Sandpanther (sandpanther) wrote,

Adventures In Ice Cream

Inspired by the plum ice cream that sakon76 made, I bought an ice cream maker and have been experimenting with making my own ice creams. One of the goals of this (other than to get some plums out of my freezer!) is to make ice creams that are lower fat, lower sugar and exactly what I like. So to that end, a little experimentation is called for.

Long ago they used to make a B&J's Chocolate Heath Bar Crunch frozen yogurt. I loved the stuff. But, like all the other things I love, they decided to stop carrying it. I'm not terribly fond of the vanilla Heath Bar Crunch, and really, for everyone's sanity I should stay away from the coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

Hence, this variation.

It being my first attempt at using the new ice cream maker to make my own ice cream, I limited the experimentation to just replacing the sugar with Splenda. I am happy to report that it seems to make little effective difference in the quality of the finished product. I suspect that using the Splenda may make the ice cream a bit more solid once it has been in the freezer for a little bit. But I can live with that, particularly given the benefits of fewer calories and no sugar. Except for the Heath Bars, of course...

Things to change for next time... Freeze the Heath Bars in advance, then hit them with a hammer to break them up. I don't really like the regular pieces that hand cutting them produces. I need my ice cream a little more chaotic than that.

In general, I call the experiement a success.

I got really daring with this one. Instead of cream I used non-fat, sugar free Cool Whip. Instead of milk I used a 50-50 mixture of non-fat half and half (don't ask me how they do that, it must be unnatural) and non-fat milk. I did this largely because I ran out of half and half... *sweatdrop* And, as always, Splenda instead of sugar. The chocolate was supplied by a square of baker's chocolate and a quarter-cup of Ghiradelli double chocolate hot chocolate mix.

I was afraid with the Cool Whip instead of cream that either it would not set up correctly, or it would freeze into something closer to a sorbet than an ice cream. Fortunately, it is reasonably creamy, though I do notice that there are more ice crystals than would normally be in an ice cream with all the fat. Again, this is something I can live with.

For next time, I think I may either drop the non-fat milk, or find an area to up the fat content slightly. With no fat at all it is nice enough, but it would be nicer still with just a teensy bit more fat. Also, because the hot chocolate mix was sweetened the whole thing ended up a wee bit on the overly sweet side. (I even dropped the recommended sugar amount by a quarter cup!) Also, the pepermint is completely overwhelming the chocolate, so I think I will do a scant teaspoon next time rather than a full one.

Next experiment: Either some frozen yogurt, or, if it is Rally Cyprus weekend, Mexican hot chocolate ice cream. Mmmm!

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