Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Ultimate Vanilla Ice Cream

Home-made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
I bought an ice-cream machine on a whim a few weeks ago. It was one of those weeks where I decided I just had to have a machine where I could churn out gorgeously cold and creamy creations. I don't always give in to the temptations to buy absolutely random kitchen kitchenware - a week after I bought the ice-cream machine, I decided a pipping bag was the missing utensil in my kitchen. I'm happy to say I rode that wave of foolishness out because I'm not sure what I would actually do with a pipping bag.

The ice-cream machine is a whole different matter. My new toy has been put to good use and what better ice-cream flavour to start off with but .... vanilla!Master the vanilla and then move on to something else :) In my opinion anyway. As I was hesitant to spend more money on an ice-cream recipe book, I trawled the Net for the one perfect recipe - one that I could hopefully master the first time so I could move on to different flavours. Yes, yes - I should learn to walk before I start try to shoot off to run a marathon.

And...... I found it! Where else but the ever reliable BBC's Good Food magazine? The recipe by Angela Nilsen is called the Ultimate Vanilla Ice Cream and it was absolutely gorgeous. Creamy, rich, full of that beautiful vanilla flavour and even the tell-tale sign of real vanilla bean used from the tiny black seeds. The slight (only teeny-weeny slight) down point to this recipe was that it was a tad too sweet for my liking but no problem .... with the next batch I made, very soon after the first one I must admit, the sugar portion was adjusted and it was just as good.

I must admit that although I followed the recipe to the latter the first time, it is rather long winded and I did make several adjustments.
  • I don't have golden caster sugar so I changed it to 2/3 normal white caster sugar and 1/3 dark brown sugar - but I'll very probably change it again to half of each the next time I make vanilla ice-cream.
  • My vanilla beans were a little old so I cheated a little and added vanilla extract as well.
  • I dumped the last part of the recipe which calls for the custard to be cooled in a bowl sitting in a larger bowl of ice. I cooled it down with the pan sitting on the stove and in it went into the fridge until I was ready to churn it.
The topping that went on the ice-cream, pictured above, was home-made granola. No exact recipe - just my favourite dried fruit and nuts and oats bound together with some golden syrup and peanut butter (lots) and baked in the oven for 45 minutes. I actually made granola bars but the bits that came loose made a good ice-cream topping.


Anumita Dutta said...


I love the way you have captured the scoop. It looks at its melted best!

Can you possibly make it without the ice cream machine...i wonder.

Also, can you please tell me the recipe of the golden syrup. It simply looks delicious!

Thanks, Anu

Luscious Temptations said...

Hi Anu,

Thanks for dropping by. The ice cream was rather lovely. It is one of the better ice creams I have tasted -it's sinfully thick and creamy. This recipe is for keeps!:)

You can make ice cream by hand. Make it to the stage where the mixture is poured into the ice cream machine. Instead pour the mixture into a plastic container with a lid (or just use plastic wrap over the top) and put it into the freezer. After about 90 mins (when ice crystals begin to form around the edges) take the container out and break up by the crystals with a fork. Put the mixture back into the freezer. You'll have to repeat this process another 2-3 times. The ice cream won't be as smooth as if you used a machine but it's still pretty good.

I'm not sure if you can actually make golden syrup at home. I usually just buy it from the shop but have a look at golden syrup on Wikipedia.