Monday, November 14, 2011

I Scream!!

I scream,
You scream,
We all scream
          Ais Krim

Did you know that you can speak Malay? "Ais Krim" is the Malay word for "ice cream." Both phrases are pronounced exactly the same way.

Penang is the land of perpetual summer. Every day feels like a hot, humid July morning in Houston. Cooling off with a scoop of ice cream always seems like a good idea.

Anyways, store bought ice cream is — how shall I put it? — really, really bad here in Malaysia. Sure, you can go out for Baskin Robbins and Haagen Dazs, but most of the stuff at the grocery store is simply awful or ridiculously expensive. A pint of Haagen Dazs costs about US$10. With my family of five, we would demolish that in one sitting.

Affordable but yucky

For a while, I kept trying different brands, figuring that one of them had to be decent. The flavors always seem off unless I go with something purposely artificial like Cotton Candy ice cream. The mouthfeel is usually waxy and greasy. (Those two words never seem to pop up in ice cream ads.) When I looked at the ingredients, almost all of them have some sort of fat such as palm oil as a primary ingredient. You know, because lactating cows are great sources of palm oil.

The worst offender has to be Cremo from Thailand. I scooped it into a bowl and left it out on my 86F balcony.
Freshly scooped

Unchanged after 12 minutes in the heat. How is that possible?

4 hours later - Solids sitting in a yellowish puddle. Ewwwww!

That's a little scary if you ask me. I guess that's what happens when Water is the first ingredient on the list.

Luckily, someone clued me in to the horrible situation before I moved over here, and I made sure to include an ice cream maker in my sea shipment. This person also claimed that bringing homemade ice cream to parties would increase my social standing, but none of it has made it out of the apartment so far. As soon as my shipment arrived, I got it cranking.

First up was the custard-based Vanilla Ice Cream by Alton Brown utilizing the vanilla beans I had scored during my visit to the Tropical Spice Garden. Half-and-half is non-existent here, so I had to figure out a good sub for it (equal portions partly skimmed milk and heavy whipping cream, if you're interested). After I found pasteurized eggs, I started going through my Ben & Jerry's recipes. The lack of unsweetened chocolate on the island sent me perusing the internet for a good Chocolate Ice Cream recipe that called for unsweetened cocoa powder which is readily available.

Fast forward to last week, when I found myself with an hour to kill before picking up the kids from school. I remembered that I had brought along a tin of Godiva Chocolatier Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix from the Starbucks at Barnes and Noble when I moved. (If this had existed when Ma Ingalls left the Big Woods for the prairie, she would have made room for it in the wagon.) Wouldn't that make best Chocolate Ice Cream EVER??? This is what happens when I get bored. Some people dedicate themselves to Occupying Wall Street. I spend my time obsessing about ice cream.

Godiva Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
(Ais Krim Coklat Hitam Godiva)

⅔ cup Godiva Chocolatier Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix*
⅓ cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten
2⅔ cups heavy whipping cream**
 ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I recommend Guittard)

In a large bowl, stir together cocoa mix and sugar. Add cream a little at a time while whisking. Add in beaten egg yolks and whisk until everything is well combined.

Pour into frozen ice cream maker canister and follow manufacturer's directions.

While mixture is churning, chop chocolate chips into smaller pieces. When ice cream is finished churning, transfer it into storage container and mix in the chopped chocolate chips. Allow ice cream to harden in the freezer.

* If you're one of those rare people who don't have a tin of Godiva Cocoa Mix handy, use ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa and increase the sugar to ⅔ cup total.

** Do you want to make this ice cream less awesome artery-clogging rich? Use ⅔ cup whole milk and only 2 cups heaving whipping cream.

Mom's-in-a-Good-Mood suggestion: Bake chocolate chip cookies and make an ice cream sandwich with this concoction. Heaven!


  1. We just had our first experience with local ice cream. Just gross. I think we'll be sticking with Ben and Jerry's when we get desperate. I sold my Cuisinart ice cream maker before we left....I should have kept it.


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