On Thursday night, the family celebrated my 29th birthday. Mom made fried chicken, her famous baked beans, potato salad, and cole slaw (have I told you how much I love that woman?). And for dessert, Sharon made Jeni’s Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream. I can hear it, “Ice cream? No cake?”
For Sharon and me, this chocolate-peanut-butter-ice-cream obsession dates back to our college days when we’d both be home from school on break. Late at night (when we still liked staying up late!) after mom and dad had gone to bed, we would slip out the door and head to Friendly’s for a sundae. We ordered the same thing every time: Hunka Chunka PB Fudge ice cream with that creamy peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, and whipped cream. It was our thing. We jokingly talked about tattooing “HCPBF” on our derrieres to make permanent our love and commitment to this sundae.
So when Sharon turned up with this masterful creation, I about died with excitement. This is the grown-up version of our adolescent favorite. The flavors are bold, the ice cream is smooth, and the addition of coconut and cayenne gives it added texture, flavor, and a little bit of heat. This is absolutely my new favorite ice cream—especially after we topped it with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and chopped peanuts!
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Prep: Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
- Using a spatula, mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, and salt in a medium metal bowl until smooth.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Cook: Combine the remaining milk, the cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a 4-quart sauce pan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Chill: Gradually whish the hot milk mixture into the peanut butter mixture until smooth. Whisk in the toasted coconut and cayenne.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Freeze: Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream freezer and spin until thick and creamy.
- Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.