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I’ve been dreaming for a long time of making my own ice cream. I even bought two vanilla beans for that purpose about a year ago, and kept them in vodka in a dark place (thus creating real vanilla extract as well). I never got arund to actually making it, though. Until now.

With some excitement I poured the cream into the pot, and took out one vanilla bean from the jar.

It looked disgusting. It smelled of alcohol, not vanilla. I thought it might be spoiled, but I read around a bit and vanilla beans keep very well. I thought, “Well, let’s give it a try. Maximum it will taste terrible…”. I opened the bean as I’d seen in numerous cooking shows (this was my first time with an actual vanilla bean) and scraped the inside into the cream, and threw in the vanilla bean as well. It looked extremely unappetizing, with little black dots. I heated the cream, stirred, and then removed from the heat. I tasted – and almost stopped dead.

This was the best vanilla flavoured anything I have ever tasted. The bean was still floating inside, and still looked heartily unappetizing. I tasted again. Unbelievable.

What were they thinking? The people who started using vanilla beans? “Oh, here’s a strange looking plant with a faintly nice smell, let’s see if it can be used?” How many utterly disgusting things did they try before scraping it and boiling it in liquids? Fried vanilla bean? Chopped in a salad? People had more patience once. Nowadays, I don’t think anyone would have looked at it twice.

In any case, the result was stupendous. The only problem was my husband, who is not a fan of yogurt in ice creams and not a fan of vanilla anywhere. Sigh. At least my kids got the right genes…

Vanilla Ice Cream

The original recipe calls for 500 ml of cream. I had only 250 so I substituted white sweetened yogurt instead. Of course, the reason I had only 250 ml was because I wanted to lower the fat content. The result is creamy with a faint sour aftertaste from the yogurt – I assumed that this was what my husband didn’t like. I admit that fat percentage is not as high on my priorities either. I intend to make chocolate ice cream next, and there I will probably use cream only. The original recipe is from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz.

I chose this recipe because it has no eggs. This is home made and stays in the freezer a while, and I didn’t want to take chances with raw eggs.

250 ml cream
250 ml white yogurt
250 ml milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
3/4 tsp real vanilla extract

Put the cream (ony one cup if you are using only cream) into a pot with the sugar. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean and add the vanilla pod to te pot. Warm until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the milk, the yogurt, and the vanilla extract. Cool thoroughly in the fridge.

I don’t have an ice cream machine, so I did it the old-fashioned way: I froze for about and hour, and then blended. And then I repeated this 3-4 times, blending once an hour (The idea is to break the ice crystals so you get ice cream and not a block of ice). You can see the process in the pictures. Notice the frozen edges and the soft middle in the second image.

It was delicious.

Bon Apetit!

Before putting in the freezer

After one hour

End result

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