Wednesday, December 7, 2011

That's where the ice cream comes in

Cereal Milk Ice Cream
I've got deadlines to meet and a plane to catch. The end of an academic quarter is always a hectic time for me. I never start writing my papers quite soon enough. And when I do get started, it means days on end of staring at the same sentences and trying to make something of them. I don't mean to complain, exactly. Writing something, working out a view--it's definitely the most rewarding part of all this. I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. But all the writing and staring, being holed up in the apartment, it leaves me feeling goofy.
I try to fend it off by seeing other people--you know, human interaction. But most of the people I know are busy writing too. That's where the ice cream comes in. Even if you've got a dissertation to plan out, it's hard to say no when someone invites you over for home-made ice cream.
We ended up churning out a batch of the cereal milk ice cream from--you guessed it--the Milk Bar cookbook. I know, I've gotten a bit obsessive. I swear, I'll move on to something new soon. It's just that with the new ice-cream maker, it was something I had to try. You know, just to compare, figure out what I like best in an ice cream. I've mentioned a couple of ice creams that have come out of this kitchen recently, one custard-based and another that was all heavy cream. Tosi's cereal milk ice cream is different. No need for all that heavy cream, and no need to trouble yourself with tempering egg yolks. Gelatin and glucose are supposed to do the trick instead. I figured I'd find out for myself.
So what is there to say about cereal milk ice cream? It's brilliant but in a kind of understated way--milky, barely sweet, and pleasantly reminiscent of cornflakes--every bit like the milk you might find at the bottom of your cereal bowl once you've had the last bite. Some people leave that milk. Others relish it. If you're one of the latter, this is your ice cream. I wouldn't call it luxurious. Comforting is more like it.
Again, I've said enough already about Christina Tosi and Momofuku Milk Bar. I've declared my love. I just had to say something about this ice cream and snap a few shots with the new camera. I'll be back with something new to swoon over soon. Promise. (I'm packing Lucky Peach No. 2 for the trip home.)
Toasted cornflakes
You can find the recipe for cereal milk here (I'm sorry, but I've probably already posted one too many Milk Bar recipes). Previous Milk Bar madness from around here can be found here (apple-pie layer cake) and here (peanut butter cookies).


  1. i LOVE that leftover milk after a bowl of cereal. the recipe looks ridiculously easy too.
    really lovely pictures, katie.

  2. I love writing seminar papers and all that, but I also hate it. I love researching and working on one topic for a bit longer, but I hate the feeling of having to do it now. I don't feel like working, I would love to do something else, to just leave the house, and you just have to do it.
    I'd love to have a friend who invites me over for home-made ice cream, but looks like I have to take over that part with my friends, we're all busy at the moment, too.

  3. I'm the same way about papers. Always at least a little fun, always rewarding, but I just never start the damn things early enough. Good luck with finishing up yours, Katie!

    And by the way, I heartily approve of all this momofuku cookery. I don't know how I feel about normal cereal milk (sometimes drink it, sometimes don't), but I kind of want to try out steeping some cornflakes. It sounds exciting!

  4. Good luck Katie! I'm going to try to make this ice cream with my bare hands. And my freezer.

  5. Thanks, Zoe. To be honest, though, I'm not sure what you'll be able to do just with cereal milk on its own. The Milk Bar cookbook has recipes for the ice cream and a panna cotta that use cereal milk, if that's any help. I'm guessing that cereal milk might have a place in other milk-heavy desserts. Pudding, maybe? But I'm not sure.

    Lena, well, I'm glad to step into that role. If you're ever in Chicago, I'll churn you up a batch of ice cream too. :)

    Amy, good luck with your papers too. I've got one down...just two more to go. Because of the added sugar, cereal milk is definitely a little nicer than ordinary leftover cornflake milk. As I mentioned above, it's more of a component recipe than a standalone thing. I thought it was at least worth sharing as a technique.

    Thank you, Oana. I wish you luck. I'm guessing you caved and bought the cookbook? I'd like to know how it turns out. Maybe the glucose and gelatin will help prevent crystallisation, but from my understanding, fattier ice creams do better when you don't have a machine to do your churning. I don't think that swapping out some milk for cream would hurt in this case!