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How To Make Ice Cream: The Sweet Cream Base

The place to start when making ice cream is with the Sweet Cream Base. It contains the basic ingredients for lots of recipes, and then you can add flavorings to make whatever you want.

 [1]

A great book to start with is Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book [2]. It’s filled with no-nonsense recipes that are easy to make, and taste fantastic. Their recipe for the Sweet Cream Base is a pretty common one, and I’ve used it enough times to have it memorized. I like recipes with eggs because I think they make a creamier, more custard-like texture, but see the second recipe below if you want to make an ice cream without eggs.

If you’re looking to duplicate your favorite super-premium ice cream, this is the one you’ll want:

Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Base #1

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

Makes about one quart.
19.1% butterfat.

The basic process:

A quicker way:

If the whole idea of cooking the mix just seems like too much work, you might see if you can find pasteurized eggs where you live. You’ll be able to skip the cooking completely, and can even combine all the ingredients using a blender. Take a look at my post about pasteurized eggs [6] for more info.

Or you can try Ben & Jerry’s second base recipe, which doesn’t use eggs, and therefore doesn’t require cooking.  They recommend eating it right away since it tends to turn icy in the freezer. Just mix everything together until the sugar is dissolved, and then continue with the instructions above starting with chilling the mix before churning it.

Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Base #2

2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup half-and-half

Makes about one quart.
22.0% butterfat.

So go make a batch and report back!