Friday, 5 September 2014

Variation on a Theme: Malted Chocolate Ice-Cream with Caramel Swirl (Egg and Wheat Free)

As I'm sure you can imagine, this ice-cream was inspired by a very popular kind of chocolate bar made of malted chocolate nougat, topped with a layer of caramel, and enrobed in chocolate; you guessed it, a Mars bar.

Let me explain how I came to conceive of this ice-cream in my mind:

Over the course of my life I have come to learn that there are a few kinds of food products that are specifically enjoyed by English people, and it only dawned on my recently - being made more aware of my immigrant nature through talking to a Polish friend - that in Irish supermarkets you have the "English immigrant" foods. Examples of these products are crumpets, Marmite, Ovaltine, iced fingers and steak and kidney pies in tins, and I remember trying to explain to my peers why I was so excited when Cherry Coca Cola was eventually made available in Ireland. Now, generally speaking I consider myself and Irish person, but sometimes I get the little reminder that I also half belong to another race of people.

Within the last six months, however, one of these English interest products has vanished from Irish shelves: white Ovaltine. Ovaltine is a malted hot chocolate drink that is sold in powder form, which is mixed with hot milk and drunk as a bedtime drink. Due to my allergy to chocolate, I developed a taste for the white version, which is basically malt powder without the chocolate added. This version has sadly been discontinued here. Horlicks is similar, but nowhere near as nice, and also contains wheat. So, I went on the search for something that could replace my beloved white Ovaltine.

The other day I went to the local health food shop to get my usual spelt pasta and flour, and I spotted on the shelf a jar of pure barley malt extract, and my mind went BINGO! I had found the replacement for white Ovaltine. Barley malt extract is in syrup form, however, not powder. Since then, I've kind of been baking it into everything (including some really delicious malt granola that tastes just like Shreddies), and decided to make a flavour of ice-cream inspired by a malted milkshake, like the ones you can get in American style diners.

First I thought of making malted strawberry ice-cream, which would also be awesome, but I didn't have any strawberry jam. Instead, my mind wandered down the road of malted chocolate things, and finally it arrived at the doorstep of the Mars bar.

So, Mars bar: this is my ice-cream tribute to you!

I do understand that barley malt is unsuitable for coeliacs, but for those of you who can eat it, I recommend you give this a go.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Eggs
☑ Nuts

☒ Dairy
☒ Gluten
☒ Refined sugar products
☒ Cocoa (yes, I thought I'd contain it because I was allergic to cocoa for a time)


For the ice-cream
  • 8 fluid ounces (225 millilitres, 1 US cup) whipping cream, 35%-40% fat content
  • 6 fluid ounces (170 millilitres, ¾ US cup) condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons (45 millilitres) cocoa powder (see notes below)
  • 4 teaspoons (20 millilitres) barley malt extract
    • You could also replace the cocoa and malt extract with 4 tablespoons (60 millilitres) of original Ovaltine
  • Pinch of salt

For the caramel swirl
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) condensed milk
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) butter
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) cream

  • To make the caramel sauce, melt all the ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once the caramel sauce has cooled, make the ice-cream following the instructions here, but adding the malt extract (if using) to the condensed milk and cocoa mixture.
  • Pour a third of the ice-cream mixture into the freezing container, then drizzle over half the caramel sauce. Pour another third of the ice-cream mixture over it, then drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over that layer. Finish with the final third of the ice-cream mixture.
  • Using a knife, gently swirl all the layers together by zigzagging the knife through the container once. Decorate the top with sprinkles, if you like, then freeze for a minimum of 6 hours of overnight.

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