When I was a kid approximately one million years ago, my parents gave me a Donvier ice cream maker. When we moved back to California four years ago, my mom revealed that she had been hanging on to it all this time, and gave it back to us; I promptly put it in the bottom of the freezer and forgot about it.
You’ve probably seen this type of ice cream maker, which has a bowl that you freeze for 24 hours and then use to chill and churn your mixture. I remember being super disappointed as a kid, because despite cranking the handle furiously, I didn’t immediately get perfect scoopable ice cream. Remarkably, however, my mom managed to save the instruction booklet that came with the machine, and when I, you know, actually READ the directions thirty years on, I understood that you need to just turn the handle once every few minutes, and when the mixture is thick but not solid, decant it to a separate container to freeze to the right consistency. Armed with this knowledge and the lowered expectations of middle age, I have made some really great ice cream.
Because you don’t churn a lot of air into it, the ice cream is very creamy. My one failure was when I made a rice pudding and tried to freeze that – it was so thick I could barely turn the crank! But I have overwhelmingly relied on the recipes in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, and have had amazing results. Jeni Britton Bauer’s basic method uses cream cheese and no eggs, and the flavors she thinks up are so unexpected and delicious.
I wanted to come up with a Central European riff on her technique, and was inspired by miláčik for the base, with a swirl of chocolate and crispy wafers in homage to our beloved Tatranky and Mila snacks.
The directions here are what works well for our little Donvier. It can’t hold a full recipe so I have to churn it in batches, but it stays cold enough. Adding chocolate drizzle directly into the maker has never been successful, so I’ve taken to layering it in the freezer container. Just be patient, because the ice cream really isn’t at its best until it’s had a good 4-6 hours to firm up in the freezer.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs light corn syrup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups wafer cookies (I used Loacker hazelnut flavor), chopped
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 Tbs milk or more as needed
- Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add a splash of the 2 cups of milk to moisten and make a paste.
- Put the cream cheese and salt in a large bowl, and set aside.
- Heat the remaining milk with the sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil; boil for 4 minutes taking care to stir from time to time.
- Stir in the cornstarch mixture and whisk smooth; return to a boil for another minute or so, or until slightly thickened.
- Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese, and whisk until smooth (I sometimes find an immersion mixer is helpful). Stir in the sour cream.
- At this point, I prefer to just allow the mixture to cool in the bowl in the fridge overnight. Jeni Britton Bauer's instructions call for pouring the mixture into a Ziploc bag and cooling it in an ice bath, but whatever time I've saved that way I've regretted, since it's messy and I wonder about the wisdom of having hot liquids against the plastic. The main thing is, you want the base to be really cold before you put it in your ice cream maker, so whatever method you prefer, make sure it's fully chilled when you start to churn.
- Pour the base mixture into the frozen canister and churn until thick and creamy.
- While you're churning, melt the chocolate chips either in the microwave or on a double boiler on the stove. Stir in the tablespoon of milk to get it to a drippy consistency.
- When the base has reached the consistency of soft serve, layer the ice cream: put about 1/3 of the mixture at the bottom of your storage container. Drizzle about 1/3 of the chocolate sauce over the top, and sprinkle a third of the chopped wafers. Spread half the remaining ice cream over the top, and repeat the drizzling and sprinkling. Spread the final portion of ice cream and toppings, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper against the surface, seal with a lid and put in the freezer.
- Allow the ice cream to freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home