These ice creams have been a bit of a passion project of mine for a few weeks. Back when I was doing the Whole30 I was writing this recipe and counting down the days until I could commit to it. Then I finished my Whole30 and kind of got cold feet. It was a recipe which would take a good few days to pull together all the elements and then the last day you have to contend with warm tempered chocolate and cold ice cream without a meltdown.
I am prone to kitchen disasters as I like to constantly swim in unchartered waters. I have an excellent baker friend who is known for the most wonderful cakes. She has a few solid recipes which she brings out in rotation whenever I see her. When she presents her cakes they are reliably beautiful and delicious. Her baking abilities are never questioned; if she has any kitchen failures, she keeps them close to her chest and only brings forth her cakes after they have been thoroughly vetted in her test kitchen and she can wow us all with her brilliance.
I, on the other hand, love to try new recipes pretty much every day, I think I must thrive on the danger of disaster. If an occasion is called to bring a cake then I use it as a perfect excuse to try out the new five layer monstrosity I’ve been working on, complete with untested buttercream, flavours and batter method. It’s always a bit of a gamble as the knife goes through the multi-layered extravaganza in front of a hungry audience as to whether it’s cooked all the way through, whether I have added enough buttercream to the layers and if all the flavours work together. So why do I always live in this constant state of panic? For the pure excitement when it does go right.
Understandably, after days of prepping these choc ices; infusing the milk with cornflakes for a day, then making the ice cream the next day, then churning the ice cream the day after that, before leaving it overnight for setting in the loaf tin, I was very keen on day four that it would not all come to blows on the assembly line. I would be calm, collected, think through my presentation prior to beginning the chocolate tempering and make sure I have enough lollipop sticks, instead of improvising with cake pop sticks (nope, they are not good enough I have found out in the past).
So I got stage fright. The cornflake ice cream has been waiting patiently in the freezer to be organised into the choc ices for ten days now, fending off after-dinner advances from all members of the household, and generally making me feel like a half job.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and did it. And thank goodness it worked. No tears were shed, no ruined ingredients were thrown in the bin in a childish tantrum and more importantly, I could eat my delicious choc ice that I had invented in the garden after a sweaty day in the kitchen. Pure pleasure. That is what I love about recipe writing, testing and endless research, it’s so satisfying when you get it right. Thanks to the internet I discovered the best way for covering my choc ices in chocolate – filling a good sized jar with the just tempered chocolate and dipping the ice cream sticks in directly from the freezer. As soon as the chocolate touches the ice cream it forms a barrier against melting and the cold ice cream cools the chocolate immediately, also preventing it from melting the ice cream. Sprinkle those bad boys with the crunchy honey peanuts immediately and then lay to rest on baking parchment and place back into the freezer before they can even think about collapsing. This recipe takes time, the only way to finish the choc ices on the assembly line is by taking the cornflake ice cream sticks out of the freezer in batches. You will have to work quickly to ensure the chocolate doesn’t fall out of temper and your ice cream doesn’t fall off their sticks.
However, the most important element of this whole recipe is how damn delicious these choc ices are. Cornflake ice cream is a constant presence in our freezer and it is paired deliciously, as I had hoped, with the thick wrapping of milk chocolate and the salty honeyed crunch of peanuts. They are tasty, tasty, very very tasty. They’re very tasty.
Crunchy Nut Cornflake Choc Ices
Makes 8-10 choc ices
1.2lt whole milk
600ml double cream
12 egg yolks
180g golden caster sugar
250g natural unsalted peanuts
25g light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
800g milk chocolate, tempered
- Tip the cornflakes into a large bowl and pour over the milk. Cover with cling film and leave to soak in the fridge overnight.
- Strain the milk and discard the soggy cornflakes. You should have achieved about 600ml of cornflake infused milk.
- Pour the milk and the cream into a large saucepan and bring to an even boil.
- Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until they are pale, thick and frothy.
- Once the milk and cream have boiled, turn off the heat and very carefully pour into the egg yolks and sugar in a very thin stream whisking it in all the while.
- Pour it all into a bain marie set over a pan of simmering water. Bring the cornflake custard up to 70°C, whisking all the while to avoid lumps and curdling.
- Remove the bain marie from the heat and plunge the bowl into a sink full of iced water to immediately drop the temperature. Stir the custard until the temperature begins to cool. Remove from the ice bath, cover the surface of the custard with clingfilm to ward off any skin forming then leave to chill in the fridge overnight.
- Once the custard is thoroughly chilled then churn in an ice cream machine until it forms a dropping consistency.
- Pour the soft set ice cream into a 9 inch loaf tin, cover tightly with cling film and place in the freezer to set overnight.
- To make the crunchy honey nuts first spread the peanuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C.
- Remove the peanuts from the oven and chop roughly.
- Meanwhile boil the honey and sugar with a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil, turn down slightly and cook for about 2 minutes until the honey caramel darkens slightly.
- Turn off the heat then tip the peanuts into the saucepan. Mix quickly until the peanuts are evenly coated then pour onto baking parchment and leave to harden.
- Once the crunchy honey nuts have hardened then chop them roughly.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer and turn the ice cream out of the loaf tin. If this is proving difficult, either run a blow torch around the outside of the tin or carefully run the bottom of the tin under hot water.
- Once the ice cream has been removed cut into slices, neatening the edges evenly. Quickly insert the lollipop sticks into the base of the ice cream slices and place on baking parchment lined baking trays then return to the freezer until needed.
- At this stage temper the milk chocolate.
- Pour the tempered milk chocolate into a jar large enough so you can dunk and fully submerge your ice cream into the jar.
- Working very quickly, remove your sticks of ice cream from the freezer in batches, dunk into the jar of chocolate then sprinkle the crunchy honey nuts over. Place the choc ices back onto the baking parchment lined baking trays then back into the freezer to set for at least 2 hours before eating.