Friday, 4 January 2013

Brown bread ice cream


Me. I did. Just in case you're less clever than I give you credit for.

Just think of all the different flavours of obesity I can be! Chocolate obese, strawberry obese, rum 'n' raisin obese. Granted, January isn't the time when most people decide to start necking down the sat fats, but as you know I sit in the 'couldn't give a shit' school of fad diets, all year round, so it works out just fine.  I'll go for a run or something. Sometime. Maybe.

My ice cream maker didn't appear in my stocking as a gleaming hunk of magimix surprise. Oh no. It was part of a long running campaign of subtle hints by me, such as 'I really want an ice cream maker' and 'How about you buy me an ice cream maker' and 'Have you bought me an ice cream maker yet?'. I still didn't expect to actually get one, but the boy came through. He's a good'un. 

Ice cream makers come in two different forms - ones where you put the bowl in the freezer and have to do a bit more manual labour, and ones that have the freezing compartment built in and do everything quicker and more efficiently. Turns out that if you want one of the ones with an inbuilt freezer they're pretty expensive, so a secondhand one is your best bet. Unless, of course, you're totally minted. Ben did a cracking job by buying this one through a charity shop's ebay site, so every time I shove a spoonful in my gob I can think of all the puppies I'm saving. Plus, I don't have to feel quite so bad when it sits in the cupboard for six months at a time.

This was the first attempt with the new toy (actually, it was the second, but we won't talk about the first). I've never had brown bread ice cream before, but it's awesome. I don't understand why none of the big brands do it - it's sort of nutty and biscuitty and it uses up all the old odds and sods of bread you've got lying around. I'm pretty sure you could do it without a machine too, just take it out of the freezer every half hour or so and churn it up, then put it back in again, ad infinitum.

Brown bread ice cream

1 cup double cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp cinnamon (optional)
4 egg yolks
Brown bread crumbs (about 3 slices of bread worth)
1/2 cup of soft brown sugar

Firstly, whisk your egg yolks in a bowl with the caster sugar, and put to one side.  Then, in a saucepan heat your milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon, to almost boiling point. Once the cream mixture is hot, pour a little at a time into the egg, whisking as you go. Once all incorporated, return to the pan and heat again. Low and slow is the game here - if you have the heat too high then your eggs will scramble or the mix will curdle (if it does curdle you can probably rescue it with a quick whizz in a blender). Heat until it has thickened slightly. Recipes will tell you that it's done when it coats the back of the spoon, so go with that if you like.  Once done, allow to cool fully.

Whilst your custard is cooling, scatter the breadcrumbs and brown sugar onto a baking tray, mixing them together. Heat under the grill until the crumbs are toasted and the sugar has caramelised and gone sticky. It'll only take a couple of minutes and you need to watch it like a hawk. Allow to cool, then break up any big clumps.

When your custard is cool, transfer to the ice cream maker and switch on.  After about ten minutes it should be thickened and starting to freeze. Add in your breadcrumbs and give another five minutes or so, then transfer to a container in the freezer.

As I said, if you're doing this without a machine then you need to freeze the custard for about half an hour at a time and then take out and churn it by hand. But I am guessing at this somewhat, so you might want to google.

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