Monday, January 21, 2013

Only I scream for ice cream

Chiefly, not exclusively: I'm passionate about food. It is largely all I think about, from when I wake up in the morning, to when I go to sleep at night. The in between states are often filled with sleep addled thoughts such as 'pear sashimi' and 'oatmeal bourbon ice cream'.  Sometimes, I act on those thoughts, and while you should stay tuned for pear sashimi, this one's about ice cream.

My better half and I differ on a lot of things, but this statement was standing out in my mind as I began my ice cream adventure: "We basically like the same flavors, I just don't like chocolate."
I know I taught you better than that. Don't get me wrong, I like vanilla. I like the balance of chocolate and vanilla, and actually prefer vanilla frosting on my chocolate cupcakes. I'm a firm believer in the school of 'without light, there can be no dark'- but to say that our only difference is his not liking chocolate is nigh the same as saying "Sweetie, I'm almost human, except that I'm a total secondary jawed, talon laden, acid dripping alien."

This brings two things to light: I have yet to try a vegan vanilla ice cream that _actually_ tastes like vanilla ice cream (instead of coconut, or almond, or disappointment)
and mainly: what the hell else can I make?

Enter sleep addled thought 2, oatmeal ice cream. I've learned a couple of things proportion-wise from Hannah's Vegan A La Mode, and a couple of things crystal structure-wise from Alton Brown. Armed with my tiny knowledge I set out on a cold January weekend to make some ice cream, because not a lot of what I do in my free time makes any sense at all.

I like peanut butter, I like bourbon, I like oatmeal, I like raspberries: None of these things are chocolate, they go well together; and while I'm still confused as to where the oatmeal ice cream idea comes from, it should add a fair amount of body to the ice cream, as well as some weirdo oat bites that for some reason, I think will work. By integrating sugar and fat with the liquid, you create smaller ice crystals, but the end result may become overbearingly sweet. Adding just enough alcohol where the ice cream can still freeze, but not rock solid, will give it some body. Essentially, I add bourbon to everything, but today I will back it up with very, very loose (possibly erroneous) science. Go with it.
Have your ice cream maker's basin pre-frozen from the day before. I always leave mine in the freezer, just in case.

Breakfast of Champions

1 cup Rolled Oats (not instant)
1 cup Coconut Milk
1cup Almond Milk
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
I Tblsp custard powder (or cornstarch)
1/2 tsp Salt

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tblsp Bourbon
2 Tblsp Peanut Butter
Your favorite Jam for addition later

Mix the oats, custard powder, sugar, and salt in a large microwave safe bowl, and whisk in the milks. Make sure to get any lumps of the custard powder/cornstarch worked out before you heat it up. You're looking to cook the oatmeal mixture until just tender, you don't want to bite into raw oats while you're eating ice cream. Start in 2 minute intervals, stirring in between, up until about 5-6 minutes. There's a larger liquid to oatmeal ratio here because again, you want this to be fairly loose, not standard gloppy oatmeal. Once that's ready and still hot, stir in your peanut butter to combine, as well as your bourbon and vanilla extract. 
Let the mixture come to room temperature, then park this either in your fridge, in the snow, or in your freezer to cool completely. You want to make ice cream, the colder this is, the better.

Once it's cold, start up your ice cream maker, and pour the mix in while it's running.
Take a peak:

Let this run as per the machine's directions (mine's about 20 minutes)
Move your half frozen ice cream to an air tight container. Here's the stage where you can fold in some additions. Normal people may choose chocolate here, but if you have a bizarro household as I do, fear not! You can fold in raspberry jam! You can also top it with chocolate shamelessly later! I won't judge you.

Here's the part where you learn why you never made ice cream before: you need to freeze that sucker solid for about 4-6 hours. This will put unnecessary strain on you and your relationships for the rest of the day. You know it's there. You know it's tasty. You also know you can't have it. It taunts you. Checking on it every hour doesn't help, either. Save yourself that pain, at least.

Eventually you will be rewarded. Perhaps with snide comments, such as: Have you ever seen me eat peanut butter ice cream before? 
But more rewarded with the issuing of the silent treatment and a scoop of this beauty:

The doily makes even this mammoth portion look dainty. Take a look at your swirl action, too!

Now, shut your pout-y mouth and pass the chocolate sauce!


Abby@ The Frosted Vegan said...

You had me at peanut butter and bourbon, yum!

Hannah said...

Seriously awesome, way to turn that ice cream formula around and make it you own! Now you've got me thinking that there should be a sequel to the ice cream book... It just never gets old. :)

(By the way, I'm extra happy that this wasn't just another "Oh my god, ice cream in winter!" post, because it really should be an all-seasons affair anyway.) <3