Red Velvet Ice Cream

Red Velvet Ice Cream
I first tried red velvet ice cream a couple of years ago at Taste of London. It was definitely one of the most popular desserts of the day as everywhere you looked people were clutching at cones stacked high with beautifully scarlet ice cream. I don’t know what it is about red food but it just looks terrifically inviting and we immediately scouted out where people were getting their ice creams from and joined the long long queue to get our own cones. It’s just as well that I can’t remember which restaurant was offering this ice cream as when we first took our first licks it was incredibly disappointing. Stunningly tasteless.

There are a few people who will probably shrug at this as red velvet cakes often seem to be more pomp than circumstance, relying on the food colouring for effect and the only taste really deriving from the cream cheese icing that always adorns them. However, I heartily disagree for I feel that red velvet cake is one of the most subtly complex cakes, blessed with the richness of cocoa, a hint of vanilla and light and tangy with the buttermilk. If you think the cake is tasteless then you are getting your red velvets from the wrong source my friend.

Red Velvet Ice Cream

So, I was thinking about this bland red velvet ice cream, and how unfortunate it is when the taste of something doesn’t marry with the beauty of it. It’s been nagging at me for a while and I have been keen to improve my experience of red velvet ice cream and give it a go myself.

So I eventually arrived at this recipe after a lot of failed attempts and can decree that this ice cream really is what red velvet ice cream should taste like. It has a creamy custard base but the quantity of buttermilk used gives the ice cream such a delicately bright flavour. However, it’s not the overriding element and the vanilla and chocolately background gives the ice cream depth and its incredible moreishness.

This ice cream is just wonderful by itself and the glorious ruby of it will pair beautifully with the colours of the season. You are taking the ice cream into another dimension though if you think of serving it with a good wodge of chocolate fudge cake, the ice cream will cut through the richness and I swear will leave you floundering for words.

Red Velvet Ice Cream

Red Velvet Ice Cream
Makes about 2 pints

250g caster sugar
450ml double cream
250ml whole milk
35g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tbsp red food colouring
4 egg yolks
300ml buttermilk
1 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Heat the caster sugar, double cream and cocoa powder in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Make sure the cocoa has completely dissolved then remove from the heat.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and food colouring.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until thick, then pour in the red velvet mixture in a thin stream, whisking all the while until everything has been mixed together.
  4. Pour the red custard into a bain marie, then re-heat. Bring the custard up to 85°C but do not boil.
  5. As soon as it has reached the correct temperature, pour the custard into a bowl set into an ice bath and carry on whisking until the custard cools.
  6. Strain the custard into a large jug and set cling film over the surface to avoid a skin forming. Place in the fridge overnight to chill.
  7. The next day remove the custard from the fridge and add the buttermilk and lemon juice. Pour into your ice cream machine and churn for 20 minutes until the ice cream is a thick milkshake consistency.
  8. Decant into tubs and place in the fridge overnight to finish the set.

Raspberry and Oreo Ice Cream

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream
I am more than happy to admit my failures and my faults – I have many and I embrace them all. This ice cream is like the opposite of that.

When I make something I am really proud of it reminds me why I started blogging in the first place. It would be simply criminal not to share this ice cream with the world. My favourite of all my recipes is always the one I last blogged about which is why I’m probably always touting my latest effort as the best I have ever done. So feel free to take it with a pinch of salt when I say that this ice cream is the best ice cream in the world ever hands down. That includes the insane rosemary honey gelato I had a couple of weeks ago at Broadway Market which led to some horrible attempts to recreate it in my own kitchen immediately when I got home. I’m sure I’ll get there with my gelato recipes one day but I know for certain I can make ice cream and this one seals the deal.

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream  |  Stroud Green Larder

I thoroughly enjoy making ice cream, not just the process of it which can be immensely relaxing as I have written about before but I love the fact that you can store it in the freezer. There is no immediacy with the finished product; like when I’m trying to palm off half a cake to the UPS delivery man before it goes stale or handing out hot scones that I will never get round to eating to unsuspecting neighbourhood kids who just want to know if I would like my car washed. Although there was that one time when we had to emergency defrost the freezer and we were passing out half eaten tubs of homemade lemon and chocolate brownie ice cream down our street. However, I made this raspberry and Oreo ice cream this week and the urgency of eating it suddenly became clear. If I did not eat it, someone else would and that would be really uncool.

