Monday, 8 July 2013

Rich Chocolate Ice Cream

I bring you this blog post from a comfy chair in a prime location to catch the slight breeze coming through our open back door on this beautiful and hot day. I'm not one of these people who moans all winter that it is too cold then moans as soon as the weather fairy sees fit to grant England with a bit of proper summer weather. No, I welcome the sun when it arrives and thank it for making the day seem happier before going to find a cool spot in the house where I can enjoy all the things that are good about summer. Like strawberries (if I can get some), books and seasonal baking. And ice-cream. There is something about summer that makes it ok, practically healthy even, to eat lots of ice-cream including the really indulgent stuff like this one. If only I could persuade my mother to put marginally less standard flavourings in then it would be move over Ben & Jerry's. Caramel and praline anyone? Honeycomb and chocolate?  Yep, I thought so.

This isn't my recipe and strictly speaking it isn't even my mum's, only the variations are hers. The original is a Mary Berry one from Great British Food Revival but seeing as it is already on the internet then I think it should be ok for me to repeat it here. It is one which can be varied infinitely as long as your imagination allows. Sadly, although my dear mother has the imagination, she likes to keep food 'simple' and dislikes 'foreign muck'. She likes the way I do a frittata but I could only get her to remember what one is by giving the alternative name of Spanish omelette which I have seen used elsewhere. Hence why I was astounded when Mum acquiesced to following my suggestion of a cocoa powder paste to make a chocolate ice-cream instead of using melted chocolate. We both acknowledged that we weren't sure it would work but then looked at each other, shrugged and said 'oh well, it's an experiment'. The danger with using cocoa powder in recipes is that too much can make things taste bitter instead of chocolatey but Mum got it bang on with this. When I did the taste test, naturally, of the unfrozen ice-cream it was a good job Mum was stood over the bowl watching me because otherwise I would have grabbed a ladle and the wouldn't have been enough left to write about. It is rich and properly chocolatey without that yucky bitter taste from a cocoa-happy recipe. What's more is that it doesn't need an ice-cream maker or for you to have to repeatedly risk life and limb climbing over your father's junk bargain-but-in-perfectly-working-order-tools *coughbrokencough* to get to the freezer to give it a mix every two hours like most recipes. If only it were suitable for pregnant ladies or people with compromised immune systems because of the raw eggs then it would be perfect. But then perfection is so boring. Close as can possibly be is so much more fun!


Ingredients:
300ml double cream
100g caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
Splash of water or milk if necessary

 
  1. In a small bowl blend the cocoa with some of the cream to a smooth, thick paste. You may need a splash of water to get the right consistency, sort of like much softened but not melted ice-cream. Whisk the rest of the cream in a separate bowl until it forms sort peaks.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a bowl and break them up with a fork. Whisk the egg whites with clean beaters until stiff peaks form then slowly whisk in the sugar until the mixture is stiff and glossy. They shouldn't fall out when you tip the bowl upside down, which is always the stage in recipes that I get wussy at.
  3. Mix the egg yolks into the chocolate paste, then fold in the cream then the egg white until everything is thoroughly mixed and looks soupy. Pour everything into a plastic container suitable for going in the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours until solid. When ready to serve, soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes until the ice cream can be scooped up easily enough. 
Hope you're having fun in the sun!

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