Saturday, 23 March 2013
Chocolate and Hazelnut 'Egg White' Ice Cream
Spring has perfected the disappearing act and as temperatures plummet and much of the country is engulfed by snow and hit by raging winds what could be better than getting into the kitchen, staying close to a nice warm oven and whipping up some ice cream!!! Yup you heard right, it’s spring…summer is just around the corner (well possibly not but hey I’m an optimist) and there is never a bad time to eat ice cream. I think I have declared my love for ice cream many times on my blog (check out my recipes for Mint Choc Chip, Pineapple and Coconut and Yoghurt and Pistachio among others!). I also frequently moan about how after an intensive ice cream churning session I am left with mountains of egg whites that I just don’t know what to do with.
I’m not a massive fan of meringue and unless otherwise inspired I usually just bung the egg whites into little food bags and pop them in to the freezer in the hope that I will eventually amass enough to make an Angel Food Cake (most recipes for these normally require at least 12 egg whites!). But whilst watching a TV cookery show the other week (I think it was Great British Menu, but to be honest I can’t remember exactly and watch so many foodie programmes it may well have been something else) I saw a chef produce egg white ice cream. I had never heard of such a concoction before and immediately thought what a great way to use up the egg whites left over from making ice cream….make more ice cream.
A little internet trawling later and I learnt that you can make ice cream out of egg whites by folding Italian meringue into whipped cream. Italian meringue was also something I was yet to conquer and so I set about to make this egg yolk free, no churn ice cream. Despite taking a little bit of time and effort I was really pleased with the results and definitely know what I will be doing with my left over egg whites in the future!
100g egg whites (approx. 3 egg whites)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
310g caster sugar
Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla pod
320ml double cream
100g milk chocolate
50g dark chocolate
A sugar thermometer is also needed
To make the meringue;
Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until they start to look foamy. At this point add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk until the egg whites form stiff peaks (this means that if you lift the mixer out of the mixture a peak should form and it won’t collapse or ‘wilt’ once the mixer/whisk is removed….check out Delia for more info!)
Place the sugar and water into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Swirl the saucepan gently (but don’t actually stir the mixture) until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.
Stick your thermometer into the mixture, raise the heat and allow the mixture bubble rapidly until 112 °C / 234 °F is reached.
Remove the sugar syrup from the heat.
Begin beating the egg white mixture again and slowly (and very carefully) begin to pour the sugar syrup into the egg white mix, beating all of the time. Once all of the syrup is added continue to beat the mixture for another 10 minutes or so until the mixture has cooled and has a nice glossy finish.
Stop beating and set to one side (this is the Italian meringue done)
For the chocolate cream;
Scrape the seed from the vanilla pod and transfer to another large bowl along with the cream.
Beat the mixture with an electric hand mix until it has doubled in volume and is light and fluffy.
Break the chocolate into chunks and melt in the microwave for a few seconds or in an bain marie.
Allow the melted chocolate mixture to cool slightly before beating into the cream mixture.
Place the hazelnuts into a food processor and pulse until ground into a coarse powder. Fold these into the chocolate cream mixture.
Now for the ice cream to come together!
Add about a third of the cream to the Italian meringue and gently fold in until well combined. Continue adding the rest of the cream to the meringue bit by bit until well combined (but try not to overmix the mixture at the point). Transfer to a freezer proof container and bung in the freezer overnight (there is no need to churn or mix the ice cream once in the freezer). Then wait for slightly warmer weather before enjoying a big scoop of this delicious ice cream.
Recipe inspired by this recipe from Julia Child.
I have also entered this recipe into the Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream Recipe which is organised by Kavey Eats.