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Friday, April 16, 2010

Gingervitis and poppy seed teeth

Winter may well be coming, and thoughts are turning to slow braises washed down with enough red wine to bring a flush to your face, but please spare a thought for ice cream as the temperature drops. Too often it is neglected at this time of year, replaced by the sexy upstart churros or a seductively hot chocolate fondant.

Sure, you can argue that ice cream hogs the limelight through the summer, but this is all the more reason why it shouldn't be cast aside so readily - it's always a bad idea to burn bridges, and it won't be too long before you'll go crawling back to its clutches when the weather heats up again.

I for one intend to maintain a good relationship with ice cream over winter, and towards this end I made two different types the other day in my quest to find my ideal base ice cream recipe. After now having made this "Basic Vanilla Ice Cream" recipe from an old edition of delicious magazine, I think the quest may be over. Sure, it uses a lot of egg yolks but that just means more macarons later, right? The ice cream was rich, creamy, smooth and very easy to scoop though the downside of this is that it melted somewhat readily.

You can add all sorts of things to this basic recipe, and I added 25 g of poppy seeds, making sure I had a good stock of toothpicks around.

The other ice cream I made was also from an old edition of delicious, but differed in a few ways - the most noticeable being the addition of cornflour and much less sugar. Given that it also included stem ginger in syrup however, the overall taste was sweet enough. The texture, although nice, was not as good as the basic vanilla. It held its shape much better and was more resistant to melting, but just didn't have the same luscious creamy mouth feel. The taste was great though, so I think it would be worthwhile making a ginger version of the basic vanilla.

Keep ice cream in your thoughts this winter. Eat enough of it and you'll even develop your very own special insulation system. It's the selfless dessert that keeps on giving.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
from January 2003 edition of delicious

300ml thick cream
300ml milk (I only had low fat milk so I used half milk, half thin cream)
1 vanilla bean, split
6 egg yolks
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Scrape in the vanilla seeds and add the bean, too. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to infuse. Place the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale. Carefully pour the milk over (I whisked the mixture while I did this - scrambled egg paranoia), then return to a clean saucepan.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring, for about five minutes until it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
3. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Place custard in a plastic container in the freezer until frozen at the edges. Remove from freezer. Beat with an electric beater. Re-freeze. Repeat this process two more times. (Alternatively, churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions - add extras such as poppyseeds (I used 25 g) during the final beating or last bit of churning).

Ginger Ice Cream
from May 2002 edition of delicious

4 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
300ml single cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground ginger
300ml thickened cream
4 pieces stem ginger in syrup, chopped (I found this in my local Asian supermarket)

1. Beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
2. Heat the single cream and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat until nearly boiling, then pour onto egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until thickened and smooth. Add the ground ginger and stir to combine. Place the saucepan base in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming.
3. Whip the thickened cream in a bowl, then stir into the cooled custard mixture with the stem ginger and syrup. Pour into a shallow container and freeze until frozen at edges. Remove from freezer and beat with an electric beater. Pour back into container and refreeze. Repeat 2 or 3 times. (Alternatively churn in an ice-cream machine following manufacturer's instructions.)


Lori @ Wannabe Gourmand April 16, 2010 at 5:37 PM  

Just as glorious as I imagined them to be! Now remember, say it with me...Turkish Delight...

Hannah April 16, 2010 at 6:21 PM  

Amen, sister. Everyone knows that the cleverest people in the world survive winter by changing into shorts and a t-shirt, getting a bowl of ice-cream and a spoon, and sitting fifteen centimetres away from the heater.

Global warming, shlobal shwarming.

P.S. Love the poppyseed idea. Really, really do.

Panamahat April 16, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

Hmm, that ice cream machine looks a bit familiar! My vanilla recipe takes 10 egg yolks, so you're getting away nicely with 6.

A friend told me of her adventures with adding the best part of a jar of nutella in at the end of mixing. I am making that my next version.... (then I'll do the poppyseed, it looks amazing!)

