- I wanted to have better control over what goes into my children’s ice cream; and
- I thought of making some fat-free, sugar-free ice cream for myself.
A quick comment on reason #1: Have you ever taken the time to read the list of ingredients in ice creams available in the market these days? Sugar, palm oil, colouring, emulsifiers, preservatives, food conditioners. (Quick tip: By right, ingredients are listed in the order of from more to less, e.g. if sugar is the first listed ingredient, then that product is mostly made of sugar. The same principle applies for other food products.) Unless you buy the expensive high-end stuff that list down ‘cream’ as the first ingredient… then try buying that much ice cream for 5 kids! Looking back now, I should have done this a long time ago. My kids have a history of asthma when they were very young and, surprisingly, one of the things that a well-known chest physician in KL told me is to avoid food with colouring in them, including those yoghurt drinks for kids (Vitagen, Nutrigen, et al).
I haven’t made any headway on the 2nd item yet, mainly because I’ve been mainly making ice cream for the kids and the ice cream container needs to be in the freezer for at least 24 hours before making the ice cream. So between the making and the freezing and everything else that goes on in my life, my fat-free, sugar-free ice cream has taken a backseat to my children’s joy over eating ice cream that they see me making right before their very eyes.
Here’s a quick and simple recipe for ‘Cookies & Cream’ ice cream that I came up with, inspired by an egg-free recipe for vanilla ice cream that I found on the internet:-
Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
- 250 ml cream (preferably thick cream but I haven’t found any, so I’ve been using whipping cream)
- 250 ml fresh milk (any milk should do but my kids don’t like full cream or low-fat milk)
- 1/2 tin condensed milk (standard tin size in Malaysia is 505 grams, so half would be around 252 grams, or round it up to 250 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (or the contents of 1 vanilla bean)
- a handful of crushed Oreo (or Cream-O) cookies
- Mix all the ingredients except for the cookies together in a large bowl.
- Start your ice cream maker and pour in the mixture.
- Once the ice cream has reached the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, add in the crushed cookies and mix for 1 or 2 minutes, then serve.
- If you prefer a slightly harder, more scoopable type of ice cream, transfer the ice cream into another container and freeze it for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
- You can omit the cookies if you prefer plain vanilla ice cream.
- Make sure you freeze the ice cream maker’s container as per manufacturer’s instructions. In my case, it’s for at least 24 hours prior to making the ice cream.
- For best results, chill the other ingredients (milk and condensed milk) prior to making the ice cream. Cold ingredients will speed up the ice cream-making process.
If you don’t own an ice cream maker, fret not. Just place the prepared mixture into a pan or tray and put inside your freezer. When it has started to harden, scrape everything up with a fork (à la Jamie Oliver) or whisk/spatula (à la David Lebovitz) to break up the ice crystals. Then freeze again, repeating the scraping and freezing a few more times every half an hour or so [NB: Jamie Oliver only did the scraping once in an episode of 'Naked Chef', should it should work]. Breaking up the ice crystals would make the consistency of your ice cream smoother, to make it as smooth and creamy as possible and feel like ice cream and not …well… ice. Click here to see more tips on making ice cream without a machine.