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream  |  Stroud Green Larder

If you read my recipes carefully then you will see the base of this recipe is very similar to my Blackberries and Cream ice cream, it has become my favourite method of ice cream recently. The set is soft and the sharp berry flavour is intensified without the addition of an egg based custard. It’s so fresh tasting and contrasts beautifully with the homeliness of the Oreos.

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream
Makes about 2 pints

500g raspberries
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
250g caster sugar
4 egg whites
300ml double cream
154g packet of Oreos

  1. Pour the raspberries into a medium sized pan and heat gently with a splash of water to aid the breaking down of the berries. Once the berries have completely softened then remove them from the heat and pour into a sieve. Push the berries through, the best aid for this I think is a silicone spatula, so that all the seeds are extracted from the fruit pulp. Discard the seeds (or save to make a fruit alcohol infusion as explained above) and return the pureed raspberries back into the pan.
  2. Add the icing sugar and liquid glucose to the raspberry puree and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat then leave to cool before covering and refrigerating overnight.
  3. Meanwhile pour the sugar into another medium sized saucepan and add 300ml of water. Heat gently so that the sugar completely dissolves into the water. Then bring to the boil and carrying on boiling until it reaches a very thick and syrupy consistency, it should reach 112°C on a sugar thermometer and can take about 20 minutes. You must keep your eye on the saucepan at all times so that it doesn’t bubble over.
  4. In a large mixing bowl whisk up the egg whites until stiff, then drizzle in the sugar syrup in a slow steady steam whilst continuing whisking. The egg whites will turn beautifully glossy.
  5. In a separate bowl lightly whip the double cream then fold into the egg whites until they are fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day pour the egg white and cream mixture into your ice cream machine and start churning. Pour in the raspberry puree immediately whilst the machine is churning and then the puree will mix in evenly.
  7. Meanwhile reserve 4 Oreos for decorating the top but place the rest of the biscuits in a food processor and whizz until they have become breadcrumbs. Chop the reserved 4 Oreos roughly.
  8. Once the ice cream has reached a thick milkshake consistency and is pretty much ready then pour in the crumbed Oreos and churn for a couple of minutes until they have been evenly distributed through the ice cream.
  9. Decant the ice cream into tubs, tucking in the roughly chopped 4 Oreos on the top and then freeze overnight to reach the correct set.

Blackberries and Cream Ice Cream

Blackberries and Cream Ice Cream
Fruit ice creams in August are such a treat. I have been breaking all my rules about mid afternoon snacking by taking an indulgent break about 4pm to sit out in my sunny garden with a crisp buttery cone stuffed with blackberries and cream ice cream. I have lived in Stroud Green for a couple of years and this has been the first year that I have been able to make full use of my garden. Usually we have been washed inside by calamitous storms and miserable rain. However, this summer I have loved taking advantage of everything that a British summer has to offer and that includes the ever so traditional berries and cream.

I have a small confession though, this isn’t my recipe at all, I have totally cribbed it from my father’s old collection of 1980s Taste Magazines. The recipe was completely perfect as it was, all I’ve tweaked is a bit of the method and the name. Taste referred to it as Frosted Blackberry and Caramel Marble ice cream. Now, the recipe was indeed made with a caramel but that isn’t what gives the deliciously soft, smooth ice cream its flavour, it is instead made bountiful with the sweet, plump juicy blackberries and generous clouds of cream and I think that is what needs to be celebrated about this absolutely amazing ice cream which has swiftly become one of my favourites.

One of the main things I adapted about the recipe was the preparation of the blackberries as I have a bit of an issue with seeds I’ve realised. It came from an off hand comment my mother-in-law once made about the difficulty in buying seedless jams from the farmers’ markets, so last year when I made some jams that I intended to give her I made sure I sieved out the seeds in the process. This has now become second nature to me and now I really notice and am bothered by the inclusion of seeds in jams and ice creams. I bought a homemade raspberry ice lolly from the market a couple of weeks ago and the seeds were so overwhelming that it completely ruined the treat for me. I was picking them out of my teeth for the rest of the afternoon and complaining about it to anyone unlucky enough to be in my company that day. Removing the seeds is a bit of an extra step when dealing with berries but it changes the consistency to be so much smoother that it is definitely worth it. The other upside to always removing the seeds is that you will often have a large amount of fruity gubbins leftover from the sieving process which is absolutely perfect for making infused gins and vodkas which I will be posting more about in the future since I have made a lot of them over the summer.

