Brandy Flamed 'Christmas Ice-Cream'
11/12/09 01:13 Filed in: Flaming Ice-cream
BONANZA, its almost Christmas! Which for me means some time of work spent having a lovely boozy time eating, socializing and hanging out with my family. I really buzz off being in the kitchen with my mum on Christmas day helping out with the dinner (its still very much her domain), then popping out for a family walk while it all cooks. The only problem is that every Christmas eve me and a load of my friends meet up in the same pub every year and basically take it over for the night, have and excellent time of it, drink way to much port (only time of the year anyone I know drinks port) and generally have a merry old time. The result of this spirited night of catching up with mates (my favorite night of the year incidentally) is that I spend the first half of Christmas day pretty hung over. So this year, in anticipation of Christmas hangovers and to best facilitate laziness after Christmas dinner itself, I decided to do a dessert way ahead of time.
I decided I wanted to do something abit different this year so, after a fair bit of deliberating I came up with the idea of doing an ice cream, but to make it abit more interesting one you can set on fire. Because obviously nothing says Christmas like setting fire to ice cream, but honestly there is rational thought behind the idea.
I liked the idea of having all the spectacle of the flaming Christmas pudding but with a twist. My thinking was that few foods, for me at least, take me back to childhood in the same way that ice cream does. And that if the flavours were right the ice cream could really strongly evoke memories of Christmas and also of childhood treats.
What I came up with, after a trying a couple of versions, is a ‘Brandy Flamed ‘Christmas Ice Cream’’, flavoured with spices, brandy and candied fruit. This is definitely an adult desert, with all the brandy and spices but it really does taste of Christmas . In the end it was adding cloves when I was infusing the cream with spices that finally gave me the flavour I was looking for. And while it really is for an adult palate, I think its sort of fitting to have an adult dessert to evoke child like emotions around Christmas.
Flaming the dessert is the special final touch, it mimics flambéing the Christmas pudding on a day when it’s good for desserts aswell as people to be soaked in booze. In the end I used almost the same technique to make the ice cream heat proofed that I used to make a Flaming vegan sorbet (Dark Chocolate, Cointreau and Cardamom – Check out the recipe page), by using Gellan, (available from www.Modernist-Chef.com). Gellan Gum is a vegetarian gelling agent that has the useful property that, once set, it can withstand reasonably high temperatures.
The wicked thing about once you’ve flamed the ice-cream, is that not only does it not melt and hold its shape, but it does warm and soften a little on the outside while staying frozen inside so you get contrasts of temperature and texture, along with the chewy candied fruit. All together it’s a funky, Christmassy, fun pudding. I hope it’s going to go down well with the family on the day.
For the moment I’m serving it up a one scoop in a shot glass with a little brandy drizzled on top and then flamed, but I might still play with the presentation abit, maybe serve it in some homemade brandy snaps. We shall see.
Anyway have a gander at the recipe -
Brandy Flamed ‘Christmas Ice Cream’
300ml whole milk
300ml double cream
30g golden syrup
4 medium sized pieces of cinnamon bark
20 whole cloves
Zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
One tea spoon nutmeg Grated
10g Gellan Gum powder - available from www.Modernist-Chef.com
5 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
130g mixed candied orange and lemon peel and raisins and sultanas
Place the cloves, cinnamon bark, vanilla essence, ground cloves, lemon zest and ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg into a pan with the milk and cream and bring to the boil then simmer for ten minuits. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for twenty minuits.
Meanwhile cream the egg yolks and sugar together till fluffy.
Then strain the milk though a sieve to remove the whole spices then stir in the golden syrup and then bring the milk and cream mix back to a simmer.
Once the cream is simmering poor bit by bit into the egg mix while stirring. Next mix in the brandy then finally shake in the Gellan powder bit by bit, whisking it through the mixture to till smooth. Then pour it all back into the pan and heat back up for about five minuits, stirring constantly
Now pour the ice cream mix into a glass bowl over a larger bowl of iced and salted water. Stir the mixture constantly as it chills. Once its completely cooled place the liquid in and ice cream machine and churn until almost frozen, adding the dried and candied fruit just for the final five minuits of churning.
Transfer to a container and finish freezing in the freezer overnight and there you are, you can forget about it until your ready to pull it out after dinner.