Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Kat vs Food: Vanilla Ice-Cream

So, the nights have drawn in, the snow is settling in soft blankets outside in the street, the temperature would make a penguin shiver and my thoughts turn to... ice-cream. Cheers Nigella, you couldn't have somehow made soup segway on from custard could you? As luck would have it The Oracle viewed my Amazon gift list prior to Christmas and declared an ice-cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid was the most seasonally suitable present. So I am geared up and ready to go, save for the 15 hour wait for the bowl to freeze before gelato crafting can begin.

Ice-cream bribery in action!
Which gives me time to think about ice-cream and what it has meant to me. My earliest memories of the stuff are around the family table, rushing to finish because should Pa polish his off first, he'd come at yours with his tablespoon, no matter how loudly you protested. Later on it became a weapon of bribery for my poor wearied folks, who could find no other way to get me to the top of beautiful alpine mountains (which I now happily bound up of my own accord, much to their confusion) than to offer me a giant helping at the top. I did soon however, cotton on to the fact that the large majority of mountains didn't actually have ice-cream counters at the summit and they were back to square one.

Moving into adulthood I suppose I have mostly relied on my two friends Ben and Jerry to get me through the various heartbreaks that life brings. There's not a lot of problems in life that can't be, if not fixed then at least temporarily soothed, by a large helping of Phish Food or Fudge Brownie. Not for me this imitation frozen yoghurt however, stripped of fat but pumped full of sugar in its place. If you are going to do something, do it properly or don't bother. I am sure purists would sniff at my medicine of choice but I don't pretend this is akin to the many gelatos I devoured on those summers in Italy, rather it is comfort food of the highest order, a salve for the soul when you need to shut the world away.

So, it was with interest and excitement that I proceeded into this new chapter of ice-cream consumption. Learning to make my own opens up infinite flavour combinations and opportunities. I have heard of the likes of toast and marmalade ice-cream, though I am reserving judgment at present, happy to master the basics and let them adorn more exciting dishes. Who knows though, maybe this time next year I'll be feeding you all roast dinner ice-cream and you will think me a genius :)

Making the stuff was fairly easy, I repeated the custard recipe of last week, this time cooking it at a cooler temperature, but for longer, ensuring I didn't end up with scrambled egg (ooh fry-up ice-cream, there's an idea!). I rescued the bowl from my freezer, spent a good 30 minutes scratching my head about how to fit it all together and turned the KitchenAid on. 30 minutes later I was rewarded with some rather soft, beautifully velvety ice-cream, which thankfully hardened up overnight. Of course in the interests of being a proper cook, I immediately rescued it from the freezer and ate some for breakfast.

Kitchen wisdom gained:

  • Home-made ice cream has a very loooooong aftertaste.
  • I have the attention span of a gnat, failing to notice I was meant to leave the vanilla in the custard until the last minute. I have literally no idea how I am meant to stop myself doing silly things!
  • Oh boy, there is a lot of cream in ice-cream. Much like the horror of my oil in mayonnaise realisation, will this be enough to stop me eating it so often?
Domestic goddess points out of 10: 8 - This is kitchen alchemy in action, I felt like Heston!

Final score: Kat 1- Nigella 1 - score all round.


Lizzie Ashby said...

I love it, I love it all, the blog, the amazing photo which has had me in were very ahead of the East London crowd with that t-shirt!

But my most important comment is that you need to invite me around for dinner asap, I must try some of this amazing alchemy x

Katharine Balyuzi said...

Yes, I like to think I was going through a Mondrian phase, though I suspect Mark One might be to blame. You were friends with me back then, why didn't you stop me??

When are you free? Next up in the katvsfood kitchen is pancakes and or rhubarb crumble. Then I have a raft of soups to work through, I don't even like soup :)