Summers in St. Augustine are a little bit cooler, thanks to this beautiful bed and breakfast on the water.
Mike Wieber, owner of the Bayfront Marin House, pulls out his ice cream maker and his creativity every week in July, August, and September. On Wednesday nights, he shares his latest frosty creation with his guests.
“Ice cream is a great equalizer,” says Wieber. “Everybody likes ice cream, and it tastes even better in the summer.”
Guests are treated to concoctions like Girl Scout Shout Out (a chocolate ice cream base with marshmallow, caramel, and chunks of Samoa cookies); You’re a Peach Fruit Cobbler (peach ice cream with a swirl of caramel and sweet pie crust pieces); Spunky Monkey (a banana ice cream with Oreo sandwich cookies); and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (a cinnamon cake batter base with pieces of homemade snickerdoodles).
”I don’t have a plan for what I’m making throughout the summer,” says Wieber. “I usually get inspired on Monday or Tuesday–either I have a craving for a particular flavor, or I see great looking produce at the market. Then I start thinking–what could I add to that to make a fantastic ice cream?”
Last summer’s staff favorite was Chocolate Cheesecake Crunch (a chocolate cheesecake base with Oreo sandwich cookies), closely followed by Gimme Some More S’mores (a chocolate ice cream with chocolate covered graham crackers and a marshmallow swirl). Wieber says he wasn’t surprised by the choices: “As a bed and breakfast owner, I know that chocolate is a surefire hit–and chocolate mixed with cheesecake is even better!”
Marin House Chocolate Cheesecake Crunch Ice Cream
1 package softened cream cheese (8 ounces)
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. half and half
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. heavy cream
12 chocolate sandwich cookies, crumbled into bite-sized pieces
Put cream cheese, sugar, and half and half in a blender. Mix at medium speed, until smooth. This takes about one minute. Add the cocoa and blend until mixture has a uniform color. Add the half and half and vanilla. Mix. Slowly add the cream, continuing to mix on low speed. This takes about 30 seconds.
Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
When the mixture is frozen, remove ice cream from maker and place in storage container. Add crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies to taste and fold in.
Serve immediately. Makes approximately 1 quart.