I have been wanting to make a vanilla bean ice cream ever since I got my ice cream maker back in Decemeber. Ice cream is kind of my dessert. I am not a big sweets person. Of course, I love a homemade dessert or cake or cookie or whatever. But, dessert is really my last priority when it comes to my caloric intake. I would much rather fill up on the savory/salty stuff. On the other hand, I have definitely saved room for ice cream on one too many occasions.
And I am kind of a purist when it comes to ice cream. I will try anything, but if I get to decide, I rarely choose something with chunks of things in it. My favorites are cinnamon and coffee. And I love vanilla but never get it because I fear I will be judged for being big time boring.
But honestly, there may be nothing better than a good vanilla bean ice cream. SO amazing!
When I make these homemade ice creams, I have been going all out using massive amounts of heavy cream. Which is honestly a huge part of what make them so good. And in this case, the whole vanilla bean. This is why it has taken me so long to make this...I needed a special occasion/excuse.
So when my bestie was coming into town for the weekend, I knew I had to splurge. She is a country girl and loves any cow product, anything creamy and really anything white. Therefore, I made country fried steak, mashed potatoes and corn for dinner. And we had this vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. Did I feel really fat after dinner? It wasn't bad actually. Quite comfortable.
The chocolate sauce has amazing flavor. The only problem I had was that you need to heat it up and then let it sit for two hours to get it to thicken. And even then, it isn't as thick as a typical hot fudge. It is definitely more of a sauce. But it is really easy to make. And tastes delicious even if you don't let it thicken. I might prefer a hot fudge but I'm not complaining.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz via Annie’s Eats
3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or cream and milk) and the vanilla extract.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
(Servings: 4, Prep time: 20 min. + chill time, Freeze time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)
The Best Chocolate Sauce
1 cup (250 ml) water
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup, agave nectar, or glucose
3/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
2 ounces (55 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup (or agave or glucose), and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it's just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.
Serving: You should let the Chocolate Sauce stand for a few hours before serving, which will give it time to thicken a bit.
Storage: Store the chocolate sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Rewarm before serving.
(Servings: 2.5 cups, Prep time: 0 min., Cook time: 15 min., Difficulty: Easy)