Ice cream means something different to everyone. For some it evokes childhood memories of ice-cream vans driving through the streets on hot summer afternoons, music playing through a single megaphone speaker on the roof. Growing up in a town with no McDonald’s, I remember running barefoot down the road clutching my pocket money and hoping to get some meltingly delicious soft serve. As you get older it means different things like dinner parties or snuggling up on the couch Brigit Jones style in your PJ’s, with a chick flick, a box of tissues, a tub of ice-cream and a spoon.
For me ice-cream has always been one of those instant gratification things. Sometimes you see a little Gelati shop as you walk along the street and as you pass, you are drawn inside to contemplate all the flavours that compete for your attention, other times you find yourself wandering to the freezer after dinner for a sweet treat. My point here is that if you went to get ice-cream and they told you it would be 4 hours till you could have it, I don’t think anyone would eat it! When I read the recipe for making ice-cream and saw it had a 4 hour refrigeration step I had to take a second look…seriously!! The instant gratification that I usually associated with ice-cream would have to wait.
Once I had come to terms with the process I started trawling the web for English toffee ice-cream recipes. They were hard to find. Most just make toffee and add it to purchased chocolate ice cream…slackers.
The toffee was the easy bit but I had a few questions about the finer details of the ice-cream. When I cook I like to do things in whatever way seems logical to me, this sometimes ends in tears but it’s a risk I am usually willing to take. I took the chocolate ice-cream recipe that came with my mixer and substituted the chocolate for caramel. While you can go with your gut feeling most of the time, there are some things you shouldn’t muck with and I was concerned that ice-cream would fall into that category.
With the egg yolks separated and beaten together with caster sugar, I heated the milk which was to be combined with the chocolate before being whisked together with cream. The next hurdle was the milk and cream. Now, it seems that I have developed a small intolerance to lactose. I’m not what people would call ‘lactose intolerant’ but too much of a good thing leads to, well let’s just say less is best. While the caramel buttons weren’t lactose free I found that my local supermarket not only sells lactose free milk but when walking down the cream aisle I was pleased to see that there on the bottom shelf with a big ‘NEW’ sticker was lactose free cream. Hooray! But would the ice-cream work with lactose free milk and cream…
The preparation went well in my new Breville Scraper mixer Pro that my MIL bought me for my 30th just recently and as I write the sweet-smelling ice cream mix is sitting in the fridge ‘chilling’ for the next 3 hours and 42 minutes.
Fast forward 3 hours and 42 minutes…
I was a bit concerned that I hadn’t mixed the egg well enough…there was some bits of egg on the surface, the solution, the trusty old slotted spoon.
It was now time to get out the ice cream paddle and freezer bowl that goes with my new mixer. I’m sure there are some out there that say that this is cheating because there weren’t always these fancy mixers that churn the ice-cream for you but the attachments were available and I got them as an Xmas gift so I think it made it fun and increased my chances of success!!
After 15 minutes of churning we had ice-cream…well sort of. It was over 38 °C (100°F) outside and we have no air-conditioning in our house so it melted in about 30 seconds but it lasted long enough to mix in the toffee and have a taste. The rest went into a container and into the freezer overnight.
I was like a kid at Xmas this morning and to my delight the ice-cream had set and had no crystals! smooth, creamy, lactose free goodness and another bucket list item knocked over #66 – Make ice cream from Scratch. What a great way to spend a Sunday outsidetheeveryday.