There is no summer without ice cream… Ice cream from the kiosk, machine ice cream, ice cream from a nice neighbourhood shop, ice cream made from our own hands… Every one of them has its own unique grace and taste. It is connected with the summers of our childhood, with walks on holidays or through half-empty cities, with mama’s recipes, with our own attempts at homemade ice cream.
All three members of the family are ice cream lovers and we never wait for the summer to enjoy it. Many times, even in the dead of winter, we are among the ones sneaking in ice cream shops, “gelaterie” according to the newest term. Admittedly, in recent years there are several shops that make very good ice cream, Italian style, in other words soft, almost chewy ice cream in amazing flavors. At some point I have to make a list, with ice cream shops – places to be … All in good time…
In the summers, especially in recent years, I’ve been experimenting with homemade ice cream. I have tried several recipes to make ice cream that doesn’t turn to stone in the freezer. To get the ice cream texture, I have occasionally used salepi powder in the mixture, honey from acacia and alcohol. But I think a combination of egg yolks with alcohol turns out the nicest.
For many years I have avoided using yolks in ice cream because I thought it would smell like… eggwhite. That was wrong. Egg yolks make ice cream fluffy and alcohol – albeit a small quantity – keeps it from freezing too much. Of course, when we put the ice cream in the freezer it will freeze. But if we leave it outside for a few minutes, it gets a soft texture, it becomes easier to serve and it tastes better.
I have made several attempts, I have tried different techniques but finally I have come to the conclusion that Mr David Lebovitz has mastered us all. In his excellent book The Perfect Scoop, besides the recipes he presents, he also gives us the general technique for successful ice cream. He uses enough yolks to make a custard for ice cream. Don’t be scared by the process, it is not as laborious as it looks and the result is worth it …
(For about 1 kg of icecream)
- 500ml cream, whole
- 250ml fresh milk, whole
- 140g couverture
- 120g sugar
- 20g cocoa
- 15g corn flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons liqueur or vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
Place a small pot on medium heat and pour half the cream and the cocoa, stir well and then add the chocolate in pieces. Continue stirring until you get a smooth mixture.
Check the intensity of the heat, it must not be too high, otherwise the mixture will burn out.
When the chocolate melts completely, add the rest of the cream, stir well, pour the mixture into a bowl and leave it aside.
In the same pot, add the milk, sugar and salt, stir until the sugar melts and the mixture is warm enough. In a bowl, pour in the two egg yolks with the corn flour and mix until a smooth mixture with no clots is created.
Slowly begin to pour warm milk with a ladle into the mixture of yolks and stir constantly, as you do when you make avgolemono. Continue until all the warm milk is emptied into the yolks. Pour the yolk-milk mixture into the saucepan and place it over medium heat. Stir well until it starts to thicken, and be careful as our mixture should start bubbling but not boil.
To make sure the mix is thick enough, dip a spoon into the mix and if it stays on the back of the spoon and does not leak then you are ready to go. Remove the mixture immediately from the heat.
Empty the yolk-milk mixture from the pot to the bowl with melted chocolate, stir well, add the vanilla extract or the liqueur of your choice and mix. Lebovitz says to prepare a cold “bath” in the bowl with our final mix, that is, place it in a larger bowl with some water and ice. I have skipped this step, sometimes, without the recipe failing, but I must mention it as it is the right thing to do.
Watch the video, it will help you a lot, the process is far from difficult.
After the mixture has cooled down completely, put it for about 1-2 hours in the refrigerator and then either use the ice cream machine – if you have one – or beat the mixture in the manual mixer, put it in the freezer for an hour and repeat for 2 or 3 more times.