The fast, fun way to add creaminess and sweetness to recipes: swirl in a little melted ice cream or sorbet.

By M. Elizabeth Sheldon
Updated May 23, 2017
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The fast, fun way to add creaminess and sweetness to recipes: swirl in a little melted ice cream or sorbet.

Jeni Britton Bauer acknowledges that the idea of cooking with ice cream might seem “all kinds of ridiculous.” But in her quest to use up the inevitable leftovers from the thousands of handmade pints Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams churns out per week, she made an ingenious discovery: Melted ice cream is an incredible secret-weapon ingredient. She shares some of her best recipes with F&W, including an almost-instant citrus beurre blanc for scallops, made with lemon sorbet, and a Cincinnati-style chili that gets lushness and an extra hint of spice from a dollop of super-dark chocolate ice cream swirled in at the end. That these unorthodox dishes work isn’t actually all that ridiculous—after all, says Britton Bauer, “Most recipes can benefit from a little hit of sweetness and cream.”