Thursday, 29 May 2014

Blueberry and Walnut Ice cream(s)


Of all the deserts out there I like ice cream the most. It is sweet, sometimes burns your mouth with its iciness, and sometimes caresses it with an incomparable velvety touch. It comes in a variety of flavours and textures and you could find a new one to try on every corner of the world.

What I like even more about ice cream is the fact that you can make it yourself without an ice-cream maker or even without boiling custard. Praise for this lovely recipe goes to Nigella Lawson and her One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice-Cream. As much as I like her method, however, I am not a coffee lover so in order to create a flavour to my taste I had to get creative.

The secret behind this no-churn ice cream lies in the incorporation of alcohol in the mixture and its freezing point below the average temperature of your freezer. This said, I don’t think most beers would work as their alcoholic content is between 3.5% and 7%, which means their freezing point is about -6 C° and your freezer should have no problem turning them into ice. You can guestimate the freezing point of your poison using this fun calculator. Apart from that, the possibilities are endless.

Walnut ice cream (with Becherovka)

Everyone who has been to the Czech Republic or knows anything Czech related must have heard of their beloved liquor Becherovka. For me it tastes like the medicine from an old adventure book – it makes me cringe with its pronounced herby flavour and bitter aftertaste. And indeed it has been intended as a digestive when created by Josef Becher in 1807. But if you think walnut ice cream, Becherovka somehow becomes… intriguing. I can’t think of another alcohol that compliments better these slightly bitter but very aromatic buttery nuts (I do not remove the skins as they are nutritious and contribute greatly to the colour and flavour of the ice cream). The herby scent of the liquor subtly adds to the earthy flavour of the walnuts and the overall bitterness is lost in the sweetness of the cream and the slight caramel aroma of the brown sugar. A grown-up desert pleasing the senses in a very unique way. 

What you need:

140 grams condensed milk
300 ml double cream
A good splash of Becherovka (about 30 ml)
2-3 tbsp light brown sugar
150 grams walnuts

What you need to do:

Grind 50gr of the walnuts to fine paste. In a large bowl put the condensed milk, cream, Becherovka, and walnut paste and whisk. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the brown sugar and taste if more is needed. Whisk again until it forms soft peaks. Crush the remaining walnuts (I did so in my palms) and add to the cream. Fold well and transfer to freezable containers for at least 7 hours, best overnight.

Blueberry and coconut ice cream (with Blueberry liquor) 

This blueberry and coconut ice cream is the dessert to my dessert post. It is sweet and caressing with a superb summery coconut aftertaste which is balanced by the explosion of freshness when you bite on a blueberry. I obtained my bottle of blueberry liquor from Dublin airport completely unaware of the existence of such Irish alcohol. And while I was not utterly impressed with its taste, the bottled dancing blueberries and its new utilisation are just to my taste. But be warned, its lower alcohol content (only 17%) did make the ice cream harden significantly and you will have to wait for it to relax when you take it out of the freezer.

What you need:

140 grams condensed milk
300 ml double cream
A generous splash of blueberry liquor (about 30 ml)
5-6 tbsp desecrated coconut
100 grams blueberries

What you need to do:

In a large bowl put the condensed milk, cream, liquor, and desecrated coconut and whisk until the mixture thickens to soft peaks. Check sweetness to taste. When the heavenly compound reaches desirable consistency fold in the blueberries and stir until they marble the otherwise pale cream. Transfer to containers and put in the freezer for at least 7 hours.

Try to enjoy at a moderate speed. 


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