I don’t know about the rest of Britain, but I know I definitely feel like summer has drawn to a close in the last few days – it rained all day today, I’m wearing my furry bodywarmer inside the house, and am starting to crave soups, casseroles, pies or similar for dinner rather than salad. All of this means it is definitely not ice cream weather…but I made my first homemade ice cream last night, and am only just getting started! My main incentive was using up leftover egg yolks I had from attempting meringue (will save that story for another post) and I chose mint choc chip simply because it is the best ice cream flavour, no question. There were a surprising number of heating stages involved, slightly counter-intuitive when making a frozen dessert, but the final result was absolutely worth all the steps and a million times cheaper than shop-bought ice cream. Ginger is the next flavour in the pipeline…watch this space!
Here is the recipe I used for my ice cream, very simple, really easy – don’t be put off at all if you don’t own an ice cream maker; I don’t!
- 70g dark chocolate
- 200ml full-fat milk (I used semi-skimmed and it turned out fine)
- 150ml double cream (Elmlea is a good cheap substitute with less saturated fats)
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 35g (ish) fresh mint leaves, with stalks
- 2 large egg yolks
- 70g caster sugar
Step 1: Heat the milk and cream in a pan with the vanilla pod (split it down the middle and scrape the seeds out then put the pod in too) til almost boiling. Add the mint leaves, put a lid on and simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Strain the mixture through a sieve – press down on the mint leaves to get as much flavour as you can out of them – and throw away the vanilla pod and mint. Pour the minty creamy mix into a clean pan (just rinse the one you’ve been using) and pop back on the hob until it is almost boiling again.
Step 3: Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until thick and pale. Pour half of the hot cream into the yolks and sugar, whisk til combined thoroughly, then add the rest and whisk again.
Step 4: Rinse out your pan and put the combined cream, milk, eggs and sugar (basically a custard now) back into the pan and on a low heat for a few minutes to slightly thicken. STIR IT ALL THE TIME! I missed this instruction at first and nothing bad came of it, but here it is in caps so you don’t miss it too.
Step 5: Pour into a chilled container (I put my tupperware in the freezer beforehand, it cools very quickly) and pop into the freezer. Simples! After 2-3 hours, your ice cream will need churning – ice crystals will form at the sides of the tub, so give it a good mix. This is also when you add in your chocolate chips; you can use actual chocolate chips, or smashed up dark chocolate (this is easiest to do if you freeze the chocolate for about half an hour before putting it into a plastic bag and bashing it with a rolling pin – loads of fun!).
Serve in a cone, in a bowl, with all sorts of cakes or hot desserts…or on the queen of biscuits – the dark chocolate digestives, as I have in the picture. Yum. These measurements make enough ice cream to give 2-3 people a couple of modest scoops. Be warned, don’t expect commercial mint flavour or the pale green colour from this ice cream – it’s homemade and therefore au natural!
Recipe Source: BBC Good Food