I have been having serious ice cream envy. Crazy gelato maker N2 arrived in Fitzroy recently and is soon to be followed by Gelato Messina. Pre-bub I’d have just made the trip on a weekend, but post-bub things don’t really work like that.
I was minorly sooky about this until I stopped and went “wait, what THE HELL AM I ANNOYED ABOUT? I MAKE MY OWN ICE CREAM!”
So, I promptly churned out some super-easy coconut milk ice cream. By blending a tin of light coconut cream with half a cup of sugar and a splash of vanilla bean paste, and whacking it in the machine.
I made the recipe up by merging several I found on the internet. I probably should have added more sugar, like some of the recipes recommended, but I tasted it and the sweetness was spot-on as it was. In case you’re wondering why I think I should have added more sugar, it’s for softness. The mix went super-hard in the freezer after churning, which a lot of home-made ice creams will, but it didn’t soften up properly when I left it out on the bench for a bit (the edges just sort of melted, leaving a big icy chunk in the middle). More sugar would have helped keep it soft but I think a better idea next time is just to eat the whole lot immediately 🙂
Again, I read a few recipes for the gelati on the internet but in the end went with my own, by mixing a cup of the caramel with a batch of my usual gelati base.
To make the caramel, I doubled this recipe for dulce de leche I found at Chewtown. I ended up with enough to make the ice cream AND for a sneaky small jar for eating later.
As you can see from the pic, I went with an out-of-the-can recipe rather than just baking a closed can of sweetened condensed milk (which is what most recipes call for) because the latter scared the shit out of me for both safety and cleaning reasons. Those things can and do explode. No thanks.
My usual gelati base is a slightly tweaked recipe for gelato di crema that I got from delicious magazine years ago – you bring two cups of milk nearly to boiling point with a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste, then beat five egg yolks with 125g of caster sugar.
Slowly add the milk to the egg/sugar mixture, then pour it back into the saucepan (use a new saucepan if yours went manky boiling the milk). Heat on medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard will coat the back of the spoon.
This will take a while. If it curdles, you had the heat up too high, but just blend the bastard and carry on (if it boils, you’re probably rooted. Start again).
Once it’s thick enough, cool the custard as quickly as you can, both to limit bacteria growth and to stop the custard cooking. Since putting it in the fridge or freezer while it’s still warm isn’t actually ideal (it can heat up surrounding food in said appliance, which is a health hazard), I usually pop it in an ice bath.
Once the custard’s cold, blend it with your cup of dulce di leche (save a tablespoon to swirl through it at the end) and churn in the machine as per its instructions.
It was fucking delicious. Unlike the coconut milk ice cream, it stayed reasonably soft in the freezer, which probably means it had too much sugar in it. And you know what?
I COULDN’T GIVE A FUCK!!!! IT TASTED AWESOME!!!!