GUEST BLOG /WestCoastersd.com and Brian Hernandez--
Before summer disappears let’s take time to make ice cream with beer. The Curious Creamery (thecuriouscreamery.com) has come out with a new product that will allow the brew adventurers among us to make ice cream using beer.
What’s cool is the Curious Creamery system eliminates the need for an ice-cream machine. No outlay of cash for a machine destined to be rarely used, no freezing of cylinders, no loud churning ruckus. That is a good thing. All an aspiring ice cream conjurer has to do is go to the store and buy this mix, which comes packaged in containers that, once opened, can be filled with the finished product.
The only things you need once the mix has been procured is your beverage of choice and one of the following: an electric stand-mixer such as a Kitchen Aid, an electric hand-mixer or an electric stick-whisk. Alas, the electronic part of this adventure maybe the only downfall of Curious Creamery’s invention, but even with the aforementioned devices set on high, it required nearly 10 minutes to churn the ice cream. A hand-whisk and human musculature simply can’t replicate that effort and get the necessary volume-enhancing air beat into the mixture.
Once the beer and powder mix are blended, the resulting custardy concoction goes straight to the freezer to let the mixture firm-up to the consistency of traditional ice cream. This takes two to seven hours. If you want to toss in some mix-ins like fruit, cookie-dough chunks or chocolate chips, fold those in about halfway through the freezing process, lest they sink to the bottom. It really is just that simple and produces some pretty tasty dessert fare.
At West Coaster Craft Beer Magazine, I made a couple of batches using the Curious Creamery mix; one with AleSmith Speedway Stout and chocolate chips and another with Benchmark Brown Ale. The Speedway version didn’t work all that well, and it had everything to do with its 12% ABV; the alcohol doesn’t freeze and the ice cream wasn’t able to support the heavier mix-ins. The boozy flavor was unappealing as well. Curious Creamery actually recommends diluting beer that’s more than 6.5% ABV by 50% using a non-alcoholic beverage, so I can’t say they didn’t warn us, but it had to be tried.
But if you go with something that is plenty flavorful, yet lower in octane, like Benchmark’s 4.5% Brown, you’ll get the results Curious Creamery intended, and that’s something that’s rather good and relatively easy.
Basic Beer Ice Cream
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
¾ cup beer (less than 6.5% alcohol-by-volume)
1 packet Curious Creamery Ice Cream Mix
Ensure that your freezer is adjusted to its lowest setting. Insert the whisk attachment to your mixer and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Insert into mixer. Combine the beer and ice cream mix in the tub the mix came in or a freezer-safe container (if using a stand-mixer, see separate set of directions below). Place the whisks of the mixer in the tub and gently move them around to moisten the powder in the liquid. Turn the mixer on low and mix for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer to high and mix until the liquid thickens, increasing in volume and becoming creamy and wavy, 3 to 7 minutes. Seal the container and place on the lowest shelf of your freezer. Let freeze until firm, 5 to 7 hours. Serve or store, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.
Stand Mixer Directions
Place 2 packets of ice cream mix and 1½ cups of beer in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and mix until the liquid thickens, increasing in volume and becoming creamy and wavy, 3 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the tub the mix came in or a freezer-safe container, seal and place on the lowest shelf of your freezer. Let freeze until firm, 5 to 7 hours. Serve or store, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.
For a list of retailers contact (thecuriouscreamery.com).