Monday, May 5, 2008

Nutella and peanut butter ice cream (with pretzel bits)

I bought my first jar of Nutella in quite some time recently after realizing the bread I had bought for tuna salad/cucumber/squash sandwiches (sadly lost in the refrigerator debacle) needed to be re-purposed for room temperature applications.

As I mentioned a while back, I've decided that I need try unusual recipes from cookbooks for a while to pick up techniques and possibilities for my own purposes. Peanut butter ice cream was on my list as, like banana ice cream, the main flavoring also has thickening and structural roles. Putting that together with the half-a-jar of Nutella that usually sits neglected in my pantry after I get sick of Nutella sandwiches (or run out of appropriate bread), gave me the idea of a Nutella and peanut butter ice cream.

Google doesn't turn up any pre-existing recipes for such a thing, but there were plenty of peanut butter recipes to sort through. I didn't get far into that process before it occurred to me to search out Nutella ice cream recipes. I only found two and I was intrigued by this one which consists of a cup and a half of Nutella, a cup and a half of evaporated milk and that's it. The creator, Clotilde Dusoulier, found her first try too sweet and toned it down by using an all-natural organic knock off. I followed suit by switching out half the Nutella for natural, unsweetened peanut butter. Other than that I just added a dash of vanilla and a bit of salt and I was done.

I mixed in a large handful of pretzel nuggets (chopped in half) too, but they got a bit soggy so I can't recommend that. Maybe those really thin pretzel sticks would hold up better. Alternatively, you could mix in slices of frozen banana. I was tempted by that idea, but I want to find out what happens when I use all peanut butter and swap out the evaporated milk for coconut milk and I'm saving the banana for that. I'm torn over whether a dash of curry powder is going to make or break that recipe. Well, only one way to find out.

Hmm, I just did a quick search and discovered that you can buy commercially manufactured coconut curry ice cream (if you live in Luxembourg, anyway). At least theirs doesn't have any peanuts in it.

Anyway, back to the Nutella and peanut butter ice cream. It turned out like a dense rich premium ice cream. The fat in the Nutella and peanut butter must have compensated for the lack of it in the evaporated milk. It's somewhat healthier fats though. The flavors are Nutella and peanut butter, no surprises there, but nothing wrong there either. Some of my coworkers were quite excited about the idea of this ice cream; I wonder how they'll react to the reality. (The color balance in my picture of the final result went wonky and it ended up looking unappetizingly yellow. I'll try again tomorrow.)

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