A few years ago I made a cake for my step dad’s birthday. It was a vanilla sponge cake with a ganache filling covered with whipped cream and then finished with a layer of marzipan. During eating my family started talking about a new pizza kit that they thought was really clever; you just roll out the ready made dough, spread the ready made sauce on the dough and then top with whatever you want. I mentioned that I thought that you might as well buy a frozen pizza instead, because it’s not cooking to make a pizza with a pizza kit and that largely it’s just cheating. My sister’s boyfriend asked me if I had made the marzipan on the cake and I said no and then he used that as an argument against me, saying that I shouldn’t point fingers at someone cheating when I’m doing the same thing and then everyone agreed with him apart from Keith. Of course it’s a vast difference between making a cake all with home made components apart from the marzipan on top and making a pizza where you put in five minutes of work (and besides, with his logic it would be cheating even if I made the marzipan myself because I didn’t grow and pick the almonds myself… I could never win that conversation) but ever since that incident I’ve been very hard on myself and I’m very picky when it comes to what I put in my desserts. Making a cheesecake? I have to make the biscuits for the crust! Making a crumble? I can’t possibly use shop bought custard, that would be awful! Shop bought ice cream cones? No way! I always go the extra mile and always, always make everything, every little thing from scratch. I pride myself with it, but sometimes it’s tiring.
The other day we decided to make ice cream, again. After thinking we decided on a coffee ice cream with a Bailey’s chocolate swirl and crushed biscuits mixed in. And now the cheating started. We don’t have an espresso maker so I couldn’t use proper coffee and had to use instant coffee instead. I did make the biscuits to go in the ice cream a couple of days before churning it, using a recipe for bourbon biscuits but they were awfully dry and boring, the way bourbon biscuits always are. I thought it’d be OK with a boring biscuit like bourbon biscuits because it’s just a small component and shouldn’t overpower the coffee, the chocolate and the Bailey’s but they were just so plain that I decided to use some Maryland big and chunky biscuits instead.
I’m not perfect, but I always try and sometimes I fail. However, you can’t possibly call this as a mistake with all the compliments I got for it. Keith likes it a lot, and he loathes coffee. Keith’s friend Chris seemed a little bit upset over the fact that you can’t buy anything like this in the shop (not with Ben&Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide gone at least). You couldn’t ask for more.
Coffee ice cream with Bailey’s chocolate sauce and chocolate biscuits chunks
300 g/10.6 oz whipping cream
300 g/10.6 oz milk
3 big egg yolks
80 g/2.8 oz sugar
40 g/1.4 oz glucose syrup
2-3 teaspoons very good quality instant coffee (to taste)
Pinch of salt
Chocolate Bailey’s swirl
90 g/3.2 oz sugar
50 g/1.8 oz milk
40 ml/1.4 fluid oz Bailey’s
40 g/1.4 oz cocoa powder
6 Maryland big and chunky white choc brownie biscuits (Or approximately 150 g chocolate chip biscuits), split in chunks
For the ice cream put the milk, the cream, the salt and the coffee in a saucepan together with the glucose syrup. Bring to the boil and put aside while you whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar for about two minutes until it’s fluffy and pale in colour. As you whisk, pour the milk and cream mixture carefully into the egg and sugar mixture. Make sure that you pour the milk and the cream mixture into the egg and not the other way around or the egg mixture might curdle. After the two mixtures are combined, pour into the saucepan again and heat on medium heat while whisking until the mixture is 84 degrees C/183 degrees F or it’s thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture into a bowl and put it into the water filled basin again to cool down, stirring every now and then to prevent a skin from forming. When it’s cooled down, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge over night.
For the chocolate sauce put all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk it together. Bring to the boil and cook it on medium heat while whisking for about 5 minutes until it’s thick and glossy. Put in the fridge to cool down.
Churn the ice cream custard in the ice cream machine the day after. Break up the biscuits as the ice cream is churning. Once done fold in the biscuits and the chocolate sauce quickly and efficiently and transfer the ice cream to a tub and put in the freezer until it’s hard enough to serve.