Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Espresso, hazelnut and cinnamon ice cream

When coming up with flavour combinations, for me it is often the coming together of imagery, to the point where I can pretty much taste it.  Sometimes its from the senses of smell and touch, and often it stems from an ingredient I have in my kitchen that I want to play with.

Obviously it is underpinned from years of trawling blissfully through glossy food magazines, walking past cafe and restaurant windows with one eye on whats on offer, watching endless food related tv series, and even learning on my travels, where the focus for me is always on the local flavours!

And so when I noticed a tub of cream in my fridge coming close to the expiry, the wind howling and rain coming down hard and fast outside, it seemed to suddenly come to me that the warming flavours of cinnamon, coffee and toasted hazelnuts would excuse, and maybe even warrant the need to make up another batch of ice cream - specifically in celebration of these final weeks of the cold! (Those who know me know that ice cream is not a seasonal treat in this house - its a year round indulgence!)

My 4 year old son (also chief taste tester of all things food around here) was quite shattered when I told him this was one flavour he couldnt taste, especially at 5pm when it had finished churning!  But after a brief lesson on the effects of caffeine he was understanding and happy enough to wait for after brekky this morning!!!  (He loved it by the way!)

So if you haven't read my previous two posts on ice cream - Vanilla and Raw Cacao and fresh mint I will reiterate that I make my ice cream using a Thermomix and domestic ice cream churner, giving it a commercial grade texture with no iciness or heaviness.  Having said that, I have been making ice cream longer than I have had my Thermomix and using a blender or food processor with whisk attachment will still give a good result.  Ice cream churners are so cheap I really recommend purchasing one if you are serious about ice cream and sorbets like I am!!!

Espresso, hazelnut and cinnamon ice cream


500ml cream (min 35% fat)
nearly 1 tin of sweetened condensed milk (I use all but about a centimeter but play around to get the sweetness that suits you)
2 free range organic eggs (the richness in colour you achieve from organic free range is far superior, not to mention the obvious benefits of supporting free range and organic farming practices)
1 shot espresso, chilled (I just made a shot in our coffee machine however dissolving a couple of heaped teaspoons of instant coffee granules in a tablespoon or so of boiling water would also suffice)
approx 40g dry roasted hazelnuts
1 tsp cinnamon


1.  Place nuts in TM bowl and chop on speed 5 for a few seconds, depending on how rough or fine you like your nuts through the ice cream.  Set aside.  No need to clean the bowl.
2.  Secure butterfly into TM bowl.  Add cream, condensed milk, eggs and cinnamon and whip on speed 4 for a few minutes (approx 3) until you get a thick, glossy consistency.

3.  Prepare your ice cream maker according to instructions and pour mixture into the machine.  Add the nuts and the espresso and churn as per manufactures recommendations.  I have an old Philips machine which I set on the soft serve setting and let it churn until it really starts to labour (probably 10 minutes past when the light starts flashing).
3.  Work quickly to get the ice cream out into a freezer proof container and place immediately in the freezer.
It can be served immediately or leave to set even more for a few hours.

If you don't have an ice cream machine you could add the nuts and espresso towards the end of the 3-5 minutes whipping time, then freeze the mixture and once quite firm but not frozen solid, take it out of the freezer and cut it into rough pieces, quickly blending it again on speed 7 or 8 for 20 seconds then return to the freezer. 


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