ME and Ophelia

Thursday, May 06, 2004

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Real good

Is there any dessert more dreamy than home-made ice cream? London's coolest new restaurant knows exactly how it's done.

Oliver Peyton's restaurants are always fashion-forward. Atlantic Bar & Grill, which opened in 1994, single-handedly revived London's cocktail scene. Then came Mash, a sci-fi brasserie unlike anything the capital had seen before; Admiralty, with French food in a high-Georgian setting; and Isola, which brought modern Italian to Knightsbridge.

Peyton's latest venture, Inn the Park, aims to reinvent the municipal cafe, serving cakes and cuppas and other British classics. It is also championing the revival of traditional ice creams made by the pastry chef Jane Huffer. "People forget how great British ice cream is," says Peyton. "The home-made stuff has a totally different, creamier taste and texture to the manufactured sort."

Note: you don't need an ice cream machine to get good results. See 'still freezing' below. [via Sunday Times Style]
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Makes 600ml

250ml double cream
250ml milk
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
100g caster sugar

Mix the cream and milk in a saucepan and heat gently.
Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the pan.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale yellow.
Pour the cream onto the egg mixture and stir until blended.
Return to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, until it has thickened to a custard.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and allow to cool, then churn.

Serve rounded scoops in clear drinking glass with short stem. Two long biscuits atop. Sit onto folded linen napkin on a coloured plate. With a selection of wafers and biscuits.
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Makes 500ml

150g brittle toffee, crushed
125ml milk
250ml whipping cream

Put 125g of the toffee in a saucepan with the milk and half the cream.
Heat gently, and stir until toffee has dissolved.
Remove from the heat, allow to go cool, and stir in the remaining cream.
Churn the mixture for two minutes.
Before the ice cream has finished churning, add the remaining toffee to the mixture.

Serve rounded scoops drizzled with hot or cold toffee sauce. On a white plate. Sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings and finely chopped nuts.
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Makes 500ml

125ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick
2 egg yolks 100g caster sugar
125g sour cream
175g good-quality apple puree or sauce

For the crumble
125g flour
90g unsalted butter
60g demerara sugar
60g nibbed almonds, optional

Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the cream. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to the boil.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Pour the cream over and stir until blended.
Return to the heat and cook gently, stirring continuously, until the custard coats the back of the spoon.
Remove from the heat, pass through a sieve and allow to cool, then stir in the sour cream and apple puree. Now churn.

The crumble:
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. In a bowl, rub together the flour, butter and sugar - and almonds if using - into a crumb.
Turn the mixture out into a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Either sprinkle the crumble, warm or cold, on top of the ice cream, or add it two minutes before you finish churning.

Note to self: This is versatile hot or cold. Try any fruit puree or sauce. Test using Greek yoghurt with lemon instead of sour cream. See how crumble freezes.
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Without an ice cream machine

This is the method for making ice cream without an ice cream machine. Put the chilled mixture into a strong plastic container about 2in deep. Cover with a lid and put in the coldest part of the freezer. Check after 1-1.5 hours. the mixture should have frozen to a firm ring of ice around the sides and the base of the box, with a soft slush in the centre. Remove from the freezer and beat for a few seconds with an electric hand-whisk or fork until the mixture forms a uniform slush. Quickly return to the freezer. Repeat the beating process at least twice at 1-1.5 hour intervals. After the final beating, transfer the ice cream to a deeper container for storage and freeze for a further 30 minutes.

Note to self: Compare other recipes for still freezing and test short cuts using Greek yoghurt.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/06/2004
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