Friday, 23 September 2016

Honeycomb ice cream

I know, yet another ice cream blog. Did someone get a Cuisinart for his birthday or something? Do I even need to sell this? It's honeycomb ice cream - one of the best things I've made. It has more calories than a whole hippy kale collective. But imagine serving this with a scoop of our chocolate? Now think of boiled kale. Yeah. Honeycomb brings out the child in many an adult. I'm always surprised at how well it's received. Anyway, I'm going to blog a couple of excellent salads this week too, just for balance.

First make your honeycomb. You'll only need about a quarter the amount of the linked recipe but I'd do the whole lot. There's a certain safety in mass when using sugar and it's hardly expensive. You will find the spare stuff disappears all by itself. Honeycomb can be made in about five minutes. You do need a temperature probe but, to be honest, if you haven't bought one yet I'm losing all patience with you. Honeycomb is a great bit of kitchen chemistry to impress the kids, but bear in mind the sugar is at 150°C. I used to get mine to pour in the bicarb with an oven glove on while I whisked it into the hot sugar.

Once the honeycomb is cool, place between a large fold of baking paper, fold up the edges to stop pieces flying out and gently crush with a rolling pin or something similar. What's similar to a rolling pin? Good question. If you don't do this within paper you will enjoy the delicate crunch-stick-crunch-stick of honeycomb underfoot for several days. Don't make the pieces too small. You should aim for something like this. Keep the honeycomb in an airtight container, otherwise it will become one with the universe.

Make your ice cream according to my usual fast custard method. I'll repeat it here to save clicking another link, but also because the mix is slightly different. 

The addition of honey means the ice cream is soft scoop pretty much straight out of the depths of your freezer. This also means it will melt more quickly if left... but don't worry, that never happens.

In a jug, measure 250ml of full fat milk. To the jug add 100g caster sugar, three tablespoons of honey and a smidge of salt. Put this in a nice heavy pan on a medium burner, full heat. The amount of heat is important. Don't scald the milk.

While the sugary milk is heating, break four large egg yolks into the jug and give them a quick whisk. Keep the whites for something else. Now use your probe to check the temperature of the milk. It's probably around 65°C unless you are very cack handed with eggs. When the milk gets to between 72 - 75°C, pour the yolks in and whisk briskly. Now turn the heat down to half and stir with a wooden spoon.

Within two minutes the custard should start to thicken to the classic 'coat the back of a spoon' condition. If it doesn't, call me and we'll talk it through. Whisk in 600ml of cold double cream. This lowers the heat and stops the yolks scrambling. If you suspect some scramble, sieve your mix before proceeding.

Now make your ice-cream with the creamy custard mix. I hope you remembered to put your freezy bowl thing in the freezer yesterday.

In the last five minutes of churning, pour in about 140g of the honeycomb mix. Don't do it earlier because you risk breaking the pieces too small. The finer honeycomb dust will dissolve and flavour the ice-cream, adding to the honey flavour.

I like to serve the icecream on a bed of honeycomb pieces. Just wet the plate slightly and the honeycomb will cling. This also stops the ice cream careering across the plate while we are serving.

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