Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Here's an (almost) guilt-free way to use up those leftover holiday candy canes.

Some time ago, I developed a fairly low-carb, low-fat ice cream (ice milk, actually) that, by itself, you can eat guilt-free, in moderation of course. The "almost" comes into play with what you add to the basic recipe.

Here I've crushed candy canes and chopped a dark, 70% cacao, bittersweet chocolate bar to enhance my base. While this does add to the carb count, you can always have friends over to help you eat it. Plus, chocolate is good for you.

I've just discovered a new (to me) evaporated milk that is fresh milk with 60% of the water removed. It's very white, as compared to Carnation which always has an unappetizing yellow tinge to it. The brand name is Santini. They also make an organic, sweetened condensed milk and I'm hoping that soon they will come out with an organic, low-fat evaporated milk. Then I'd be happy. I found the Santini evaporated milk at my local food Co-op.

Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Christine's original recipe
2 cups low-fat milk (2%)
1 cup egg substitute (or you could use 4 eggs)
1 13-ounce can evaporated milk (low fat if possible)
1/2 cup Splenda granular
2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
2/3 cup crushed candy canes
1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao)

Start this at least 6 hours ahead of time or the night before to allow enough time for the custard to chill before making the ice cream.
Put the egg substitute in a large glass measuring cup and whisk in the Splenda until fully blended.
Place the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer. Small bubbles will form around the edges of the pan when it reaches this stage.
Remove pan from the heat and slowly whisk 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture.
Whisking constantly, pour the egg mixture into the remainder of the milk in the saucepan and put back on the heat, this time on low.
Cook gently, whisking constantly until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes then stir in the evaporated milk and the peppermint extract.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, overnight is best.
When ready to make the ice cream, give the custard a stir then pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions.
When the custard reaches a softly frozen state, pour in the crushed candy cane and chocolate and continue with the ice cream making process until the ice cream has reached a soft-serve state.
At this point it may be eaten as is or placed in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator to firm up even more. To do this, pour the ice cream into a freezer-safe container, lay a piece of plastic wrap on top and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Put in the freezer until firm, about 4 hours.

Cook's Notes:
In general, I use Splenda instead of sugar in most of my sweet creations, an egg substitute (Lucerne's Best of the Egg from Safeway has the lowest sodium content) whenever possible instead of whole eggs, and either Smart Balance or Earth Balance instead of butter.
But that's me. Any of my recipes can be made with the real deal, with my blessings. Here are the equivalent whole food measurements:
Splenda Granular - to use sugar instead, measure cup for cup.
Splenda-Sugar Blend - to use sugar, double the measurement, e.g., for 1/2 cup Splenda-Sugar Blend, substitute 1 cup sugar.
Splenda-Brown Sugar Blend - to use brown sugar, double the measurement same as for the Splenda-Sugar Blend.
Egg substitute - 1/4 cup equals one large egg.
Smart Balance or Earth Balance (do not use "Lite" in baking or cooking) - use butter measure for measure. Never, ever, ever use margarines that contain trans-fats.
All that said, there are times when only the best whole food products will do, and at those times I use whole eggs, organic butter and, gulp, sugar. But not too much sugar. And NEVER trans fats.

YAY! Happy 200th blog post to me!!


sher said...

Yummm!! I am tasting that in my mind--and it's fabulous! :):)

Christine said...

Hi Sher,
I forgot to say that it's very minty and refreshing yet has a light, almost sorbet-like mouth feel. That would have been good to say, huh?
Hope you are well.

Jann said...

Happy 200th to you-wow-that's a lot of blogging.........and great stuff, indeed!You are so clever with the left over candy-mine goes in the garbage. Next year, we will have ice cream!

Tanna said...

Magic you are.

Mimi said...

You are a good influence on me, Christine. Thanks to you, I've had the courage to use Splenda.( I especially like the Brown Sugar-Sugar Blend. Of course, I've been a Smart Balance fan for years.)

As I started reading today's post, I wondered if your ice cream could be made with brown sugar — so you answered my question.

Congratulations on 200 posts. They are always top-notch!

Anonymous said...

They all look so delicious Christine.