coffee & ice cream event) arrived last week! I have been having so much fun and eating far too much ice cream! It’s almost become one of my new foods groups – protein, carbs, fruit & veg and ice cream!
I was longing to get creating wacky flavours straight away but in a moment of clarity decided it was probably wise to start at the beginning with a simple vanilla ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is apparently the nations favourite ice cream flavour, which seems a little boring in my view, but then I suppose it all comes down to the quality of the ice cream. You can get really good vanilla ice creams made with eggs, cream and real vanilla or really bad vanilla ice cream.
This vanilla ice cream is firmly in the ‘good’ category – it’s so smooth and creamy and absolutely bursting with real vanilla flavour. Just look at all those little black speckles – that’s not dirt – its vanilla!
When I came to use my vanilla pods I discovered I didn’t have any fresh squishy ones and only the brittle dry pieces that I store in my sugar. I had a brain wave and blitzed the vanilla, seeds, pod and all, in a spice grinder along with a little sugar. This transformed the dry vanilla into the most amazing vanilla pod powder. Still packed full of flavour and no wastage – hurrah.
The thing I am most impressed about with this ice cream maker is that you can lift off the entire lid covering the bowl where the ice cream is churned, even during freezing. This means you can easily pour in your ice cream mix, throw in some add-ins or sauces without having to try and drizzle it through a small spout at the top like other ice cream machines I’ve seen. This makes it far easier to check how your ice cream is progressing and actually get the mix in there in the first place without pouring it down the sides.
The resulting ice cream was amazing. Using the ground up whole vanilla pod really gave an intense vanilla flavour and I love how the little seeds were noticeably speckled throughout. It was rich, smooth and creamy thanks to the fast freeze and churn action which prevents large ice crystals from forming. Yum!
There is going to be a whole series of ice creams creations appearing shortly. I’ve already made another ice cream this weekend, inspired by one of my favourite cake flavours. Check back later in the week to see which one!
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
(Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz)
150g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
200ml double cream
½ vanilla pod (fresh or dry – see note below)
Cut the vanilla in half and scrape out the seeds. Combine the seeds and pod to the milk and cream and heat together in a small saucepan until very hot but not bubbling.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Pour a little of the hot milk over the egg yolks and quickly whisk to temper the mixture and prevent it from scrambling. Add more of the milk to the egg yolks whisking all the time.
Then pour the eggy milky mixture back into the saucepan and place over a low heat. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir the mixture until it begins to thicken. This may take up to 5 minutes. Do not allow it to bubble or boil or else it will split.
The ice cream mix is ready once it coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl.
Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating for at least 2 hours or until chilled.
Pour the chilled ice cream into your ice cream maker (remove the vanilla pod first) and blend until frozen to the desired consistency, around 20-30minutes.
Eat straight away or transfer to a container and keep for later.
Note: After making your ice cream base, it can be poured into a Tupperware container and frozen in a regular freezer. Just remove it from the freezer every 1-2hours and give it a whisk, to ensure it freezes evenly.
Note: I found all my vanilla pods were very dry and hard as I’d stored them in some sugar. I simply broke a piece off and blitzed it in a spice grinder with a little of the sugar to create my own vanilla bean powder. This was really intense and gave a wonderful speckled vanilla appearance to the finished ice cream.