Thursday, 31 December 2015

Adult ice cream: vanilla, chocolate, rum & raisin

My family has gifted me a proper ice cream maker. This means frozen desserts in under an hour. No more freezing freezy things for 24 hours beforehand. And it might just be the death of me. Gelatified.

It was one of those: 'a gift for Christmas and birthday'. Yes, I am blighted with having being born on December 28th. It's a terrible date for a celebration, caught in the listless slack-water between the high tides of Christmas and New Year's Eve. It's a day when nothing much is open and friends are either driving from the outlaws, hangover sitting or bloated and corpulent... or some tedious combination.

It is a wonderful present but I may regret its purchase. I have made ice cream every day for six days. I have eaten the same. All in the name of research you understand. I do so you don't have to. You're welcome.

For some reason I've never thought ice cream should be simply iced cream, it was only because it was the first recipe in the Cuisinart instruction manual that I considered it. I've always potched about with eggs and custard. Boy, have I had a damascene conversion  Ice cream made with milk and cream is simple, delicious and has a wonderfully smooth and fudgy texture.

The three recipes here have almost identical bases. They can be made in all manner of makers you don't need a self chilling one.

You should look at my sugar wafer blog too. They were literally made for each other.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes just over a litre.

Make sure all your liquids are fridge cold. In a bowl, whisk together 450ml of double cream with 220ml of milk. Add 140g of caster sugar and whisk until dissolved. Add a good teaspoon of vanilla paste/extract or the seeds from two squishy pods.

Churn in your machine for 40 minutes. Eat or freeze.

That's it.

Rum & Raisin Ice Cream
Makes just over a litre.

This uses unadulterated rum so you might want to think before offering it to children, muslims and recovering alcoholics. It has quite a kick. It does partner brilliantly with Christmas pudding. The alcohol makes it a soft set ice cream.

Soak about 150g of raisins, sultanas etc in about 100ml of your rum of choice. I used a spiced number, because I'll never drink it otherwise. Leave covered for a few hours or, better, overnight.

Strain the fruit in a sieve, reserving the rum.

In a bowl whisk together 40g muscovado sugar, 100g caster sugar with 200ml milk. Once smooth add  450ml double cream. Churn for 40 minutes. 

Now add the steeped fruit and a couple of tablespoons of the reserved rum. If you add more than this your ice cream will never really set; the alcohol lowering the freezing point. 

ice cream and cone: New River Dining.
Ring and purple blouse: model's own.
Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes just over a litre.

I am a bit of a chocolate nazi. Cadbury's Dairy Milk is an insult to humanity and will never pass these lips. And Hershey's!  Dear god. How did that become so popular?! For this reason I buy Valrhona chocolate in bulk. I have three kilos or their fabulous cocoa powder in my larder. I appreciate that most people don't and it is an internet purchase for most people. I think Waitrose (UK) stock it though.

I won't pretend this is bitter, but I would call it an adult ice cream - all about a deep, dark chocolate flavour. You can add more sugar or cream if you like but I urge you not to. A very good dark cocoa powder is needed for a very good ice cream so try and find some Valrhona, or failing that, Green & Black's. Please don't use Cadbury's or Kraft or some own brand nonsense. It's not often I actually say 'oh my god!' with my own cooking... but I did with this.

In a bowl, mix 120g caster sugar, 80g good quality cocoa powder and a rounded teaspoon of instant espresso coffee powder. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk and blend to a paste. Add a further 200ml of milk and mix well. Blend in 450ml double cream.

Churn for at least 30 minutes. Eat or freeze.

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