Dec 24, 2011

Ice Cream For Christmas

Making ice cream is lots of fun and this Christmas there will be another group of lucky people who join the ranks of homemade ice cream lovers like myself. Santa will doubtless deliver a new ice cream maker to many homes - and long may that be the case!

For those of you to whom this applies, a piece of advice .... don't be afraid when you take the machine out of the box and the rest of the family look at you with excitement in their eyes, heavy in expectation of the wonderous ice creams you will now feel pressured to make for them. No, stay calm and casual. Remove the instruction manual and recipe booklet from inside the box and set time aside for yourself (perhaps with a glass of sherry) one evening when everyone's busy with other things and immerse yourself in reading them. It shouldn't take long - it's not rocket science after all  :)

Understand the basics of how to use your ice cream maker first and try just one simple recipe. Be patient - it may not work out perfectly the first time but the more recipes you try, the easier it will all become. Some ice cream recipes are simpler and quicker to make than others but dont be put off from trying the more time-consuming recipes, such as those that require a custard base.

My all time favourite is real vanilla ice cream made with a custard base, vanilla pod, fresh heavy/double cream and full cream milk. There's nothing quite like it! I have made all kinds of unusual ice cream and sorbets but I always come back to good old vanilla. Hopefully, when you've made plenty of your own ice cream you will understand what I'm talking about here.

In the meantime, good luck - may the joy of making your own ice cream lighten up your Christmas!

Footnote: If you want to interact with others about ice cream making, visit Ice Cream Recipes on Facebook where you can also view some of my ice cream photos and videos.

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Dec 21, 2011

White Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream

Here is a photo and a video clip from when I made my last batch of homemade ice cream - white chocolate and banana ice cream.

It's a perfect ice cream to serve at Christmas because it holds an appeal for most people. How do I know this? Well, I asked the question on my ice cream recipes Facebook page and out of several ice creams, this one was voted number 1. Wonderful to be able to find these things out!

Enjoy the video clip - my ice cream maker is now 10 years old and still going strong :)

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Dec 16, 2011

Ice Cream Video - Sloe Gin Sorbet

Ice cream is always popular at this time of year. It may be cold with snow on the way but I find few people are deterred from enjoying an ice cream treat. That is why I regularly make a batch of homemade ice cream for my family, whatever the time of year!

Last week was one such occasion - I decided to make 4 batches of ice cream using my own ice cream recipes.

Recipe 1 - Sloe Gin Sorbet

Recipe 2 - Mulled Wine Sorbet

Recipe 3 - White Chocolate and Banana Ice Cream

Recipe 4 - Coffee, Rum and Walnut Ice Cream

All of these make ideal Christmas ice cream and the sheer variety means that there should be something for everyone - including adults partial to a little alcohol in their dessert!

Here is my sloe gin sorbet churning in the ice cream maker - within 20 minutes it was ready to serve.

Alcoholic ice cream has been in the news recently with one or two commercial ice cream producers launching some what they call "alcohol-infused" ice creams. Perhaps I'm becoming cynical as the years go on but I'm not so sure that commercially produced ice cream should be taking this route. After all, ice cream's predominant value has always been perceived as 'family' orientated. My own childhood memories of ice cream all relate to simple and innocent, fun-related things - from the first Mr. Whippy ice cream truck that came down our street to the first vanilla ice cream cone I enjoyed with a chocolate flake stuck in it - yum! If I were a child today, being confronted with the myriad of marketing techniques now available to commercial ice cream producers, I'm not so sure I'd be growing up with the same, wonderfully warm and innocent conception of the real fun of ice cream. My view? When a product is on a 'big stage' keep it simple and fun. If you want something more complicated, get into the kitchen and make it yourself at home - there are plenty of recipes out there!

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Dec 7, 2011

Ice Cream Videos

If you enjoy ice cream - whether making ice cream or just eating it - you are likely to also enjoy watching ice cream videos.

There are lots of different types of videos about ice cream - here are just a few examples:
  • Ice cream churning in an electric ice cream maker (freezing as it batches)
  • Ice cream sundae in close-up, freshly served at an ice cream parlor
  • Animals eating ice cream
This is one of my favorites - a chocolate ice cream sundae served in one of the most fabulous ice cream glasses I have ever come across. Shaped like a shell with swirls around the middle of the glass, a beautifully shaped top edge and a gorgeous glass curl at the very bottom.

What happened to the ice cream? It was eaten by my husband!
What happened to the ice cream glass? I bought it from the bemused ice cream parlor owner!

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