Monday, 24 August 2009

A nutty choice

Once in a while, my husband Paul will find one of my recently perused Foodie magazines lying around the house, and will take it upon himself to find the most unusual recipe in it and then set me the task of creating the dish. This month was no different, and when I saw him walking towards me with the new WFI in his hands, I steeled myself for what was coming. For a few seconds I thought that I would have it easy this time round as he pointed out an ice-cream recipe, but he did not disappoint when I realised that this is no ordinary ice-cream flavour. In fact even the author of the recipe admitted that when she serves this to her guests, she does not immediately reveal the main ingredient to the unsuspecting diners. Instead she lets them have a guess at what it might be while they enjoy the ice-cream without any prejudice. So what is this mystery ingredient, I hear you ask? Well, believe it or not, Paul's choice was, a Nutty Brown Bread ice-cream.

Amazingly, this is not a new idea, and dates as far back as the Victorian period. Obviously back then it was no more than frozen cream with stale bread crumbs stirred through. For us in the 21st century, things are a bit more complicated and thankfully a lot more appetising. Using malted brown bread, hazelnuts and light muscovado sugar to create a golden, crunchy, almost caramelised mixture to stir through the rich, vanilla flecked custard base, you will not turn your nose up at a couple of scoops of this ice-cream.

Having had a busy few weeks with my parents-in-law visiting and some big developments happening at work, I jumped at the chance to spend some quality time in my kitchen and eagerly set about making the ice-cream. Quickly the delicious smell of toasting bread and nuts were wafting through the flat and the eggy custard was thickening on the stove. As the finished mixture was left to cool before churning, I used the left over egg whites to whip up a batch of rose-water meringues to slowly dry-out in the cool oven and washed and sliced a couple of ripe peaches to lightly caramelise once the ice-cream was frozen and ready ro serve.

When Paul came home from work after another gloriously hot and sunny day, he happily tucked into a big bowl of the dessert, feeling rather pleased with himself for picking out such a wonderful recipe, sure to become a family favourite :)

If you want to try this amazing ice-cream for yourself, you can find the recipe here

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