Are you sick of me talking about ice cream yet?
I sure hope not!
Whether I’m brainstorming recipes or talking all about my ice cream from McConnell’s in Santa Barbara, ice cream has been on my mind non-stop lately! On my summer bucket list, I said I wanted to make at least three new ice cream flavors before Labor Day, so here’s the first! I was completely inspired by the chocolate covered strawberry ice cream I had at McConnell’s in May. Since I LOOOOOOVE strawberries, I wanted to make this my first ice cream of the summer.
Seriously, why hadn’t I thought of chocolate covered strawberry ice cream before? It totally takes regular ol’ strawberry ice cream up a notch and makes your dessert sound super fancy, but really you just need a little forward planning and to take a couple extra steps to make this ice cream. And really, all the forward planning you need is to have some chocolate on hand to melt. And who doesn’t have chocolate laying around in their cupboard?
If you don’t have chocolate hanging out in your cupboard (which makes me very sad), you can use this recipe to make “regular” strawberry ice cream and it will be just as delicious. Strawberries are amazing right now, too. I honestly can’t walk into the grocery store or by a stand at the farmer’s market without smelling them. That’s when you know they’re at their peak and you need to snag a bunch. I use that same rule for peaches. If you can smell when they’re in the vicinity, you need them in your life (and belly) that second.
If you’ve never made ice cream before because you are intimidated by the process, don’t be! It’s so easy and better than most of the ice creams you’ll pay a ton of money for at the store. I have this Cuisinart ice cream maker and love it. I’ve seen some super fancy (and spendy) ones out there, but I’ve always been happy with this one and have no complaints. I also have this Tovolo ice cream tub which totally rocks! I had a storage container from another brand that I used to use and it was awful! It was a twist top and if even the tiniest bit of ice cream got on the twisty part is was impossible to open. I purchased the Tovolo one last summer and haven’t looked back – totally recommend!
Some other ice cream tips? ALWAYS have the ice cream base from your maker and your storage tub in the freezer. It’s super important when making ice cream that both of these are cold in order to get a good final consistency and to speed things up a bit, so if you ever want to make ice cream on a whim, you’re ready! And my biggest tip is have fun with your flavors! Seriously, the sky is the limit when it comes to ice cream flavors, so find a base recipe you like then experiment from there.
Oh, and my last tip? Once you make some ice cream, send some my way. Okay?
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ice Cream
Yields 1 1/2 quarts
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt (if you don’t have an 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon, a pinch will do just fine)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups strawberries, stemmed and roughly chopped
- Place your ice cream maker’s base and a storage container in the freezer at least 24 hours before you begin making the ice cream – better yet, like I said before, always have it there so you’re ready to make ice cream 24/7!
- In a bowl, combine the cream, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla and whisk until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
- Set aside for 15 minutes in order to allow the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.
- Cover and refrigerate this the dairy mix until chilled, about three hours.
- Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- While the chocolate is melting, line a small cookie sheet or freezer-safe plate with parchment paper and set aside.
- Once the chocolate is melted, let it cool for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a bowl and mix with 2 cups of the strawberries. Toss gently to coat the berries, then place them in one layer on the parchment paper and pop in the freezer until you add them to the ice cream.
- With the remaining 1 cup of strawberries, mash with a fork in a small bowl until they are broken down into tiny chunks and refrigerate covered.
- Once the dairy base is chilled and ready, assemble your ice cream maker, turn it on, then pour the mix into it and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. When the base is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream (or really thick whipped cream), add the mashed strawberries and chocolate covered berries, breaking them apart as you add them to the mix.
- Churn ice cream until all berries are just combined and place in your cold storage container until firm, at least three hours.
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