Simply Life April 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

wow, I really should try this after drooling so much over your pictures!

tasteofbeirut April 16, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

The poppy seeds in the ice-cream is brilliant! I mean it!
If I do make it I will make sure to give you full credit and recognition!
Here we are already at temp in the 80s.

OohLookBel April 16, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

The poppyseed ice cream looks unreal though I am personally very wary of those pesky black things.
Good to see you're getting value from those old issues of delicious. I'm the same: they are just as good the 2nd or millionth time around!

A cupcake or two April 17, 2010 at 5:56 AM  

It's good to see that there is another big fan of ice cream out there. I love it and I eat it anytime of the year. The funny thing is that I'm lactose intolerant. But hey that won't stop me. The vanilla ice cream looks so tempting. Yumm

Food lover April 17, 2010 at 6:31 AM  

Hi Conor - loved the recipes and totally agree that ice cream is meant to be eating year round. I'll turn on the heater here in Melbourne and enjoy the ginger ice cream in July

trissa April 17, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

Conor, I don't think I have ever seen poppy seed ice cream before! Bravo on this one and thanks for sharing the vanilla ice cream base. I promise, I won't give up ice cream too during winter!

Rose April 17, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

That ginger ice cream is bringing back great memories of a ginger gelato I had in Rome. I can't seem to find any ginger flavoured ice creams here, so brb coming over to eat your stash

penny aka jeroxie April 17, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

Very clever! You can deep freeze and send some over. It feels like summer over here today!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 17, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

Lori @ Wannabe Gourmand - Why thank you!! Turkish Delight Turkish Delight oh yes please Turkish Delight

Hannah - Nooo! The power of ice cream is for good! P.S. Thank you :D

Panamahat - and so it should :) thank you again for the fabulous gift! Wowsers, 10 yolks? For how much ice cream? I bet you get some nice fresh eggs down there.

You can't go wrong with Nutella. Excellent idea.

Simply Life - thank you! You're lucky enough to be heading into summer, after all :)

tasteofbeirut - Thank you! It would be great if you tried it, I'd love to see the results. Enjoy spring :)

OohLookBel - thanks! Me too, my teeth are magnets for them. I don't think I'll ever make all the delicious recipes I've dog eared!

A cupcake or two - well done for fighting through the lactose pain for the sake of the ice cream :D

Food lover - thank you! You guys know how to have winter over there. Excellent plan - staying home and eating ice cream all day will also keep you out of the rain.

trissa - you mean I've shown you something new? Hooray! :D Excellent to hear, I'm sure you've made ice cream very happy by your promise.

Rose - I was in Italy in winter, so my friends kept saying stuff like "in summer, there are gelaterias all across this square/pier/street/etc" but I still managed to get a few serves in. Too late, too late, stash is gone :(

penny aka jeroxie - thanks! I'll pack some in my suitcase when I come in June. Really nice here today too, it's good to see some sunshine!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table April 17, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

I'm just done with lunch and there's still a hole in my tum where some of that poppy seed yumminess would fit in very nicely, thank you!

lis@whiskygreentea April 17, 2010 at 3:27 PM  

i like your way of thinking.. "Sure, it uses a lot of egg yolks but that just means more macarons later, right?" :)

mademoiselle délicieuse April 17, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

I love ice-cream all through the year and it's an absolute travesty when none can be found in my freezer! (A firm staple along with bacon =p) Have some Myer vouchers so plan on getting my mits on an ice-cream churner soon.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 17, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

Very true, I tend to completely neglect ice cream over Winter although we keep the place warm so it's probably ideal weather to have it. I've never used cornflour though! Curious!

pierre April 17, 2010 at 8:17 PM  

ice cream is all year long at my place !! PIerre in ¨Paris

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz April 17, 2010 at 9:12 PM  

Long Live Ice Cream! Well with summer arriving here (at some point) it will be full swing ice cream season. But yes it should be a year round thing. Yumm...ginger!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac April 18, 2010 at 12:55 AM  

Oh darling, ice cream and I have been true friends since the dawn of time. It makes me smile when I'm sad and it hugs me when the world is too cold. It never berates me and it always sits by me. Hello ginger and poppy seed.

