There’s no doubt about it — children of all ages love ice cream. While you can make a strong case that ice cream is a wonderful treat year-round, you can make an equally compelling argument that ice cream is even more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.
Even neat “freaks” will likely admit sticky hands are a small price to pay for the pure joy that often accompanies eating an ice cream cone and we heartily agree. While there’s no denying how enjoyable ice cream is, there’s also no way to ignore the learning opportunities that go hand-in-hand with making a new version of the familiar treat — hot ice cream.
Did You Say “Hot Ice Cream?”
We know, we know — you’re probably thinking we’re trying to trick you, but we’re not. Hot ice cream is a real thing that’s just as mouth-watering as regular ice cream. Once you know how to make hot ice cream, you’ll realize making it is a great way to teach children about math and science while having a ton of fun in the kitchen.
Unlike traditional ice cream, hot ice cream is made with methylcellulose, which is a thickener that works at high cooking temperatures. Hot ice cream is poached, which also differs from the way conventional ice cream gets made. Whereas regular ice cream melts as it gets warm, hot ice cream melts when it cools down.
The Math and Measurements Behind Hot Ice Cream
As you know, you can measure ingredients in various ways. Two typical units of measure are grams and ounces. One gram is the equivalent of 0.03527396195 U.S. ounces. In our hot ice cream recipe, we’ll present measurements in both grams and U.S. ounces although we’ll round the gram to ounce ratio to 1:0.0353. You can have them do the math to convert the measurements on their own to give the kids you’re cooking with a chance to practice or improve their math skills
The Ingredients for Hot Ice Cream
You can make hot ice cream in just about any flavor imaginable. While you may want to experience with different varieties as you perfect the art of making hot ice cream, it’s wise to start with a basic flavor such as vanilla. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare a tasty batch of hot vanilla ice cream:
- 306 grams or 10.8 ounces flavorless yogurt
- 230 grams or 8 oz softened cream cheese
- 80 g or 2.8 ounces honey or, preferably, agave nectar
- 154 grams or 5.4 oz water
- One teaspoon (or more, depending on your preferences) vanilla extract
- A tiny pinch of salt (optional for kids on a low sodium diet)
- 11.55 grams or 0.4 ounces methylcellulose
Steps to Make Hot Ice Cream
Once you gather your ingredients, here’s what you’ll do next:
- Combine the yogurt, cream cheese, honey or agave nectar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix the ingredients using a spoon, whisk or handheld immersion blender to make a base for your ice cream.
- Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the methylcellulose to the hot water and whisk non-stop until the mixture is uniform.
- Remove the hot mixture from the stove, carefully pour it into your ice cream base and whisk to combine everything.
- Pour your combined based into a cup and cover it tightly using plastic wrap.
- Put the filled cup in an ice bath for a minimum of one hour. If you’re going to chill your ice cream base overnight, put the ice bath and the cup of base it contains in the refrigerator.
- When your base is sufficiently chilled, bring a pot of water to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.
- Carefully lower a spoon or scoop full of your base into the water, wait 3-5 seconds and turn your kitchen tool to the side to release the base into the warm water.
- Allow the ice cream to cook in the water for a minute or two or until it feels a bit spongy like prepared Jell-O.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove your cooked ice cream balls from the water and put the balls on a paper towel for a few seconds, just long enough for them to shed any excess water.
- Transfer the ice cream balls to a plate or bowl.
- Top your ice cream with a sauce or sprinkles if desired.
- Grab a spoon and enjoy your freshly prepared hot ice cream.