This is a tale of two ice cream failures, which I eventually combined into one ice cream success.
When we lived in San Francisco, we liked to go on long, wandering city walks on the weekend, and once in a while we’d end up at the ice cream shop Humphry Slocombe. Although I tried other flavors, I always came back to their Secret Breakfast, which is bourbon-flavored ice cream with corn flakes. After we moved away, it was one of the things I missed about living in San Francisco, so I was excited when the owners of Humphry Slocombe came out with a book of their recipes. I borrowed it from the library and made a batch of the Secret Breakfast, following the recipe to a T, but something seemed wrong. The ice cream wouldn’t freeze, and even after I left it in the freezer overnight, it still didn’t set up. It turned out that the recipe called for twice as much bourbon as it should have, and the authors issued a correction. As for me, I just had to make twice as much ice cream to balance out the double dose of alcohol. So it wasn’t too bad of a fail in the end.
My own ice cream mishap, though, was worse. Much more recently, I decided to experiment with making coconut ice cream using canned coconut milk. Using a recipe I found online, I mixed up the coconut milk with sugar and vanilla, put it in my ice cream maker, and churned it. Everything seemed fine, until I went to test it the next day, and it was hard as a rock and icy. I think it’s still lurking somewhere in the back of my freezer, sad and uneaten.
I did a little research into coconut ice cream recipes, and realized that the very thing that had kept my secret breakfast ice cream from setting up (the alcohol), could be used to keep coconut ice cream from getting too hard. In other words, too soft ice cream + too hard ice cream = just right ice cream. And this coconut bourbon corn flake ice cream was born. The recipe is a bit time-consuming, because you’re actually making cookies, and then ice cream, and there are a couple of overnight waits in there, but it’s worth it in the end.
Coconut Bourbon Corn Flake Ice Cream
For the Corn Flake Cookies
Adapted from the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups corn flakes
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream the butter and sugars in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture slowly, beating until just incorporated. Fold in the corn flakes and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon golf-ball-sized cookies onto a baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake for 30 minutes, until dark brown and very crispy. Cool completely and chop into small pieces for the ice cream.
(You won’t need the entire batch of cookies for the ice cream, but you can freeze the remainder so they’re all ready to go for the next time you want to make this recipe. Or if you want to eat the cookies on their own, reduce the baking time to 11-13 minutes.)
For the Bourbon Coconut Ice Cream
Adapted from here.
1 13.5-ounce can (about 1 3/4 cup) coconut milk
1 14-ounce can (about 1 3/4 cup) coconut cream (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp bourbon
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups chopped Corn Flake Cookies
Combine the coconut milk, coconut cream, corn syrup, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat, and with an immersion blender, blend for 30 seconds, being careful not to spatter yourself with hot liquid. Alternately, transfer to a blender, cover very tightly (hold the lid in place if it doesn’t have clamps), and blend for 30 seconds. Stir in the vanilla extract and whiskey, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Right before the ice cream is done churning, add the chopped corn flake cookies and churn until they’re evenly distributed. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the freezer until ice cream is firm enough to scoop, at least 5 hours but preferably overnight.
*If you use raw sugar, and ice cream is vegan, but the cookies are not. An experienced vegan baker could adapt them, I’m sure.