Red Velvet Cheesecake Ice Cream

I had a sad moment the other day when I realized that this entire summer I’ve only used my ice cream maker once.  Once!!  That’s pathetic, even for someone who’s not a dessert blogger with the attachment in their arsenal.  So I decided it was definitely time to add to this year’s Miami Vice Sorbet, and I went a little over the top.  It’s a play off of one of my favorite desserts on the blog, the ridiculous Red Velvet Cheesecake Layer Cake that I made a few years ago for my Mom’s birthday.  Everyone loves red velvet cake, but I know even more people that love it because they love the cream cheese frosting.  So this ice cream (and the layer cake) incorporate all of those loves into one frosty dessert. Over the top? Yes.  Totally worth every calorie? YES!

The cheesecake ice cream base is really easy to make, there’s no tempering egg yolks with this recipe, just a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream, and half-and-half to make things super creamy and perfectly tart.  For the red velvet component, I cheated and doctored up some store-bought vanilla bean ice cream with a cup of red velvet cake mix.  Kind of like how I made these Funfetti Ice Cream Cupcakes, but just with red velvet this time!  And I even went the extra step and baked some of the cake mix so I could mix in red velvet cake crumbs to add a bit of texture.  Definitely not a necessary step, but I really liked the taste and look of it.  The red velvet ice cream is added into the cream cheese base after it’s done churning and folded in with a rubber spatula to create the pretty swirls.  But you have to be careful, because if you mix it too much you’ll just end up with pink ice cream!  Not that it would taste any less amazing, but I think the swirl is just too pretty to miss :)

As every dessert food blogger I know would agree, photographing ice cream can be really, really hard.  It’s totally a race against the clock because before you know it, your perfectly staged ice cream is puddling and a mess.  But this ice cream was actually really pretty as it got messy, so I just had to capture it!  Oh, and if you’re looking for a creative way to neatly serve ice cream at a dinner party, try dishing out individual scoops into silicone baking cups or a lined muffin tin and keeping them in the freezer.  Then when it’s time for dessert, you don’t have to labor over scooping out ice cream for everyone – you’ll already have your perfect spheres of frozen goodness ready to serve!

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart ice cream

Ingredients:

for the red velvet ice cream:
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream
1/2 cup red velvet cake mix
1/2 cup red velvet cake crumbs (from baking the rest of the red velvet cake mix according to the package's instructions)

for the cheesecake ice cream:
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

for the red velvet ice cream:
- Let the ice cream sit out for a bit to get soft, then transfer to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Use the beater blade on your mixer or a rubber spatula to mix in the cake mix until well incorporated. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the red velvet cake crumbs. Transfer to the freezer until ready to add to the cheesecake ice cream base.

for the cheesecake ice cream:
- Make sure your ice cream maker or attachment has been in the freezer at least overnight.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar, and salt and pulse until completely smooth. (I tried to do this in the bowl of an electric mixer first, but I couldn't get it smooth enough - you really need to use a food processor, or maybe even a blender, to get it silky smooth!) Transfer mixture to an airtight container and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
- Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions (mine recommends 25 minutes).
- When the ice cream is done, fold in the red velvet ice cream with a rubber spatula. Make sure you're really gentle or the whole thing will just turn pink! Another method is to pour the cheesecake ice cream into a 9x13" pan and then dolloping the red velvet ice cream on top. Then when it's time to serve, you can drag the ice cream scoop the long way to gently swirl everything together. Store in the freezer for an hour or two before serving and enjoy!