How to make the most flavorful stout ice cream out there.
- Go straight to the Recipe Card or
- Read on for a few relevant tips (2 mins).
When it comes to infusing an ice cream custard with stout flavors it is all about choosing the best stout possible. Obviously, this is as subjective of a notion as it gets, but we do offer a few tips below.
Additionally, putting to work twice the stout typically used in similar recipes turns up the volume and might just cause you to forget any other stout ice cream you may have had.
Just a Few Ingredients
- Milk & cream. Use whole milk and a good quality heavy cream.
- Eggs. Key to creating the custard that lends richness to the ice cream. Pay attention to the notes on using raw eggs and tempering raw eggs below.
- Sugar. Brown sugar to arrest some of the stout’s bitterness.
- Stout. See the notes below for details.
- Vanilla & salt. A bit of vanilla extract is added, you can replace it with Kahlua if you’d rather amplify the coffee notes. Salt is added to bring out the sweetness in the custard.
TIP: If you’d like to create an extra silky texture in your stout ice cream a trick is to add a bit of corn syrup (about 1 tbsp) to the custard. It works, but then again it is corn syrup, so decide based on your own food ingredient convictions. We usually leave it out.
What Stout to Choose?
Over the years we’ve experimented with several styles and various recipes. We find that a well-balanced stout such as Obsidian Stout brewed by Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR brings about great results. The bitterness of roasted barley and hops combined is just enough to balance the sweetness of the malt and the addition of wheat helps with the mouthfeel. It is a good choice if you can find it where you live or simply select/ask for something similar with balanced dark chocolate and espresso notes and silky roastiness.
Otherwise excellent options are:
- sweet British stouts with lactose aka milk stouts
- tropical stouts
- nitro stouts (like the one we used in our beer nog recipe)
- oatmeal stouts (when not brewed with too much roasted barley, like this one)
- flavored varieties – chocolate, caramel, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, coffee etc.
Generally – avoid aggressively hopped stouts, Irish stouts or others with lots of roasted barley in the grain bill and gravitate to balanced representatives of the style.
On that note – porters work great too.
How to Make It
The key is to reduce the stout to a thick simple syrup. The flavors will concentrate and a lot of the alcohol will evaporate (less alcohol means easier to freeze custard).
Besides that, it is a matter of creating a basic custard, adding the cooled down stout simple syrup to it and running the mixture through your ice cream machine.
NOTE: Our recipe calls for raw eggs in the custard. If you have reason to doubt the quality and freshness of the eggs you are using it is best not to prepare recipes that use them as they could carry salmonella bacteria.
As an extra safety precaution (not guaranteed to eliminate salmonella) you can always prepare the custard by first bringing the milk and cream to simmer, then beating the eggs in a separate bowl and tempering them with small amounts of the heated milk/cream mixture, until you can gradually add it all as you stir. The so prepared custard should be cooled down of course before use.
Because our ice cream recipe calls for so much of the ale, it is quite soft.
Yes, you will ‘cook off’ a lot of the alcohol in the beer in the process of reducing it but some of it will remain. And alcohol does not freeze easily.
Be sure to keep the ice cream in the freezer for at least twenty-four hours after you transfer it from the freezer bowl of your ice cream machine. Especially if you made it with a bourbon aged or imperial stout with high ABV.
In order to keep it from melting for the longest time possible do serve it in chilled bowls. Not that it will take you that long to eat it, not at all, but something that tastes this good should be presented and enjoyed in its best state possible.
Obviously, go with whatever speaks to you, but if we may suggest – try crushed yogurt dipped pretzels and a sprinkle of freeze dried coffee (aka instant coffee).
An ice cream that has the flavors of a balanced stout as its backbone welcomes the sweet and salty crunch of the pretzels and the distinct zing delivered by the coffee.
Besides that – candied nuts, mini chocolate chips, mini salted caramel chips are among our favorites.
Other frozen desserts with craft beer as ingredient
- 24 oz stout ale*
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 6 egg yolks**
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups of heavy, double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Before you begin make sure that the freezer bowl of your ice cream machine has been appropriately frozen.
- Start by gently pouring the two stouts and the brown sugar into a large sauce pan.
- Bring to simmer (just over medium heat and just under medium high heat) and stay nearby to make sure that the stout does not begin to foam and boil over (it can happen if the heat is too high).
- Let simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced by half (to just over 12 oz). On average this step takes about 15 minutes.
- Remove the (now) stout syrup from the heat and let cool off and then chill in the fridge. Once chilled, you can begin to make the custard for the ice cream.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks, the milk and the cream.
- Add the chilled stout syrup, the vanilla and the pinch of salt.
- Mix well and transfer to the freezer bowl of your ice cream machine.
- Churn according to the instructions of your ice cream machine maker.
- Once the ice cream has reached thick and creamy consistency, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 24 hours before serving.
- Serve in chilled bowls for maximum enjoyment.
*choose a well balanced stout, not too thin and not too bitter, something you love the flavors of and will enjoy tasting in your ice cream
**Raw eggs could carry the salmonella bacteria. If you have doubts as to the quality of the eggs you are using do not make recipes with raw eggs. Alternatively, you can (not guaranteed to eliminate salmonella, but might make you feel better cooking technique wise) first simmer the milk and cream, then add small amounts of the heated mixture to the beaten eggs to temper them. Stir into the eggs gradually until you add the entire heated mixture. Cool down the resulting custard before use.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g