Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bourbon + Walnut + Sorghum Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream


Dale and I have come to the conclusion that we can never make dinner on Mondays. We like to plan our meals for the week and always include one for each weekday. But it never fails that we end up running some errand or working late or meeting up with someone or spending way way too long in the consumer culture Halloween store black hole, looking for a plastic skeleton to spookily hang on our front porch and candy to hand out to the little ones. We inevitably end up grabbing pizza or tacos or whatever else is easy and quick and actually available on a Monday at 9:00 PM... because we waited too long to eat and got all hangry.

I have similar experiences with store bought ice cream. Virtually every time I am at the grocery store, I head to the frozen food aisle in search of something sweet. But the flavors are either too generic or just the wrong combination of flavors. I hate when I read the description on the tub and something sounds delicious until I get to the last component, which most often ends up ruining the entire thing for me. It's like when you go shopping and see an awesome dress that you would totally try it on if only it didn't have that weird buckle thing on the shoulder that's not at all necessary and pretty much ruins it. Yeah, it's exactly like that. Anyway, even though I never find the ice cream I really want, I continue to traipse to the aisle and gaze at the massive selection and settle for something I wasn't looking for or leave empty handed.


You'd think I would have just bought an ice cream maker by now, but alas, I have not. My kitchen doesn't offer much in the way of real estate, and the last thing it needs is another gadget. So in the aftermath of a recent failed ice cream hunt, I decided it was officially time to give the no-churn thing a try. And holy moly is it a thing. A delicious, creamy, sweet thing. It's sort of a play on semifreddo, substituting sweetened condensed milk for the zabaglione (some versions also include meringue). I am probably definitely in love with it. And so was everyone else who tried it.

Since fall is here, I decided to pit warm flavors--bourbon, walnuts, sorghum molasses--against the cold. It was the perfect combination. Boozy and nutty with sparks of exceptional syrupy sweetness. Dale and Thomas (our temporary roommate) devoured it on the most precious ice cream cones (which also happen to be gluten-free), and I reveled in the glory of my creation. It was pretty epic. Especially the part where grown men eat ice cream from tiny cake cones. It was the best, really.


Bourbon + Walnut + Sorghum Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream

Note: Go for a nice bourbon here, as it's the primary flavor and what makes this ice cream so delicious. I ended up using a touch over 1/4 cup of bourbon, but I (and my better half) like a pretty good kick. Of course, feel free to adjust to your tastes.

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3+ Tbsp. bourbon (see note above)
100 g (1 cup) raw walnut halves
480 ml (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sorghum syrup

Toast walnuts in a skillet over medium heat or on a baking sheet in a 350 degree F oven for 6-8 minutes until fragrant. Once walnuts are cool enough to handle, roughly chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and bourbon. Stir in walnuts, reserving a small handful for garnish. In another bowl, beat cream to medium-soft peaks then fold into the bourbon mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour half the mixture into a loaf pan. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of the sorghum syrup over top and run a knife in a zigzag motion to create a swirl effect. Top with the remaining ice cream mixture and repeat the drizzling/swirling of the sorghum syrup. Cover and freeze until firm, preferably over night. Keel over.



  1. As usual your photos are so lovely. I've never heard of this no-churn business before but I love that there are no eggs (we have a friend with an allergy) and there is no tempering milk, straining, chilling, blah, blahing - its like instant ice cream, almost.

  2. Love the flavor combo, perfect for fall!

  3. Thanks! I think this is about as close to instant ice cream as it gets. And it's super customizable, which I am a huge fan of.

  4. Agreed. Bourbon always makes me feel warm :)

  5. GURL!!! There are so many good things happening here...I love so much that you added sorghum, people need to add that to everything.. that and Bourbon.. Bravo!!!!

  6. Bourbon, walnuts, sorghum. The Southern girl in me just fanned herself and said "Well, my MY!"

    In other words, well done!

  7. I know! I have been obsessed with sorghum since discovering it. And, well, bourbon is a given in most things.

  8. This very well could be the best comment ever. my MY!!

  9. Yum!

    I hope you're having a good new year :)

  10. Where can you buy the sorghum syrup? Sounds good. Could you sub Agave ,instead?