Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rice cream, Rice Cream, we all scream for Rice Cream!!! Ahhhhhhh!

I've had tofu ice cream before, but I had never tried ice cream made from rice.  As I am not vegan or lactose intolerant, I probably just missed it at the store.  While reading my new cookbook The Whole Scoop by Gail Damerow I became intrigued by the section on making ice cream from rice.  The book gives directions on how to make your own rice milk to use to make vegan ice cream.  The best part is being able to make ice cream from pantry staples.  No more, I want to make ice cream, but then I'd have to go to the store and buy cream.
The first step is to make rice milk, which is surprisingly easy.
To make rice milk you basically overcook some rice, I mean really really overcook.  Combine your rice and twice the amount of water you would normally use.  Cook until water is all absorbed. I started with 1 cup of white rice and 4 cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Let cool.
Then put your rice in a blender and add enough water to make a smooth creamy liquid. I ended up using 4 more cups of water. I ended up with about 2 quarts of thick creamy rice milk.  Originally I had planned on making one flavor, but ending up with half a gallon of rice milk changed that.
Next time I make rice milk I am going to use jasmine rice, as I prefer its flavor.
First up
Chocolate Banana
3 cups homemade rice milk
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbls sugar
2 smallish bananas
1/4 cup coco powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil

Blend all ingredients in blender, chill overnight. Freeze in ice cream maker of choice.
Chocolate Banana Rice Cream Freezing in Ice cream maker.




It turned out delicious!  The texture is amazing, smooth and creamy mouth feel.  The canola oil helps lend some richness to the rice cream.  The only downside was The chocolate element fell a little flat, I think coco powder needs dairy or maybe just more fat to reach its full potential.  Or maybe eating gourmet full cream ice cream has spoiled me a little.  This ice cream was the best straight out of the ice cream machine. The longer it spent in the freezer the weirder the texture became.






I decided for my next batch I wanted to use a flavor that suited rice better.  I chose pandan extract as the main flavor.  Pandan has a flavor reminiscent of jasmine rice, it is used in the same way as vanilla in many Asian cuisines.  Unfortunately the pandan paste I had on hand was liberally enhanced with green food coloring, making my ice cream a crazy green color.

Pandan Ice Cream
3 cups homemade rice milk
1 tsp pandan paste
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup sugar

Mix and freeze in ice cream maker.

I made this recipe no frills, no oil or fruit.  The flavor of the pandan ice cream was better than I had imagined.  Why isn't this a flavor demanded by the public?  The texture is smooth and creamy.  It is a little colder than traditional ice cream(probably the lack of fat).  This flavor held up better to long storage in the freezer. Like I said before the only downfall was the bright green color.  I have recently read online that fresh frozen pandan leaves are usually available at Asian markets.  I will check this out next time I go.
Overall I am very impressed with rice cream. It's so cheap to make it's practically free!  With one cup of dry rice I made two quarts of ice cream, and I still have enough left to make more!  Also it seems pretty healthy, I'm no nutritionist but rice is good for you and low in fat.  If you wanted to make it even healthier you could use brown rice.  So there's a couple of reasons to make this recipe even if you aren't vegan or lactose intolerant. 

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