Todays recipe comes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. I’d never heard of Jeni’s until I was lent her cookbook by my friend Accacia, a fellow food crafter. Jeni’s is a chain of ice cream shops in Ohio that makes insanely delicious and creative ice creams. Of all the wintry batches I’ve made so far, hers is by far the creamiest, chewiest and delicately flavored. She takes an ice cream nerd approach to recipe creation and it shows. Her secret weapons: Corn starch — !!! — and softened cream cheese. The starch gives the ice cream body and the cream cheese helps it bind, resulting in wonderfully fluffy but dense ice creams. Her cookbook has so many amazing flavors I can’t wait to try them all (I might need to buy my own copy.
I made today’s ice cream — Bangkok Peanut — in honor of Jake since it combines two of his favorite ingredients: peanut butter and coconut. I think he’d wither away and die without a weekly infusion of these two ingredients. Enjoy!
Bangkok Peanut from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry (that is, whisk the two ingredients until smooth).
Using a spatula, mix the cream cheese, peanut butter and salt in a medium metal bowl until smooth.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup and honey in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil and over medium high heat and boil for precisely 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring with a heat proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the peanut butter mixture until smooth. Whisk in the toasted coconut and cayenne.
Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy, about 25 minutes.
Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of the freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.