TO MAKE ICE CREAM
cream . . . what could be simpler?
cream in various guises has been known for centuries,
even before the invention of freezers! The likes of
Julius Caesar was said to have enjoyed it, it may have
been fresh snow combined with fresh fruits and maybe
some cream added but it seems we have long held this
frozen delight in great esteem. Another story says that
at an exhibition in the USA an ice cream vendor was
next to a waffle maker and after running out of dishes
for the ice cream they put their heads together and
through accident rather than design the ice cream cone
could be nicer with summer approaching the northern
hemisphere than making and enjoying your very own, fresh
ice cream at home? It need not be complicated either.
This week I will share with you a few ways that luscious,
fresh, creamy ice cream can be made at home. Hopefully
I will cover all the bases or problems that you may
have previously encountered with this task like not
having an ice cream machine, basic mixture splitting,
me next week for a couple of ice cream recipes with
makes a great ice cream?
Obviously a great recipe is a must but more than that,
one must understand what is happening at a chemical
level as it is being made to truly make a great ice
the mixture starts to freeze, ice crystals are formed.
To achieve a true smooth finish the production of small
ice crystals is a must. Achieving this is a combination
of freezing the mixture as quickly as possible and /
or churning. This is precisely the reasons why ice cream
making at home is best done with a small ice cream machine.
if you were to pour liquid nitrogen into your basic
mixture, it would freeze down in less than a minute
and the tiniest of crystals would form and strangely
enough you would have to wait for it to warm up before
you could eat it!
or not machine?
Let me first of all answer the question most often asked.
Do you need an expensive ice cream machine? No you do
not. Of course, if you can afford one and intend to
make fresh ice cream often then they are a great investment.
If you just intend to make the occasional batch for
a special dinner party, then there are ways around not
having a machine . . . as I will share with you this
custard base, tinned or packet?
Most (but not all) ice creams are made from a custard
base to which flavourings are added. The true aficionado
will go for the fresh, home made custard base and why
not? You have so much more control over its texture,
creaminess or reduced fat content (by making with
skimmed milk), its vanilla flavour and of course
its total lack of additives and preservatives.
said, if you have no time, patience or skill for making
fresh egg custard (omit the saffron) then I suggest
the tinned version over the packet as this tends to
be not so strong in vanilla or artificial flavours .
. . but this does depend on your local brands, etc.
Fresh egg custard can be made as creamy or as low fat
as one wishes. You can make it:
with cream but great care has to be taken as it tends
to burn very easily
cream and milk (or any proportion thereof)
non-fat / skimmed milk
For the most part these are best added to the fresh
custard as you are making it, if you are using pre-made
tinned custard, heat it through and add the flavouring
flavourings to use? There are so many options:
fruits puréed in a food processor
fruits lightly stewed (with a minimum amount of liquid)
and puréed in a food processor
you like chocolate add some cocoa and chocolate essence
to the custard (be sure to add grated chocolate)
or liqueur essences
list is endless. An important point to remember however
is that food loses its flavour when frozen, so you
must flavour the custard quite strongly to allow for
this flavour loss. It normally takes a couple of attempts
to find your taste levels.
add your favourite alcohol flavour such as Cointreau,
whisky, etc to your ice creams, you need first of
all to remove the actual alcohol content as the alcohol
will retard or prevent the ice cream from freezing.
This can be achieved by pouring the liqueur into a
pan, carefully heating and very carefully igniting
it. Once the flame has died out the alcohol has been
removed and what is left is basically pure flavour.
make a beer flavoured ice cream . . . join me next
you would like a swirl or ripple effect to your ice
cream, this needs to be folded through when the ice
cream is semi frozen. This ripple can be a bought
fudge sauce, a pure fruit purée, etc
To lighten the texture to that similar to a parfait,
fold through lightly whipped cream and / or whipped
egg white (left over from making the fresh egg custard)
to the cold custard before you begin to freeze it. For
tips on egg white whipping <click
ICE CREAM USING A MACHINE
should be taken not to overfill the machine's bowl as
the mixture will expand during the churning process.
It is recommended that the bowl is filled no more than
two-thirds full with the initial mixture.
on machine and allow to chill down according to manufacturers
the custard and flavour accordingly
into the machine and follow manufacturers instructions
and place in the freezer
ICE CREAM WITHOUT A MACHINE #1
the custard and flavour accordingly and allow to cool
a large bowl place a smaller bowl (but large enough
to hold the ice cream mixture) in the gap between
the large and small bowl fill this with ice cubes
(break up smaller if required)
lightly with salt - this will reduce the temperature
of the ice
the ice cream into the smaller inner bowl
to begin freezing, stirring, whisking and scraping
down the sides as it starts to freeze (this can be
placed in the freezer if you wish to speed up the
process) - the stirring, etc is essential to prevent
large ice crystals from forming
ice cream is best served as soon as it is has frozen
to a soft consistency. If you would like to use it
the next day or later see the following method for
softening it back up
ICE CREAM WITHOUT A MACHINE #2
the custard and flavour accordingly and allow to cool
into a tray (it is best if the mixture is approximately
4 cm deep) and place in the freezer
from time to time as it freezes
half of the mixture has frozen, remove and place into
a food processor and pulse to break up
back into the tray and three-quarters freeze
and place back into the food processor and pulse to
to three-quarters freeze again and pulse one more
time in the food processor before freezing for the
last freezing is best done in a storage container
CUSTARD BASE FOR ICE CREAM (CRÈME ANGLAISE)
have suggested a quarter of a vanilla pod or half a
teaspoon of vanilla essence, this is presuming you will
be using it as a base and actually flavouring your ice
cream with other fruits, essences, etc. If you love
fresh vanilla ice cream increase to half or one pod
or one teaspoon of essence.
the yolks and sugar into a bowl whisk until almost
the vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape out the
seeds and add both pod and seeds to the milk / cream,
bring to the boil and remove the pod
to cool for 5 minutes then temper the egg mixture
by slowly adding half the hot milk / cream to it while
the tempered egg mixture into the remaining hot milk
back on a medium heat and continue to cook stirring
constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and
coats the back of a spoon; if you can drag your finger
across the back of the spoon and leave a clear channel
it is ready. Any more cooking will curdle the custard
to cool slightly before adding any berry purée,
mixture is now ready for placing in the ice cream
machine or freezer
cook, curdle or coagulate at 72°C so great care
must be taken not to overheat the mixture or allow
it to boil
making Crème Anglaise with fresh vanilla it
is also nice to leave the vanilla seeds in - it leaves
an attractive finish to the ice cream and shows the
guests that fresh vanilla was used.
your ice cream and bon appetit . . . . .
quantity (add to taste)
meaning a whole one of
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