Eversince we moved back home last June, I have been so tied up with work that I have had neither the energy nor the time to use my brand new kitchen. So I have been over-compensating during the Christmas and New Year break. I went a little nuts in the kitchen the last couple of weeks, cooking up a ton of food, apportioning them into Tupperwares and sticking them into the freezer.
I like coming home after work, knowing that there is chicken broth in the freezer which I can use to make us a piping hot bowl of somen topped with vegetables, an egg and fried shallots. Or a tub of chicken stew which we can eat with some spaghettini or hot rice. It takes alot of effort and time to prepare meals in advance, and being the disorganised person that I am, it takes me twice the effort and time.
Besides cooking, I have been doing a bit of baking. I made chocolate mousse, a Victorian sponge cake with a passionfruit curd filling, crepes and the latest, ice-cream. I bought a Kenwood ice-cream maker during the Christmas period for $88, and I must say that this gadget provides great bang-for-the-buck.
My first attempt at making ice-cream was a disaster. I used a banana-with-rum recipe from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book, but it turned out to be a little too sweet for me. Also, because the temperatures of the custard and the freezing bowl were not sufficiently low, the custard mixture would not freeze in the ice-cream maker and I ended up with “ice-cream soup”. Sadly, that went down the sink. *face-palms*
My second attempt turned out to be a success, and man, the feeling of eating ice-cream that you made yourself is so satisfying. No, not just satisfying, but simply awesome!
I scoured the Internet for a simple vanilla ice-cream recipe and David Lebovitz’s recipe from The Perfect Scoop kept popping up in nearly every Google search result. So that’s what I used. And this time, I was careful (and patient) to chill the ice-cream bowl for over 24 hours in the freezer and the custard in the fridge for more than 8 hours, just to make sure that everything is as cold as it possibly can.
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar (I used castor sugar)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream (I used 400ml of Bulla’s pure cream and 100ml of thickened cream)
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I omitted this which I should include the next time)
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
2. Set up an ice bath by placing a bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.