Monday, April 17, 2006

Recipe: Lower Fat Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ice Cream

One of my favorite foods to make right now is ice cream. I am a serious ice cream/frozen yogurt addict and there is nothing more fun than making your own. In some ways, making homemade ice cream can seem a little unsatisfying. Buying all the ingredients is generally more expensive than just buying a quart from the store and the finished product may not always achieve a desired consistency after being in the freezer for more than a couple hours (especially when using lower fat ingredients). However, I love the creativity and experimentation involved and nothing tastes better than freshly churned ice cream made from all natural ingredients.

My latest creation was lower fat mint chocolate chip cheesecake. I adapted the recipe from Bruce Weinstein's The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. To cut down on the fat, I substituted 2% milk for the cream and used low fat cream cheese. This ice cream had a subtle slightly understated very sweet mint flavor which balanced perfectly with the slight tang from the cream cheese. While I was tempted to add more mint (I already added ¼ tsp more than the recipe called for), I'm glad that I restrained myself for it would have been too overpowering. The cream cheese not only helped in adding depth to the flavor but also in creating a smooth and silky consistency in the finished product. Update 4/18....this ice cream froze very well especially considering it had no cream in it; another benefit from the cream cheese. I also found the flavors to be more intense. This was a very good recipe, I would definitely make again and would also enjoy trying other flavors instead of mint.

Lower Fat Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ice Cream

1 cup sugar
4 oz. low-fat cream cheese
1 egg
¾ tsp peppermint extract
2 ¼ cup 2% milk (divided)
½ cup chocolate chips

Cream the sugar and low-fat cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Beat in the egg and peppermint extract. Set aside. In a small heavy pot over a medium flame, bring 1 cup of the milk to a boil. Slowly beat the warm milk into the cream cheese mixture. Return the cream cheese and milk to the pan and allow to thicken over a low heat stirring constantly. Add the remaining 1 ¼ cup of milk and continue to stir and heat until thickened slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from heat and chill covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or over night. Churn the mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add the chocolate chips towards the end of the churning process. The ice cream will be a little soft when done, but I always like to have some right away! Store in the freezer to eat later…super yum!!


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