Monday, August 15, 2011

Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Whey Based Ice Cream!

The baby is asleep, time to blog!! While I know that I should be cleaning the kitchen as it DESPERATELY needs it from my adventures yesterday I have decided to sit back, relax and write a blog. I can always clean when Bea wakes up but as my keyboard can attest (I am missing most of my directional arrows as well as a few other random keys) being on the computer while she is awake isn't always a wise idea.

This past week I made a LOT of "30 Minute" mozzarella cheese (recipe found in Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making). However I choose to fore go the microwave and stretch my cheese with a soak in hot whey, so it takes a bit longer than 30 minutes! This flurry of cheese making has left me with quite a bit of whey. One batch went on my eggplant plants, hope they enjoy the treat!However I wanted to try my hand at making ice cream with whey.

A few weeks ago I needed chocolate, and ice cream, together. Lots of it. My husband was in class so I texted him with the request. Later that evening he came home with Dryer's Fun Flavors (I think the flavor was brownie blast). It was so delicious. Creamy, smooth and rich. So I perused the carton and found that it wasn't considered ice cream at all but a "frozen dairy dessert". What? What does that even mean? What is in this stuff?! I quickly turned the carton over to look at the list of ingredients. What do you imagine was the first one? Why, whey of course! Weird.... but AWESOME! "I can make this myself!" was the first thought to cross my mind. There were quite a few other ingredients, but I figured I could play with it. Here is the documentation of the second batch I made. The first, to be quite honest, I didn't think would work out so I didn't take pictures.

I began with a custard ice cream base as I figured it would produce a smoother, creamier texture. I simply replaced the why for the regular milk. The first batch I made I used half whey and half cream, the second batch (pictured below) was made with half whey and half 1/2&1/2, more on that later.

So I started by measuring out 4 cups of whey and heating it up. When I make my cheese I rinse out the milk cartons and use them to store the whey when I'm done.

Split a vanilla bean and add it to the whey. Don't let the whey boil or you might end up with some ricotta in your ice cream! Leave the bean in the whey over low heat for about 20 minutes to infuse the flavor.

While waiting I put a cup of regular sugar and a cup of brown sugar with 16 egg yolks into my stand mixer. When I try this flavor again I think I will use all brown sugar as I don't feel the flavor came through as much as it could.

Beat these together.

When it was silky and falling on itself in ribbons I stopped the mixer.

I always save my egg whites, freezing them in an ice cube tray - the perfect size for each egg. Would have gotten that last one filled if I hadn't spilled one on the counter - opps!

Once the vanilla beans had softened up a bit in the whey I scraped the seeds out with the back of a knife.

Slowly, so that I would temper and not cook my eggs, I added the hot whey to the egg and sugar mixture.

When both were combined together it was a bit frothy. 

Back in the pot and on the heat it goes. Stirred the entire time and made sure it didn't boil. Just wanted to heat the eggs for long enough to kill any little nasties. Wish I had some home raised fresh eggs to work with. Sigh... some day, some day.

Oh! Look! Gratuitous cuteness. Awww look at her pulling on the cushion strings. 

The base mixture started to thicken like it should with a clean swipe on the back of the spoon.

Time to add the half & half. Stirred in with little fanfare.

Poured the mixture into a container to cool. I choose a container that gave a lot of surface area so that it would cool faster. I left it out for about an hour on a rack (to circulate air underneath the container) and then put it in the fridge for a few hours mixing a couple times to facilitate cooling.

While in the fridge some of the whey settled on the bottom. I just mixed it up before adding it to the ice cream maker.

In the ice cream maker it goes!
I didn't add as much ice as I had the first time. I was hoping that it would whip more while cooling more slowly. Didn't quite work the way I wanted. After a looonnnggg time it looked like below. It was late, I was tired, so I stuck it in the freezer. for the night.
Just took this picture of the finished product:

As comparison this is the small bit of the first batch that was left:

Final Analysis:

While quite tasty it did not turn out the way I would have liked. The final product is very icy. For next time there are a few things I will change, first is to use a higher amount of cream. Second is to allow it to freeze the way the first one did, it came out much smoother. I think I'll also go down to the Asian market and see if I can find some Agar Agar and play around with adding that. I'd also like to try a non-custard based ice cream recipe. It seems (from both batches) that the custard give is a tapioca flavor. I'd like to have a purer brown sugar and vanilla bean flavor. Luckily for me whey is plentiful as long as I keep making cheese! Which will be a future post hopefully some time soon!

Suggested Recipe for Ice Cream Base:
(batch above was a double recipe)

2 cups whey
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
4 egg yolks
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream

Note: If you don't salt your whey to stretch your mozzarella then add a 1/4 tsp of salt to bring out flavors.

In medium pot heat whey with vanilla bean on medium- low to a simmer for 20 minutes, do not boil. While waiting for the whey to heat beat egg yolks and brown sugar in mixer till silky smooth and falling on itself in ribbons, about 5 to 10 minutes, scrape sides and bottom of bowl to insure all is combined. Strain whey to remove any bits of curd and vanilla bean. With the back of a knife scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them back to the whey. With mixer on low slowly, so as to temper and not scramble the eggs, add the hot whey into the egg and sugar mixture. Once fully combined pour the mixture back into the pot and heat till mixture starts to thicken. Turn off heat and stir in cream. Cool mixture and freeze in your favorite ice cream maker!

Stay tuned for Dulce De Leche!

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