Blackberries and Cream Ice Cream  |  Stroud Green Larder

This recipe was a bit of a revelation for me in terms of ice cream making. I love homemade ice cream but sometimes I can’t be bothered with the hard-set stuff, the kind that you have to take it out from the freezer for 20 minutes so that you don’t snap your spoon in half desperately trying to dig at it. These 20 minutes are always an endless time of frustration for me. This blackberries and cream ice cream though is proudly soft scoop. If you fancy a teaspoon of ice cream whilst you are waiting for the toast to pop up then this is ideal. Luscious and creamy direct from the freezer. It achieves the soft set by adding liquid glucose to pureed blackberries which helps the crystallisation of the sugar and also protects the fruit, as without the sugar the blackberries would freeze solid. The ice cream base is made by whisking egg whites and drizzling in a sugar syrup to form a fluffy meringue which is what gives the ice cream its texture. Billows of double cream are then folded through, giving the ice cream richness. The recipe asks that you ripple the blackberry puree through at the end but I was a bit heavy handed and I ended up pretty much mixing it all in. In hindsight this wasn’t a mistake as it was lovely to get a pure fruity hit in each cold creamy lick.

Blackberries and Cream Ice Cream
Adapted from Taste, August 1987

500g blackberries
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
250g light soft brown sugar
4 egg whites
300ml double cream

  1. Pour the blackberries into a medium sized pan and heat gently with a splash of water to aid the breaking down of the berries. Once the berries have completely softened then remove them from the heat and pour into a sieve. Push the berries through, the best aid for this I think is a silicone spatula, so that all the seeds are extracted from the fruit pulp. Discard the seeds (or save to make a fruit alcohol infusion as explained above) and return the pureed blackberries back into the pan.
  2. Add the icing sugar and liquid glucose to the blackberry puree and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat then leave to cool before covering and refrigerating overnight.
  3. Meanwhile pour the brown sugar into another medium sized saucepan and add 300ml of water. Heat gently so that the sugar completely dissolves into the water. Then bring to the boil and carrying on boiling until it reaches a very thick and syrupy consistency, it should reach 112°C on a sugar thermometer and can take about 20 minutes. You must keep your eye on the saucepan at all times so that it doesn’t bubble over.
  4. In a large mixing bowl whisk up the egg whites until stiff, then drizzle in the sugar syrup in a slow steady steam whilst continuing whisking. The egg whites will turn beautifully glossy.
  5. In a separate bowl lightly whip the double cream then fold into the egg whites until they are fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day pour the egg white and cream mixture into your ice cream machine and churn. For the last five minutes of churning drizzle in the blackberry puree. Once the ice cream has reached a thick milkshake consistency then decant the ice cream into tubs and freeze overnight to reach the correct set.

Butter Mint Ice Cream

Butter Mint Ice Cream
My husband is obsessed with car sweets, the kind that come in a metal tin drowned in icing sugar which you can buy from petrol stations.  We always seem to have a smorgasbord of different flavours spilling out of the glove compartment every time you go to retrieve the sat nav.  They are not so bad when they have just been bought, the sweets bounce around happily in the icing sugar, cheerily rattling against the metal.  However, if the sweets have had the misfortune to have endured a sweltering summer stuck in their hot tin, which they inevitably always do, then the icing sugar melts into a glue, clamping the sweets into a concrete ball.  If you are brave enough to tackle them at this stage you will have to prise one from the sickly grasp of its brethren, resulting in sticky fingers and sticky car.

These sweets are not worth the effort in my opinion and if you even succeed in wrestling one from the tin then they are usually so sweet anyway they make your mouth burn.  But I am not one for sweets, it’s sugar for sugar’s sake and I can get much more enjoyment from a biscuit.

Or, mints and toffees, which can hardly be classed as sweets can they?  Mints are refreshing and toffees are too delicious to pigeon hole.  So for obvious reasons when my husband is thoughtfully choosing his travel sweets I help him out by bunging a packet of  Murray Mints down on the counter, the best of both worlds.  They are much more sensible, much more yummy and they are in a packet and not a tin so you don’t get the painful clanging of the sweets bashing around each other as you fly over pot holes.  The only issue is that they are individually wrapped, great for the melting issue but not so great in making the car not look like a dustbin, as wrappers are discarded willy nilly with empty promises that they will be gathered up and thrown away at a later date.

