Friday, 4 July 2014

How NOT to Make Hazelnut Ice-Cream

First of all, HAPPEEE INDEPENDENCE DAAAEEEEE to all my American readers!

So back to the ice-cream obsession, I couldn't stay away long.

Recently I've been pondering how to make the no-churn ice-cream thing a little more interesting. It works really well when you replace some of the condensed milk with jam (see my raspberry ice-cream and strawberry cheesecake ice-cream recipes) and with lemon curd (see my lemon curd ice-cream), and that is because condensed milk, jam and fruit curd all contain at least 50% sugar and either gelling agent or high fat content.

Why does it work? Well, the no-churn method works because sugar, fat and air don't freeze in home freezers, and the no-churn ice-cream method exploits this through the beating of the cream and the high sugar and fat content of condensed milk, and when we use jam or curd the fat content is replaced with a gelling agent, which also doesn't freeze.

As such I wondered, would this technique work with a nut butter of some kind? Like peanut butter? Peanut butter is extremely high in both sugar (50%) and fat (10%) content, so maybe that would translate well?

Of course, me being me, I couldn't just get a tub of peanut butter and try it out, I decided to go full-out from-scratch on this.

I bought some hazelnuts and decided to work from the Nigella Lawson school of no-churn ice-cream by using icing sugar instead of condensed milk, and I ground the nuts into a powder with the icing sugar and added this to the cream. I began to beat the cream into fluffy peaks, and it was all going well at this point, until I commited a huge massive irreversible sin: I overwhipped the cream

This turned the ice-cream into a thick, mashed potato-y like mess. I though if I just popped it into the freezer and froze it as normal it would work, but no, it didn't. Instead I was faced with a rock hard crumbly disaster.

My brother liked it though, but he's a fan of anything sweet and creamy, like me. Lesson learnt. I hope. I'm going to try this again at some stage, and hopefully it won't be an unmitigated disaster!

THIS TIME LAST YEARSoda Bread with Oats and Sunflower Seeds

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