So, ummm, hello again. Remember me?
It seems this burgeoning blogging sensation, once all fired up & ready to take on the interwebs, came to an unceremonious & sudden halt. Damn reality, why did you have to intervene & shatter my illusions of grandeur & home cooking phenomenon, (SmittenKitchen-esk), style dreams??
Well … I may be being a little dramatic & WAY, WAY over-stated about it all, but I have let the cooking & blogging fall by the wayside, along with my enthusiasm & commitment. Since returning to work full time in September last year, I have been struggling to find the time &, truthfully, the desire to cook & photograph recipes.
So … what else is a girl to do when feeling a little down & out, wallowing in self-pity? Why, make (& eat) ice cream of course!!
I was very fortunate to receive for Christmas, from my wonderful family, the ice cream making attachment for my beautiful Betsy (the name I gave my KitchenAid® Mixer). To say I was excited when I opened it is an understatement! J-man took some photos of the moment, however, given I was still in my PJ’s, just out of bed, I shall not be including any here!! Just try & picture me, mouth agape, hands clapping wildly, squeals of delight issuing forth. You get the picture.
I have being dreaming of said gadget, (I know, I know, I am a true kitchen gadget geek!), since I got my mixer a few years back & having it now is injecting some of that old desire back into my psyche. My brain is awash with ideas for ice creams, sorbets, froyo (frozen yoghurt for those going, ‘huh’?!) & gelato – oh the combinations I want to try! Yay for my mind, not so much for my waist line!!
I absolutely love ice cream. It is my favourite dessert bar none. Summer or Winter, it is a rare time when there is not a tub in the freezer. To be able to make my own now is amazing! I have toyed with different blends & mixes before, but am always a little disappointed at the iciness in the texture. Being able to churn the ingredients using the ice cream maker makes all the difference – it adds volume & lightness you just can’t get otherwise. Divine!!
The other truly exciting thing for me is that I can control what goes in the mix. Ice cream, even those touted as being ‘light’ generally contain a lot of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners & preservatives, along with a lot of salt & other anti-freezing agents.
Making my own means I can reduce the sugar content, or even better, use other products like Coconut or Rapadura sugar & Stevia, keeping the recipes genuinely more natural.
One combination I used recently that I have been very impressed with is this one using deliciously ripe seasonal raspberries & wickedly luscious dark chocolate chunks laced with freshly scraped vanilla bean.
The texture is rich & creamy & the flavour is a mixture of sweet & tart from not over-sweetening the raspberry coulis. It is definitely more a ‘grown-up’ flavour enjoyed while snuggled on the couch once the little people are in bed.
As I have been a little lax in my kitchen & with the camera, there are no step-by-step photos with this one – apologies for that.
That said, once you have your ice cream maker, all you need is a medium pot & a large mixer bowl to get you going. Easy as!
- 600 ml light cream* (or 300ml pure cream & 300ml full fat milk)
- 600 ml pure cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup coconut sugar (white sugar or stevia granules will also work well)
- 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla extract)
- A pinch of salt
- 2 punnets fresh raspberries (frozen will work too)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbs extra coconut sugar (optional)
- 100 grams dark chocolate (I prefer Lindt 70% or Plaistowe Premium)
- Freeze your ice cream maker as per the instructions for your particular gadget.
- (The KitchenAid® ice cream bowl attachment needs to be in the freezer for at least 24 hours before you intend to use it).
- Using a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the light cream (& milk if used).
- Heat slowly until very hot, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally - (do not boil).
- Once hot, set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large mixer bowl, combine egg yolks & coconut (or preferred) sugar. Mix on low speed (2 on the KitchenAid®), until well combined, about 30 seconds should do it..
- Slowly add the light cream to the egg & sugar mix with the mixer on low speed (1 on KitchenAid®).
- Mix until well blended.
- Return mix to the saucepan & heat on medium heat until bubbles form on the edges, about 5 minutes, (do not boil), stirring regularly.
- Transfer back to the mixing bowl, add the salt, vanilla & pure cream. Mix gently until combined.
- Place cream mix in airtight container & refrigerate until completely chilled (at least 8 hours).
- Using a blender or similar, puree the raspberries with water & extra coconut (or preferred) sugar (optional). Taste & add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter - keep in mind the taste will not be as strong once frozen.
- Pour the puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds.
- Chop your dark chocolate into chunks - make them as big or small as you like. I like them quite rustic & varied - it makes for a nice crunch hit as you eat.
- Connect up your ice cream maker as per the instructions.
- On low speed, (1 on KitchenAid®), add the ice cream mix to the maker & allow to churn for 15 - 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. (About 15 minutes does it for me).
- At about the 10 minute mark, add the raspberry coulis to the ice cream maker.*
- Remove bowl from mixer & gently fold through the dark chocolate.
- Transfer the soft ice cream mix to an airtight container & freeze until ready to devour!**
- * - Most ice cream recipes refer to using 'Half & Half' - which is a light cream with less than 10% milk fat. I have found this difficult to find in Australia, so have been using a 'Light Cream' that is about 18% milk fat. To make it lighter you can use the light cream & milk as suggested above.
- ** - If you would prefer a raspberry swirl, just add the coulis at the end & gently swirl it through with the chocolate pieces.
- *** - You can eat it immediately if you like your ice cream super soft-serve. Otherwise, if you can wait, the next day will see it nicely frozen. You will need to let it sit out for about 10 minutes before serving as it sets a little harder than store bought ice cream, but it is TOTALLY worth the wait & tastes so good, you will have to resist going for seconds!!
There you have it – my newest kitchen obsession & one I intend to enjoy for a long time to come!
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
It feels good to be in this little space again I must say. I have missed this. I know I dearly want to keep blogging, & cataloging my recipes in this way. What I have to decide is, can I keep up with my original format? I love photographing the steps, I just don’t know if I can maintain that in my current circumstances.
Tell me … do you struggle with keeping up with your hobbies because ‘life’ gets in the way?
Is is possible to change direction & style in your blogging without losing people’s interest?
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!