At the end of our house renovations last year, I promised myself that I could indulge in a few kitchen toys. One of these was an ice cream machine. I got it into my head that when it comes to treats, I should only eat what I make. And taking this to the n-th degree, that also meant homemade ice cream. I got a whizz-bang Magimix automatic churning machine, and haven’t looked back since.
I’ve experimented with a lot of flavours – started with salted caramel by David Lebovitz. I’ve tried my hand at vanilla, which after a few goes I finally decided works best with a mix of half cream, half full fat milk. I’ve made strawberry frozen yoghurt, one of the tastiest, easiest recipes so far (jar Daylesford Farm strawberry compote, large container full fat organic plain yoghurt, mix well, churn). And then DH set me the ultimate challenge – could I make chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream?
Why not? At its root, cookie dough ice cream is like all decadent ice creams – made with a custard cream base. And of course, it needs cookie dough. And good chocolate chips. For me this means at least 70% chocolate, as I like high quality dark chocolate best.
I searched online for a while and finally took my inspiration from Cook’s Illustrated and their Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (for the cookie dough, and cookies), and also from Annie’s Eats and her double cookie dough ice cream recipe (why just have plain vanilla ice cream as the base – have cookie dough flavoured custard!). Lastly, I served the finished results with cookies. Voila. Cookie Dough, Three Ways.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (for the raw dough to stir into the ice cream, and for the cookies)
Note: the recipe below is halved from the original on Cook’s Illustrated, and adjusted for UK ingredients
2 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
just short of 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg, 1 medium egg yolk (note: if you double this recipe, stick with the 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, just use large or extra large eggs)
about a half a cup dark chocolate buttons (I used Hotel Chocolat 70%)
about a half a cup chopped toasted pecans (I toast on the hob in an unoiled pan, until just browning)
1. Preheat oven to 180C (375F).
2. Whisk together flour and baking soda.
3. Melt 5 tablespoons butter. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma.
4. Transfer browned butter to large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons butter – stir until melted completely into browned butter.
5. Add caster sugar, dark brown sugar, salt, and vanilla to butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
6. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. I did this about 5 times.
7. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. I used a rubber spatula to fold flour into butter/sugar mix.
8. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
9. Put about 2 tablespoons of dough together into a ball, and place on cookie sheet. Make sure to leave room between balls.
10. Bake until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
NOTE: do not overbake the cookies, thinking the softness means they are not done. I did this, the result is a burnt cookie bottom – the cookies are done after no more than 14 minutes.
11. Cool on baking sheet, then remove and cool on wire rack before devouring.
12. Remember – reserve about a third of the cookie dough to stir through the ice cream.
Cookie Dough Ice Cream (the base – into which you stir chocolate chips and cookie dough)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 container (about 250ml or close to 2 cups) single cream
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup chocolate chips (again, I used 70% Hotel Chocolat buttons)
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Just like the cookie recipe above, you not only melt the butter, but you brown it.
2. Whisk in the cream and bring to almost a simmer (DO NOT SIMMER AS YOU MAY SPLIT THE CREAM).
3. Whisk brown sugar and egg yolks until pale and fluffy.
4. Add a small amount of the warm cream and butter to the egg yolks, and whisk. Keep on whisking. You don’t want the cream hot or you will scramble the eggs, and also you don’t want to add too much warm cream without whisking or it will also solidify the eggs. Slowly whisk in the rest of the cream and then whisk in the salt.
5. Transfer the egg-cream mixture back to your pan and now make a custard. You do this by gently heating and continuously stirring the egg-cream mix. For me this took about 10 minutes of stirring on low heat, and it was done when the mix coated the back of a wooden spoon – enough so that when I swiped my finger a streak was left.
6. At this stage some people like to sieve their custard, to ensure no lumps in the ice cream mixture. I don’t do this as I am confident in making custard.
7. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the vanilla extract and the milk. Then chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before churning.
8. If you have an ice cream maker, transfer the cream mixture to the bowl, and set to churn. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, put the mixture in a large flat tupperware container and for the next 5 or 6 hours, remove about three times and hours to stir to prevent ice crystals from forming, until frozen. Another way to do it is to freeze, then after 3 hours (once lightly frozen) pop the mixture into a blender until smooth, refreeze, blend again once frozen, then it’s ready to serve.
9. Stir in cookie dough, and the chocolate chips. Freeze until more solid. Then serve (I served with toasted pecans)
This ice cream is a late submission for the KaveyEats Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream Series. The February challenge was custard based ice cream – my cookie dough three ways. Kavey’s March challenge is a childhood memory – I hope to re-create mine this weekend (and write about before the deadline!)
If you like your food, be sure to check out Kavey’s blog.