skinny ice cream
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I am not a big fan of substitutions: skinny lattes, diet coke, low fat yoghurt and zero calorie noodles are not among my favourites. I’m justifiably suspicious of low-fat stuff as it has been demonstrated it’s actually bad for you, having much more salt and sugar added to compensate for blandness.
Decaf coffee, skimmed milk and alcohol-free fizz are pretty pointless: the alertness, the calcium and the buzz gone. I don’t believe in swapping full fat cream, white sugar, wheat flour, and fresh butter for weird ersatz. I like tofu but for being tofu, not pretend sausage. Dairy free cheese? Give me a break.
Caffeine gives you jitters? Quit drinking coffee. You watch your weight? Cake is off the menu. And if you really, really fancy some forbidden fruit, have a small piece of the genuine article instead of pretending you love the taste of the fake one.
And yet, here we go: skinny ice cream. I’ve been on the calorie counting trip and it scared me senseless how a scoop of heavy cream or, God forbid, condensed milk based ice cream practically writes off my dinner allocation. Practice as you preach, you’ll say, and go without. But I thought I’d give single cream a chance as it is proper cream not a substitute, just not as rich.
It works. I’ll be true to my principles and admit it’s not as smooth, as creamy and as terrifyingly gorgeous as the 400-kcal-a-scoop ice. But it works along the lines of having my ice cream and eating it.
I made several varieties, see below; the fruit powder works well and you can buy it from specialist and online suppliers. You can also use freeze dried fruit and mash it to a powder. Feel free to experiment; it’s really easy and the result is half as many calories as regular ice cream – but a lot more than half as much taste.
skinny ice creamServings: about 2 pints of ice creamTime: about 30 minutes plus chilling and freezing
- For the base:
- 80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- ½ tsp ice cream stabiliser
- 180g (¾ cup) semi-skimmed milk plus 50ml (3 tbsp.) to mix into the flavouring powder
- 420g (1¾ cup) single cream
- For the pomegranate ice cream:
- 8 heaped tsp pomegranate powder
- For the matcha ice:
- 3 tsp matcha (green tea powder)
- For the coffee ice:
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- For the lemon ice:
- zest peeled off 1 lemon (added to the base)
- ½ cup lemon juice (stirred into base before chilling)
If you can’t get hold of the stabiliser, churn the ice cream about 10 minutes longer than your ice cream maker instruction suggests. If the machine is struggling, take out the paddle and break the ice cream with a hand mixer with dough hooks or blender attachment.
If you are using the stabiliser, mix it with the sugar in a saucepan. Add the 180g milk in slowly, stirring, then the cream and bring it slowly to 90C over medium heat.
If you don’t have a thermometer, take it off the heat just before it boils. Let it cool to room temperature; place the pan in an ice bath if you want to speed it up.
Mix your fruit powder, green tea or coffee with the 50ml of cold milk until smooth. Add a little of the base mixture to the paste and pour it all back into the saucepan. Stir it well to get rid of any lumps. Chill in the fridge overnight.
Churn in the ice cream maker according to the appliance instructions (plus 10 minutes if without stabiliser). Scrape the ice cream into a tub and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before scooping.