Saturday, February 6, 2021

Ice Cream Adventures: Cereal Milk

Tim loves watching food shows and one that caught his eye a while back was Chef’s Table, a Netflix documentary series which follows a different chef each episode. He urged me to watch Christina Tosi’s episode because he felt that it would resonant with my love of desserts and ice cream. 

I will give that the show was beautifully shot with lots of Instagram-worthy creations. It certainly inspired me to experiment more with different desserts. However, the main thing that captured my attention was Christina’s cereal milk soft serve ice cream. It was so highly touted that I was skeptical about whether it was truly as good as advertised. Since a visit to New York is unlikely to happen in the near future, Tim and I decided, last weekend, to attempt whipping up a batch of cereal milk ice cream ourselves. If you type in ‘cereal milk ice cream recipe’ into Google, you will discover just how popular Christina’s creation is: there are pages and pages of copycat recipes. Although there is an official cookbook from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar available at the library, I was unlikely to get it any time soon since I was sitting at position 21 on the hold list. So we decided that if it could not be authentic, then it could at least be simple which is how we settled on a recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen

It all starts with making the cereal milk base. We toasted the corn flakes to bring out the flavour and then poured it into the milk and cream. The mixture was left sitting in the fridge overnight to allow for a good steep. 

The next morning was when the doubts began. The soaked cereal was now a sludgy mass and there was an alarming paucity of liquid left to pour into the ice cream maker. We strained the mass; we pressed and coaxed as much liquid out as possible out. As we stared at the small volume, we debated whether we should veer from the recipe and add our usual egg yolks and cook the custard. Our previous egg-less attempts had been rather icy and so we were doubtful about the final texture. After stirring the mixture a few times and seeing how thick it already is, we decided to risk keeping things as is (Any more reduction and we would barely have anything left!) We tossed in the remaining ingredients then poured the custard into the ice cream maker. 

Freshly churned ice cream straight out of the maker has a wonderful fluffy texture that always satisfies - the true test would be after freezing it for several hours. 

We were greatly surprised with how soft and creamy the ice cream was! We both agreed that this was the closest that we had ever gotten to the scoopable-ness of store bought ice cream when taken straight out of the freezer (most of our other ice creams needed to thaw for at least 15 mins before we could easily scoop them). The flavour was delicious - I will conceded that this ice cream lives up to the hype. (Tim absolutely loves it!) The main downside to this recipe was that we only managed to yield a small batch. We will definitely be making this again! (And in a larger quantity too!) 

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