System Hacked: Ice Cream

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…maycontainnutsthan to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”-Teddy Roosevelt

I dared mighty things. Which produced some pretty epic fails. And for a time, I was content with living in that gray area, just buying ice cream from the store. But today. Today I won a glorious triumph…which was also, unfortunately, checkered by failure.

I made ice cream.

But I didn’t use an ice cream machine.

I hacked the ice cream system.


I suppose the use of an ice cream machine intones a sense of culinary honor: ice cream made the “old fashioned” way. You churn the cream as is freezes to produce teeny tiny ice crystals that are suspended with air other non-freezable molecules which in the end results in a smooth, velvety semi-frozen ice cream.

That’s right: semi-frozen. Because if it were completely frozen, it’d be a block of ice. Trust me. I know.

This culinary honor is often times associated with “better-tasting.” Like actually grilling over flame, rather than using a grill pan…or, scrambling eggs in a pan, rather than just nuke em’…or using a slow cooker, rather than an oven or pot (I just know I’m going to get flack for that one.)

But, goddammit, when you’re broke you can’t afford a blasted ice cream maker!

And, of course, not all culinary are hacks necessarily dishonorable. If one looks at the situation from a scientific standpoint, it’s silly to distinguish what’s tasty and what’s not based on an often misplaced sense of honor. What are we trying to accomplish? We are trying to create an emulsion of teeny-tiny ice crystals, fat, sugar and air. What if I told you that you can achieve nearly identical results without churning?


Instead of doing it all at once (freezing, while incorporating air and breaking ice crystals), you do it a little out of order. This method (frowned upon by some people) consists of folding whipped cream into a base (incorporating air, then freezing). Some might justify the short cut by calling the end product something else…like “frozen mousse.” (Note: this also makes it sound fancier…cowards and liars, all of them!) It’s not frozen mousse. I’ve had frozen mousse, and this is not it. It’s not quite Haagen Daz either—a little velvetier.

I’m not saying it’s better than churned ice cream…but it’s certainly as good.


1 can Sweetened condensed milk

2 cups (one whole pint of it…there’s something satisfying about using an entire carton of…) whipping cream

Mix ins

-if you’re making only one flavor, empty all of the sweetened condensed milk into a mixing bowl, and add your mix ins to the milk

-whip the cream

-fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture

Below are two flavor ideas:


“May Contain Nuts”

½ of above recipe

1 teaspoon Vanilla

5 tablespoons Peanut butter, divided

1 ½ teaspoons Oil

½ cup Yellow cake crumbs

  • Stir together 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter with the oil and set aside
Skippy is the *only* peanut butter. There is no other. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying.

Skippy is the *only* peanut butter. There is no other. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying.

  • Combine the ½ a can of sweetened condensed milk with the remaining peanut butter


  • Fold ½ of the ½ of whipped cream (that would be a quarter)into the peanut butter-milk mixture to lighten
  • Fold in remaining ½ of whipped cream and cake crumbs
  • Fill your container by layer: ice cream, peanut butter-oil mixture, swirl…ice cream, peanut butter-oil mixture, swirl…etc.


“Toda la Noche”

½ base recipe

2 tablespoons prepared espresso (you can do this the easy way by using instant espresso, or the hard way by making Cuban coffee….I did it the hard way)

  • Make Cuban coffee in cool Cuban espresso thingy

Said espresso thingy

  • Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Add 2 teaspoons Kahlua

2 ounces whipped cream cheese/1 ounce regular cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons Roasted, salted cashews, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons Dark chocolate, chopped

  • Combine the espresso and milk
  • Add a little of above mixture to cream cheese to make the transition easier (just give it time. It’ll change when it wants to change…or when you just add a little liquid)
  • Add the cream cheese mixture to milk mixture and incorporate
  • Add cashews and chocolate
  • Fold in ½ of the whipped cream to lighten, then fold in the rest

Freeze over night or 8 hours. Sorry. This will be painful. Lick the bowl…it helps.




2 thoughts on “System Hacked: Ice Cream

    • Sorry…the base recipe is 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 2 cups of whipping cream, whipped. So what I did was divide the sweetened condensed milk into two bowls, and then just eyeballed the whipped cream when I divided it in half.

      Sent from my iPad

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