Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cheesecake Ice Cream and...vampires?!

These last few weeks have posed a bit of an ethical and vocational challenge for Beck and me.

See, it's been hot in NYC.  Like, really hot.  Record-breaking hot.  Be-glad-you-live-with-your-sister-and-can-therefore-hang-out-in-your-underwear hot.

Wait.  Not that kind of hot.  Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have gone there.
Anyway, with such high temperatures, it's either been turn the oven on and therefore the air conditioner too (thus consuming 200% our usual energy and feeling guilty for being such irresponsible citizens), or deny ourselves our passion of baking.

But just as we were running out of no-bake ideas, we remembered that we had an ice cream maker way up there in the cupboard behind the fridge - the cupboard that requires one to climb on a chair and move everything off the fridge in order to open it.

Suddenly, climbing on a chair and moving everything off the fridge sounded like a REALLY exciting afternoon activity. We've now made three batches of ice cream in about a week.
Ice cream making can be complicated (heating cream and sugar; tempering eggs yolks; straining said cream, sugar and eggs; chilling it; churning it), or it can be simple, where you throw everything in the food processor, chill it, and churn it.

This ice cream falls into the latter category.  It's not as "fluffy" as regular ice cream - it's more like eating really creamy, frozen cheesecake. Which is a-okay with me, because I swear that my DNA is programmed to hunger for cheesecake like a vampire thirsts for blood.

Wait a sec.  What's that?
That looks like...
OMG OMG OMG!  A vampire ate my ice cream!

Nah, I'm kidding.  But this raspberry sauce did remind me of Adam Rex's FAT VAMPIRE, a hilarious YA novel that Harper's Balzer + Bray imprint will publish at the end of July:

That cover is disgusting and genius at the same time, right?*

Whether or not you're a vampire, the ice cream, raspberry sauce, and sugar cone bowl are all really simple to make.  Best of all, the ice cream allows Becky and me to practice our passion without feeling like irresponsible citizens.  Now let's just pray the vampires don't come knocking at our door to collect some "raspberry sauce" of their own...


*Full disclosure: When not baking, I do work for HarperCollins.  FAT VAMPIRE will be available in hardcover, as an e-book, and as downloadable audio on July 27, 2010.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes about 3 cups (750 ml)

8 ounces cream cheese
1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

  1. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces.
  2. Zest the lemon directly into a food processor.
  3. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar, and salt. Puree until smooth.
  4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  5. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. (We have this Cuisanart, but any ice cream maker - even the old fashioned crank kind! - should do.)
  6. For ideal scooping texture at serving time, freeze churned ice cream for a few hours or overnight.
Notes: We didn't have a whole cup of sour cream, so we substituted in about 1/2 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt. We also used heavy whipping cream instead of half-and-half.  It turned out fine!

Smooth Raspberry Sauce
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 cup (250 ml)

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 water
A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Puree the raspberries in a blender or food processor with the the sugar and water until smooth.
  2. Press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
  3. Mix in the lemon juice. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Sugar Cone Bowls
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 6 cones

1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large egg whites)
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla, then add the salt and half of the flour.
  3. Mix in the melted butter.
  4. Beat in the rest of the flour until smooth.
  5. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the top half of the parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread into a smooth 6-inch diameter circle.
  6. Repeat step 5 above to make a second circle of batter on the bottom half of the baking sheet.
  7. Place cookie sheet in oven. Begin checking the cones after about 10 minutes (total bake time could be up to 15 minutes, depending on your oven.) When circles are deep and golden brown throughout, remove the baking sheet from the oven. It's ok if there are some lighter or darker spots, but most of the circle should be golden brown.
  8. Using a thin metal spatula and working quickly, immediately flip one disk over and onto the bottom of a small, upturned bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and press firmly to mold the cone over the bowl.
  9. Let the cone cool slightly on the bowl until it feels firm, then flip it off and onto a plate or cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 above with second disk. (If it's too firm, return the cookie sheet to the oven for a minute or two until it's pliable again.)
  11. Repeat steps 5-9 with rest of batter, making sure the cookie sheet cools between batches (or, use a second cookie sheet.) A warm cookie sheet will make the batter more difficult to spread.
Batter can be made up to four days in advance and stored in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before using. Baked and cooled sugar cone bowls can be stored in an airtight container until ready to serve, but are best on the same day they are baked.


  1. ice cream -- yum!!! hope y'all can make the next ice cream social, likely coming to you this fall

  2. Oh my, that looked yummy! I always get hungry when I visit your blog...haha! Miss you and becky!