Recipe: Three-ingredient, no-churn ice cream

“When I’m not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.” – Snoop Dogg.

You should always have ice cream in your freezer. Always.

I mean, can you imagine if you had an ice cream emergency only to discover you were lacking? What if, for example, you went through a stereotypical American sitcom heartbreak. How could you adequately console yourself without a tub of the stuff?

What about all those times you whip up bitter chocolate soufflés and fondants post-work and pre-bed and don’t have anything sweet to serve alongside them? Well, then my friend you’d have egg on your face wouldn’t you.

“Ice-cream is exquisite – what a pity it isn’t illegal.”  -Voltaire

And don’t even think about hosting a slumber party/girl’s night in/movie evening/Saturday night pity party for one without it. The thought is madness. MADNESS I tell you!

Ok, so, ice cream isn’t exactly one of life’s necessities, but it is one of life’s loveliest frivolities, and having a creamy slab of the homemade stuff on hand is a wonderful thing.

I don’t have an ice cream maker or the patience to stir my mix every few hours to prevent ice crystals forming, so this recipe, which is barely adapted from Mary Berry’s original no-churn offering, is a life saver.

With only three base ingredients, it’s so stupidly easy to make, you should try making a couple of batches at a time and adding a few different flavours and textures.

I’ve noted my two very favourite variations on classic vanilla: sticky, crunchy honeycomb and swirls or tangy lemon curd.

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INGREDIENTS

4 eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
300ml double cream

METHOD

  • Line a metal loaf tin with greaseproof paper or dig out a plastic tub to store your ice cream.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric beater until they form stiff peaks.
  • Slowly whisk in the caster sugar until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  • Gently fold the cream and beaten egg yolks into the meringue mixture until combined.
  • Pour into your prepared container and freeze overnight before eating.

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Honeycomb ice cream

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INGREDIENTS 

a little vegetable oil, for greasing
200g golden caster sugar
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

METHOD

  • Lightly grease a big sheet of greaseproof paper and place it over a large wooden board or heat-proof surface.
  • Pour the golden caster sugar and honey into a heavy-based saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once melted, turn up the heat and let it simmer until it’s turned into a deep, oozing caramel.
  • Take of the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda, mixing furiously. It will start to foam and froth up. Pour the marshmallowy mixture over the greased paper and leave to cool and harden for around 45 minutes.
  • When it’s cool, cover with another layer of paper and smash into shards with a rolling pin. Sprinkle on the base of your ice cream tin in layers, covering each layer with a thick slop of ice cream so it’s evenly spread. Finish with some larger shards on top before freezing.

Lemon curd ice cream

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INGREDIENTS

1 jar of homemade lemon curd

METHOD

  • Fill your ice cream container a quarter full of the ice cream mixture. Dollop over five or six teaspoons of the lemon curd, gently swirling with the tip of a knife.
  • Repeat until the container is full and finish with a final swirl on top before freezing.
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Weekend Bake: Posh Maxibons – Almond Praline & Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

The clocks have officially gone back. Spring has started. Apparently someone remembered to tell the sun this year too as it has firmly jammed its hat on these past two days and, after all the sun soaked weather and golden afternoons, I’ve found my mind wandering back to summer holidays with my family in Europe.

If we didn’t go to Dorset to see my grandparents and throw ourselves into the icy, iron-grey sea at West Bay, we would pack up the car and head to Italy, gorging on freshly-made pasta and daily pots of creamy ice cream, where the flavours and varieties blew my ten-year-old socks off. Or we’d drive to France, winding down the undulating coastline and stopping in chalets or Eurocamps along the way, shopping in the hypermarket and slowly turning a golden, nut brown under the relentless French sunshine. There was ice cream in France of course, but there it was a treat that we tore into through a plastic wrapper. It was like the ice cream vans at home, but somehow a million times more exotic – where a Mr Whippy would become a crème glacée and come with a foreign price tag.

It was always Zaps at home and Maxibons abroad. I’m sure you could get them in England too but they became, for me and my brother, the French calling card of ice cream. I still remember eating them on the beach in Brittany with my feet stuck into the sun-warmed sand, feeling the grit between my toes as I bit through the spongy biscuit into the snow-white ice cream beneath; or in the farm house we rented after I had fallen off my bike in the woods of the Dordogne, where the sharp crack of the chocolate layer distracted me from the stinging grazes on my kneecaps.

I haven’t had a Maxibon in years but today’s sunshine made me want to indulge in that most childish of feasts: an ice cream sandwich. This recipe is a slightly more grown up version – although I bet my 10-year-old self would have wolfed it down – using almond butter to add nuttiness to the creamy flavour and praline for a caramel crunch and the easiest recipe for ice cream I know. You could even half dip it in chocolate, for a real Maxibon reminder.

This will only make a smallish tubs worth of ice cream, but it’s so sinfully rich and creamy, especially when combined with fat little rounds of buttery shortbread, that it’s probably a good thing!

Almond Praline & Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Ingredients

For the ice cream
300 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp almond butter
175 g condensed milk

For the praline
85 g caster sugar
30 g roughly chopped almonds

For the shortbread
125 g salted butter
55 g caster sugar
180 g plain flour

Method

  • Whip the condensed milk, cream, vanilla and almond butter in a large bowl with an electric whisk. The mixture needs to thicken until it forms soft, unctuous peaks. Spoon into a container and pop into the freezer while you make the praline.

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  • Put the sugar into a heavy-based pan and leave it to melt over a medium heat until it has dissolved into liquid gold. Don’t stir it as this will cause crystals to appear in the sugar, making it unworkable. You can gently tip the pan, moving the sugar around if you think it is about to burn.
  • When the sugar is dissolved, carefully (hot sugar burns are the worst!) tip in the chopped almonds and stir, quickly pouring it onto some greases proof paper and leave to set and harden.

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  • When it is completely cool, put your shard of praline into a food bag and whack it with a rolling pin until it has broken into little nuggets of nutty caramel with a bit of sugar dust. Take your ice cream out and mix in the praline with a spoon – swirling it in will give you perfect distribution without disturbing the ice cream mixture. Pop it back into the freezer and leave for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

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  • To make the shortbread rounds, mix the butter with the sugar and flour until it’s formed a paste and leave in the fridge for half and hour before you mould the biscuits  – if the butter gets too hot it will split and you’ll be left with oily biscuits.
  • While it’s cooling, turn the oven up to 180-190 degrees photo 1 (12)Celsius and make little balls of dough from your mixture. Place the balls onto a greased baking tray, making sure there’s enough room around each of them to let them spread and push them down with a fork to make fat rounds.
  • Bake for 12-17 minutes until they are just golden and leave to cool on a wire rack before sealing them in a tin to keep fresh.
  • When the ice cream is ready, take a fat dollop and sandwich it between two of the shortbreads – heaven in a sandwich!

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Just think, if you make this ice cream now it’ll be ready to try tomorrow….