Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Homemade Ice Magic

Vanilla Bean Ice cream with homemade ice magic (magic shell) |

Vanilla ice cream and ice magic is the source of so many childhood memories for me as it was a rare special treat my brother and I loved. As much as we loved ice cream, the real treat however was the ice magic. That dark cap that set on top of the ice cream. It never ceased to amaze my brother and I that the runny chocolate that flowed out of the ice magic bottle would become solid when it came into contact with the ice cream. It was indeed magic.

Like everyone, my favourite part was tapping the back of my spoon on the chocolate shell and hearing that ever so satisfying crack before digging in and enjoying the smooth creamy ice cream with shards of chocolate.  Back then, of course, the vanilla ice cream didn’t contain vanilla bean, in fact I don’t think I had any idea what a vanilla bean was, but I loved it all the same.

Invented in Australia by Cottee’s, ice magic, or magic shell as it is called in America, is a chocolate topping or syrup that turns from a liquid into a solid on contact with ice cream. This is due to the coconut oil, which turns from a liquid to a solid when it touches the freezing ice cream.

The original ice magic was made with a mixture of chocolate, sugar, coconut oil and sunflower oil, however here I’m simply using coconut oil. If using virgin coconut oil your ice magic will have more of a coconut flavour, which is not necessarily a bad thing. As for the chocolate, feel free to go with the chocolate of your choice – white, milk, dark or a combination.

Vanilla Bean Ice cream with ice magic |

Vanilla Bean Ice cream with homemade ice magic (magic shell) |

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Homemade Ice Magic
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream only lightly adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britto Bauer
  • 500ml (2 cups) full cream (whole) milk
  • 1 tbs plus 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 3 tbs (1½ oz) cream cheese
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1¼ cups cream
  • ⅔ cup raw sugar
  • 2 tbs glucose (light corn) syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out, seeds and bean reserved
  • 200g (7 oz) dark chocolate or chocolate of your choice
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  1. In a small bowl add the cornflour (corn starch) with 2 tbs of milk and whisk to combine. Place the cream cheese in a large bowl along with the salt and whisk until smooth. Fill the kitchen sink with cold water and ice or ice packs.
  2. Place the remaining milk, cream, sugar, glucose (light corn) syrup and vanilla seeds and bean in a large saucepan and stir to combine before bringing to a boil over a medium high heat. Boil for 4 minutes before removing from the heat and gradually whisking in the cornflour (corn starch) mixture. Return to the heat and bring back to a boil and cook, stirring with a spoon or heat proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  3. Gradually add the hot milk to the cream cheese, whisking to combine to form a smooth mixture. Place the bowl into the sink filled with water and ice and leave for 30 minutes, or until cold.
  4. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers instructions. Place in a large freezer safe container and place a sheet of baking paper directly against the surface of the ice cream and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
  5. For the magic shell place a saucepan filled with water over a medium heat and bring to a simmer (not a boil) before turning the heat off. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl and place above the saucepan and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the mixture into a microwave or heat proof jar or bottle and seal until ready to use.
There is no need to store the ice magic in the refrigerator, storing in the pantry is perfectly fine. If your ice magic has hardened microwave for 20 seconds, adding more time as necessary, until melted.


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  1. Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon August 19, 2013  10:15 am Reply

    I have fond childhood memories of ice magic too! It's great to have a recipe so I can make my own and use my favourite chocolate!

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 19, 2013  3:49 pm Reply

    I adore vanilla bean ice cream and nothing is better than homemade!

  3. thelittleloaf August 19, 2013  11:00 pm Reply

    I always thought this was so magical and exciting as a child - so much fun to discover you can make a healthy version yourself at home. I use it to coat ice cream bars as well as a sauce, so good!

  4. Julia | August 21, 2013  4:27 am Reply

    Love homemade ice cream, never tried making it myself yet, but I will ! :) This looks wonderful!

  5. Francesca August 24, 2013  9:04 pm Reply

    This looks awesome, and vanilla is my favorite! Bonus!


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