Mad about Ice Cream

              Empty Glasses

This particular ice cream journey began with a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit Island Creamery after a less-than-satisfactory dinner. I was particularly impressed by the burnt caramel and apple pie ice cream that my brother had chosen and wondered if I could reproduce those same delicious flavours at home.

I was a little apprehensive since I’d made ice cream only twice previously, both attempts which produced less-than-ideal results. My very first attempt was made without an ice cream maker. On top of that, I didn’t freeze-then-churn the custard sufficiently. resulting in a slightly icy texture and vanilla specks that sunk to the bottom of the tub. My second atttempt saw a custard recipe that called for double cream. While the ice cream wasn’t as icy as before, it wasn’t sweet enough and left an unpleasant coating on the tongue, presumably from too high a fat content. It was a pretty disappointing waste of very expensive dairy ingredients.

I was determined to make my third attempt a success.

Burnt Caramel Ice Cream

              Home Churned Burnt Caramel Ice Cream

I turned to Michael Recchiuti’s Chocolate Obsession for the burnt caramel ice cream recipe. Having read his instructions very carefully, especially the part about turning on a kitchen fan if I had one, I had this vision of my kitchen filling up with acrid smoke while caramel turned black in my pot. Fortunately, it was nothing like that. Yes, there was some smoking, but just a few wisps and the caramel wasn’t ebony black, but a very dark amber instead.

Burnt Caramel & Vanilla Pods

The truth be told, I began to have doubts about the chosen flavour when I tasted the burnt caramel base on its own; it was bitter and tasted … well, burnt. But once dissolved into the creamy custard, the taste was absolutely fantastic and even better after churning and ripening! The ice cream had a deep caramel taste with mild burnt overtones. The best part was that it was completely smooth and the vanilla specks stayed happily suspended in the frozen ice cream.

Cocoa Nib Ice Cream with Caramelised Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa Nibs

Emboldened by my success with this ice cream recipe, I moved on to another from the same book. The 1-kg bag of Valrhona cocoa nibs, delivered right to my doorstep a couple months ago, was still untouched. The second I’d cut the bag open, the most wonderful chocolate fragrance filled the air. It was just like opening up a bag of roasted coffee beans, except that the smell was that of pure chocolate heaven.

              Cocoa Nibs Caramelised

Oh, how I regret not having ripped open the package the moment it arrived! All this time a heavenly culinary moment was just sitting in a corner of my kitchen, waiting to happen! I had no idea that cocoa nibs smelt this good. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it; somehow I keep thinking the words “pure” and “clean”, certainly not adjectives one usually associates with chocolate, but that was exactly what I felt it was: a very pure and clean chocolate aroma.

Home Churned Cocoa Nibs Ice Cream

The cocoa nib ice cream reminded me very vaguely of Milo and Ovaltine, but there was something different about it. I don’t think it’s a taste I can describe acurately. You’ll just have to try it yourself to find out!

The caramelised nibs mixed into the churned custard tasted slightly bitter as I’d messed up the caramelising process and ended up with small chunks of unmelted sugar and some burnt nibs in the mix. I’ll probably leave the caramelised nibs out of the custard in the future and just sprinkle it over the ice cream.

I’m thinking apple pie ice cream next!

Old School Blackforest Cake

              Old School Blackforest Cake

The photograph here is of the blackforest cake I’d made for my brother’s 30th birthday. It was a little daunting to make since this was the most frequently requested cake in my mum’s cake business while we were growing up. Fortunately, I had my mum’s recipe on hand and some carefully written notes on the side. Still, I wasn’t sure if the cake I’d made would live up to our memories of what it’d tasted like before.

But I’m glad to report that the cake turned out well and mum actually thought it tasted fine, just that I’d been a little too generous cream-wise!

              Old School Blackforest Cake

After having the cake, my brother confessed that he’d never really liked blackforest cake (and I’d thought it was his favourite!) and to be completely honest, neither had I! But I was glad that I gave my mum’s recipe a shot because my dad and hubby thoroughly enjoyed it.

18 Responses to “Mad about Ice Cream”

  1. Serving Homemade Ice Cream Says:

    Wow! Your pictures are fabulous! Making my mouth water! I’m glad that your ice cream making experience ended happily and yummily!

  2. Rachel Says:

    That caramel ice cream looks (and sounds) out of this world! I can’t believe how beautiful your pictures are.

  3. Maria Says:

    Lovely Lovely Lovely! I love everything!! The ice cream flavor sounds divine and the cake is stunning!

  4. Eva Says:

    Can’t say what amazes me the most - the way you captured the fleeting beauty of ice cream or your perfection in smoothing out whipped cream and throwing choc flakes onto a cake without having it land allover the place - that’s what happens to me usually..;-)

  5. Jen Says:

    Hello Karen,

    Did your mom run a cake shop or a cake decorating class? Lucky you that you’ve picked up the right genes and knowledge for doing something you love! Keep it up!

  6. Emily Rose Says:

    I’m so impressed with everything in this post!! The ice cream sounds amazing- I can’t wait for you to try apple pie! The cake is beautiful too- I love black forest cake!

  7. Sihan Says:

    i too love the burnt caramel ice cream from island creamery. Great job on recreating it! looks lovely to the max!

  8. Amber Says:

    Oooh! How about cocoa nibs on top of burnt caramel ice cream? I am not even sure what cocoa nibs are but I don’t care, they include the word cocoa. And your cake is beautiful and perfect. How do you do that?

  9. Shari Says:

    I have some cocoa nibs that I didn’t know what to do with. Now I do!

  10. Åza Says:

    Hey, just wanna say, your blogg is lovely, all the pictures and everything is so nice!!! I get so inspired

  11. Hannah Says:

    Wow!!! I love your pictures and stories!! Just found out about your website & i’m in love, keep up the good work!!
    Hope to read more soon!

  12. Ahmad Says:

    Your icing is always so good! Such sharp edges I for the life of me can never achieve. sigh!

  13. ivy Says:

    hi hi how much u bought ur cocoa nibs? how come got delivery? hehehe =D nice ice cream…tempted me to buy a ice cream maker too

  14. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Karen,

    It is convenient for you to share with me where you bought the cocoa nibs?

  15. Karen Says:

    Jennifer: Cocoa nibs can be bought from Euraco Fine Foods or directly from Valrhona. Both are situated at Henderson Industrial Park. The nibs come in 1-kg bags, so you might want to look for someone to share them with. Delivery is available from Euraco, but only for orders above $200.

  16. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks Karen.

  17. za Says:

    hello,ur all cakes looks so yummy and perfect,please can we have the recipes too,

  18. Felicia:) Says:

    Hey there!
    I really love those delicacy too!Being a pretty mad baker too, i’d like to try out the recipes,is it possible to send me those of the macaroons and cakes?Thanks!!!:D

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