Ice cream is perfect. It might be the best and easiest dessert on the planet. Buy it. Scoop. Yum.

Growing up, I remember only a handful of fun flavors like rocky road, green peppermint bon-bon, and the flavor my childhood friends coveted, but my mother wouldn’t let me buy—pink bubble gum. Now, there are a plethora of flavors that border crazy like corn on the cob, curry mint, caramel balsamic swirl, and phish food—what is that anyway?

Buying ice cream is super easy. Gas stations stock multiple flavors and brands, so if you’re in a pinch—buying it couldn’t be easier, but the taste of homemade is extraordinary. 

Depending on your tastes, you can make your own creations once you know the basics of ice cream making. 

An ice cream machine is an expensive investment, but not necessary. You do not need one for this recipe.  

*Excess sugar and additives will make your homemade ice cream harder to freeze. Try to keep the sugar content as close to the recipe as possible. 

*Adding liquor will help your ice cream from forming ice crystals when freezing and keep it extra smooth and creamy. 

*Keep all your mixing utensils as cold as you can handle when it comes time to freezing and stirring the ice cream. Keep your spoon in the freezer and use an oven mitt to hold it if it bothers you. Use stainless steel bowls as they cool faster than glass or plastic. 

*The higher fat content in whole milk and cream will make the ice cream creamier and have fewer ice crystals. Use whole milk and heavy whipping cream.  

If you ever get stranded on a desert island, don’t forget to ask for a freezer filled with your ice cream or you will have a problem.

Extra-Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes 1 Pint

1/3 cup cocoa powder

6 Tbsp. sugar

2/3 cup whole milk

1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. Kahlua liquor or Baileys Irish Cream (optional)

1/2 cup of add-ins like nuts or fruit

In a large metal bowl, mix the cocoa and sugar together. Pour in the milk. Stir until the sugar has dissolved; about five minutes. Add the cream, vanilla, and the liquor. 

Place in the freezer. Stir the ice cream every ten minutes for the first hour. Fold in any add-ins like nuts or fruit. Freeze again and stir once an hour until frozen throughout; about 3 hours. Serve or transfer to a covered airtight container and keep frozen until ready to serve.

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at www.wild-chow.com or email her at wildchowrecipes@gmail.com.

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