Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream and Strawberry Ice-Cream

30Sep07

Question: What can I bake without an oven?!

vanilla-icecream1.jpg

Answer: nothing!

After 18 looooong years, my parents have finally decided to update our kitchen. Currently it is an empty shell, with bits of plaster and tiling just lying about… Gone are the cupboards, the sink, the oven, the tiles, the benchtops, the fridge, the rangehood, the shelves, everything! I have no idea why it’s taken them this long to renovate, because seriously, who wouldn’t want to keep the poo brown laminex benchtops, a broken Mistral rangehood and 80s beige cupboards? (that’s a rhetorical question, people!)

strawberry.JPG

So, no kitchen = no oven = no baking = something non-baked for the blog. We have an additional kitchen outside in our carport/garage (all of you who have Asian or European parents will understand) but the oven isn’t all too flash, so I can’t use it.

In anticipation of summer, I decided to make ice-cream this week. Many people scoff at the idea of going to all the trouble of making your own ice-cream, especially with so many good-quality ice-creams on the market. But real ice-cream, made from scratch, lovingly stirred and whipped, is quite simply, one of the greatest pleasures in life (oh, I’m in love!).

Homemade ice-cream is easier than it sounds. It is easy as making a custard base, adding a few flavours, popping it into the freezer and taking it out every few hours and beating it up. The constant beating breaks up any ice crystals that form and incorporates air, giving it that dreamy and light mouthfeel. If you own an ice-cream machine, it’s even easier, less labour intensive and much quicker (I’ve had my eye on a few on eBay, so fingers crossed I can get one soon!).

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I decided to make strawberry ice-cream because after visiting the Queen Victoria Market today, strawberries seemed to be everywhere, and luckily, they were rather cheap. To be honest, I used to hate strawberries. I was even given a strawberry adorned cake for my 17th birthday (or was it my 16th?) by Z (bought, not made) and I turned my nose up at it. Of course I ate it with a smile on my face, but I didn’t enjoy it (we’ll see if he mentions anything – I don’t believe him when he says he reads this blog).

So as I wait for summer to approach me with the sunshine and heat, I’ll just continue to make batches of ice-cream, sit outside and eat it all.

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I made Vanilla Bean Ice-cream and a variation: Strawberry Ice-cream. The vanilla flavoured ice-cream is fantastic on its own, but I use it as an ice-cream base for different flavours.

Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream (makes 1 litre)

(adapted from a recipe in Delicious magazine)

5 egg yolks

125g caster sugar

400ml milk

half a vanilla bean

300ml cream

  1. Place egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and using an hand-held mixer, beat until it is thick and pale yellow. eggs-and-sugar-mix.JPG Pour the milk into a small saucepan, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and put the whole bean into the milk. Cook over medium heat until the milk comes to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pod to infuse its wonderful flavour into the milk for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the milk to the egg/sugar mix and whisk well. Strain this custard base into a new saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir continuously until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon – unfortunately this can take up to 15 minutes, but be patient! Don’t let the custard come to the boil and if it splits, plunge the pan straight into a sink full of cold water and whisk madly.
  3. Once the custard is thick, place a large metal bowl in the kitchen sink, half full with water. Let the custard sit in its bath to cool down. Add the cream and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour the custard into a shallow plastic container, cover and freeze until it is frozen at the edges (approximately 3 hours).*
  5. Beat the ice-cream with a hand-held mixer until smooth and repeat this process four more times after every few hours.

* If you have an ice-cream machine, churn the custard at step 4 for approximately twenty minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Strawberry Ice-Cream

1 quantity of Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream custard mix

500g strawberries

  1. Process the strawberries in a food processor or blender – I like to leave it a bit chunky as it adds a bit of interest to the ice cream. Add this fruit puree to the custard at Step 4 and continue on from Step 5.

yolks1.JPGI originally intended to make Strawberry Ripple Ice-cream and I even prepared the syrup to mix into the vanilla ice-cream base, but I fell asleep and it was too late to marble it through. Oops! I’ve still included the recipe though:

1 quantity of Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream (partially frozen)

250g strawberries

75g sugar

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 60ml of water and heat until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Process the strawberries in a food processor or blender and strain the puree, removing all the seeds and lumpy bits.
  3. Add the strawberry juice to the sugar syrup in the saucepan and return to the heat. Boil the syrup for around 2 minutes. Allow to cool and place in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  4. Once the ice-cream has been placed in the freezer and beaten a few times, it should be partially frozen and quite thick. Remove from the freezer and alternate spoonfuls of the ice cream and syrup to another plastic container. Using a spatula, stir through the syrup and ice cream to create a marbled effect. Freeze and beat the ice-cream with a hand-held mixer until smooth and repeat twice more every few hours.
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10 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream and Strawberry Ice-Cream”

  1. I love vanilla bean ice cream and yours looks fabulous. As does the strawberry! Wonderful photos. You even make yolks look gorgeous!

  2. Thank you Truffle! :)

  3. 3 Lydz

    Does anyone have any ideas for things to put in a strawberry ice cream.

    I have been thinking about it for a while and this is for a science project. I think marshmallows would be nice, anyone got any ideas?

  4. 4 Lydz

    I love vanilla bean, and the strawberries give it an extra touch!

  5. Hmm, lydz, you could either make a simple berry ripple syrup, or white chocolate maybe? Marshmallows sound good. Not sure how the extreme cold will affect them though.

    Let me know how you go! :)

  6. 6 Lydz

    Yum berry ripple looks nice! So does white chocolate. Yes, I don’t think marshmallows would cope, unless I blend them all up. My mother has been making ice creamy marshmallow stuff, but making it all herself. Hopefully that will give it the flavour!

  7. 7 Javier

    Looks yummy. I’m going to try this some day. Vanilla, while simple, is still my favorite flavor. Simple is beautiful.

  8. 8 fatima

    .,./,.nmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmbmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmbbbbbbbbbbbbbbmmmmmmmmmmmmmmnmnmnnnmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnmmmmmmmmmmmmmnnnnnnmnmnnnnnmnmnmn

  9. 9 fatima

    I’M GOING TO TRY THIS SOME DAY BUT NOT NOW BECAUSE MY PARENTS WON’T LET ME AND I DON’T HAVE THE INGREDENTS AND DON’T HAVE AN HAND HELD MIXER BUT DO HAVE MILK.

    SORRY ABOUT ALL THE CAPITIAL LETTERS I DIDN’T SEE EM

    OOOOOPPPPPPPPSSSSSSS

  10. Hey There,

    I just stumbled onto your blog and think its fantastic. I love your passion for food and your documentation of it all, especially the fantastic pics. This post espeically has just inspired me to make icream – maybe in the next few days (and its 2 am) gosh!

    I have just moved to Melb from Adelaide and am trying to suss out the food scence. I have done a Masters in Gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu followed by Commercial Cookery Cert III. Since I am done with my study, I am now looking for kitchen jobs in Melb (more opporunity and I miss big city life, I’m from Banaglore, India that is pretty bustling) as well as making friends and meeting interesting people.


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