Who doesn’t love ice cream?!! It is hands down my favourite food. I can eat it any time, anywhere, and indefinitely. Here at the Brooks house, they have a 2-gallon ice cream maker, and we have put it through its paces. We have made and consumed about 20 gallons of ice cream over this past month and experimented with a few new recipes. Here are the two winners (in my view).

Mint (and vanilla)

Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream/

This is a no-egg recipe, which results in a slightly less creamy final result after freezing. (Fresh out of the ice cream maker is always best, no matter what.) We quadrupled this recipe. As is, the mint is subtle. For some people that’s enough. I like a little more kick, so we added an extra teaspoon when quadrupled. That was just right for me. If you want a straight no-egg vanilla, then just replace the mint extract with vanilla extract. Obviously, the higher quality the extract, the better the result. When quadrupled, a full 8 tsp is a little strong for me. 6–7 would probably be sufficient.


Original recipe: http://gracessweetlife.com/2010/06/ben-jerrys-chocolate-ice-cream-creamy-delicious/

I absolutely loved this ice cream. Everybody else liked it, but they all preferred the vanilla. I just thought this was the best chocolate ice cream I had ever had. The only thing that would make it better is a few teaspoons of mint extract. The original recipe supposedly yields 1 quart, but when we quadrupled it, we ended up with closer to 6 quarts. This recipe calls for eggs but isn’t cooked. It took me a couple of tries to get this right. First of all, I used a nice quality 70% chocolate instead of unsweetened. (The local Rexall was clearing out Lindt 4 oz. bars about to “expire” for 97 cents! I bought like 70 bars!) The unsweetened was a little too bitter and it wasn’t as smooth. To make sure you get the smoothest final mixture, first chop the chocolate, then heat the milk to almost boiling, then pour the milk over the chocolate and mix until smooth. If you add cold milk to the melted chocolate, you’ll get tiny chocolate bits in the mixture. (I assume you could then heat that mixture to make it smooth, but it’s quicker to just do it right the first time.) Then we added the egg mixture and cream and put it in the ice cream maker. Fresh from the maker, it had a great malted flavour and texture that was divine. Frozen, I still loved it, but Adele preferred it fresh.

Chocolate sauce

What’s ice cream without chocolate sauce? Making the “magic shell” sauce (the kind that hardens over ice cream) is super easy. Simply melt 4 ounces of chocolate with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. (I quadruple it, of course.) It’s cheaper and healthier than buying it and it keeps for a very long time. We found using just 70% chocolate was a little bitter. The last batch I mixed half 70% and half semi-sweet. That was more palatable for the little ones. We put it in a mason jar and just heat it in the microwave before using it. Coconut oil is a solid below 77F, so while it’s liquid when heated, once it hits the cold ice cream it hardens the chocolate. So delicious!!

What makes ice cream even better?

Is it possible to make ice cream even better? Maybe a little. The best complement to a nice fresh ice cream is a slice of Torta Caprese , a delicious flourless chocolate cake. The fact that it’s flourless means that it’s nice and crumbly, and the crunchy texture goes great with the smooth ice cream. Today I had a huge bowl of torta caprese with fresh chocolate ice cream and hard chocolate sauce. I was in heaven. I don’t normally go gaga over that much chocolate, but it tasted so good I just wanted more and more and more.

If you love ice cream, go get an ice cream maker—even a small one. Making your own ice cream is so much cheaper than buying it in the store and don’t get me started about all the chemicals you’ll be getting rid of! ARGH! Now I have to go get more!