Saturday, 8 July 2017

Ice-Cream Month: Mint Toffo Sundae

Happy Ice-Cream Month, everyone! July is recognised as the month where we celebrate his delicious frozen confection, which is what I plan to do, starting with this delectable offering: Mint Toffo sundae!


Ice cream has been eaten in one form or another in Europe since the 17th century, but its only since the end of the 19th century that it became available to the regular Joe Soap, both in Italy and England. Since then it has done nothing but expand in popularity, helped along by the introduction of the domestic freezer in the 1950s.

Nowadays, ice-cream contributes nearly $40 million to the US economy alone, and is easily commercially available in nearly every supermarket. And seeing as nearly everyone has a freezer these days, it's super easy to make at home.

Over the years I've run this blog, I've dabbled in ice-cream making, but this month will be taking it to the next level: from simple no-churn ideas, to designer ice-cream flavours, to sundaes, to cheating at "churned" ice-cream with a food processor, this month will be epic!

So, let's start with the aforementioned Mint Toffo Sundae.


The inspiration for this recipe lies in childhood nostalgia: when I was a little girl, you could buy a brand of chewy caramel sweets called "Toffo", produced by Mackintosh (and later Nestlé), and they came in plain vanilla and mint flavours. The sweets were individually wrapped in red or green waxed paper, then wrapped up in a roll of gold foil, then packaged in a paper label.

These are one of the things that made my childhood.

I absolutely love the combination of toffee and mint, and I thought it would translate well into an ice-cream sundae. I wasn't wrong! I also gold-dusted a wafer fan with some fondant dust, and it looked great! I make my own wafers with a new updated recipe, which I'll be sharing later in the week.

I'm really enjoying designing sundaes. I think I got the sundae bug last year when I went to the Creams ice-cream parlour in Maidstone.

INGREDIMENTS
Makes four sundaes, with one scoop of each flavour

For two-thirds of a pint (370 millilitres) caramel ice-cream,

  • 8 fluid ounces (230 millilitres) whipping cream
  • 3 fluid ounces (85 millilitres) condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grammes) butter
  • 1½ ounces (45 grammes) caster sugar
For two-thirds of a pint (370 millilitres) mint ice-cream,
  • 8 fluid ounces (230 millilitres) whipping cream
  • 6 fluid ounces (170 millilitres) condensed
  • Up to ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) natural peppermint essence
  • ¼ teaspoon (2 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • Two drops green food colouring
To serve
  • Caramel ice-cream sauce
  • Wafer fans, or follow the directions at the end of the article to make your own
  • Gold dust fondant colouring

METHOD

The night before serving, prepare the ice-creams, starting with the caramel.
  • To make the caramel ice-cream, mix the caster sugar with a teaspoon or two (5 to 10 millilitres) of water in a saucepan with a pale interior. Heat over medium heat, stirring consistently, until it begins to turn brown.
  • When it browns, turn the heat down to low to continue cooking the sugar to a deep, dark brown. If it burns, don't worry: sugar is cheap, and burnt caramel comes off with hot water and soap.
  • Once it comes to the right shade of brown, remove from the heat and mix in the butter and condensed milk. Return to the heat and cook gently until everything is dissolved together.
  • Add in the cream, and stir until the mixture is smooth and consistent in colour. Remove from the heat, and cool completely to room temperature.
  • Once it comes to room temperature, transfer to a mixing bowl big enough to whip the ice-cream, and then pop into the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • After chilling, beat with an electric whisk until it reaches medium-firm peaks. Transfer it to a one-pint (580 millilitre) pudding basin, cover with the lid or some cling film. Then, prepare the mint ice-cream.
For the mint ice-cream,
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except the peppermint essence, with a wooden spoon. Add a few drops of peppermint essence, give it a taste, then decide if you want a stronger flavour: peppermint essence is intense, and you can always add more, but you can't take it out once you've added it. 
  • If the bowl fits into the freezer, chill in there for 20 minutes. If not, chill in the fridge for an hour.
  • After chilling, whip with an electric whisk until it holds medium-firm peaks. Transfer to a one-pint (580 millilitres) pudding basin, cover with the lid or some cling film, then pop into the freezer, along with the caramel ice-cream, and freeze overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours.
Paint the wafers, then assemble the masterpieces,
  • Using a nice soft paint brush, brush the wafers with the gold dust until to the gold-ness you like.
  • Serve the sundaes with one scoop of each ice-cream flavour, a gold wafer fan, and some caramel sauce.

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