In the last month or so, I have seen this root beer float ice cream make an appearance on a few of my friend’s blogs. I finally decided that I had to make it, like now, but I didn’t have the root beer extract. I figured that would be easy enough to pick up at the grocery store, you know, by all the other extracts. SO WRONG! I went to Target, Dominick’s and Jewel. They didn’t have it. I asked my friends where they got it and they said Wal-Mart…so I went to Wal-Mart and you know what? No stinkin’ root beer extract. More determined now than ever, I thought maybe it was Super Wal-Mart. So, I went to one in the next town over, approached the baking section and scanned through the first shelf of extracts. None yet. I was getting anxious as I scanned the next shelf and stopped at ROOT BEER EXTRACT!! I was so excited. Funny how something so silly can make me so happy. :D Okay, I know last week I made pumpkin bread to celebrate fall and now, here I am making ice cream. WTH right? Well see, ice cream isn’t seasonal to me. I eat ice cream just about everyday, no matter how cold it is outside. And, here in Chicago, it gets pretty darn cold.
So, now that I finally had the extract, I pulled out the recipe and saw that it had 2 raw eggs. Boo. That’s why I should read recipes first. Now I was a bit nervous for the kids to eat it. Although, I’m not sure why. I have eaten tons of raw cookie dough, brownie and cake batters, you name it, I’ve eaten it….and I’m still here. Anyways, I decided it would be a good idea to make a cooked custard base. So, I went to the ice cream bible, The Perfect Scoop, and saw that his cooked recipe was almost the same as the original recipe, except for 6 yolks instead of 2 whole eggs and it added a vanilla bean. Well, vanilla bean is never a bad addition. The only problem with a cooked base is that you have to use a water bath and wait for it to cool. Nuts. Waiting to taste a new dessert is not my strong suit :D Once the base was chilled, I poured it into the ice cream maker and about 20 minutes later I had to taste it. I was promptly busted by the kids, so they each had to have a taste. They loved it! Alex kept circling me with his mouth open like a little baby bird. But really, what’s not to love here? A creamy frozen custard base with vanilla bean and root beer extract, creating the perfect all-in-one root beer float. Sometimes I have such high hopes for a recipe, and then I am let down by the results. Not this time….
Root Beer Float Ice Cream
1 cup (250mL) whole milk
¾ cup (150g) sugar
2 cups (500mL) heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon root beer extract I used Watkins
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the warmed milk and add in the used vanilla bean. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let the mixture sit to steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and set a fine mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the bowl of egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the entire mixture back into the saucepan. On medium heat, stir constantly with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer, into the bowl with the cream and stir. Pull the vanilla bean out of the strainer and put it back into the custard. Add the vanilla extract and root beer extract. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is completely chilled. Make sure to take out the vanilla bean before churning. Freeze the chilled base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most of the photos of this ice cream show it is brown in color. As you can see, mine was not. It was more of a creamy, light yellow. I’m guessing it was because of the extra egg yolks in my base or maybe a variance in the brand of root beer extract