Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homemade White Chocolate Ice Cream

I'm what you would call an ice cream lover. I like every form: basic soft serve, old-fashioned hand dipped, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, Italian gelato, and, of course, homemade ice cream. While generally not as sophisticated as other varieties, homemade ice cream will always have a place in my heart. It is a rare event that goes by in my family where homemade ice cream is not present, and I never get tired of it.

However, while I'm an ice cream lover, and I'm certainly devoted to chocolate, I'm not a white chocolate fan. It just seemed to be a poor imitation of the real thing. However, this ice cream may have converted me.

On a recent trip to Lake Tahoe, my family went to dinner at an Italian restaurant. Overall, our food was great, but what really stuck out was the white chocolate ice cream we ordered for dessert (originally served with berries). While eating it, I may have even said, "If desserts that didn't have chocolate in them were always this good, I might start eating less chocolate!" It was that good.

Before leaving the restaurant, my family inquired about how the ice cream was made: "Lots of white chocolate--shaved down really small, lots of eggs, lots of heavy cream." With those few tidbits as a guideline, when we got home to Missouri, my father and I set out attempting to recreate it. After a quick google of white chocolate ice cream recipes, I came up with a lot of possibilities.

Eventually I settled on trying one that had a large amount of white chocolate and heavy cream, as well as vanilla extract (because I think everything is better with vanilla extract). We whipped up a batch on one of my last days home over Christmas break, and everyone agreed that it was just as good as the original. Success!

I'm glad to know that we don't have to go all the way to Lake Tahoe again to eat this ice cream! It was a great way to end off my Christmas break at home, especially since now I'm back in St. Louis where I will continue to keep baking, but probably won't be making any ice cream!

White Chocolate Ice Cream

1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
2 large eggs, beaten
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped (I used Baker's baking chocolate)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Add the milk to a heavy medium-size saucepan; bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and slowly beat the hot milk in the the eggs in a medium mixing bowl.

Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and put over low heat.

Stir constantly with a whisk until the custard slightly thickens (be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scamble).

Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate; stir until the chocolate is melted.

Pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. (We skipped straining it, and while there were a few lumps, no one really cared.)

Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream and vanilla.

Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight. (Also didn't bother with this.)

Stir the chilled mixture; freeze in 1 or 2 batches in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. (We have an ice cream maker similar to this, and it took approximately 35 minutes to churn. However, we also put some in the freezer as a test and it turned out just as good, although it would probably be necessary to wait overnight for it to get solid enough.)

May eat ice cream immediately or transfer to a freezer container and freeze at least two hours for a firmer ice cream.

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