i could make up a lot of excuses for why i haven't been cooking a lot lately, but to be honest, it's just been too darn hot. i DO bake some sort of treat for my sunday school class every week though and this weekend, i decided to try something a little cooler: ice cream.
before i start, let me must say that my way is a little different than most people do. i don't use an ice cream maker (mostly because i don't have one) and i don't use the double-bag method (too messy).
it's my way or the highway.
first, you start with a base.
you can use pretty much any milk-based product you want, but the less-fatty the base, the icier it will be. for example, if you use skim milk, it will be more icy than if you use whole milk or cream. i use 2 cups of half and half (half milk - half cream). i added about four tablespoons of sugar and 1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla. put all of these in a medium sized bowl. put that bowl inside another, bigger bowl that's half-full of ice and rock salt (to melt the ice, thus creating an even-colder atmosphere for your ice cream to be made). i used about 3/4 cup of pretzel salt (since it's bigger than regular salt and i have a ton of it) but you can use any salt you have.
if you have an electric mixer, you probably only need to do about 10 minutes, but since i'm poor, i did it by hand for about 20 minutes.
you want to get the base nice and "aerated" --
basically, you want lots of bubbles.
after your mix is good and bubbly, put the two bowls in
the freezer for about an hour with a towel on top.
it should have a thick consistency by now, like partly-frozen pudding. take it out of the freezer and it's back to mixing again. you should do another 5 minutes if you're using a mixer, 10 if you're mixing by hand.
if you're cool like me, you add some magic shell in so you can have chocolate chips a la graeters (starting with one huge chocolate chunk and then mixing it down). don't forget to wait for the shell to harden before mixing it in!
you could really put any other toppings in at this point too -- frozen fruit, mini peanut butter cups, m&m's, chocolate chips -- anything that's not too big, because that'll just make it sink to the bottom of your ice cream mix.
then take the small bowl out and cover it with plastic wrap. make sure your plastic touches the ice cream.
pop it back in the freezer for at least another two hours. it's best if you do it overnight, but a few more hours is enough to do the trick.
and then...voila. ice cream.
^ one batch vanilla and one batch chocolate chip
each batch is supposed to be about four scoops, but i fed my entire sunday school class with just two batches (about 10 kids).