Speaking of stabilizers, I was watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen on PBS the other day, and they did a taste-test on vanilla ice cream. Locally, Edy's is popular where I live because it's made right here in Fort Wayne. However, the show went on to talk about the amount of stabilizers added to some brands of ice cream which gave them an unpleasant texture. After being in a bowl at room temperature for 17 minutes, the Edy's ice cream had not yet melted - at all. It was a testament to the amount of chemicals added to the product, and I felt a wince of pain in my stomach as I remembered all of the bowls of Edy's I used to enjoy not so long ago. All of those bowls of chemical additives.... yum.
Recently, we purchased a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It's one of those things you don't really need, but we had been hankering to make our own ice cream for over a year now. And since our diets have become more natural and chemical-free, we figured making our own ice cream was a great way to control the quality of the products used to make it. The first batch came out okay -- it was a recipe from the enclosed Cuisinart booklet, but I think they're best at sticking to making the ice cream makers, not introducing recipes for ice cream. The next recipe was from Alton Brown which we got off of the food network site. I've never had ice cream that good in my life!!
Chocolate Ice Cream by Alton Brown