Ask any ice cream fan, and I bet they have their ‘favourite.’ While mint chip and rocky road are popular flavours, mocha almond fudge tops my list. Whatever your preference, most would agree that quality ─ real dairy ─ ice cream can’t be beat. And much to my delight, “no-churn” recipes are no-fuss and all things decadent, rich, creamy, and simply divine.
Too irresistible not to try, I put a three ingredient “no-churn” ice cream recipe to the test. Happily evading use of an ice cream maker, I only need an electric mixer and these “must-haves”: 2 cups of heavy cream, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a couple dashes of vanilla essence. Once the aforementioned ‘magic three’ are whipped and form soft peaks, I pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container, cover it with a lid, and set it into the icebox for at least five hours.
That’s it! Truly, your work is done ─ “no-churn” vanilla ice cream 101. But why stop there, right? ─ Right on! Getting creative, I double the ‘basic’ vanilla recipe, and divide the ‘very good’ vanilla bean ice cream into four separate loaf pans. Creating a blank canvas of sorts, you can stick with vanilla-infused ice cream and later incorporate added texture and taste via your imagination. For instance, consider the following: chocolate chips, caramel sauce, fresh berries or fruit preserve, nuts, crumbled cookies, liqueurs or even mint extract for a more refreshing taste.
Going for delicious scoops of ‘breige,’ my ice cream cloud is made of plentiful shades of wonderful: vanilla bean, espresso, double chocolate and mocha almond fudge. For the already mastered classic, use of pure vanilla extract is a given. Catering to purists, I also recommend following suit by integrating the scraped black seeds of an authentic vanilla pod for an elevated flavour profile. As for a chocolaty spin, whip a few tablespoons of cocoa into the basic mixture until it appears homogenous, and then stir in shavings of dark chocolate. In similar fashion, treating the basic vanilla mixture to an “afternoon pick me up” is as easy as blending it with chilled brewed espresso or with a few tablespoons of the ‘instant’ alternative.
Reserved for last, but certainly not least, my favourite ─ mocha almond fudge ─ tastes like the real-deal. Best part is: the only place I need to ‘bask in’ for the making of this confection is the kitchen. Kid you not, this take on mocha almond fudge is ‘that’ good! And, here’s how to make your own: blend the basic vanilla mixture with cocoa powder, espresso powder ‘et voilà,’ you got the mocha part ready. Half-way done, freeze the mocha ice cream for about an hour while you prepare the fudgy addition. For my interpretation of a DIY nutty ganache filling, I take a dark chocolate almond bar ─ the family-size variety, about 300 grams ─ save some with which to later decorate, and then melt the rest with some heavy cream over a double-boiler. Once the contents have melted and the ganache has cooled, remove the mocha ice cream from the icebox and spoon in the filling, trying to create chocolaty almond ribbons. Finally, top off the mocha almond fudge ice cream with a crunchy combo of toasted sliced almonds and chopped chocolate chunks, and really freeze it this time ─ a solid five hours should suffice. Wait time ‘somehow’ endured, appeasing to one’s appetite for homemade “no-churn” frozen dessert is undeniably a cinch. As for the question of brain freeze, “no-churn” is still a no-brainer ─ happy ‘paced’ consumption!
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