Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal August 20, 2011
If I know one thing about people it is that you just don’t mess with their ice cream. To some it is akin to a religious experience. From that first bite you are transported to your childhood or to a place you are far from. Some recall memories of the homemade ice cream they shared with their families for others it is the smooth gelatto they had from a cart in Italy.
I have been to several places in the area surrounding Indiana that are known to be the place to get the best ice cream around. Custards, gelattos, frozen yogurt, you name it and there is a Food Network show all about it.
There are 2 separate but equal sides to this frozen desserts coin. The purists that believe it should be eaten in it’s simplest form: plain. Then there are the others in the more adventurous group that piles on the toppings. Experiments with flavors and textures and pushes the frozen envelope if you will.
I find myself in the first category. My tastes are boring where ice cream is concerned. I like mine rich, tasty and with little to no chunks. Sounds appetizing, right?
The problem is that ice cream, while an awesome summer time treat, can really pack on the calories with every dish. My kids love to go out for this treat from time to time but we never keep it in the house. For one thing it wouldn’t last long and the other is that all four of us have very different tastes in what we like. My youngest prefers sorbets, my oldest always wants cookie dough, my husband lives for chocolate peanut butter chunk and I would do almost anything for a scoop of dark chocolate ice cream.
We have lived in Greenwood for over 13 years and since our arrival we have enjoyed visiting Mrs. Curl Ice Cream frequently. It reminds me of a family favorite where I grew up in Bloomington called The Chocolate Moose. Nestled in Old Town it is a favorite of many in town and has more name recognition than any other local hangout. That really says something.
More recently 2 new shops have emerged on the Greenwood scene that are worthy of a trip. The Yogurt Shoppe and Ella’s Frozen Yogurt. Both have a bevy of choices from low calorie and sugar free to the more indulgent. Like at Mrs.Curl, I love that we can all get what we want and walk away happy and I don’t feel too bad about having dessert!
One thing I don’t make much here at home is real ice cream. I loved to have homemade when I was growing up. I loved the consistency that the old ice and salt hand crank machines produced. Almost like a soft serve with that unmistakable homemade taste. You can’t get that out of a carton in the frozen section of the grocery store.
So since I have had a state of the art ice cream maker, that I had to have, for 3 years and only used it once I decided to break it out of the box and give it a try. What I made was one of the richest, darkest chocolate ice creams that I have ever had. I am always looking for one just like this and coming up empty handed so now I can just make my own. With only 6 ingredients I feel good about the quality of what I am eating. Beware though, this chocolate is not for the faint of heart!
On the other side of the indulgent coin is a very simple and healthy frozen yogurt that will satisfy your sweet tooth, give you a nutritional boost and not pack on the calories and fat. This nice thing is all you need is a blender or food processor for this. You can pour into a dish to freeze whole or pour into prepared popsicle molds for the kids, or the kid in all of us!
Rich, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped (I used dark chocolate chips from Ghiradelli)
2 C heavy cream
2 C whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
1 TB pure vanilla extract
Finely chop chocolate or in my case use the chips, it’s faster.
Combine cream, milk and chocolate in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat and cook until mixture almost boils and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, beat yolks, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until combined and smooth. It will be light yellow. Add a small amount of the milk/chocolate mixture to temper. Really whip it here as to not scramble the eggs!
Add the tempered liquid to the chocolate and whisk continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Cook on low heat until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. This should coat the back of a spoon.
Pour into a glass bowl and sit over an ice bath in refrigerator or in my case cover with plastic (on surface of cream) and let chill overnight.
Now, this next step depends on what ice cream maker you have. I just poured mine into the bowl of the ice cream maker and let it run for 30 minutes. I then scooped in into an airtight container and put back in the freezer to enjoy later. If you like a soft serve then it’s ready to eat after it has churned in the maker.
Berry Healthy Frozen Yogurt
1 pound of washed and sliced strawberries or 1 bag of unsweetened frozen strawberries, thawed
2 ripe bananas, cut into large slices
6 ounces of vanilla yogurt, fat free or light
1 C of orange juice
1/4 C honey
|Also a great after school treat!|