You know what I love? Ice cream cones. And I'll take them however I can get them. Fresh waffle cones, standard-issue sugar cones, hell even the papery wafer cones that cradle my Mr. Softee—they're all good. So wouldn't it be great if we could have an ice cream that tastes just like a cone?
I've had this dream for a while but have held off from trying to make it a reality because while making cone-flavored ice cream is pretty easy, nailing the texture takes some work. You know that moment when you're through the top of an ice cream scoop and the outer cone rim has started to soften and you finally take a bite? That soggy cone bite is one of my favorite ice cream experiences, and it's the texture I wanted to get in my cone ice cream.
To capture that spirit, I blended cones right into my base for a rich, cookie-thickened ice cream that freezes up ridiculously smooth and somewhat chewy. This ice cream bites back when you bite into it, and it's pretty much tailor-made for fans of super-dense, slightly elastic New England-style ice cream. (Or, for that matter, my ice cream flavored with speculoos, the Dutch cookie spread.)
A lower butterfat base and a glug of vodka keep the ice cream soft and less overwhelmingly rich. As for the taste, there's one important step: toast your cones until they turn a deep, burnished brown for maximum cone flavor.
Surprisingly, the most flavorful cones I encountered for this ice cream weren't waffle cones, the grand poobahs of the edible ice cream holder world. Plain old sugar cones—six of them—worked the best, contributing a balanced sweetness and unrestrained coneniness to the ice cream.
What should you serve this ice cream in? I'll get back to you after I figure out how to make a Neapolitan-flavored cone.