Once you’ve got the hang of making ice cream there’s no looking back. Sorbets, ice cream sandwiches, granitas – you’ll want to try them all. Children, of course, love ice cream and homemade ice cream and sorbets are a great vehicle for lots of fresh, seasonal fruits.
To make ice cream (as opposed to a solid block of ice!), the mixture has to be broken up as it freezes. An ice cream maker does this for you by keeping the mixture churning around in a frozen bowl. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you will have to remove the mixture from the freezer at regular intervals and beat it to break up the ice.
Basic vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups single cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup castor sugar
- Gently heat the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is hot but not boiling. Remove and set aside.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until pale and creamy. Remove the vanilla bean from the saucepan and slowly pour the milk mixture over the egg mixture whilst whisking continuously.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir over a low heat until the custard is thick and coats the back of a spoon. It takes about four minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool before pouring it into your ice cream maker.
- If you do not have an ice cream maker, place the mixture in a metal bowl, cover and freeze for an hour. Beat with an electric mixer and return to the freezer. Repeat three times at hourly intervals or until the ice cream is thick.
- 500g dark chocolate chopped
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup castor sugar
- 1 ¾ cups single whipping cream
- Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water.
- Place the eggs, extra yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until the mixture is creamy and pale. Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until cooled. Fold through the chocolate and set aside.
- In a separate bowl beat the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the chocolate mixture through the cream. Pour the mixture into small bowls or a metal container and freeze until ready to serve.
Instant banana ice cream
- 3 frozen bananas
- ½ cup thick vanilla yoghurt
- Place the bananas and yoghurt in a food processor and mix for a few seconds until a creamy mixture forms.
- Serve immediately.
- Add half a cup of frozen berries to the mixture before mixing.
- Spoon into shaped silicone ice trays and freeze until ready to serve.
Berry sorbet and mango sorbet
- ¾ cups castor sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 ¼ cups fruit purée
- Make a basic syrup by heating the sugar and water over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Increase the heat and bring to the boil for a minute and then set aside to cool.
- Combine the fruit purée and the cooled syrup.
- Follow the usual method, either using an ice cream maker or by hand.
Three of the best toppings
Easy toffee sauce
- 1 packet creamy traditional toffees or three toffee bars
- 1 tin of Nestlé Ideal milk
- Place the toffees and milk in a saucepan and melt gently over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture forms a thick sauce.
Strawberry sundae sauce
- 1 punnet of strawberries
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Place the strawberries, sugar and juice in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for two minutes.
- Remove from the heat and process until smooth.
Chocolate and honey sauce
- 200g good quality dark chocolate (70%)
- 3 tbsps clear honey
- 1 cup thick cream
- Gently melt the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until you have a thick sauce. Serve warm over ice cream.
- Wonton wrappers
- Melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Brush the wrappers on both sides with melted butter and fold them into mini muffin pans.
- Bake for four minutes until golden. Once cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with small scoops of ice cream or sorbet.