One of the best things about food blogging is the community. People share things on Twitter, +1 stuff over on Google+, and like your Instagrams. It’s pretty much a lovely place to write and socialise in. And there’s a ton of good people out there. To even further encourage those bonds there’s a whole bunch of blogger challenges out there. I’m going for a few this month, and the first of which is Kavey’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream! I’m entering my inside out affogato.
I’ve entered this challenge before, and the theme this time is hot drinks. How to interpret that?
One of my favourite desserts is affogato – the Italian dessert of vanilla ice-cream ‘drowned’ in a shot of espresso. As an entry to a challenge it’s nearly cheating, as it’s already ice-cream. But it combines two of my favourite things: coffee and ice-cream. So why not swap the flavours around a bit somehow? How about… a coffee ice-cream, coated in a vanilla-flavoured Italian meringue for a change in texture. An inside out affogato!
Here’s the thing: I’ve never owned an ice-cream maker. I’m sure they’re brilliant, but it’s just one more great big box to keep somewhere, and no doubt something that is used infrequently. The hand-churn methods, where you go in with a fork every hour to break it up, gives a flaky finish. I don’t have access to dry ice (sorry Heston). There must be another way.
Enter condensed milk. It’s dangerous having a tin of the stuff in my house, because it just gets eaten and no-one knows who’s guilty (this may be related to the fact that my nan used to dip my dummy in condensed milk, then sugar before giving it to me…) Experimenting with this as a base for ice-cream, let down with double cream, gives you a slick, sweet ice-cream with an incredible mouth-feel.
The ice-cream tastes brilliant. I mean, really good. I was absolutely floored how nice it tasted. You could add just about any flavouring to this and get a great ice-cream (as long as you wanted a sweet one, no egg and bacon here). The texture is creamy and slippery. As I said to Kavey…
@Kavey you’ll have my entry by the end of the week Spoilers: not just best ice cream I’ve ever made, but best I’ve ever EATEN.
— Gary Fenn (@BigSpud) May 13, 2014
It’s a great base for ice-cream flavours and ridiculously simple. Any child could do it – no scalding custards or tedious churning. Please give it a try and let me know how you get on. And why not enter Kavey’s challenge too!
- For the ice-cream:
- 300ml double cream
- 200ml condensed milk
- 6 tablespoons strong coffee
- 1 teaspoon ground coffee, ground further into a powder
- For the Italian meringue:
- 2 egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- To serve:
- 1 biscotti
- For the ice-cream whisk all the ingredients until blended. Freeze in a suitable container for at least 4 hours - I froze mine in small round moulds for presentation.
- For the Italian meringue, put the sugar into a saucepan and add a splash of water to make a wet sand texture. Put over a heat and get it to 121C.
- When the sugar is at about 115C, put the egg whites in a food mixer on a medium speed. When the sugar comes up to temperature add to the egg whites in a slow trickle. Whack up the speed to maximum and mix for a further 5 minutes. At the last few seconds add the vanilla paste.
- Serve your ice-cream in a bowl and spoon or pipe over the meringue. Using a blowtorch brown all over (or pop under the grill), and scatter over crushed biscotti.