Hiya pals! How was everyone’s week? I am happy to say I am officially on fall break for the week and what better way to celebrate that with a new ice cream?
I really enjoyed the format of the last post, it helped to corral my scattered thoughts. So until I decide otherwise, they will be in formal report form.
Sunbutter is a relatively new nut butter to me. But as you all know, sunflowers are my favorite flower. So their butter must be good too right? This was my actual thought process when I first had it.
It has a similar consistency to peanut butter, because duh, they are nut butters. But the taste is very different. It tastes, to me at least, like smiles. Peanut butter is like a snuggly blanket but sunbutter is like a smile when you win a book.
Speaking of which, I won a book! I listen to this amazing podcast by Adam Yee called My Food Job Rocks and I randomly won the book Ingredient by Ali Bouzari by subscribing to their email list. It is a chem nerd’s dream, organized by macromolecule. Thanks to Adam and his awesome, inspiring podcast.
Back to the important stuff: ice cream. I bet you’ve never seen or tasted a sunbutter ice cream. Well, it was for that exact reason that I decided to make it. Peanut butter and cookie dough is a modern classic combo, so why shouldn’t sunbutter squeeze in on that party?
And if that wasn’t enough, I decided to try my first attempt at straciatella. I had learned about this technique through Max at Serious Eats and have been dying to make it. Finally, it has made its way into an ice cream, in dark chocolate fudge form.
This ice cream was simple to make, relatively speaking. I spaced it out over three days. But the base didn’t require any tempering, so it was basically a breeze.
The reason that eggs aren’t needed is because the sunbutter acts as a stabilizer/ glue for the ice cream. To do this ice cream as a custard would make it too thick and practically unscoopable.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure:
First night’s task was to make the cookie dough log. I’ve made this quite a few times in previous flavors (Not Your Sister’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Brownies with Low Morals Ice Cream). This recipe has become a staple for me because it is really simple and because it looks so cool when you slice it.
The next night I made the dark chocolate fudge. When I was researching this recipe, I couldn’t decide between three. So, like the engineer I am, I made a spreadsheet to compare the three and compile them. It was a fairly intensive process to make, especially because it required a double broiler mechanism. Well, shoot, I guess I happened to forget to bring that to college with me. So my salad bowl and a saucepan will have to do!
The fudge also called for light corn syrup, and when I went to the store, I got the cheapest one I could (I’m a college student after all). It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it was Guaranteed Value light corn syrup. All my fellow ChemEs will groan when they read that. I just handed in a 30 page report to find the viscosity of that exact corn syrup. So, just in case you are curious, it is 35 Poise. If you wanna read the report, let me know. I’d be more than happy to send it to you to read at your leisure.
Finally came the ice cream! This was the simplest part believe it or not. Just combine the sunbutter and cream and cream it up! Then throw it into the ice cream maker and let it spin away! No waiting activity needed here!
Right before it was finished, I dripped warmed fudge sauce into the ice cream and let it churn. When it meets the frozen ice cream, it forms into small flakey chips. Then once I took it out, I mixed in cookie dough chunks, sunflower seeds and layered it with some more fudge sauce.
I was pretty surprised that the straciatella method worked for me. I was expecting it just to blend into the ice cream and turn it a dark brown. But it made it look beautifully speckled, like a little bird egg. The whole process of adding mix-ins and filling pints is getting significantly less stressful as I make more ice cream.
I would like to make a distinction between some terms, if I may friends. From here on out, when I refer to an ice cream as “pintable“, that means it would be good to eat in large quantities. When its “spoonable“, it is best eaten in little spoonfuls as you happen to be passing the freezer.
With that out of the way, this ice cream is definitely pintable! It is delicious and easy to just dish on out and devour. The cookie dough doesn’t get teeth-shatteringly hard. It is different that a peanut butter base in one main way. I find sunbutter to be more sticky. Think of a dog eating peanut butter and how they will be licking the roof of their mouths for a while. That is how sunbutter is to humans. Much stickier. I think that translates slightly into this ice cream.
I’d recommend Sunny Dispositions to any peanut butter lovers (or non pb lovers) looking for their next favorite flavor. Also, thank you to my creative branding team (my mom) for coming up with this flavor.
How can you be anything but happy when eating ice cream? It’s always good to bring a little sunny spot to your day, even it is a pint in sweatpants after a breakup.
Ready pals? Fun fact time! Did you know that I ride horses? I’ve ridden since I was a cooked-toothed awkward little sixth grader. I have ridden and made some great connections with some horses in my years. My all time favorite horse was a mare named Missy. She was an older white Appaloosa, and I lived for the Wednesday nights when I would have my lessons. Sometimes we would go for a trail ride, which was like every horse computer game I had, but a million times better. Since then, I’ve switched from riding English style to Western. Horses are one of my favorite animals and I look forward to the day when I own a piece of property and buy a horse of my own. Have I chosen a name for her, you ask? How funny, yes! Her name will be Sassafras, but I’ll just called her Sassy. Just like me!
Have a great weekend everyone! Eat some ice cream, because it never goes out of season!
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