Friday, September 28, 2012

Classic vanilla icecream (with crushed, toasted almonds)

For my first attempt at homemade icecream, I wanted to do a classic flavour using a simple receipe. It was going to be either vanilla or chocolate. Since mom loves plain vanilla, I decided to go with that, with the addition of some crumbled roasted almonds for a nice crunch.

The next step was finding a receipe. I did not want to use any old receipe because mom is fussy and has high standards. I borrowed The Perfect Scoop by David Lebowitz from the library, searched through various cooking portals, blog posts and,before deciding on one of Nigel Slater's receipes.

Here are some pictures of the process:

Separating 6 yolks from their whites

Mixture of all the ingredients, ready to go into the fridge for pre-chilling

Right after pouring the chilled mixture into the icecream maker

The crumbled almonds went in about about 20 minutes of churning
You can see that the mixture has become more solid

Into a tub after 35 minutes of churning

If you want to see what the icecream looked like after 24 hours in the freezer, just scroll up to the first picture on top. It was a bit harder, but once in the mouth it melted pretty quickly. To me, it tasted like vanilla gelato. The addition of crumbled almonds was a good idea as it gave the icecream an additional textural dimension.

And how did mom find it? It passed her test! She agreed that it tasted like gelato, and that buying the icecream maker was worth it. When my cousin came over with some lemon pie, she tried the icecream with the pie and enjoyed it, commenting that it tasted like Dreyers' Vanilla Ice Cream with Toasted Almonds.

Nigel Slater's vanilla icecream receipe below is a good starter receipe, and I would recommend it to everyone making icecream for the first time. It is easy and pretty much no-fail, and produces beautiful vanilla icecream.

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from Nigel Slater's Classic Vanilla Ice Cream Receipe


250ml heavy cream
350ml fresh whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

6 egg yolks
150g caster sugar


1. Pour (A) into a saucepan, and bring the mixture to a near boil whilst stirring it, but turn the heat off before it actually boils. Leave it for 30 minutes for the vanilla to flavour the mixture.

2. Beat (B) till light and fluffy.

3. Pour the cream-milk mixture into the yolk-sugar mixture, folding the latter into the former. Nigel Slater's receipe says to stir it until you get a thin custard. Mine was still quite watery, so don't panic if you don't get anything custard-like.

4. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan, and heat it over moderate heat, stirring continuously. Once it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, take it off and let it cool in a clean bowl.

5. Once cooled, put the the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

6. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream machine and follow the machine's instructions.

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