Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Make Your Own Organic Ice Cream with Chilli Chocolate Ice Cream

This post starts with a sincere apology to Ben Vear, the author of Make your own organic ice-cream. Ben sent me his book to review in December! My excuse? Well I made some very delicious ice-cream following Ben's instructions, but partly because I'm ill equipped for ice-cream making and don't have a scoop and partly because of light issues, the photographs I took look more like something a dog served up on the pavement! The one you see is the best of the bunch.

However, I am biting the bullet now as this excellent book deserves a mention and although it might not look up to much, the ice-cream I made from it was delicious.

Ben Vear of Winstones Cotswold Ice Cream is a firm believer in good quality food. He is particularly passionate about sourcing local and organic ingredients wherever possible which is reflected in the full title of his book make your own organic ice cream using home-grown and local produce. This alone made the book immediately appealing to me.

Ben starts by telling a story which captured me straight away. It tells of his grandfather starting his own ice-cream business in 1925 and how that has morphed into the successful family business that Ben works in today. Finding his grandfather's old ice-cream recipes in a long forgotten safe at the bottom of the garden, was particularly fun. He goes on to give a brief history of ice-cream and then a little bit about the science behind it.

Starting with the basics of what equipment is needed (you don't actually need anything special, although there are a few things that help), Ben goes on to explain how to make a good basic custard. The rest of the book then had me desperately wanting to up my ice-cream intake immediately. All of the basic flavours you'd expect are covered, but there are also chapters on spring & summer flavours, autumn flavours and winter flavours that include far more unusual ingredients. Most intriguingly for me, savoury ice-cream is also covered: Jerusalem artichoke & nutmeg ice cream anyone or perhaps you'd prefer wasabi? There are also chapters on sorbet, semifreddo, toppings and smoothies. Apart from the savoury ones, some of the recipes that had me whimpering with desire were: Green Tea Ice-cream, Crab Apple & Elderflower Ice-cream, Eton Mess Ice-cream, White Chocolate & Truffle Ice-cream and Damson & Sloe Vodka Sorbet. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. As you'd expect, the book is well illustrated with lush pictures of ice-cream throughout.

Much as I love ice cream, I hardly ever make it. Not having an ice-cream maker, I find it a bit fiddly and it usually ends up with ice crystals which makes for an unpleasant gritty texture and a big disappointment. However, this book inspired me to have another go. I'd recently seen chocolate chilli ice cream over at Farmersgirl Kitchen and with some miracle chillies harvested in January, (ripened outside down at the field in winter??????) I knew exactly which one I wanted to start with. I followed Ben's recipe for chocolate ice-cream, but added my own chilli twist.
  • Chopped 1 locoto chilli and simmered in a large pan with 200ml milk (not only organic but unpasturised too) until the chilli was soft. Not possessing a dishwasher, I didn't need to worry about a dishwasher safe pan as Ben advises.
  • Blitzed the chilli in the milk with a stick blender.
  • Added 200ml double cream & put pan back on a low heat.
  • Added 75g caster sugar and 100g dark chocolate (G&B 70%) & stirred until all incorporated without allowing the mixture to simmer.
  • With a hand held electric beater, whisked two small egg yolks (was meant to be 1 large one) with 75g caster sugar until pale and thick.
  • Poured the milk into the eggs, stirred and then poured the whole lot back into the pan.
  • Left the pan on a low heat for about 10 minutes stirring much of the time until the mixture had thickened and coated the back of my wooden spoon.
  • Allowed the mixture to cool, then added a dash of rum; alcahol apparently helps to make the ice-cream more scoopable.
  • Placed in an old ice-cream container and placed in the freezer.
  • After one hour, beat the mixture with the hand held whisk and put back in the freezer - this is to prevent ice-crystals forming.
  • Carried out this process twice more, then left to freeze properly.
It was with some trepidation that I tried the ice-cream. Would it work, or would the texture be horribly icy?  It was in fact perfect: beautifully smooth and creamy and it tasted wonderful too. It was of course very chocolatey and had an interesting burst of heat that went brilliantly well with its chilly nature. Thank you Ben, I'll be using this book again. And again. 

