Nigella's no churn, two ingredient ice cream with a lively raspbery puree ripple. It's easy. It's delicious. It's made in ten minutes. Need I say more?
Ice cream makers don't make it easy
Does making ice cream about three times a year justify spending three hundred quid on a Gaggia or Magimix Expert ice cream maker, even assuming I had that cash floating about idle? No, I thought not.
I own an ice cream maker, a decent brand. It's not too huge, which is what people often complain about: that your output is a gallon of same flavour ice cream at a time. Mine makes about two pints which is reasonable.
But since it didn’t cost a fortune, it’s a flimsy paddle sitting on top of a chilled bucket. The idea is simple: the mix freezes around the sides and the paddle stirs it up. Constant stirring prevents large ice crystals from forming and ensured smooth texture. In theory.
To churn or not to churn?
In reality it is an awful lot of hassle. First off, you need to remember to put the bucket in the freezer for at least 12 hours in advance. Who is so well-organised?
So a day later than your ice cream craving began, you're ready to churn. The mix is chilled and the bucket is so icy your fingers glue to it. In we go and off we churn!
Now what? After a few minutes the mix freezes solid onto the sides of the bucket and the paddle whirs and stutters angrily trying and failing to shift the ice mass.
You hack at the ice blocks with a knife, thus scratching the steel, thus making it even more grasping. You try to paddle the chipped ice blocks but the paddle makes just one ‘you gotta be kidding me’ noise and dies. The ice is delicious but there’s no cream factor.
So unless you can afford, justify and store the serious tabletop freezer with an industrial blade, you're a slave to Häagen-Dazs. Or are you?
Not to churn!
The magic of condensed milk is the salvation. Because it's evaporated/condensed (those labels are sometimes confusing; in the UK evaporated means concentrated and unsweetened, and condensed - with added sugar. Don't know about anywhere else), it has a negligible water content and so freezes without the ice crystals which are the bane of smooth texture.
Two ingredients are necessary for the ice cream base, the condensed milk and double cream - using only condensed milk will result in inedibly sickly mixture, plus you want the texture to be whipped cream-fluffy.
And then add the flavouring: coffee, like in Nigella Lawson’s original recipe from Home Kitchen, lemon zest, dark chocolate or whatever your favourite flavour is. I'm a raspberry ripple girl, hence the recipe below.
I didn’t believe it would be successful but it was. I worried that my ripple element wouldn’t work but it does. As Nigella herself describes it, the method delivers an ‘embarrassingly simple no-churn ice cream’ – and that it is.