In June, I began the greatest summertime chocolate adventure: I embarked on a quest to make the perfect chocolate ice cream. I started with dark chocolate ice cream, and after several experiments, I provided one recipe here on the blog.
This week, I have been trying to make the perfect milk chocolate ice cream. Like the dark chocolate ice cream, I wanted to keep it healthy. But I was not sure how to do it - ice cream is made with milk, so technically it should already be milk chocolate, right? My first thought was to reduce the cocoa powder in my dark ice cream and increase the sweetness. But instead, I decided to try something entirely new.
Camino's Organic and Fair Trade instant Milk Hot Chocolate mix has been sitting on the shelf of my cupboard staring at me for some time. And when I opened the cupboard looking for cornstarch, I was suddenly inspired when I saw it. Since Camino has already perfected that 'milk chocolate' taste, I thought, why not use the mix in my ice cream? It would be a great way to use my hot chocolate mix in the summertime (who's drinking hot chocolate when it's 30º Celsius anyway?). So I dove right into the experiments.
In the first batch, I replaced the cocoa powder in my dark chocolate ice cream recipe with Camino's mix, and I used 3 cups of milk (half skim milk and half whole milk). I did not add cream because Camino's mix already has a creamy taste, so I figured it would be creamy enough. And it was. The ice cream mixture simmered beautifully on the stovetop, and once it cooled and was placed in my home ice cream maker, the texture was perfectly creamy. It was also very milky, like milk chocolate. The only problem was - it wasn't sweet enough.
Now listen, I am not a person who likes my desserts sweet. It's all about richness for me and low sweetness. So if the ice cream was too bitter for me, then it definitely won't be liked by regular chocolate ice cream lovers. Nor would the average milk chocolate lover eat it. So I went back to the 'lab' and tried it again.
On the second round, I added 1/4 cup of organic agave syrup to the mix before boiling it, and although it still did not taste sweet after boiling it, it came out of the ice cream maker with perfect sweetness. My kids loved it, and if I overcame THAT colossal challenge, then I must have gotten it right!
The best part is that the ingredients are all natural, and if you use organic milk, you can make your own fully organic ice cream at home. If you can't locate Camino brand hot chocolate mix, you can use another one. But if you use a hot chocolate mix that does not have milk in it*, like this one by St. Clair's, you may want to replace 1 cup of your milk with 1 cup of cream, to give the ice cream an added creaminess, and cut back on the hot cocoa mix by a 1/4 cup for a 'milk chocolate' taste.
Recipe: All Natural Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1.5 cups of regular or organic skim milk
- 1.5 cups of whole milk (if you don't want to split the milk, you can simply use 3 cups of homogenized/whole milk or 2%)
- 3/4 cup of Camino Instant Milk Hot Chocolate Mix
- 1/4 cup agave or regular sugar
- 1.5 tbsp. of corn starch
- 1 home ice cream maker (such as Cuisinart)
- Pour your milk into a pot.
- Whisk in the remaining ingredients, or better, use an immersion blender or hand mixer for easier mixing. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer lightly for five minutes until it looks thickened.
- Pour into a bowl and cover. Let cool in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours (until cold). Be sure to freeze the ice cream maker bowl at this time too!
- Pour the ice cream into the top of the ice cream maker and then let run for about 20 minutes.
- Turn off the ice cream maker and scrape it out with a silicon spatula or plastic scraper (to prevent scratching of the ice cream maker bowl) into an airtight container. You can consume the soft ice cream immediately or freeze until hardened.
Happy Summer Ice Creaming!
*Please note: Camino has not sponsored this post in any way. I proudly purchase Camino's organic and Fair Trade couverture chocolate for use in some of my confections, and so I regularly have their products on hand. I am also a fan of their instant hot chocolate mixes because they are the only ones I can find that are both natural and organic AND can be mixed with hot water instantly, as they contain powdered organic milk. Feel free to use the comments below to tell me about others, if you know of them - but I haven't found any instant hot chocolate mixes yet that compare! (Yes, I am a big fan of craft drinking chocolate, but sometimes I just want to grab a packet to take to work, or elsewhere, and not heat up milk on the stovetop.)