Peanut butter and brown butter join forces here for a nutty, deliciously creamy ice cream. Made using a simple and quick no churn method.
Have you made the peanut butter brown butter cake yet??? Guys, from now on, whenever there is peanut butter involved you absolutely must brown the butter. I said it before and will say it again; the ‘nuttiness’ of brown butter amplifies the pb taste in the most delicious way possible. In my mind, these two are now wed for life.
On my mission to make all things pb and bb, I also created an ice cream featuring this dynamic duo. This one is dead easy. I’m a big fan of quick & easy recipes these days because, a. I rarely have time to bake, and b. whenever I do, my 3 year old wants to be involved. Admittedly, baking and cooking are worthy activities for her to focus her (ahem, excess of) energy on.
Ok now if you do not want to attend my Ted Talk on ‘no churn ice cream’, feel free to skip ahead. But if you do want to nerd out with me…. (and your kids feel like a fun science lesson? lol)…
First let’s talk about why we usually need to ‘churn’ ice cream. I want you to imagine what it would be like to pour heavy cream into a bowl and then stick it in the freezer. It’ll freeze into an icy block. Now take an ice cream scoop to that. Quite the fight you’d have on your hands. It would not be creamy, at all, and essentially you now have “iced cream.”
So making good ice cream means getting the texture right. To accomplish this you need to get right balance of fat but more so, it means that the base (a custard or sorbet) is mixed under very cold temperatures to aerate the mixture and prevent ice crystals from forming; ie. “churning” it. This is what gives it its light, melts-on-the-tongue, smooth texture. Of course, not all of us own fancy machines, so we find ways to achieve this texture without them. My usual method is to use my kitchen-aid attachment; its a big bowl which needs to be frozen overnight. Once the liquid is frozen, you pour in your ice cream base and turn on the the mixer which moves it around until its frozen. That is how I make my roasted blueberry and my apple cider caramel ice cream. But honestly, these days I am really into into the quick sweet-tooth fixes (hi one yolk cookies!) and, well I don’t have any freezer space for the big bowl after all that stocking up! Plus, what if you don’t have any machine at all?
One way to achieve the smooth texture sans machine or attachment is a ‘no churn’ method like this one via Taste of Home. For these, you’ll add the mixture to a pan and move the base around every 30 minutes or so; essentially simulating what a machine would do (probably not as well though). Idk about you but I do not have the time or patience to give that method the dedication it demands. Luckily, it turns out there is another – easier and quicker – way!
The method we’ll use here is a no churn based with two main features: you’ll use an ingredient packed with all the right sugars and fats we need and whipping the heavy cream before it’s added to the base; essentially we are aerating it early.
Stop and scroll up to the top of this page – do you see how creamy and fluffy those scoops are? We did that without a machine, and that’s why this no churn is special. This isn’t a new method but it is one that I think has yet to achieve the popularity it deserves. I first stumbled upon it via this aptly titled ‘genius’ Nigella recipe from 2014 and have seen a few recreate the method since. For mine I used this FNK vanilla as a template, and got creative with the flavor.
You may ask why add butter to a base that already has heavy cream, but consider how butter pecan ice cream is made. Also well, you cannot brown cream to get that delicious taste! The brown butter peanut butter combination really shines here (very much like this buttercream) and it’s just heavenly.
One more thing: the chocolate. It’s not essential, but it if you like a bit of crunch (and chocolate!) it’s a wonderful addition. Instead of throwing in some chocolate chunks which would freeze solid and be difficult to bite into, you’ll melt it with some oil, then layer and swirl it through the ice cream base. The oil will keep it from completely solidifying so that it’s crisp, and the layering means you get thin strips it in every bite.
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