April 7 is a date worth celebrating because today is my younger sister, Angie's birthday. Today is also the date where my blog turned 1! How time flies. What started off as a diary to compile and look back at my baking turned out to be a passion I enjoy.
I like describing my success and failure with others. I like the idea of telling others what to watch out for on their first attempt on anything. In fact, I don't mind failing as long as I am the first few to be able to try out a new cool stuff!
My sis is exactly 21-years-old today but it's just to bad that I couldn't be there to celebrate it with her. But it's alright for she'll be coming to Australia in 2 months time. By then, I can fly to Queensland to meet up with her!
Apart from the stick blender, I have a new addition to my kitchen. I just love gadgets! I bought a 1.4L ice cream maker for just under AUD40 (including postage)! Small capacity but I like it because there's just four of us here and this ice cream maker only makes a small batch at one go. Just perfect!It also occupy very little space and is now sitting on my kitchen pantry waiting to be used again.
I swear if I were to keep it in the drawer or somewhere out of my sight, I would not use it as frequent. Also, many thinks that ice cream maker usage is too specific unlike food processor and other gadgets but that fact doesn't apply to me. How can anyone say no to ice creams and gelati?
I made my very first ice cream using the ice cream maker last week. I chose strawberry because I have a fresh punnet sitting in the fridge which I initially bought to make smoothie. I choose to use Nigella Lawson's Strawberry Ice Cream from her book Forever Summer. You could get the recipe in written form from Kitchen Corner and you could see how it's done by Nigella herself on YouTube here. But I strongly suggest you get a copy of the book yourself.
Here comes our journey!
Place the vanilla pod, slitted lengthwise into the half-and-half mixture. This is gonna be heated to near boil (I did Bain-Marie to avoid overscalding of milk). Once done, the bowl is covered to let it steep for 30mins.
Just look at how beautiful the vanilla pod is.
The vanilla beans all burst out from the pod and added speckles to the pure white mixture.
Check out the yolks. Round and orangey. Mix them with some sugar and beat till thick and pale yellow. Then temper them with the warm milk mixture and form a uniform mixture.
This is my version of Bain-Marie. The uniform mixture is now reheated again until thick and custard-like. It will coat the back of your spoon and you'll know it's ready.
I fish the vanilla pod out earlier as I am only making a small batch of this. The vanilla pod can be kept for future use again. I store it in an air-tight container. STRAIN (I forgotten this step and I swear it's important that you strain out all the scrambled eggs, if any out of the mixture!) and Chill the custard mixture in the refrigerator. We are almost there.
The sugar-coated strawberries looks like it's ready to be blended into a smooth puree.
My stick blender in action, working wonders in less than 10seconds.
Here comes the beautiful thing. Pour the strawberry puree into the custard mixture. Both are well chillled at this stage.
Slowly mix the puree into submission.
You'll get lotsa beautiful swirls like this when mixing. Mix lightly till you get a uniform pinky mixture.Pour in a tablespoon full of freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix well. Now, we are just a step away from savouring over yummy homemade strawberry ice cream! I chose to chill the mixture for a couple of hours before churning it in the ice cream maker. Nigella skipped that. In fact, she didn't even use an ice cream maker in the video! Nigella I am not and I don't have a food processor either.
Get your ice cream maker started and pour the mixture through the opening on top. Let it work for 30mins or so.
When it doubled in volume and looks like the picture above, you know you can stop. Serve it straight if you like soft serve ice cream. I like mine scoopable so I freeze it in a container for an hour or so before serving.
Nothing beats homemade!