Cool off! Make ice cream in a bag

I did this when the kids were little. Recently my younger son did it with his friend as part of extra credit in their high school honors chemistry class. Making ice cream for honors chemistry, not an elementary class experiment? Might be a commentary on the sad state of our modern education system. :roll_eyes:

Anyway, the kids didn’t have much success-- their ice cream never froze properly. Either they used too much heavy cream or didn’t ‘churn’ the ice cream enough. But there was heavy cream left over and it was a hot evening, so I tried my hand at my own chocolate ice cream last night. Here’s exactly what I did:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tblsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tblspn cocoa powder
  1. Add sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Whisk together in small bowl while slowly adding cream / milk mix little by little.
  2. Pour mixture into quart size ziplock freezer bag. get as much air out as possible and seal tightly.
  3. Put quart bag into gallon size ziplock freezer bag. Add a lot of ice and a good amount of kosher salt. Seal top tightly and shake, massage and churn for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove quart bag when mix is frozen, carefully so that salty melted ice from outside bag doesn’t get in it. Remove ice cream into a bowl. Enjoy!

It was very good ice cream! As a bonus, it was nice and cooling to do the shaking / massaging with the bag of ice and salt in my lap. It gets awful cold, so I had it wrapped in a towel and in a popcorn bowl. Since it will be 97 today, I have just enough ingredients to enjoy making another batch tonight. Consider this a public service announcement during this heat wave over much of the U.S. :wink:

Intriguing. I have all those ingredients…

I’ve seen the exact same technique described (with different ingredients of course) for making home-made slushies - technically easier, since you don’t want or need it to set up nearly as firmly, and, lacking fat, it happens faster.

I’d consider it with current temperatures being what they were in the heat dome, but my blender handles crushing ice just fine for half-assed frozen mojitos and the like.

That’s actually a good idea though for making frozen margaritas without having to dilute with too much ice in a blender. It couldn’t be too alcoholic of course, or it wouldn’t turn slushy enough, but you could control the non-alcoholic ingredients better-- maybe using some high-quality limeade made from fresh lime juice, water and simple syrup. Hmmm…

Check this out! I devised it a few years back because I had the same idea after reading “Liquid Intelligence” by Dave Arnold. Basically the trick is balancing the sugar, alcohol and water to get the slushy consistency.

(it’s a spreadsheet that calculates stuff for you)

Thanks bump! I downloaded and checked it out, and it looks pretty genius. Will try this Summer.

Feel free to DM me if you have any questions!

The main tricky part is having a cold enough freezer.

Liquid nitrogen ice cream is so much more fun, especially if you’re making it in chemistry class.

We have our scouts do this at camp, but put the bag in a metal coffee can and pack rock salt around it. They then spend 20 minutes (gently) kicking the can between each other to churn the ice cream. The hardest thing is to keep the salt out of the finished product.

That’s how I was taught to do it as a kid.

My contribution to the public service announcement is somewhat tangential to this. I don’t make my own ice cream (I go with Haggen-Dazs vanilla) but a terrific complement to a rich vanilla ice cream is fresh sliced strawberries and a few other fruits if one feels like it. My particular speciality is about three scoops of vanilla Haagen-Dazs, about a dozen sliced sweet strawberries, some blueberries, and a couple of sliced raspberries. Few desserts are as luscious and refreshing on a hot day. There is something about the aroma of freshly sliced strawberries that is so compatible with creamy vanilla ice cream.