Butter Mint Ice Cream  Stroud Green Larder

Fresh mint ice cream is a biggie in our house and I always take pleasure once a year of making it with the apple mint which we grow in our garden.  For some reason I can usually only make the crop of mint grow once so as soon as I’ve picked it, the herb withers away, only to rally round the next summer in time for my ice cream again.  Apple mint has a slightly furry leaf so you can tell it apart from regular garden mint but you can use either, or a mixture as I sometimes do if I don’t have enough apple mint.  This year I thought I would spruce up my mint ice cream and having had such success with David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream in the past, I couldn’t resist adapting the recipe conjure up the perfect butteriness of a Murray Mint.

The mint nestled into this recipe perfectly, it’s at once refreshing but also comforting and incredibly moreish.  The butter caramel enriches the mint and smoothes out the zingy edges.  It’s also a very reliable recipe, I have made it a few times and it hasn’t once succumbed to icy crystals in the freezer.  It is a softer set ice cream so you don’t have to wait impatiently for the ice cream to come up to scooping temperature.  If you are suffering in this heatwave, you can dive into the freezer and in seconds be sticking a teaspoon straight into the tub with indulgence for the ideal cool down.  If only they could wrap this ice cream up for long summer journeys down the motorway and sell it at petrol stations, then I too would be obsessed with travel sweets.

Butter Mint Ice Cream

Butter Mint Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
Makes about 2 pints

75g fresh mint leaves, including stalks
350ml double cream
600ml whole milk
300g sugar
60g salted butter
5 egg yolks
¾ tsp vanilla extract

  1. Infuse the fresh mint by pouring the milk and cream into two separate saucepans. Split the mint between the two and heat both until just below boiling point. Leave to cool for a couple of hours, then strain and discard the mint leaves from both saucepans. Measure out 250ml of double cream and 500ml whole milk as those are the quantities you will be working with. If there is any leftover you can save for another use or discard.
  2. Fill your kitchen sink halfway up with water and pour in a lot of ice until freezing. Place a large mixing bowl into the water, so it comes halfway up the sides then pour half of the minted milk into the mixing bowl. Set a sieve over the top.
  3. Spread the sugar in a large saucepan in an even layer. Heat it up until the edges begin to melt, fold it into the centre of the sugar carefully, stirring until it’s all dissolved. Carry on cooking until the caramel begins to smoke then remove from the heat immediately.
  4. Add the butter and a pinch of salt until the butter has melted then stir in the cream. Don’t worry if the caramel seizes as it can melt again at the next stage.
  5. Place back on the heat and stir until all the caramel has melted. Then stir in the second half of the milk gradually.
  6. Whisk the yolks in a bowl, then whisk in some of the warm caramel so the eggs warm up, pour the eggs back into the caramel custard and heat. Stirring all the time until it begins to thicken.
  7. Pour into the sieve set above the rest of the minted milk in the ice bath, add the vanilla extract and then whisk constantly until the temperature has cooled.
  8. Pour the custard into a large jug, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight to chill.
  9. The next day churn in your ice cream machine until the consistency of a thick milkshake. Decant into tubs and place in the freezer overnight before serving.

Crunchy Nut Cornflake Choc Ices

Crunchy Nut Cornflake Choc Ices
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.

Crunchy Nut Cornflake Choc Ices  |  Stroud Green Larder

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.

Crunchy Nut Cornflake Choc Ices  |  Stroud Green Larder

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.

Crunchy Nut Cornflake Choc Ices  |  Stroud Green Larder

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
150g cornflakes
600ml double cream
12 egg yolks
180g golden caster sugar
250g natural unsalted peanuts
75g honey
25g light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
800g milk chocolate, tempered

  1. Tip the cornflakes into a large bowl and pour over the milk. Cover with cling film and leave to soak in the fridge overnight.
  2. Strain the milk and discard the soggy cornflakes. You should have achieved about 600ml of cornflake infused milk.
  3. Pour the milk and the cream into a large saucepan and bring to an even boil.
  4. Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until they are pale, thick and frothy.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Once the custard is thoroughly chilled then churn in an ice cream machine until it forms a dropping consistency.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Remove the peanuts from the oven and chop roughly.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Once the crunchy honey nuts have hardened then chop them roughly.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. At this stage temper the milk chocolate.
  18. Pour the tempered milk chocolate into a jar large enough so you can dunk and fully submerge your ice cream into the jar.
  19. 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.

