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Crank up the party

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Nothing on Earth tastes better than homemade ice cream.

It’s my favorite dessert and while I’ve made more than 40 varieties over the years, I keep coming back to my top two: a simple vanilla that doesn’t use eggs or require cooking and a delicious dark chocolate cinnamon ice cream that combines my favorite flavors.

If you’ve never made homemade ice cream, start with the vanilla.

You mix the ingredients, pour them in the ice cream maker and freeze. It’s that simple.

SIMPLY VANILLA ICE CREAM

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk (lighten fat by using 2 percent milk)
  • ¾ cup sugar (use Splenda to lighten the calories)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Whisk all ingredients together until sugar dissolves.

Pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

After the ice cream is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.

Garnish with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings or top with chunks of your favorite fruit or nuts.

Makes: 8 ½-cup servings.

DARK CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ICE CREAM

  • 1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 ounces chopped unsweetened dark chocolate

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.

Pour 1½ cups milk into a large saucepan. Add cocoa, cinnamon and chocolate to the milk. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil or the custard will curdle.

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining 1½ cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Makes: 8½-cup servings.

Nutrition per serving: 245 calories; 7 g fat; 89 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 2 g fiber; 106 mg sodium; 576 mg potassium.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at chaefner@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7551.

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