Something that I actually don’t do often, despite it consistently being delicious and easy to do, is make ice cream. The best part is that when I make ice cream, I have the chance to use the best vanilla on the planet to make it!
Ice cream sounds hard to make (and it is, if you don’t have an ice cream maker), but I have a simple, Cuisinart ice cream maker I picked up from Sur la Table years ago that lives in my basement for when we get the urge for the taste of some great homemade ice cream.
Just a few easy-to-keep-on-hand ingredients is all you need for a vanilla base: heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, salt, and the star: vanilla. I use Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste in not only my ice cream, but anything requiring vanilla.
It is 100% worth the expense. I have been a vanilla snob since the day I first tried this stuff. Seriously, it’s that good. (I actually wrote this to let you know about the vanilla bean paste more than the ice cream)! Anyway, vanilla is a great ice cream flavor to start with since it requires so few ingredients and you can add so many things to it to make it even more amazing — edible cookie dough, pieces of cookies/brownies, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, chocolate chips, hot fudge, caramel. The possibilities are only limited by what you have on hand! When you have great vanilla, you have a great base, and whatever you add to it (or not) will make a mouthwatering ice cream.