This rich and creamy beer ice cream is inspired by Häagen-Dazs’® stout chocolate pretzel ice cream. It’s a perfect Game Day dessert!
Do you like to stroll down the ice cream aisle at the grocery store?
I like to wander down the aisle, looking for ideas.
Ideas for ice cream to make myself at home.
I’m also looking for my favorite organic ice cream sandwiches, which seem to have vanished. Julie’s ice cream, do you still exist?
Recently, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks.
Häagen-Dazs’ new Spirits collection of ice cream— and in particular, the stout chocolate pretzel flavor.
Sweet chocolate and salty pretzel mixed with slightly bitter notes of stout beer– it sounded incredible.
I decided that I needed this beer ice cream in my life.
I made lots of frozen desserts this past summer, like strawberry cheesecake ice cream, chocolate mint ice cream, berry granita, watermelon sorbet, mango sorbet, and mango frozen yogurt, and now I’m thrilled to share this beer ice cream that’s perfect for fall!
How to Make Egg-Free Ice Cream
Traditional ice cream is made with a custard base.
In other words, it uses lots and lots of eggs yolks to help make the it creamy and to help it bind together.
Instead of eggs, this ice cream uses a cream cheese base, and is thickened with cornstarch.
What Kind of Beer Should I Use?
Use your favorite kind of stout.
This stout chocolate pretzel ice cream is delicious with Guinness (a beer that’s very easy to find!). I also love Sierra Nevada’s stout.
This recipe only uses one cup of beer, so you can sip on the rest of the can or bottle while you make the ice cream!
How to Make Beer Ice Cream
Step 1: Mix Milk + Cornstarch
Start by whisking a little cornstarch and milk together.
Step 2: Mix Milk + Cream Cheese
Next, heat some more milk with cream cheese for about twenty seconds in the microwave. Whisk the two together, and set it aside.
Step 3: Make the Beer Ice Cream Base
Now you’ll make the ice cream base.
Heat milk, cream, sugar, and honey in a pot and bring it to a boil.
Simmer it for a few minutes, and then whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring it to a boil again, and simmer for another minute.
Turn off the heat, and stir in the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is totally dissolved and smooth.
Whisk the cream cheese into the ice cream base.
Slowly pour in the stout.
The stout might foam a little (or a lot)– that’s why you should pour slowly.
Add the cream cheese mixture and some vanilla extract.
Step 4: Chill the Base
Let the beer ice cream base cool to room temperature, and then put it in the fridge to cool for at least four hours.
This is the kind of recipe you’ll have to plan ahead for, because it involves a lot of waiting.
Step 5: Pour it in a blender
Once it’s cold, I like to pour the batter into a blender and blend it for a few seconds to help introduce some more air bubbles to make the ice cream a little lighter.
You can skip that step if you want to!
Step 6: Churn in an ice cream maker
Next, pour the the beer ice cream into an ice cream maker, and churn.
About two minutes before the ice cream is done churning, add some crushed pretzels.
Need an ice cream maker? I use (and love) a Cuisinart ice cream maker with a freezer bowl.
STEP 7: FREEZE THE ICE CREAM
When your ice cream maker finishes churning, the ice cream will be soft (like soft-serve).
To harden it, pour the ice cream into a shallow container, and put it in the freezer for a few hours (or until it’s solid).
Serving Stout Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream
I like to eat this ice cream within a few days of churning it, because the pretzels will soften over time.
But if you don’t mind softened pretzels, you can store the ice cream for up to two months.
Serve this ice cream on Game Day, for Oktoberfest, or whenever you want a rich and creamy chocolate dessert!
Beer Ice Cream: Stout Chocolate Pretzel
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
- 5 tsp cornstarch
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 TB honey OR maple syrup
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate baking block (good quality, at least 55%)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup beer (both stout and a pale ale work well) Try Guinness (stout) or Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale
- 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
- Before beginning, make sure your ice cream maker freezer bowl is frozen (if needed).
- Finely chop chocolate into small slivers, and set aside.
Mix Milk with Thickeners:
- Mix Milk + Cornstarch: Mix 1/4 cup of the milk and all the cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.
- Mix Milk + Cream Cheese: Warm cream cheese and another 1/4 cup of milk for 20 seconds in the microwave. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set aside.
Make the Ice Cream Base:
- Place the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, cream, sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the cornstarch mixture. Slowly pour the cornstarch and milk mixture back into the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return to medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
- As soon you remove the mixture from the heat, begin whisking in the chocolate. Continue whisking until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is smooth.
- Whisk in the cream cheese mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Slowly pour the stout into the mixture, and whisk until smooth.
Chill the Ice Cream Base:
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and then chill the ice cream base for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Make the Ice Cream:
- Optional: Pour chilled mixture into a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. This will help add air bubbles into your ice cream, and make it lighter. Skip if you don’t have a blender, or if you’re using a high-end ice cream machine that adds air while churning.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker, and churn according to your machine's directions. In the last minute or two of churning, add the pretzels, and let the ice cream machine mix them into the ice cream for you.
- Scrape the ice cream into a container, and lay wax paper directly on top of the ice cream (to keep ice crystals from forming on top). Seal with a lid (or plastic wrap or foil) and freeze for 2-3 hours or until hardened.Tip: Ice cream will harden more quickly in a shallow container.
- Keep frozen, and use within 2 months. Keep the container sealed and the wax paper directly on top of the ice cream.