Not so long ago, I asked the readers to help me decide whether I should get a slow cooker or an ice cream machine from CSN Stores, who had graciously offered me a gift certificate to use in return for a product review. It was a divisive debate, and when I opted for the slow cooker, I know a large portion of the readership was DEVASTATED by my choice.

Well, fear not. Everything has worked out in the end because CSN hooked me up with another gift certificate, and I was thus able to procure the ice cream maker after all. Happy ending! You could only imagine my excitement when it arrived. I immediately threw the machine’s bucket into the freezer (after washing, natch) and scoured the Internet for a recipe. I didn’t have to look very far. I soon came across The Kitchn’s “Best Chocolate Ice Cream” and was instantly sold.

Was it in fact THE BEST? Ice cream churning after the jump…

First I must set up an ice bath, as per the instructions. So far, so good.

Next I stir some cornstarch and half and half together. My use of a chopstick makes me feel quite global.

I then heat up three and a half cups of half and half, mixed with a quarter cup of sugar.

It doesn’t take long for the mixture to gurgle up like a vile foam beast, but I tame the monster, quickly lowering the flame and forcing the liquid back down to a less agitated state. Despite flirting with the edge, there is no spillover.

Eight ounces of semisweet chocolate and two ounces of cream cheese prepare for intense meltage.

The creamy mixture has bubbled away for about four minutes. Time to move on.

Macro shot!

I pour about half of the half and half (a lot of halves) onto the milk. Had I been thinking, I might have softened the cream cheese in the microwave first.

Soon the mixture is dark and silky. It’s speckled with cream cheese bits, however, because I neglected to soften it beforehand.

I add the rest of the half and half. The ice cream batter is born.

The whole thing goes into the ice bath where it’s supposed to remain for twenty minutes. I keep it in there for about thirty or forty.

At last it’s time to summon the ice cream machine.

Since I’m ostensibly reviewing this device, I should note that it arrived with only three “feet” instead of four. Somewhat annoying.

Luckily, I’m quite resourceful; so I fashion a veritable peg leg out of the plastic case the once housed the power cord’s prongs.

Everything is in place.

I retrieve the bucket from the freezer where it has been living for the past several hours.

With the icy bucket in place, I then insert the paddle.

On goes the top and in goes the batter. Admittedly, the batter should have been colder, but I was impatient. Plus, IndianJones had just arrived from San Francisco and was yearning to go to dinner. I didn’t want to make him wait any longer than necessary as he is prone to crankiness and mischief when hungry.

The machine then pleasantly whirred around for the next thirty minutes. I’m happy to say that it wasn’t terribly loud either.

Here I am transferring the ice cream to a container. The instructions say it’s done when it looks like a soft-serve custard. This looked more like melted ice cream. But hey, we needed to get a move on. I put the ice cream in the freezer and then crossed my fingers.

Not very ice creamy.

Don’t get excited. This isn’t how it turned out. This is merely the frozen yogurt that IndianJones, Jenny, and I got after dinner. That’s right. We got froyo to celebrate the ice cream.

So how did it turn out? Well, first of all, I forgot to take pictures, which is really brilliant of me. Second, the ice cream was really good! Not exceptional, but really good. Jenny, IndianJones and I had a tasting later that night (after the froyo), and it was rich, decadent, and dense. In other words, amazing. However, it still hadn’t totally set, and had the consistency of soft-serve that was a little melty.

The next day, the ice cream had firmed up and then some. It was still very good, but not as awesome as the night before. In its colder state, the flavors were a bit more muted. Plus, it wasn’t as creamy as I thought it might have been. That’s probably because I used a non-egg recipe. Either way, it was still quite good, and a bunch of us later finished off the quart with my Bundt cake leftovers from earlier in the week. The combo proved to be pretty awesome.

As for the ice cream maker, it’s perfectly lovely. I had some concerns about not getting a Cuisinart, but so far this Deni machine is fine. The missing “foot” is pretty annoying, but my workaround seems to be holding up nicely. I’ve already employed the machine’s services a second time, making a quick and easy batch of honey rosemary ice cream. I was sure to chill the mixture beforehand, and unlike this chocolate attempt, it indeed turned into soft serve in the machine. Huzzah!

Next up: froyo! Or maybe margaritas. We’ll see…

15 replies on “ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream!”

  1. When you made your ice bath and said “so far so good” I burst out laughing. This is exactly what I needed for this craptastic Monday.

    Did anyone else feel like they were reading a suspense novel?

  2. Oh how I love the peg leg! I was on team ice cream, too, so I’m glad to see it worked out. Just think of the infinite flavor combinations! I’m dizzy at the thought.

  3. We keep our ice cream bucket in the freezer and only take it out to make ice cream. I tried to make chocolate chip ice cream like Baskin Robbins does (they have those smallish, but intense flakes of chocolate), but I can’t ever seem to do it. It’s fun eating all the tries though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I loved how the peg leg showed in the next pic, almost as if it was sticking its tongue out at us.

  4. You really need to try the recipes here:

    I just bought his latest ice cream cookbook and made the best chocolate ice cream I’d ever had. This weekend I’m turning my fresh-from-the-orchard 20lb box of peaches into ice cream and fro-yo. I’m aching to make his chocolate Guinness ice cream.

  5. I’m sure it still tasted great but you made the usual homemade ice cream mistakes – your mixture did not get cold enough in its bath, and your bucket wasn’t cold enough.

    I’ve been into ice cream making for a while, and here is what I’ve learned. You need to take your time. In fact, for my ice cream to come out absolutely perfect, it’s a 2 day affair. Unless you have 2 buckets, you cannot make 2 batches in one day and have them come out perfectly.

    Here are my tips:

    The ice bucket has to freeze overnight. Mine lives in the freezer so it’s always ready to.

    The “ice bath” method doesn’t work that well for me. You just never get quite cool enough and I get impatient. Also my house is pretty much always warm, I live in LA, so you’re fighting the warm house battel. So i just put the mixture in the refrigerator (not the freezer) overnight. My fridge is set at 38 degrees, and that is right where you want your mixture. So, leave it in overnight, and the next day you’re at 38 degrees. And your ice bucket is totally frozen too.

    If I’m in a hurry, I’ll put the mixture in the freezer and check with a laser thermometer (the most fun kitchen item over!) every few minutes (and set a timer so you don’t forget to check).

    Following these steps guarantees perfect homemade ice cream.

    I recommend mint chip with real mint, and orange sherbet with homemade fresh squeezed orange juice (from local Valencias). Make a friend with an orange tree.

  6. Don’t know if you like it or not, but Nutella ice cream is really good. I had a recipe, but I assume you can just make the same base and melt in (I think) a fourth cup of Nutella.

    …or maybe it’d be better to just find a recipe.

  7. Sounds like you had fun. Great instructions. I was kind of wondering how to make ice-cream. Especially chocolate. It’s my favorite. Thanks for the recipe and pictures even though, some of them, I couldn’t see. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Oh, homemade ice cream… yummm! I must admit I’ve got just about every other kitchen gadget you can think of… but no ice-cream maker. Thanks for the great pics too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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