I’m back! I know I have only been gone for two days and most of you probably haven’t even missed me, but to me those two days felt like two weeks. Two long, dreary, rainy, drizzly, gray days. For those of you who are not familiar with the Dutch weather, imagine London. It’s only a one hour flight away from here and the Gray is very similar…
Personally, I never liked rain. Except maybe in summer, when it’s warm and the rain feels more like a cool shower, but Dutch January rain is just terrible. And the gray kind of darkness that comes with it is even worse, especially when you have summery ice cream to photograph!
Luckily, today the skies cleared a little and I could finally take some awesome pictures of it. And then I could finally – FINALLY – eat it! After 2 long days of waiting and sneaking little spoonfuls out of the freezer when my conscience wasn’t looking!
So hey! I’m back! With ice cream!
Delicious ice cream!
A few years ago, the Rocking Rebel and I went backpacking in Vietnam. And when I say backpacking, I mean scootering. Well, the Rocking Rebel drove an ancient Honda motorcycle, but I had a scooter. First, I was the proud owner of the ugliest brown scooter ever, then – after it broke down after only 30 minutes – I got a red one.
And I loved it!
Here’s the Rocking Rebel on his Honda. It was a great bike, but a little too much bike for me!
See, mine was the red one in the front there…
I just loved riding that thing!
Sure, the Vietnamese traffic scared me half to death every other minute and I even managed to fall off my scooter on the highway once – don’t worry, I survived! I didn’t even cry! – but it was an amazing trip!
And this ice cream just takes me back to Vietnam!
I first tasted this dulce de leche ice cream after an especially hazardous ride from Ho Chi Minh City, the capital of Vietnam, to Nha Trang, a cute coastal town. Not only did we have to share the highway with ten ton trucks and all sorts of not-so-courteous drivers, we also had to tackle highways made of gravel (in what universe is that practical?) and I had never driven a scooter before.
When we finally arrived at the hostel in Nha Trang, we were sweaty, sunburned and dusty (again: in what universe are highways made of gravel practical??), the sun had set a few hours ago and all we wanted was dinner. Luckily, our little mellow hostel served ice cream! So the Rocking Rebel and I sunk into chairs on the patio and ordered scoop after scoop of ice cream. And coffee. And tea. And soup. And spaghetti with meatballs…
This ice cream was my favorite!
It’s basically a creamy vanilla ice cream with a caramel ripple and salted macadamia nuts. The combination of the caramel and the nuts is simply spectacular. It gives the ice cream almost a savory kind of sweetness!
I know that sounds kind of weird, but it is the best!
Every spoonful of this stuff reminds me of summer, of wearing shorts, of driving my scooter along dusty roads, of spaghetti with meatballs and the Rocking Rebel wearing tank tops!
Oh, and of goofy helmets and matching sunglasses!
Make this guys! I know it’s cold outside, but this stuff will warm you right up! Especially served with a nice cup of tea.
I’m having another scoop! Enjoy!
- 240ml (or 1 cup) whole milk
- 480ml (or 2 cups) whipping cream
- 150g (or ¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 15-cm (or 6-inch) vanilla bean
- pinch of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 330g (or 1 cup) of homemade dulce de leche
- 100g (or a heaped ¾ cup) toasted and salted macadamia nuts
- Start with the ice cream. In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk, 240ml (or 1 cup) of the whipping cream, 100g of sugar and the salt. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and, using the tip of a knife, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the bean to the pan.
- Pour the remaining 240ml (or 1 cup) of cream in a medium-sized bowl and set a strainer over the top. Add the yolks to another medium-sized bowl, add the remaining 50g (or ¼ cup) of sugar and whisk together with a little splash of the milk mixture.
- Gently heat the milk mixture over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, crank up the heat and bring the mixture to scalding point.
- While whisking continuously, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Once all the liquid has been added, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Gently heat the mixture over low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon.
- NOTE: To test whether the mixture - or crème anglaise - is done, dip a spoon in the mixture and run your finger through the custard down the back of the spoon. If the path you've just created with your finger holds its shape, the custard is done. If you are unsure about this step, you can use a sugar thermometer. The crème anglaise is done once the mixture reaches a temperature of 80°C (175°F).
- Take the crème anglaise off the heat and pour it through the sieve into the prepared bowl with cream. Stir to combine. Leave the custard to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, or freeze the mixture 'manually' by placing it in a freeze-proof container in the freezer and stirring vigorously every half hour until it has frozen (this may take up to 3 hours, depending on the temperature of your freezer).
- As the ice cream churns, or freezes in your freezer, proceed with the dulce de leche ripple.
- In the bowl of a double boiler, gently heat the dulce de leche until soft and runny. Add the chopped nuts and stir to combine. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place the churned, frozen ice cream in a bowl, plop in dollops of the dulce d eleche mixture and gently fold it into the ice cream. Transfer the ice cream to a freeze-proof container and place in the freezer to firm up for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Twenty minutes before serving, take the ice cream out of the freezer and allow to soften in the fridge or on the countertop. Enjoy!