dessert ice cream

no-churn raspberry chocolate chip ice cream

Friday, July 27, 2012
There are mornings, like everyone this weekend, where I open my eyes to a beautiful, sun-filled sky, only to turn on some sort of rectangular device and read sentence after sentence of misery and destruction and abuse and heartache. Then come those moments, moments where the world looks so bleak and hopeless, where the lurking arms of fear begin to grab for the thoughtful. The night then sets in, a darkness without stars, before the day even had a chance to prove itself.
So while the record in my mind is still spinning those dark tunes, I have to find a way to hum a new song, to change the album. I look around to see if there is still good walking among us, if there is beauty to be found. I turn off the rectangle and look to my hands. They have been idle, scrolling the time away. I put them to work. They will bake bread, they will whip cream. They will touch wood and leaf and skin. They will hold. They will build. They will pick berries, and wipe tears. They will beckon happily to the neighbor, to the wanderer, and offer what they have. Today I can just give you fragile cones filled with cold pink, but I give them to you freely. And as we bite in, together, desperate for joy in simple things, let us remember it’s only clouds that cover the stars, clouds that darken the sun. So let our hands be the wind: we will scatter the clouds apart, send them on their way. Then we will pick up our pens, gather our paper, and write new sentences for the world to read upon its waking.

no-churn raspberry chocolate chip ice cream
inspired by everyday food and cooks country

This ice cream was perfect – the raspberry flavor was sweetened by the condensed milk, but still just tart enough. A little bit goes along way – it’s very rich. I did not include the solids and seeds of the raspberries in my ice cream, but if seeds don’t bother you, adding them will just give this more flavor.

4 cups raspberries
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can [14 ounces] sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
bittersweet chocolate chunks [recipe follows]

Bring the raspberries, salt and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, mashing the berries slightly, until they have released their juices, about 5 minutes. Strain the berry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids [see note]. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, the strained, cooled, raspberry juice and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl of a standing mixer, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until combined. Add the bittersweet chocolate chunks, and gently stir in. Very gently fold the rest of the whipped cream in. Pour into a regular sized loaf pan, and freeze until firm, 6 hours [or, covered, up to 1 week].

bittersweet chocolate chunks
alice medrich, bittersweet

Melting the chocolate ruins the chocolate’s temper, and will keep the chocolate cold when frozen, but will then melt smooth and soft in your mouth. It’s worth the extra step. I would have been fine with just two ounces of chocolate in this ice cream – the raspberry flavor is so divine, but my husband insisted the whole 4 ounces was needed.

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Melt the chocolate [in the microwave or on the stovetop], stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm.
Once firm, chop the chocolate into whatever size chunks you desire [I liked mine pretty small].
  • Reply
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I know just what you mean and I think these same thoughts. It’s good to remember that just as darkness is real, so is light. And Sarah, this ice cream? Stunning. Definitely one of the bright spots in this day.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Friday, July 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Thank you Shanna. It’s been a little addicting for us, ha.

  • Reply
    Jenny @ BAKE
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! I am so glad I read this instead of the news, it brought a little sunshine into the morning!

  • Reply
    london bakes
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I think the only way to get through the darkness that this kind of tragedy carries with it is to focus on what is good and simple in life, like a scoop of ice cream or a conversation with a friend, and to really make the most of every moment that we have.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Friday, July 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      I agree. Even though it’s so removed from us, it still startles us as a culture, as people.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Mmm such a treat. Love this!

  • Reply
    la domestique
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Such beautiful words. I have a tendency toward moodiness, and when a dark mood falls upon me it is true that the only remedy seems to be to get moving- bake bread, stir a pot of soup, etc. Next time I will make this lovely ice cream.

  • Reply
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Guh, I feel like I say this all the time, but I’m so grateful for this space and its light (and your amazing ice cream).

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Friday, July 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you Laura. I love you stopping by. One day I’ll make you some ice cream. xo

  • Reply
    Yossy | apt2bbakingco
    Friday, July 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Beautiful words and beautiful photos, Sarah. That Alice Medrich is some kind of genius, I love her recipes and tips so much.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Friday, July 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you Yossy. I love Alice Medrich. Her cookbooks are treasures.

  • Reply
    Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 1:55 am

    After complaining all evening about being trapped on a broken-down train for three hours without ventilation, I come and read this and remember how silly I’ve been. How unimportant that was. And now I’m laughing about the whole thing. And I want ice cream. This ice cream. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Helene @ French Foodie Baby
    Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Beautiful writing, as always. When the mind gets carried away or brought down, nothing like the senses to bring you back to the present moment, the only thing that is real. That’s what cooking does for me… This ice cream sounds lovely, will have to give it a try.

  • Reply
    my little celebration
    Monday, July 30, 2012 at 2:59 am

    great little tip on the chocolate! and lovely photos and recipe per usual! still absolutely enamored with your site!

  • Reply
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    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 2:32 am

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  • Reply
    Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Hello. What a lovely, inspiring piece of writing – and a fantastic recipe! It’s very easy for me to become obsessed and sad about the state of the world, whilst paying little attention to beauty in the everyday situations. Sometimes I need to be reminded that there are good things out there too; thanks for doing that.

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