It’s no secret that I’m a lover of ice cream. If there’s ice cream in the house, I will eat it. I will eat it every day until it is gone. I am actually eating a bowl of ice cream right now while I am typing this post. Vanilla ice cream with some chocolate covered peanuts tossed in for good measure.
One of my favorite kitchen “gadgets” is my ice cream maker. But is it worth it to make your own ice cream instead of just buying it at the store? We decided to make that the focus of our next showdown!
Test #1: Fudge Swirl
Our first taste test was to put a store brand tub of fudge ripple ice cream against homemade. At the time, I was still developing my fudge ripple ice cream recipe. I was happy with the base ice cream recipe, but was trying to decide the right balance for the chocolate so that it would stay smooth even when frozen. Most of our tasters really liked the flavor of the homemade ice cream, but many preferred the texture of the store-bought ice cream because the homemade had some larger, harder chunks of chocolate than the smoother, more fudgey swirls of chocolate in the store-bought.
Test #2: Vanilla
Since I was not happy with the recipe I was using to compare, we decided a more “true” comparison might be to have a tested ice cream recipe pitted against a store-bought version. Also, this time around the store-bought ice cream was a more “premium” ice cream that matched the ingredients list of the homemade ice cream almost exactly. What it resulted in was a fairly balanced voting sheet. The homemade slightly edged out the store-bought in taste, but otherwise they were even.
What did we learn?
To buy something comparable to the quality of homemade ice cream at the grocery store, you need to be willing to pay for it (literally). It was only with the premium ice cream that the store-bought ice cream started to compare in taste with the homemade. Financially speaking, at this point buying the ingredients for homemade is cheaper.
There are many benefit to making your own ice cream – avoiding allergens, making your own perfect combination of fill-ins. And then, enjoy!