Officially, there are only 4 days of summer remaining, although our summers do like to linger behind weeks after we’ve bade her farewell. What can I say, she likes it here in Sydney and how could you not, we welcome her with open arms, plead with her not to leave come February and yearn for her return mid August.
Sydney I think, is at its best in summer, some may argue that it is spring when she is her prettiest and this may be true, but all we are, are merely waking up from the slumber of humdrum winter days. Sydney is most alive in the summertime, when the sun is out, the humidity is at its peak and flies are doing their best to cling to you.
Yes, nothing beats a hot, fly-infested summer. I think the locals have become accustomed to this nuisance come summer, although the visitors have a hard time coping with it. A friend studying here from Africa is convinced she is under attack, although they never seem to bother me anymore, but enough about flies.
So now that we are counting down, numbering the precious days we have left of genial weather and resplendently abundant sunshine, I must turn to the fact that I have only blogged about ice all but once this entire season. I have been making use of the ice cream machine that came into my possession over the Christmas period, although most excursions have been undocumented. Undocumented in the fact that they have, well, not quite up to the standard that I like to regale my readers.
The ice creams in question were so disastrous that my freezer for some time had become a morgue for deceased ice cream. It became the case where creative inspiration, alas did not meet with successful realisation. The only realisation that took place was the realisation that my ice creams sucked. They actually didn’t suck that much at the time of conception, sure the concept was great, although something must have gone awry in the process of execution that I somehow gave birth to a mass of icy abominations.
Perhaps I should just stick to more familiar flavours, like run and raisin, rocky road, even vanilla. At least success would have come more easily. Luckily after the third disaster, I decided to stick to combinations I knew were tried and tested and not even I, the fumbling ice cream maker could not stuff up. After the many misappropriations of cream, milk and eggs, I eventually managed to churn out something worthy of this blog. I wasn’t going to lower the bar for those other things that even my dog wouldn’t eat.
Let’s just say that clementine and champagne ice cream sounded like a great idea on paper. But, in actual fact, it tasted worse than that cherry flavoured cough syrup that your mother used to force feed you as a child, as you writhed in discontent as it unwillingly made its way down your throat. Feeling a like a complete loser, here I present to you my two best creations: Coffee and Hazelnut Ice Cream and Honey Ginger Gelato.
The coffee ice cream is made with hazelnut flavoured coffee so the hints of hazelnut are quite subtle. Although if you are more inclined to use ground hazelnut, go for it. I wasn’t too sure about what this would do to the texture of the ice cream, and given my track record, I decided to go for something a lot simpler, the fewer ingredients the better.
The gelato, was little bit more of a gamble, I had never used honey in an ice cream before, and was scared about what this would do to the taste. But it’s a wonder what the combination of milk, eggs, honey and ginger can do, as by the end it looked like what gelato shoudl look like and, unlike previous attempts, it actually seemed edible! In fact at first I wasn’t too keen on the honey ginger combination, which surprised me as I love it cakes and biscuits, but somehow it didn’t taste quite right to me. However my family loved it, so I guess it wasn’t a complete failure.
So give these recipes a go, but I cannot sure you that they will turn out successfully. Who knows these could have been a fluke.
Coffee Hazelnut Ice Cream
4 egg yolks
400ml full cream milk
1 tbsp hazelnut flavoured coffee ground
500ml pure cream (35%-55% milkfat)
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolk together until think and pale.
Place milk and coffee in a medium heavy based saucepan over low heat and bring the milk just to a gentle simmer.
Remove from heat and strain the milk using a fine sieve.
Gradually pour the strained milk into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking slowly as you go.
Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk the custard until it thickens. (If you have a thermometer, the custard should be at about 60°C.)
Remove custard from heat and pass through a fine sieve again to remove any clumps that may have formed. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours.
Using a whisk, incorporate cream into the custard*.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions**.
When churned, transfer ice cream to a 1.2-litre air tight container and place in the freezer.
The ice cream should be ready to serve after 1-2 hours.
*Ensure that you do not add the cream to a warm custard.
** Under no circumstances should you place warm custard into an ice cream machine, unless you want to destroy it.
Honey and Ginger Gelato
7 egg yolks
1 small knob of fresh ginger, sliced (for infusing)
1 tsp ginger ground
In a large saucepan set over a pan of simmering water, whisk milk and egg yolks together.Add the honey , ginger slices and ginger ground and continuously whisk until honey has dissolved and the mixture has thickened. This will take about 20 minutes and the custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.Remove the custard from the heat and remove ginger slices.
Allow the custard to chill in the refrigerator.When the custard has completely chilled, pour into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.Store the ice cream in a 1-litre air tight container and freeze.The gelato should be ready to srve after freezing for 1-2 hours.