Red Lambrusco Ice Cream with Blackstrap Molasses

Wine and Chocolate. What’s not to love?

It’s a little early to celebrate, but I’ve done at least 45 minutes of exercise every day for the last week. I am sore. Very sore. But it’s an invisible battle wound that I’m proud of, and on Weight Watchers it gives me enough activity points for me to splurge on something wonderful: Lambrusco Ice Cream.

Lambrusco is the name of a wine grape, and also a sparkling dolce (sweet) wine that you can get at Trader Joes for $4.99 a bottle that is made from the grape. It comes in both white or red, and I’m a big fan of the red, it has about the same amount of alcohol as regular wine but is sweeter and with that nice bubbly kick. As I’m not much of a drinker (It tends to make me sick quickly), I often find myself with a half bottle of leftover wine that I don’t want to waste.

So I made it into an ice cream.

Ice cream is one of my favorite desserts, almost solely because it’s convenient. If I’m entertaining I can make it even a week ahead and come up with any flavor my little heart desires to compliment the meal, and I can easily portion it out. Also, it keeps for a long time in the freezer so it doesn’t have the visual siren call of cookies or pie, who seem to beg me to not let them go to waste. 🙂

Recently a good friend gave me an amazing book called “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home”, written by Jeni Britton Bauer. She has dedicated her life to ice cream, and in turn she has a dedicated following of ice cream lovers everywhere. Her book has many wonderful recipes I might attempt to lighten and post in the future, but almost all of them have their foundation in an ice cream “base” that she has perfected. Once you have this down, coming up with your own flavors is a snap.

I’ve tried to cut most of the sugar out of this but I will warn you that this recipe is not light on the fat. As long as you stick to the 1/2 C portion it’s well worth the calories. The blackstrap molasses is optional, but it gives it a great brown surgar-y flavor without adding very much to the calories.

  • 2 C Whole Milk
  • 1 1/4 C Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/2 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 C Granulated Splenda, or 12 packets
  • 2 TBsp Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 1/2 TBsp Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 slightly heaping TBsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 to 2 C Lambrusco, or other sweetish read wine

1. Drink half a bottle of Lambrusco, or finish 1 and a half bottles with a few friends. Pour the wine in a small saucepan and put on medium heat. When it starts to boil vigorously reduce heat to medium low and simmer until reduced to a 1//4 C (it should be bubbling almost like caramel and thick).

2. Take the Lambrusco off the heat and pour the Lambrusco syrup into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, corn syrup, vanilla, and molasses and whisk until smooth.

3. In a separate small bowl put 2 TBsp of the milk with the cornstarch and mix until smooth to make a slurry. Set aside.

4. Put the rest of the milk and cream into a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil for four minutes. Off the heat, add the cornstarch slurry and cook for another minute until slightly thickened. Then take off heat.

5. A little bit at a time, slowly add the hot milk to the cream cheese and syrup, whisking vigorously so there are no lumps in the cream cheese and the consistency is smooth. Add all of the milk in, then add the Splenda. Whisk.

6. Transfer mixture to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until you’re ready to run  the ice cream maker.

7. After refrigerated, cut a hole in the corner of the bag and pour into your ice cream maker. Churn, baby Churn!

This would be great with a dark chocolate sauce (like my 64 calorie chocolate sauce that goes with everything) or stewed spring cherries on top. Serving size is 1/2 C.

Calories: 186  – Fat :10.5 grams –  Carbs: 15 – Fiber: 3 grams – Protein: 3 grams

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The 64 Calorie Chocolate Sauce That Goes With Everything

Chocolate excuse 139,234,901: Chocolate is full of antioxidants.

I see a lot of dessert recipes on diet blogs that involve making 12 calorie reduced cupcakes, or 2 dozen low fat cookies, or one sugar-free cake. That’s great if you’re cooking for a crowd of dieters, but when we’re on our own isn’t that playing with fire? What am I supposed to do with the other 23 servings of cookies that doesn’t involve a large glass of milk and a two day True Blood marathon?

What about a dessert you can make when you want to be good and you don’t have an emergency pint of gelato in the fridge because you were a champion and didn’t buy any? What if it was Chocolate? What if it was 64 calories? What if it took 5 minutes to make?…

TaDAH!!!!

This is The Chocolate Sauce that goes with Everything! It makes a perfect single portion and tastes decadent and decidedly un-diety. Drizzle it over bananas, strawberries, raspberries, apples, popcorn, even carrots (maybe I’m a freak but I love dunking thin slices of carrots into this). Add it to a hot glass of milk, a cold cup of nonfat yogurt, a cup of coffee. Make everything chocolate! I love this stuff!

Use a high-quality unsweetened cocoa like Ghiradelli or Scharffen Berger, or Valrhona. I forbid you to use a crappy brand. Use the good stuff. Yes, it makes a difference.

  • 2 TBsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 TBsp half and half
  • 2-3 packets of Splenda or Stevia depending on how sweet you like it.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp water or coffee, depending on the consistency you’d like
  • pinch of salt

Heat the liquids in a very small pot over the stove or in a large mug in the microwave until hot (not boiling). Add the cocoa and whisk until there are no clumps and the chocolate is smooth. Last, add the sweetener and salt and whisk to combine.

Now put it on everything!

Calories: 64  – Fat : 4.9 grams –  Carbs: 7.2 – Fiber: 3.6 grams – Protein: 3 grams