This is the best ice cream in the whole world. Really! It is so good, it’s dangerous. Few desserts leave me longing for a second helping like this does. Creamy, spicy, fruity and crunchy. It’s all of those and more, more, more! It’s a sophisticated rum and raisin taste but to trump all, it has cultured cream.
For additional divineness, let it sit a while in your bowl (if you can). It’s best when it starts to ooze. Based on an Italian semifreddo, this cream based ice cream comes into its own when half frozen. Allowing it to thaw a while relaxes the fat in the cream, improves the texture and seems to taste, that little bit more ‘perfect’.
Step 1. Two days ahead
1. Prepare the 24 hour cultured cream. Remember that cultured cream must be chilled for at least 6 hours before you whip it.
2. Combine the dried fruit, spices, vanilla, honey, zest, brandy and cacao in a bowl. Give it a good stir then cover and leave to swell overnight in the fridge (or longer, it won’t spoil)
Step 2. Ice cream construction:
1. Lightly toast the flaked almonds in a dry frypan on your stovetop. Set aside to cool.
2. Whip the cultured cream. No sweetener is required.
3. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold the toasted almonds, fruit mixture and cultured cream into the egg whites.
5. Line a pudding tin (or mold shape of your choice) with cling wrap and pour in the mixture. Cover and put it in the freezer overnight or until required.
Step 3. Chocolate holly leaf decorations:
Chocolate is completely optional. The ice-cream is divine and complete without it. However in saying that, the crackle of a piece of chocolate now and then is amazing!
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Then pour the melted chocolate into a small piping bag (or make your own out of baking paper as I have).
3. Lay a sheet of baking paper over a tray on your bench top. Don’t be too precious about drawing skills. Crudely squiggle out a bunch of leaves or any shape you like; hearts, stars, whatever.
4. Transfer the tray to the fridge for 30 mins to snap them cold.
You can make the chocolate decorations the day before and store in an airtight container in a cool place.
Step 4. Serving the ice-cream:
1. Turn the ice cream out on to a plate and remove the cling wrap.
2. Decorate the ice cream with chocolate leaves.
3. Wait until you see it begin to ooze before serving. Serve with a spoon or cut with a knife. Just remember; the softer the better!
4. The ice-cream can be returned to the freezer. Spoon it (choc leaves as well) in a sealed tub and enjoy a little bowl post christmas!