Friday, October 29, 2010

Praise indeed

I had some very kind words pointed in my direction last Tuesday in Matt Preston's column in the Herald Sun:
Matt and I have been kitchen sparring partners since we shared a house together in Melbourne years ago when we were both courting our respective spouses.  Known for being a food critic and Masterchef judge he is an outstanding cook in his own right who is full of clever food ideas.  He always makes a huge mess and uses every pan in the kitchen when cooking but the results are always extraordinary.  And yes, he has been well-trained enough to wash up after himself.

Matt was the one who talked me into buying and ice cream machine many moons ago, and I am so glad he did.  I bought a very cheap one and it has never let me down.  Shop-bought ice cream contains a lot of weird ingredients that are not eggs, sugar, milk, cream plus flavouring and specialist ice creams are quite expensive.  I have tried many recipes with varying degrees of success but I could never quite get simple chocolate ice cream right.  There always seemed to be annoying bits of chocolate at the bottom that didn't quite melt and it was never really smooth.  But now (trumpet fanfare)  I think I have nailed it.

It was a classic case of a fluky experiment that worked (surely how most recipes are invented).  I had some leftover chocolate and cream mixture that I used for icing some cupcakes and for some reason mixing the cream with the chocolate helps to stop the chocolate from freezing up in little bits (be aware that I am no scientist...).  This is what I did:


100g milk chocolate, broken into bits (you can use dark, or a mix of both, my kids prefer milk)
1/4 cup cream
2 eggs plus one yolk
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cream extra

Melt the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan, stirring until melted and smooth.  Set aside.
Put the milk in a saucepan and bring nearly to the boil. (Keep an eye on it as it boils over quickly)
Using and electric mixer mix the eggs and yolk with the sugar until white and creamy (this will take a couple of minutes, scrape down the side as you go).
Slowly pour the milk into the mixer with the beaters on low to mix in.
Return the mix to the pan and heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Do not let it boil.
Add the chocolate and the extra cream and pour into a container.   At this stage Matt would say add a pinch of salt to bring out the chocolate flavour.  Put it in the fridge until cool.
Churn in ice cream machine according to instructions.

Then invite Matt over for a tasting, he has a most discerning palate....

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