Supposing yesterday began when I woke up around 8am, I then went on to spend roughly fifteen or so further hours in bed. I rose briefly around noon to make myself some roasted vegetables, which did not have the galvanising effect on me that I’d hoped they would, because I then went back to bed until just after midnight when I had a sudden fit of activity: I got up, ate the remainder of this white chocolate and burnt butter ice cream and then made myself a small loaf of cornbread. Oh sure, I’m super tired at the moment, but it was more than just tiredness, it was like, One of Those Days. Apologies for referring to depressive times with a knowing wink, what else can ya do.
(Okay I have to confess here that I accidentally typed “knowing wank” instead of knowing wink which is ridiculous because the i and the a are not even remotely close to each other on the keyboard, it just happened and I can’t stop laughing at it.)
Anyway: there is nothing profound about the fact that I ate this ice cream after a day spent in bed willing myself to do anything, even to just binge watch TV shows, but being unable to maintain any kind of momentum; it was not even a particularly abnormal day, it was a day that anyone might have every now and then. But! If nothing else, the ice cream is exceptionally delicious and as I was eating it I was like “well this is nice,” and it being a nice moment was enough, just for now.
I’ve said it before, but ice cream is one of my very, very favourite foods and I love coming up with recipes for it. I mean, I argued successfully for an entire ice cream chapter in my cookbook. I love the stuff, and something in that cold, cold, creamy texture is the perfect vehicle for flavours to shine.
It sounds almost like I’m parodying myself to load an already loaded ice cream with literal butter but my reasons are sound, I promise. Butter, when browned over a high heat, becomes intensely rich and nutty and caramelly. When you put this with white chocolate – gently buttery, soft and vanilla-y – the effect is absolutely glorious. It’s like butterscotch, like white chocolate refracted through a prism, like freezing cold fudge, like plunging your hands into a pile of expensive folded robes made of the softest fabric at some kind of fancy department store. The pile of robes topples over. You slink away, unseen. You got away with it but you feel bad about the probably underpaid store attendant who has to tidy it up. You think about it still, eight years later. I don’t know where I’m going with this. The ice cream is delicious.
I’d like to emphasise that it is very, very simple to make, which is how I like my ice cream to be. You don’t need an ice cream maker! That’s what Big Ice Cream Maker wants you to think! I mean if you have one, that’s lovely, I just try to make a point of making recipes that require minimal equipment so that the maximum amount of people might consider trying them out. This ice cream requires three steps – browning the butter, melting the cream and chocolate together, and letting the cornflour thicken the cream mixture somewhat. Then you bung it in the freezer, don’t even worry about stirring it at this point, just wait for it to freeze and it’s all yours.
white chocolate and burnt butter ice cream
a recipe by myself
- 100g butter
- three cups (750ml) cream
- one tablespoon cornflour
- 200g genuinely nice white chocolate, eg Whittakers
- 3/4 cup sugar
First, your butter: melt it in a saucepan large enough to hold all the rest of the ingredients, since you might as well use as few pans as possible. Once it’s melted, keep it on the heat so it starts to bubble up and brown – once it’s at the point of having thick golden fluffy foam on top and being a rich golden brown underneath, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a small bowl to cool slightly.
Rinse out the pan and then over a low heat, melt the chocolate into the cream, stirring occasionally. Mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water – I just do this in the measuring cup I used for the cream – and tip it into the chocolate/cream mixture. Continue stirring over a low heat until it thickens a bit – you’ll feel it changing as you stir, going from being very thin liquid to a more saucy, thickshake type vibe. Remove it from the heat.
Stir in the sugar, and finally, spoon or pour in the butter, or more specifically, the dark golden brown middle layer of the butter – it will have separated into sediment on the bottom, super rich dark brown butter in the middle, and a golden salty layer on top. The middle stuff is what we want, but if other bits get in the mix it’s not the end of the world.
Freeze till solid – around 4-6 hours – and then it’s all yours for the eating.
The cornflour, without any effort on your behalf, thickens up the cream and turns it into a pseudo custard, and the texture when frozen is incredible – so, so smooth and satiny. But the burnt butter with the melted white chocolate! Seriously, I don’t know whether I’m more excited about the flavour or the texture in this one. Just trust me on it and try it for yourself. For what it’s worth, it tastes good no matter what kind of day you’re having.
Also! If you like the idea of ice cream then I have a ludicrous quantity of recipes for you, but you could consider: apple cinnamon ice cream; chocolate peanut butter ice cream; and grapefruit curd ripple ice cream.
Also I’m still laughing about “knowing wank”.
title from: The Dead Weather, Blue Blood Blues. This song is so crunchy, I love it.
Brandy, Tamia, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Missing You. This was playing at the coffee shop I was at this morning and I got a sudden flashback to being ten years old and (rightly) getting suuuper emotional over this song.
Billie Myers, Tell Me. This song flew massively under the radar in 1999 or whenever it came out, but it’s so good and the chorus is so big, I love it.
next time: well that cornbread was amazing. I am very sure I’m going to make it again at some point.