The Ripple Effect

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream
When I was a kid my mom only bought the store brand ice cream. Not that we knew any better—in fact, I don't think there was much of a market for gourmet ice cream back then. Now, however, when it comes to the ice cream market at my local grocery, times have definitely changed, and I can't say it's for the best.

Of course I'm all for progress and on the surface, all the new flavors sound pretty darn good. I mean, really, is there anyone who wouldn't enjoy sitting down to a heaping bowl of Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint™ ice cream?

Growing up, the store flavors weren't quite as fancy or loaded with ingredients, but there was one that was my all time favorite—Ripple ice cream. In the summer, the freezers would be stocked with blackberry ripple and there was always the tried and true chocolate ripple. Not only was the ice cream really good, but the respective bands of blackberry or chocolate ripple were dense and the blocks of ice cream deeply veined with sugary goodness.

The best part was always the 'secret mining expeditions' that I embarked on once the rest of the family was tucked in for the night. I would carve through the container, spooning up just enough of the ripple to satisfy my craving, but careful to leave enough behind so no one would really notice. I never felt guilty either, even when my mom would lament the 'skimpy' proportions of ripple to ice cream. I never even flinched when she'd threaten to write them a letter and give them a piece of her mind.

Now that I've figured out the secret to making my own ripple ice cream, I can make the bands of ripple as loaded and thick as I want, which I do, which liberates me from having to sneak around in the middle of the night.

Ripple Ice Cream: Two Versions

Basic Ice Cream Recipe

1 can of condensed milk
1 cup of buttermilk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 pint of heavy cream

1. Mix together condensed milk, buttermilk and vanilla in a large glass jar. With the lid on, shake to mix thoroughly.
2. Place jar in the freezer for 4-5 hours until just beginning to freeze up. Remove from freezer.
3. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and add heavy cream; stir to combine.
4. Churn for 45 minutes to an hour until frozen and at the soft-serve stage.
5. Pour into a loaf pan and freeze until firm.

Blackberry Ripple

2 pints of fresh blackberries
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of corn syrup

1. In a small non-reactive saucepan, cook blackberries, sugar and corn syrup until the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Reduce temperature and continue to cook until berries are mushy and begin to whiten slightly.
3. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
4. Push berries through a fine mesh sieve.
5. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Chocolate Ripple

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup of corn syrup
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla

1. In a small sauce pan, whisk together sugar, water, corn syrup and cocoa powder.
2. Bring to a boil and add unsweetened chocolate; whisk to combine.
3. Bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes.
4. Turn off heat and whisk in vanilla (mixture will rise and bubble at this point, so be careful).
5. Refrigerate until cooled completely.

To Assemble Ice Cream

In a clean pint sized container, layer ice cream and choice of ripple, packing down between layers. End with a layer of ice cream. Freeze until firm (2-3 hours before serving).

If you would like extra pizzaz, add chopped nuts or chopped chocolate to the ripple. I like to add finely minced white chocolate to my blackberry ripple.


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