I’m currently on my last holiday before this year is over and the New Year rolls in. So far, it has been a good few days off. I haven’t had much time to myself this year because of the typically hectic chef school schedule and it has been amazing to just kinda stop doing so many things all at once, so fast. A week or so back, I found myself in pure shock and joy when I discovered that I was home alone for a whole day. It was great. I hadn’t been properly alone in months.
This may not seem like a big deal to lots of very social people and may even seem a bit sad to them. But dayumm, I love me time. I also missed it very very much. I cooked a lot of things for the blog, tanned for hours on end (still a lovely shade of glow-in-the-dark luminescent white) and finished reading two books. Being antisocial for a few days was everything I needed. I slowly got a bit of house fever though, and started desperately needing to get out into the big bad world again. So, I did. I flew to the Kruger for a week with some friends from college, celebrated my oldest friend’s 19th birthday, went to some great restaurants (tapas at Chef’s Warehouse!) and pulled off a short stint in hospital. It’s been wild.
This holiday has been a combination of all of life’s beautiful things. Unfortunately for me, all of these wonders have left me unproductive and has made me put off many things – like blogging and preparing for my final exams. Oops.
So here I am, just a girl trying to blog about another one of life’s little beauties – ice cream.
If I was ever able to make only two things in the kitchen again, it’d be cookies and ice cream. 1) because everyone loves cookies and 2) because making ice cream is the best form of therapy. I’ve blogged briefly about it before. Let me go more into detail…
All that ice cream is, is a base of egg yolk, sugar and cream/milk. That’s it. Every ice cream YOU have ever had begun as a combination of those three things and has just been flavoured up. That base is then cooked on a stove top until it thickens slightly, strained and then chilled and then strained again and THEN churned. It’s a slow process but a relaxing one. There is nothing you can do to speed it up. So, just chill and let it all happen.
This ice cream recipe has chocolate AND nougat. I had a massive batch of nougat from a confectionery practical and needed to do something with it, thus this combination was born. It’s a lovely mix and to make matters more simple – you can buy the nougat already made. Et voilà!
For the Chocolate Ice Cream //
- 2 cups cream
- 3T cocoa powder
- 160g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1t vanilla extract
- Mix the 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a saucepan and let it heat up. Keep whisking it until the cocoa is blended and there are no lumps.
- Bring this mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute, whisking constantly.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and full combined.
- Stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream and pour it into a bowl. Set this bowl aside.
- For the custard – warm the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and slowly pour the warm milk into it, whisking constantly.
- Pour it back into the saucepan.
- Stir this mixture constantly over medium heat until it thickens and coats the back of your wooden spoon/spatula.
- Add this custard into the chocolate mixture through a strainer. Stir until smooth and add the vanilla.
- Set this mixture aside and allow it to cool completely. Placing it in the fridge would be a good idea.
- Once the mixture has chilled, freeze it in your ice cream maker and churn according to the instructions provided. This is when you add in your nougat. Do this one piece at a time, and make sure the nougat is cut into little cubes.
- Freeze for at least 3 hours.
For the Nougat //
- 3 egg whites
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ¼ cups glucose
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 4t vanilla extract
- 3 cups of nuts (almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts)
- Any other flavourings you would like (dried fruit, cranberries etc)
- Pinch of salt
- In a stand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water.
- Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil, about 10 minutes. Cook, without stirring, until a sugar thermometer reads 130’C.
- While the mixer is running, slowly add the hot liquid in a steady stream over the egg whites. Beat for 10 minutes longer or until the mixture holds its shape. While beating, allow this mixture to cool as it will be VERY hot.
- Stop the beater and remove the bowl. With a wooden spoon, combine the butter and vanilla and stir until blended in.
- Add in the almonds, pistachios, dried fruit etc and then a pinch of salt and mix in.
- Transfer this to a prepared tin. Cover with plastic wrap or rice paper.
- Once cooled, cut into cubes and store in an airtight container.