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The best husband in the whole wide world TM got me an ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid at Christmas after much hint dropping and nagging from me.
Knowing it was coming, I also asked Father Christmas for a book of recipes and he came up trumps with The Icecreamist. And so it came to pass, just a couple of days after the Christmas dinner had digested, we tucked into our first home made ice cream- a giant bowl of calories known as From Rocher with Love!
Making my first ever batch of ice cream was a frustrating process: getting the damn fixture on the Kitchen Aid, waiting for the custard to cool so it could go in the fridge, the half hour of churning…I was so excited to try the finished product and all of these challenges just kept me waiting. I made the custard Friday night, churned Saturday morning and tucked in Saturday night. But oh! My was it worth the wait!
Obscene quantities of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella are added into an already creamy base mix to created From Rocher with Love. We both agreed that it was one of the best ice creams we’d ever tasted and that it was home made was a nice Brucey Bonus.
The next creamy treat from The Icecreamist was a rich vanilla. Simple flavours done well. I used vanilla paste rather than pods and dropped in a bit extra for luck. I never chose vanilla when buying ice cream but I have to say this really was delicious.
The Icecreamist is a brilliant book for inspiring you to go bonkers with flavours, and also with booze. In fact, there are a lot of booze based ice creams and lollies in there so it is definitely one for the grown ups. I am making a gin and tonic sorbet from it soon so have very high hopes.
Anyone who goes to food markets or events in and around Manchester will have come across Ginger’s Comfort Emporium– a lovely retro ice cream van serving treats which are anything but pedestrian. Owner Claire serves up flavours such as marmalade toast and absinthe (not together!) and does an orange flower sorbet to die for. So when she won the British Street Food Awards last year and announced a book, I was in there like a flash getting it pre-ordered.
Claire is a food stylist so as expected the book looks great. There are loads of great flavours in there I can’t wait to try, but as I had a bowl full of peaches going manky, I decided this week to whip up the peach and fennel flavour.
Turns out, peeling peaches is a faff, even when you drop them in boiling water as per the instructions. And I admit, we were nervous about the 3tbsp of fennel so went for a scant tbsp instead. The results? Well, a damn fine ice cream. When I make it again I will use bigger – or more- peaches as mine were tiny and I think a couple more would have made it perfect.
So is churning the new baking?
Well, making your own ice cream isn’t a quick process, so you don’t get the instant gratification of baking a quick cake, and ice cream makers are expensive (though Ginger’s Comfort Emporium has loads of no-churn recipes). But the results are genuinely so much better than anything you can buy, and ice cream doesn’t sink in the middle, burn on top or look crap when I try and decorate it!
Maybe I’m being a bit facetious even asking the question- I’m not about to chuck out my cake tins and replace them all with freezer tubs. But making ice cream now gives me the tiniest of thrills, much like when I first discovered I could knock out a decent cake. So if you have the patience and a bit of freezer space I can’t recommend enough that you give it a go.