able to find one recipe that did exactly what I wanted so I combined a few different recipes.  The main ones I used were from Obsessive Cooking and Civilized Caveman Cooking.   The recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking is for a more custard-like ice cream since it used egg yolks.  However, it doesn’t use any sweetener, and I wasn’t sure about unsweetened ice cream.

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Cooking the coconut milk custard
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Dragon fruit in the blender

This recipe could easily be halved if you want to make a smaller amount. We have a large family so I wanted to make a good amount in case the kids liked the ice cream.

Dragon Fruit Ice Cream


Ingredients

  • 2 dragon fruits
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of 2-4 limes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the dragon fruit in half and scrape out the fruit.
  2. Combine coconut milk, egg yolks, vanilla, honey and sea salt in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Bring to a boil while constantly whisking.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Place dragon fruit in blender or food processor and process down.
  6. Add dragon fruit mixture to cooled coconut milk mixture.
  7. Place in refrigerator to cool at least 2 hours, but can be overnight
  8. Remove from refrigerator and use immediately in ice cream maker using the manufacturer instructions.

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Dragon fruit ice cream in the ice cream maker container
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Right out of the ice cream maker

Overall, I think the ice cream tasted pretty good.  Only one of our five children liked it, but that didn’t surprise me.  There are many seeds in this ice cream, and I think that automatically turned them off before they tried it.  The  limes do add a tartness to the ice cream, so you could remove them if you do not like tart flavors.  Even with the honey, this wasn’t a sweet ice cream.  You may want to add more sweetener to it if you want it to be sweet.

-Joshua