Some recipes come easily, and some take a little more time before they find their way. This is the latter, but it was well worth the wait. Red velvet cake is my favorite, if you’re forcing me to choose, and so the thought of a red velvet ice cream seemed pretty great. However, the majority of the “recipes” I’ve come across are simply ice cream with chunks of red velvet cake mixed in. No doubt, that classic red velvet flavor isn’t quite going to come through, not to mention that the little pieces of cake stippled throughout a formerly creamy, smooth ice cream seems like a major texture fail.
I dropped the idea until one day it dawned on me – the thing that makes red velvet so good in that way you can’t quite put your finger on? It’s the buttermilk. And since I’ve already made a buttermilk ice cream that I happen to love, that seemed like a great starting point. A small amount of cocoa powder is incorporated into the custard base of the ice cream, just as with the cake itself – a little chocolate, but not too much. Yep, I had it all figured out last year at about this time but by a series of mishaps, my ice cream bowl was not cold enough and the batter never froze. Red velvet season (AKA Valentine’s Day) passed so I filed the idea away yet again, but now here we are and it is a finally a reality. A smooth, tangy treat with a ribbon of cream cheese frosting because really, what is red velvet without the cream cheese frosting?