Blenders are typically used to make smoothies, milkshakes and other liquid purees, but did you know that you can actually make ice cream in a blender in just a few seconds? No churning and no special equipment needed!
And while there are a lot of recipes out there for making ice cream in a blender, this one is easy, produces consistent results and doesn't require a ton of planning. Not to mention, the ingredient list is short: milk, heavy cream, nonfat milk powder, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and ice.
Milk and heavy cream are needed to give the ice cream richness and a velvety texture, while cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla all give the ice cream flavor. Ice freezes the mixture and thickens it. The nonfat milk powder — aka powdered milk — is the only unusual ingredient in the list and it plays an important role.
Did you know that most regular ice cream recipes don't use ice cubes or include added water?
That's because water can make an ice cream grainy and coarse, instead of smooth. A blender can smooth out the ice, but the milk powder adds the richness of extra dairy without adding any additional liquid to the ice cream. In short, the nonfat milk powder makes the ice cream feel richer and creamier, even though it is made using ice in a blender.
Have a little more free time on your hands?
You can always fill up an ice cube tray with milk and freeze it for about 12 hours before you plan to make your ice cream. The frozen milk cubes will enrich the ice cream in the same way that the milk powder does, making the finished product much creamier and far less icy.
Personally, I prefer not to make milk ice cubes. I figure if I'm going to use my blender to make ice cream, I want instant satisfaction and not a recipe that requires a lot of advance planning. And frankly, if you're going to plan that far in advance anyway, you may as well use a regular ice cream maker.
The finished ice cream has a strong bittersweet chocolate flavor, not unlike a fudgesicle. It will be scoopable, but a bit like soft-serve, when it is done "churning" in the blender. This texture is fine if you want to eat your ice cream out of a dish, though I recommend freezing it for about an hour if you want a firmer texture that is more suited to scooping in a cone
Once you have the basic chocolate recipe down, you can play around with other flavors. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Double Chocolate Peppermint Chip - Add 1 tsp peppermint extract and 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the blender along with the other ingredients.
- Chocolate Cherry - Add 1/2 cup frozen cherries to the blender along with the other ingredients.
- Chocolate Cookies n' Cream - Crush 8 Oreo-style cookies and stir into ice cream after it has blended. Freeze mixture for an hour for best results, as stirring in the cookies can melt the ice cream slightly.
Blender chocolate ice cream recipe
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounces (approximately 500g) ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend at low speed until ice is crushed, then blend at high speed until mixture is very thick and creamy. Serve immediately or, if firmer texture is desired, freeze for about 1 hour.
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