White chocolate, cardamom amd chilli ice cream

After a failed pumpkin ice cream, that was far too savoury for our liking, I was strongly prompted by my significant other to make one from a book that I’d bought back in the summer and this one caught my eye. I’m always keen to use up whatever’s in the fridge, and it just so happened that I had a few bars of nibbled white chocolate and some Thai chillies that had missed their planned recipe windows.

I had an odd hangover after staying up late drinking after an early birthday day out, a hangover that seemed to ache from my bones, it was most odd. I figured that taking a Sunday to make a batch of ice cream among other things would be a lovely way to sit the day out. It certainly was, stirring and watching the chillies was like watching people spinning round on a carnival waltzer.

This recipe has no eggs, so it’s a little out of the ordinary as far as my understanding of ice cream goes, although it’ll be good for a friend who has an allergy/intolerance to eggs. Now, I always thought there were two types of ice cream, meringue based and custard based, I clearly need to do some more reading around this subject. I also wondered how it’s going to get thick and freeze. Even after adding the chocolate it had a far lower viscosity than other ices I’ve made. My curiosity was well founded, my little Kenwood ice cream maker tried it its hardest but the ice cream only got thick-ish and couldn’t quite achieve more than a slush – the still-freezing method was needed:

After putting the mix into the freezer for 60-90 minutes, remove and whisk it with a fork to make a uniform slush. Return to the freezer and repeat every 60-90 minutes. After around three of these beatings return to the freezer for an hour or so, after which it should be ready to serve.

The resulting light, un-cloying ice cream tasted of white chocolate with some chilli heat coming through. Maybe I should have ground the cardamom seeds rather than just cracking the pods open, as I couldn’t really taste them. Or it could be that Morfudd makes the ice cream over two days, which would undoubtedly improve the flavour. I’m not that patient, and rarely have that much space in the fridge.

I haven’t really thought of what I’m going to serve it with, maybe it would add a kick to an apple crumble or poached pear?

The recipe is taken from Lola’s Ice Creams & Sundaes by Morfudd Richards, which I bought after reading a favourable review in the Waitrose WFI mag, but before I’d come across the excellent David Lebovitz. At some point I’ll get his and let the two of them duke it out. Morfudd started making ice cream in an Islington restaurant, but sold up and now runs a business bringing home made ice cream to all kinds of events in her custom painted 1970s ice cream van.

Makes approx 1.1kg

1 bird’s-eye chilli
200 g white chocolate
6 green cardamom pods
500 ml whole milk
100 ml whipping cream – I used double cream
50 g caster sugar

Chop the chocolate and set aside. Finely dice the chilli, crush the cardamom pods (or grind the seeds if you want a stronger taste) in a pestle and mortar. Heat the milk, cream, sugar, chilli and cardamom seeds and pods to just below boiling point. Take off the heat, add the chocolate and stir until everything is incorporated. Allow to cool.

Strain the mix and discard the cardamom and chilli. Churn in an ice-cream machine until firm or follow the still-freezing method. Put in a sealed container and cover the top of the ice cream with greaseproof paper.

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