Kitchen Butterfly April 18, 2010 at 1:07 AM  

Icecream - the new all-year round food. Or dessert. Even drink. I completely ♥ the vanilla one with the tiny polka dots of the seeds. yum

Arwen from Hoglet K April 18, 2010 at 3:13 AM  

Maintaining a good relationship with icecream over winter sounds like an excellent plan! Bring on the insulation. Your choice of flavours is impeccable too - ginger is divine and poppyseed sounds exotic.

Stella April 18, 2010 at 5:45 AM  

Yum, now I want ice cream! I love that you ran poppy seed through the vanilla-that's nice. Poppies make everyone happy (smile)!

Anonymous April 18, 2010 at 8:28 AM  

Your icecream seems to freeze so beautifully. Mine's normally quite slushy and get crystallized when I put it in the freezer after churning. Any tips?

As for icecream as winter friends...I completely agree. Since you're already freezing, ice-cream should help bring your bosy temperature lower, and thus, cold = more bearable. agree? :)

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking April 18, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

Home-made ice-cream is really great. I wish I would take some time and do that sometimes. There is nothing better than homemade ice-cream!

Spicie Foodie April 18, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

I love home made Ice cream and recently started to really like poppy seeds. In central Europ &Slavic countries poppy seeds are really popular, and so is ice cream in the middle of winter! I think they would love your recipe here :)

Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 18, 2010 at 11:42 PM  

denise @ quickies on the dinner table - well, the poppy seed yumminess would love to fill the hole! Ice cream is just so giving like that :D

lis@whiskygreentea - hehe, thanks, I'm glad you agree!

mademoiselle délicieuse - mmmmmmmmm bacon ice cream. I can highly recommend getting one! I was lucky enough to be given one by a friend but I don't think you have to spend much to get something that works as well as the super pricy ones. Looking forward to seeing your eventual results!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - Oh, poor ice cream. Yes I was a little apprehensive about the cornflour, and I'm not totally sold on it. The other recipe was much creamier, so I think I'll just stick with that one! Good if you need a nice stiff ice cream though.

pierre - Hooray! Great to hear!

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz - Woo! Indeed :) Oh summer, I will be stealing some of your summer soon when I visit Montreal(!!!!!!)

Amy @ cookbookmaniac - Oh yes, that is music to my ears, what lovely words to celebrate your beautiful ice cream relationship, may it be long and happy. Oh, ice cream, sigh...

Kitchen Butterfly - Indeed! Drink? Hmmm, interesting! Thank you, I love the thought of them being tiny polka dots :D

Arwen from Hoglet K - ice cream will always be there for you, through the cold days and warm, in sickness and in health, til death do you....er, never mind.

Stella - Me too! I always want ice cream though, so that's nothing new. Thank you! :)

vickys - last time I made it, it was quite slushy and went crystallised too. This time I used this different recipe, and made sure to freeze the bowl thing for at least 24 hours beforehand, and I even wrapped a towel around it when churning to make sure it didn't defrost too much! Overkill I'm sure, but it all worked well. And yes, I totally agree with your logic!

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking - I agree completely! I am a convert to homemade ice cream, it's the best!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 19, 2010 at 12:08 AM  

Spicie Foodie - Oh brilliant, thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to make friends easily in such places :D I love poppy seed baked treats, but haven't baked any myself so I should continue this theme :)

notyet100 April 19, 2010 at 12:11 PM  


pierre April 24, 2010 at 2:55 PM  

hi conor !! just to tell you that I love the poached pears i look at them with envy !! pierre from Paris

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My love of cooking is surpassed only by my love of eating, though I never quite recovered from the beef I was served at college. I'll try almost anything once, but it takes a very special piece of offal or beef to get me to try it again.

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