Those who know Charlotte Fresh understand that I’m not usually a soda drinker. I like fizzy water at home, but I usually carry still water in a reusable stainless steel cup on the road for convenience. When I do have the occasional craving for soda, I prefer the flavor of root beer above all else.
Enter my first lucky encounter with Uncle Scott’s Root Beer produced in Mooresville, N.C. I met Suzanne and Scott as they doled out samples at the Atherton Market Grand Opening, and I was instantly drawn to their product. I had been meaning to try it on several occasions after hearing about it from my friends at The Moon, but had not gotten around to it. I tell you, this root beer is the real deal. You know when you read soda product labels, and there can be questionable stuff listed there? This product has (no kidding) the following ingredients listed: carbonated spring water, certified organic sugar, vanilla, cinnamon oil, natural caramel, wood extract, licorice root oil, anise oil and natural gum arabic. No funny stuff. According to their site, it’s 98% organic and has no caffeine. It’s like the wonder drink. And the taste? Awesome.
The root beer itself is great, but I couldn’t resist making a root beer float out of it, Charlotte Fresh style. Most purists would slam me for not using vanilla ice cream, but I say, use what you’ve got, and I had Chocolate Milk Ice Cream with Blackberry-White Chocolate Drizzle on hand. See below for my fresh ice cream recipe.
Interested in Uncle Scott’s Root Beer? Try it at The Moon or at other fine purveyors here.
Recipe: Chocolate Milk Ice Cream with Blackberry-White Chocolate Drizzle
Makes about 1 quart
I developed this recipe because I had a bottle of rich chocolate milk from Lakeview Farms that I had to get through. If you don’t have chocolate milk, you can add some cocoa powder to whole milk and more sugar to the recipe to get the taste of the custard just right. Try proportions of cocoa-sugar-milk like you would for hot cocoa.
- 2 C chocolate milk – try Lakeview Farms
- 1 1/2 C heavy cream – try Lakeview Farms
- 1/4 C bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 4 egg yolks – try some from your friendly local farmers’ market
- 1/4 C sugar
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside. Pour 1 C heavy cream into a large bowl and set aside.
Pour chocolate milk, remaining 1/2 C heavy cream, sugar and chocolate chips into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until chips and sugar are melted. Turn off the heat.
Measure out 1 C of the chocolate milk mixture and carefully whisk into the eggs, making sure not to scramble them. Pour this egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook the chocolate milk mixture over medium-low heat until it begins to thicken and forms a light custard. Take off the heat.
Strain the chocolate custard mixture into the reserved 1 C cream. Stir together. Set this bowl over an ice water bath and stir the custard until cool.
Pour cooled custard into your ice cream machine and churn/freeze according to manufacturer’s intsructions. My small Cuisinart took about 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Blackberry-White Chocolate Drizzle:
- 1 C blackberries – I used Berry Busy Farm’s berries
- 3 Tbs sugar
- juice +zest from 1/4 lemon
- 1/4 white chocolate chips
Puree the blackberries and strain out the seeds. Put the blackberry pulp and juice in a small saucier with the sugar, lemon juice and zest and cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add white chocolate and stir until white chocolate dissolves. Cool over a water bath. This mixture will be thick, almost like ketchup.
Ice Cream Assembly: In a freezer-proof container, create a layer of the churned chocolate ice cream. Spread the drizzle on top. Repeat with another layer of ice cream, followed by drizzle. Repeat until you run out of ice cream. Freeze until firm before enjoying, at least four hours or overnight.
Note: For readers in Ballantyne, Lakeview Farms milk can now be found at The Meat House on Rea Rd. A huge yay to them for supporting local where they can! But remember, ask your questions if you want to know where the meat comes from – that’s not local.