The Ingredient That Will Change Your Homemade Ice Cream Forever

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Ice cream is a frozen treat everyone seems to love, whether it takes the form of a simple scoop of vanilla or is an element of more complex desserts such as a hot fudge sundae, ice cream nachos, or a spumoni ice cream cake. And while it's easier than ever, these days, to pick up a pint of delicious ice cream at your local supermarket or scoop shop, there's something fun and exciting about making the dessert at home.

If you've ever tackled homemade ice cream, then you know that spinning a dense and creamy ice cream is no easy task. That's mainly due to the difference between large commercial ice cream makers and small consumer versions, according to Serious Eats, with the commercial machines able to cool down large volumes of custard base very quickly, as well as rapidly whip air into it, resulting in a product with fewer ice crystals and more lushness as compared to homemade ice creams. But never fear: If you want to whip up a super-creamy ice cream at home, there's a secret ingredient you can add to the base that will help ensure a wonderful texture.

Add some cream cheese to your homemade ice cream

You might know that homemade ice cream is generally made from a base of milk, cream, and egg yolks. But have you ever tried stirring in cream cheese? According to Southern Living, it's a trick that helps make Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, an Ohio-founded artisan scoop shop, so dense and rich. The outlet notes that founder Jeni Britton Bauer's Sweet Cream Ice Cream is used as a base for many of her flavors, and calls for some softened cream cheese alongside more typical ice cream ingredients, such as milk, cream, and sugar. The cream cheese helps create an ice cream with a denser, smoother texture.

As explained by TASTE, cream cheese acts as a stabilizer in ice cream, preventing water from seeping out of the milk and cream as well as preventing the formation of ice crystals that detract from ice cream's creaminess. Cream cheese also helps thicken ice cream, Dana Cree, author of "Hello, My Name is Ice Cream" writes in her book. "The main thing cream cheese does ... is add solids in the way of milk protein," helping the ice cream trap more air as it churns and adding chewiness. "You might not realize how important the chew factor of ice cream is, but remember, the hallmark of American hard-pack ice cream is a scoop you can bite into." Another bonus? Acidic cream cheese boasts "a lovely tang that goes with, um, everything," making it an excellent base for many flavors.