One of my very favorite things in the world is ice cream. Well, frozen desserts to be honest – if it’s anything frozen and dessert like, I’m in. I remember the first time I went to Tickleberry’s in Okanagan Falls, BC and saw how many flavours they had (72!)… it was love at first sight. If you’re ever in the area, and like frozen things, you have to go! I remember we didn’t understand that the little pictures near the prices indicated how many scoops each size actually had. I mean, when you order a single, you imagine it’s one scoop, right? Wrong! It’s three! I actually ordered the “large”, thinking it was 4 scoops (6), and was so confused when they kept asking me to choose more flavours! It came in a little bucket!
So for me, one of the saddest things about having to leave my Kitchenaid mixer in Canada, was the lack of the ice cream attachment. It’s kind of hard to make my own ice cream without one 😉
Enter the no-churn ice cream method! Now, I experimented with this a little last summer, with my No-churn Piña Colada ice cream and the No-churn Strawberries + Cream. But the big problem I have, is that almost all no-churn recipes out there use only double cream and condensed milk. And that, my friends, tastes as rich and heavy as it sounds! It’s waaaay too rich with only double cream, but it’s the only way to whip the mix prior to freezing. You dilute the fat content too much with milk, etc. and not only will it not whip up thick before freezing, but it may even separate in the freezer – ending up with a layer of soft cream on top, and hard frozen milk below.
So I tried experimenting with some old recipes (that I had made before I got an ice cream maker) – but ended up with the problems described above. That’s when I saw a little video on Pinterest, of a recipe from Co-Op. It was a Balsamic Strawberries + Cream no-churn recipe, that used an ingredient I hadn’t considered before – yogurt! I mean, I use it to make popsicles, but never thought to try and use it in my ice cream mix. So, I made a small batch, with no strawberry or anything in it, just to see what the base flavour tasted like. And it was nice! I mean, you could definitely taste the yogurt, but it wasn’t as rich and heavy, while still being soft. I figured that if you added a strong enough flavour to it, the slight tangy yogurt taste would fade to the background, or you might not even notice it at all!
Which brings me around to this recipe! (Finally, right?)
Richard’s favorite ice cream in the world is Pooh-Bear (now called “Poor Bear” because of some Disney legal woes) from Maud’s Ice Cream in Northern Ireland. It’s literally one of his first stops after getting off the plane in Belfast. It’s a vanilla ice cream with chunks of honeycomb, which partially melt in, creating little ribbons of caramel and crunchy bits. And ever since I started playing around with ice cream recipes – I knew I’d have to make it for him.
Quick note – when I first heard him talking about “honeycomb” ice cream, I thought he meant real pieces of honeycomb from a hive. I thought it was a weird ice cream inclusion, as you’d end up eating beeswax. See, honeycomb in the UK is what we call “sea foam” or “sponge toffee” in Canada. It’s what’s in the middle of a Crunchie bar! It’s also been known as cinder toffee in certain parts as well.
Honeycomb may sound a bit hard to make, but it’s really not. And it’s kind of awesome to make too! I’ve got the recipe here. It’ll make a bit more than you need for this recipe, but you can use the extra for garnish, or you can coat them in chocolate for homemade crunchie bites! (And if making your own honeycomb seems like too much work, you could always break up crunchie bars!) Of course, I thought that just honeycomb ice cream felt a bit boring, so I decided to add some swirls of melted chocolate, so that you’d end up with little flakes when you scoop it. Richard wishes I hadn’t, so any future batches will stick to the traditional pooh-bear taste. The choice is yours!
And as for our verdict on the yogurt taste? Well, I asked Richard to try it without telling him, and he couldn’t detect it right away. I could taste it, but in all fairness, I was looking for it. The honeycomb taste is strong enough to mask alot of the yogurt flavour, but not all. Oh, and I even used zero-fat greek yogurt for half the amount! It still whipped up just fine! (I just used a mix of what I had on hand – but it seemed to make no difference). Maybe even choose a yogurt with a subtle flavour? I didn’t taste mine before using, and perhaps there would be one that doesn’t taste so yogurt-y?
So if you’re looking to make something a little different, and don’t have an ice cream mixer – definitely try this one! It’ll have a subtle yogurt taste, but won’t be as rich as other no-churn recipes out there. Why not give it a shot?
- 325g double cream (whipping)
- 225g greek-style yogurt*
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract/bean paste
- 80-100g honeycomb**
- 60g chocolate chips
- In a large ziplock bag, break up the honeycomb into little bite size pieces, set aside
- Place the chocolate chips in a small ziplock bag, and melt in the microwave using short bursts of 30-60 seconds, set aside
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, whip together the cream, yogurt, vanilla and condensed milk until thick. It'll whip slower than just double cream, but eventually will get quite thick
- Fold in the honeycomb pieces, and scoop 1/3 of the mixture into a large loaf pan (or suitable sized container)
- Snip off a small corner of the chocolate bag, and pipe some ribbons of chocolate on the first layer. Repeat two more times
- If desired, add some honeycomb pieces on top. Cover with cling film and put into the freezer (make sure it's level)
- Allow to freeze for at least 6 hours before serving
* Feel free to use full fat, or reduced fat yogurt ** I used 80g with the chocolate ribbons, but I would increase to 100g if making without