Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Low Carb Bourbon and “Brown Sugar” Ice Cream

Humphry Slocombe has a popular ice cream called “Secret Breakfast” that combines brown sugar, bourbon, and cornflakes. They use slightly overcooked crumbled up cornflake cookies since cornflakes by themselves would turn to mush. Bourbon and brown sugar are flavors I can work with for a low carb conversion, but there’s no low carb substitute for cornflakes. I like the idea of a cookie, so I went searching for a cookie flavor that would pair well with bourbon.

I discovered low carb snickerdoodles from Linda’s Low Carb Menus & Recipes that work splendidly. Click on the link to find out how to make them. I never had snickerdoodles before so I don’t know how they’re supposed to taste. Apparently they’re like sugar cookies but include cream of tartar to give them a tangy zing and they’re also sprinkled with cinnamon as well as sugar. I noticed she doesn’t seem to use enough cream of tartar compared to regular snickerdoodle recipes. Therefore, I used baking powder instead of baking soda and a half teaspoon of cream of tartar rather than a quarter teaspoon. Baking powder contains both baking soda and cream of tartar, so that substitution should help shift the balance. I use a 50/50 Truvia and granular Splenda for the coating and two tablespoons of Truvia plus 28 drops of EZ-Sweetz for the batter. I agree that the batter should be chilled in the refrigerator for an hour, but I didn’t chill the cookie sheet. In fact, I very quickly rolled the dough chunks into a ball using my hands and then rolled it in the cinnamon and granular sweetener mix. Do not even attempt to touch the freshly baked cookies until they’ve cooled completely. She’s not kidding when she says they will fall apart when warm. The recipe makes roughly double the cookies you’ll need for this ice cream. Don’t fret about the extra cookies. They’re excellent by themselves and won’t go to waste! If you don’t want to make the cookies, Lily’s Chocolate - All Natural Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips work great in this ice cream.

Ice creams with alcohol are a challenge for most home ice cream chefs. Too much booze and the ice cream never gets solid enough to churn properly because the freezing point gets depressed too far. This effect works in my favor when making low carb ice cream since I usually have the opposite problem. The lack of sugar requires other ingredients, like vegetable glycerine, to depress the freezing point and keep the ice cream scoopable. I calculated in part 3 of my series on the techniques of making low carb ice cream that the sucrose equivalence of alcohol is 7.4 while glycerine is 3.7. Therefore, alcohol is twice as effective as a sugar replacement to depress the freezing point compared to glycerine, so we can use half as much to achieve the same result. Ah, but we must be careful. A liquor that is 100 proof is only 50% alcohol by volume. Alcohol is also less dense than water, so there’s only about 6 grams per tablespoon. This means approximately 1½ tablespoon of 100 proof liquor has essentially the same effect on freezing point depression as a tablespoon of pure glycerine. BTW, I’m using the definition of “proof” as it’s defined in the USA. It may be different in your country. For 80 proof, the conversion is approximately 2:1 tablespoons of liquor to glycerine. I think 1½ tablespoons of bourbon give this ice cream just the right amount of boozey flavor. If you disagree, cut back to 1 tablespoon of bourbon and add 6 grams (1 teaspoon) of vegetable glycerine.

I’m not an expert on liquor. I had a bottle of Knob Creek 100 proof bourbon in my liquor cabinet, so that’s what I used. A couple of the recipe books that I’ve read mention they use Maker’s Mark.

One more thing. Do not use cheap cinnamon, ever. There’s plenty of good cinnamon if you look for it. Kirkland Saigon Cinnamon is relatively inexpensive and is highly rated. I bought some and I think it’s great! This Ceylon cinnamon was suggested to me on Twitter and has great ratings on Amazon.com.

CAUTION: Consuming raw eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Pasteurized eggs can be used in this recipe.


Low Carb Sweet Cream Base but with no vegetable glycerine
2 teaspoons (14 g) blackstrap molasses
1½ tablespoons bourbon, 100 proof
1 teaspoon brown sugar flavoring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8-9 Low Carb Snickerdoodles (made with extra cinnamon on top)
Lily’s Chocolate - All Natural Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips (optional)


  1. Make the Low Carb Snickerdoodles and put them in an empty ice cream container after they’ve cooled.
  2. Put the container for the ice cream including its cover upright in the freezer now. This serves two purposes: it keeps the container cold and it forces you to make sure that there’s space in the freezer.
  3. Follow the instructions for the Low Carb Sweet Cream Base except leave out the vegetable glycerine. The alcohol will depress the freezing point, so no glycerine is needed. Add the molasses to the pot before heating if you’re making a custard or to the eggs if making a no-cook base. Scrape the bottom of the measuring cup with a silicone spatula to ensure any molasses that settled to the bottom gets mixed.
  4. Add bourbon, brown sugar flavoring, and vanilla extract when mixture is cool and gently whisk until homogenous. Do not use more than 1½ tablespoons of 100 proof alcohol per quart. Measure it carefully.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for later or use right away.
  6. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions for making ice cream. One to two minutes before the ice cream is done, add the cookie pieces. Use a silicone spatula to remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and freeze until solid.
Scoop of ice cream with snickerdoodles.

Scoop of ice cream with snickerdoodles.

And with the chocolate chips instead of cookies:

Scoop of ice cream with dark chocolate chips.

Scoop of ice cream with dark chocolate chips.

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