The hot summer months are nearly here, I typically despise hot weather but I do love my frozen desserts. For the past few years I have struggled with perfecting making homemade ice cream. Although I have had some real failures, I’ve also come up with some pretty good ones. (Limesicle remains a favorite of mine. I fully intend on playing that one again! ) I’ve only been cooking from scratch for a modest five or so years, but in the past year and a half we have really transitioned our household to a whole foods, traditional foods, primarily unprocessed diet. Each of us have our vices and ice cream happens to be a big one for my husband especially. Although he is adamant that his “clean ingredient” ice cream is not that bad, I really can’t stomach the thought of homogenized, fortified, factory milk. (and here’s why) Within a very brief period of time we became incredibly dependent on whole, fresh milk and real eggs. Although real food is an investment, real milk and eggs are VERY well worth every penny.
Another new-ish to us staple is raw milk kefir. (Kuh-Fear) Kefir has more health benefits than yogurt, primarily because it has a wider variety of live cultures. What makes it even better is the fact that it is ridiculously simple to make. ( Find out How To Make Kefir: HERE ) I’ve learned that making raw milk ice creams can be a bit tricky for many reasons, but I really do not have the heart to boil my precious raw milk. The process of cooking the milk into a custard is a huge part of the consistency and texture, but the boiling or “pasteurization” kills a lot of the wonderful enzymes that make raw milk so awesomely beautiful. The quality and amount of cream in your ice cream is also a pretty major factor. (I almost never have cream in the house, and I’ve never tried skimming our real milk because I’m afraid the man folk will revolt.) There is a fine balance between “ice cream” and ice cream substitutes. I will admit that I have made some really delicious kefir “ice creams” but they are no substitute to real, full fat, with extra sugar and cream frozen custards. This dark chocolate sherbet is delicious, rich, tangy and fresh. It tastes just like a fudge pop or frozen yogurt and it has no dodgy ingredients. Man-Meat and Connor (the resident chocoholics) loved it.
– “It’s perfectly sweet and chocolate-y, not quite ice cream but it’s great!”
Dark Chocolate Sherbet
- 1 1/2 cups Raw Milk Kefir
- 1 1/2 cups Whole Raw Milk
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon of Unflavored Gelatin
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup Organic Sucanat
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
- Place gelatin in a cup of cold kefir or milk. Stir thoroughly to dissolve.
- Allow gelatin to soften for 4-6 minutes.
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (The gelatin has a tendency to chunk up sometimes, usually if it does this I just blitz it an extra few minutes. )
- Refrigerate until your ice cream machine is good and cold.
- Process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. (The stiffer you can get it before freezing the better. )
Note: Using sucanat instead of “white” sugar (organic free trade cane sugar) results in the ice cream being a bit icier. I culture my kefir for two days so it tends to be extra sour, you may not need to use as much sweetener if you are using a store bought kefir or a variety that isn’t very tart. Next time I might try using maple syrup and adding some melted chocolate, and I would definitely use some cream if I had some on hand.
About Ice Cream Makers: I’ve had my share of ice cream makers but since I am determined to knock out awesome ice cream I invested in a Whynter ICM-15LS Ice Cream Maker. The first one arrived broken, (It didn’t churn) the second one arrived with a cracked lid. To say I was peeved is an understatement but all in all, the refrigeration unit seems to make all the difference in the world. Instead of the bowl getting hot and the ice cream getting soupy it cranks out soft ice cream in about an hour. Unlike other ice cream machines this one seems to have actually added air and volume to my ice cream. However… for years I used the freeze & scrape method, or the blender method. I find that the blender method is my favorite “no machine” ice cream method. Do this by preparing your ice cream base as directed. Freeze about half into an ice cube tray and place the other half into the fridge. Once the cubes are fully frozen place them in the blender with the chilled base and blend until smooth. (I also have these Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Makers that I kind of love … plus I got them on clearance for $6. You really can not beat that! )
Gelato or Sherbet? Fro-yo? Oh my! – I went back and forth on what to call this. gelato, ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt or sorbet? What’s really behind the names? The low down is this … gelato has a fat content of approximately 5-7 percent. Ice cream has a fat content of 10 percent. During spring real, raw milk typically has a higher fat content but it’s still not quite there. Sherbet by definition is a frozen dessert “with milk, egg white, or gelatin added.” (This has egg yolks ((not whites)) , gelatin, and milk.) Sorbet technically speaking is dairy and egg free. So this isn’t sorbet. Although sherbet is almost always a fruit concoction I think the flavor of this frozen dessert put’s it into the not really gelato or ice cream category and that’s that. Sherbet. Now you have to figure out how to say sherbet. (because although we all pronounce it with an -R-, there isn’t one in there.)