Friday, November 20, 2009

Strawberry Sponge Deliciousness...

Mmmmmm, ice cream. The bug has surely bitten, and it won't let go. How did I ever consume the version purchased from a store in a carton? How could I have once declared it to be my most favourite thing to eat, ever? Obviously this was before I seriously got into home made ice cream. And I think the fella is won over too. Tonight he turned up his nose at ice cream on the wharf for the variety we had setting in the freezer - burnt caramel with a fig jam swirl. Can't say I blame him, and indeed partook in some of this deliciousness too. The jam was an addition to the butterscotch/caramel we make often. But this time I was having so much trouble getting the butter to brown rather than burn. But that is a post for another day.

Back to the jam. Ice cream making fits in with my desire to be industrious and self sufficient. It is a very therapeutic thing to create, with stirring, patience and a few days before having a finished produce. This is not particularly dissimilar from making preserves. If I find fruit on sale, I will buy a few kilos and make jam. Apricots are hard to pass by, strawberries when they are in season, figs when they are in abundance on a friendly neighbour's tree... Generally the results are amazing. But with strawberries I often end up with a luscious sauce with a few chunks. The lack of pectin in strawberries is a real challenge when jam making, but perfect with topping off a cake-flavoured ice cream.

I found this recipe's inspiration on a fantastically bespoke blog called The Kitchy Kitchen. It called for cake mix in with cream and ice cream. And boy does it work. But rather than ending up with a cake flavour generally, I took inspiration from the humble sponge and swirled through some runny strawberry jam. It adds a different texture to the mix, it imparts a hint of tartness. Oh, how it works. Oh, how good the original recipe is also.

(Sorry about the terrible formatting!)

Strawberry Sponge Ice Cream
Makes c. 1 L

3/4 c cake mix
1/2 c sugar

1 1/2 c milk

2 c cream 3 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/2 c strawberry jam

Sift cake mix into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, 1 c milk and 1 1/2 c cream. Stir over medium heat to combine.

Meanwhile, beat the yolks in your mixer. Slowly add 1/8 c amounts of the hot cake mixture, stirring throughout. Add around half the cake mix to the eggs. Transfer this egg-cake mix back into the saucepan with the remaining cake mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, stir in remaining milk and cream. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface of the ice-cream mixture with glad wrap. Set aside to cool before refrigerating overnight.

Churn in your ice cream maker, for around 20 minutes until the ice cream is smooth, chilled and thickened. Stir in the jam, transfer to a freezer container and freeze overnight.
Adapted from the Kitchy Kitchen blog.

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