27 comments:

  1. It's great to hear about family businesses and traditions being carried on. The ice cream looks lovely.

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  2. By the the photo it looks like it was lovely and smooth. Chilli and Chocolate go so well together, and I love that idwa of them together in an ice cream.

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  3. Chocolate chilli ice-cream has been on my to do list for a while. Now having access to my ice-cream makeer, I know this will be darn possible. Wish I could try a scoop of your home made version now though.

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  4. Even though I know it's freezing outside, the sun is shining through the office window and there's nothing I'd like mroe than some chilli chocolate ice cream! Don't know why you were worried about the picture, looks creamy and delicious to me!

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  5. Beautiful indeed, I must try this one. Very hard to make ice cream look 'sexy' in a photo as I found out recently myself, but you did good! xxx

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  6. It's been so lovely and sunny today that I really fancy eating this right now! I love the choc and chilli combination - yummy, yum yum!

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  7. My last ice cream maker bit the dust some while a go and since then I’ve not bothered to make my own ice cream-thinking now I need to rectify this and enjoy some sublime homemade ice cream once again!!

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  8. because I am lazy I don't do the beating thing and find that with ice cream involving cream and eggs it rarely matter - sorbet without an ice cream maker is a disaster though
    I made the chocolate, hazelnut and sherry cake the other night, it was amazing, thanks for the recipe, looks like a great book

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  9. Ok, you just convinced me I need to add Ben's book to my Amazon wishlist ;) I love homemade ice cream and I actually do own an ice cream maker, so now I just need further inspiration... Love the addition of chili to this ice cream, although I've never tried it...

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  10. Brilliant. Glad my icecream inpsired you to have another go. I think chocolate chilli icecream is the most amazing of them all, but will look out for Ben's book and maybe have a go at a few more.

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  11. I bought Ben's book, so I really must make some ice cream, yours sounds interesting, I think the men in my house would love it, but as I'm not a chilli fan, they'll have to try it elsewhere.
    I've seen so many lovely ice cream posts that I really feel inspired to get back to regular ice-cream making.

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  12. Ice cream can be a tough cookie for decent photo's. Love the sound of this though and especially love the organic aspect too. Home made ice cream rules supreme ;0)

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  13. As soon as you mentioned that book on Twitter, I popped it into my Amazon wishlist...then promptly forgot about it. I think you might just have convinced me to actually buy it - all the flavours you mention sound divine!

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  14. Wow! This looks and sounds delicious. Ice cream making is on my list of things to do, but like you I do not have an ice-cream machine. However, you have tempted me to have a go without and will def. put this book on my Amazon list. I need another cookery book like I need a hole in the head!

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  15. You have managed to make just about my favourite ice cream recipe here. Of course I add chilli to pretty much any food I cook so in ice cream too would suit me! I also don't own an ice cream maker but think this is fine. It seems to work without and is one less machine to clutter up the cupboards xx

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  16. love chilli and chocolate, never tried it with ice cream though! sounds good!

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  17. Oo, this sounds right up my street.

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  18. I have an icecream maker but hardly ever use it! Now it's getting warmer I might get it out with a nice book like this for inspiration.

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  19. JUDITH LUSCOMBE24 July 2013 10:21

    I've heard previously that mixing chilli and chocolate is a fabulous combination, this is a brilliant recipe to give it a try

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  20. I have never tried ice-cream and chilli but might try it after reading this! Might enjoy the hot and cold together!

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  21. faye huntington7 October 2013 11:26

    i have always considered making my own ice cream and this has inspired me to do just that - how interesting! ice cream and chilli - crazy but it might just work haha! with love, faye xx

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  22. Would like to try chocolate chilli icecream.

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  23. I don't like the sound of green-tea icecream. My favourite ice cream is chocolate - using proper, good quality dark chocolate.

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  24. We are going to have a go today!

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  25. this would spice up the evening very nicely :)

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  26. Like the look of this, have never tried to make ice cream but tempted to remedy that

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  27. Some great ideas here, have never made icecream before, but sounds delicious

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