Blueberry Mess Ice Cream

This is the kind of ice cream to turn to when you’ve had a horrible day and you need a quick pick-me-up. Just head to the freezer, grab a spoon and slide it deep into the cloud of cold violet cream. The spoon won’t hit a dead-end of concrete, meaning you have to leave the ice cream out of the freezer for fifteen minutes before it will allow you to chip at its icy exterior. It is ever welcoming and will soothe the most troubled of souls. This also means it is more than a little dangerous. I can hear it calling come hither from the bottom shelf of my freezer, encouraging me to just have one creamy mouthful. But it knows how weak I am, that the one mouthful will never be enough, I will keep going back for more and more until it’s gone. I never had this trouble with Haagan Daaz.

This is a pretty easy ice cream recipe, consisting of just four ingredients which merely requires you to either mash or stir. I use condensed milk in a couple of my ice cream recipes as it has built in sweetness, so you don’t have to muck around with sugar. Blueberries pack in a lot of flavour so they stand up to the sweetness of the condensed milk well. Then adding crushed meringues creates a wonderful texture to this soft serve ice cream so the whole affair has a bit of structure as you will find it melts quickly since it doesn’t have a custard stabiliser. But that’s okay as it doesn’t last very long in the bowl anyway.

Blueberry Mess Ice Cream  |  Stroud Green Larder

I made fresh meringues for this recipe as I was using up egg whites which I just splashed with a bit of food colouring to make them a bit blue. Shop bought meringues would work just as well and would be more in keeping with this faffless recipe anyway.

Blueberry Mess Ice Cream
Makes about 1 pint

200g blueberries
300g whipping cream
1 tin condensed milk (497g)
50g meringues, broken up roughly

  1. Whizz the blueberries up in a blender until you achieve a thick puree. Set aside.
  2. Whip the cream until it is just turning stiff.
  3. Fold in the condensed milk and blueberry puree until completely combined.
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 8 hours to completely chill.
  5. Churn in your ice cream machine for about 20-30 minutes until it starts to thicken although it won’t thicken as much as a custard based ice cream. Near the end of the churning throw in the meringues until they are evenly dispersed.
  6. Decant the ice cream into a tub and leave to set overnight before serving.

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream
I find ice cream one of the most relaxing and joyful things to make.  One of the key notes about Diane Keaton’s character in It’s Complicated- oh we quote the highbrow art here – is that if she can’t sleep she makes ice cream.  Typically for a Diane Keaton role she is uptight and neurotic so her freezer is bursting with ice cream.  However, that comforting and gentle experience of making ice cream is something I can completely relate to.

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

When I stopped working full time last year I went on a bit of an ice cream bender.  I made all the flavours I had been setting aside for the many years I had worked in an intense and long-houred career.  I was now free to produce tubs of salted butter ice cream, apple pie ice cream, cornflake ice cream, and malted milk ice cream.  I bought gallons of double cream and whole milk, experimented, I infused and I churned like milk maid gone wild.  There were no losers in this scenario.  It took my mind off the terrifying prospect that I had just voluntarily given up the career I had proudly worked all my adult life to achieve and it helped me reflect on exactly what I planned to do next.   Plus my husband loves ice cream so he was as happy as a pig in Mississippi mud pie ice cream.  Which was also delicious.

It’s surprising then that I haven’t talked much about ice cream in the few months I have been writing here.  I suppose I took a bit of a hiatus, after all our freezer isn’t the giant American style megalith that Diane Keaton had and it could only take so much.  The good news is that my ice cream supply is now dwindling and I have been slowly picking up the pace these past couple of weeks to build it back up again.  Unfortunately it has coincided with the time of year that the freezer needs defrosting, but that just means we’ll have to eat it as quickly as I make it.  Again, there are no losers in this scenario.

Bitter Choc and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream
Makes about 600ml

250ml double cream
100ml whole milk
Zest of 1 orange
240g ricotta
6 egg yolks
90g caster sugar
50g dark chocolate

  1. Mix together the double cream, milk and orange zest in a medium saucepan and warm through. Set aside for 1 hour to infuse.
  2. Mix the ricotta in with the cream mixture and heat in a medium saucepan until just under a boil.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until smooth.
  4. Pour the ricotta mixture into the egg mixture in very slow and steady stream whisking constantly.
  5. When everything is combined pour back into the saucepan and heat until just under a boil and the mixture has thickened.
  6. Strain to remove the zest, then chill for at least 4 hours.
  7. Churn in an ice cream machine. When it seems ready, sprinkle in the chocolate chips and continue churning for a minute to evenly disperse.
  8. Decant into ice cream tubs and freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.