Before the Post Really Starts
I feel like I owe my readers an apology. Yesterday, my blog was derailed by a zealot who latched on to a casual comment on one of my posts and devoted his/her (likely 'his') Friday morning and night to skewering my cynical, apathetic ways. If you want to read the soapbox dissertation of a self-proclaimed "professional" with "a career spanning many years" and a fondness for typing five periods in a row, trying to prove that he's smarter than a girl a fraction of his age, you can view the past two posts below.
However, that's where it ends. I know you don't come here for drama. You go to The Real Housewives of New Jersey for drama. You come here for diaries of my little travels and recipes for cheap Americanized stir-fry. You drop by for pictures of Pokéball Cake and to snicker at my pathetic attempts at "running," a.k.a. shuffling along for two measly miles and collapsing on the couch for the next week.
So let's carry on, shall we?
Where the Post Really Starts
For the past month I've been meaning to share the news: I have an ice cream maker! Yay!
When I was in the market for one, I scoured reviews and debated whether it was worth coughing up $50 or more for one with a good reputation. I make $1 more per hour now (BTW I finally sent in my resignation to the library yesterday; I'm 100% ITG starting in September), but it's still a lot. But I did the math, and at $3 for a tiny pint of soy ice cream at the store on sale, I would make it up in about ten batches if I used reasonably-priced ingredients. I closed my eyes and hit the "Checkout" button in Amazon...but the final bill had $20 knocked off the price! Apparently it was some weekly Friday promotion that wasn't advertised. So I ended up paying $30, getting free shipping, and two days later this beautiful box was on my doorstep.
Inside the box were more pretty things.
Kids dig it!
Indulge! Quick and easy!
Get the scoop!
The manufacturers must realize that by the time we see the colorful wrapping dotted with exclamation points, we have already bought and opened the machine. Anyway, after washing and freezing this bowl for a day, I hacked out my first batch of chocolate soy ice cream with marshmallows.
I didn't have a standard recipe, so I just made a batch of pudding and chilled it before freezing in the machine. It was beyond delicious, but didn't freeze too well--there wasn't enough air to make it scoopable and the cornstarch I used to thicken it got gritty over time in the freezer.
For my second attempt, I tried simply mixing pureed strawberries and sugar into a batch of 2% greek yogurt. No thickening agents necessary.
Gorgeous and perfect fresh out of the machine, but like the last batch it froze into a solid block. The next time I try the frozen yogurt approach, I should probably use full-fat.
Since then, I have tried boiling down the milk first, letting the cornstarch steep instead of doing it the custard way, and just pouring sweetened soy milk into the canister directly. I've had varying results, but none of them are quite there yet. I made a successful batch for Sweetie using heavy cream, but soy creamer is terribly expensive and that would defeat the whole point. Other recipes I've seen introduce ice-thwarting fats through egg yolks, but I can't find containers of yolks-only in the grocery store and I'm wary of bacteria in raw eggs. My latest trick was just to throw the block into my Vitamix when it got too hard. But that was a lot more work than I'm willing to put in every time I want a sundae.
In the future I could try working in silken tofu...it seemed to work for the Tofutti folks. I could also try coconut milk or Lactaid or other sources of "alternative dairy." I don't like the idea of coconut milk much, though, because the kinds I've tried from manufacturers had a very powerful under-taste even if they were supposed to flavored with chocolate or green tea.
Do you make ice cream? Have any tips or fool-proof recipes?