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Todd Wilbur's Version of Dippin' DotsŪ Banana Split Ice Cream
To make a perfect Dippin' Dots clone you're going to need liquid nitrogen, which can be purchased at a gas supplier. A 5-liter dewar of the gas should be enough to create several servings of this clone. You'll also need some dry ice and an ice chest to store the dots at a below-zero temp once they're made. It's a good idea to use protective gear (gloves, goggles) when working with liquid nitrogen and dry ice. And be sure to let the freshly formed beads of ice cream warm up a bit before you eat them or may find yourself with a temporary loss of a few taste buds.

Vanilla
1 ¾ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
9 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry
1 ¾ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
9 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons strawberry extract
8 drops red food coloring

Banana
1 ¾ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
9 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon banana extract
4 drops yellow food coloring

Chocolate
1 ¾ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate syrup

5 liters liquid nitrogen
1 large stryofoam cup
1 needle
dry ice for storing

1. Make the ice cream mixes by combining milk, cream, fat-free half-and-half, sugar and salt in four saucepans over low heat. Stir often as mixtures heats, then remove pans as soon as sugar is dissolved. Add flavorings and colorings (if required) to each pan.

2. Make beads of ice cream by poking 8 to 10 evenly-spaced holes in the bottom of a large Styrofoam cup with a needle. Fill an 8- to 10-inch metal canister or cocktail shaker about ¾ full with liquid nitrogen. Be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear for this! Hold the Styrofoam cup about 10 inches above the liquid nitrogen, and fill the cup with the ice cream mix flavor of your choice. Let the mix dribble into the liquid nitrogen. When around ¼ to 1/3 of the cup has emptied, pour the liquid nitrogen out of the canister into a large metal bowl, but don't pour out the ice cream beads. Shake the canister vigorously back-and-forth to free any beads that may have stuck to each other, then pour the beads into a container, cover it and place it into an ice chest with dry ice.

3. Repeat the process with each flavor of ice cream until you have used up all of the liquid nitrogen.

4. Combine equal parts of each flavor to create banana split-flavored beaded ice cream. Store the ice cream in dry ice, if possible, or in a very cold freezer.

Makes 8 to 10.


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