Goodbye Mr Whippy: Tristan Welch shares the simple secrets of his family’s favourite ice-creams

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

As chef-patron of London’s Launceston Place, TristanWelch creates dishes to get the critics drooling . But it’s making ice-cream at home that sees him really ‘go to town’.

Few foods are as redolent of the British summer as an ice-cream or lolly. From humble choc-ice to blousy banana split, these arctic treats can lay claim to more than their fair share of "madeleine" moments, spiriting us back to sunny parks or – perhaps more likely – drizzly promenades. Yet, as a nation we are historically far better at eating the frozen stuff than we are at making it. Our much-loved though nutritionally dubious Mr Whippy, for instance, is unlikely to have the gelatai of Florence quaking in their starched collars.

Indeed, for something we enjoy so often, we are oddly reluctant to try our hand at our own version, says Tristan Welch, the 31-year-old chef patron of west London's Launceston Place. "Even at a dinner party, where everything down to the stock has been made from scratch, people tend to buy their ice-cream ready-made," admits the former Gordon Ramsay protégé. "So when you make your own, it looks incredibly smart and impressive even though it is actually very simple."

As old-school summer fare, ice-creams and lollies make perfect culinary candidates for the Welch treatment. In the two years since he took the helm at Princess Diana's preferred Kensington lunch spot, Welch has established himself as a master of "modern British", which in his hands means old favourites reworked with a lightness of touch and a staunch commitment to the best seasonal British produce.

In the chic surroundings of Launceston Place, this approach might result in the tableside theatrics of house-cured salmon served under a cloche filled with oak-scented smoke, to be lifted Houdini-style by your waiter. But it's the treats that Welch likes to serve up on balmy afternoons in the garden of his west London home that he is revealing here for The New Review. "These recipes are what I make for my family, but they are something I've made and experimented with throughout my career," he explains. "For the BBC's Great British Menu TV series I made rhubarb-and-custard ice-cream in cones and we do have a raspberry ripple and a whisky ice-cream as part of other dishes on the menu at the restaurant."

Professionally, Welch has won particular praise for his prudent use of hi-tech devices in his cooking, applying "culinary alchemy" only when it enhances his ingredients. Which is refreshing news for ice-cream-loving Luddites: "There's no need for fancy ice-cream makers here," he says breezily. "Domestic ice-cream makers are a waste of time. A top-end machine will really aerate your ice-cream and give it a great texture, but unless you are going all out, it's not worth it."

But if gadgets aren't Welch's priority, one thing he won't compromise on is produce. "It all started in my parents' home in Cambridgeshire. It was a bit like The Good Life – we had chickens, grew our own vegetables – partly out of necessity and partly out of a love of food. So at restaurants I could never understand why they might use produce that wasn't as good as we had at home. Why would I pay extra for that?"

At Launceston Place, Welch has two guiding principles: "First, we try for 100 per cent British produce. There's the occasional problem of a lemon or something – that's so frustrating, but we are tirelessly looking for alternatives. The second rule is, what grows together goes together. So you look at the core ingredient then create around that. One of our signature dishes is scallops, which are cooked in herbs from the coastline. We want a real locality about the dishes." '

Welch's recipes are consequently founded on recognisable flavour combinations that stem from times when locality and seasonality were necessities. Ironically, it's that old-fashioned culinary philosophy that the chef regards as a new marker of modernity: "Creating something that is not dictated by an arrogant chef at the stove, but by Mother Nature, feels very different from what we have become used to."

Welch's unpretentious presentation adds to the contemporary feel of his food, though in the case of his ices, this too is deceptively simple, involving nothing more than standard ice-lolly moulds, shot glasses and the inventive redeployment of old wine-bottle corks. It all looks a million miles away from the Mivvis and Cornettos of yore, while still retaining a healthy dash of childish appeal. And that, says Welch, is the point: "I try to be a bit playful across the board, but a dessert is where you can go to town. Don't muck around too much with your main course, but have all the fun you want with dessert."

Tristan Welch is chef patron at Launceston Place, London W8 (tel: 020 7937 6912,

Caramelised honey, chocolate chip and hazelnut bar

Makes 12 servings

110g sugar
60ml water
110g honey
7 egg yolks
400ml double cream
150g dark chocolate, broken in to small, pea-size pieces
150g nibbed hazelnuts, toasted

Place the sugar and water in one pan and the honey in another, cook the honey on a medium to high heat to caramelise; in the other pan, warm the water and sugar to dissolve the two together to make a syrup.

While they are cooking, whisk the egg yolks with an electric whisk. Also whip the cream to a soft peak and set to one side.

Once the honey is caramelised and almost burnt, pour in the sugar-syrup to stop it from cooking any further, then gradually pour this mixture on to the egg yolks while whisking vigorously. Continue whisking until the mix is at room temperature.

Now fold in the whipped cream and chocolate chips and pour into a square cake tin mould and freeze.

When serving, cut into bar shapes and roll them in the nibbed hazelnuts.

Lemon, lime and cucumber with Pimm's

Makes 12 glasses

1 cucumber
1 bunch mint
1 litre lemonade
100ml Pimm's
The juice and zest of one lemon
The juice and zest of two limes

Peel and blend the cucumber and mint, then strain through a sieve so that you have a juice.

Mix the lemonade, Pimm's and cucumber juice, then add the zest and juices of the lemons and limes. Mix well and freeze.

When serving, scratch the frozen block with a fork to create a snow effect, scoop into chilled glasses and serve with a piece of mint, slice of cucumber and a dash of Pimm's.

Strawberry and cream ice-lolly

Makes about 8 lollies

500g fresh strawberries
30g sugar
30g glucose
200ml thick double cream

Wash the strawberries, cut off the green tops and blend the fruit with the sugar and glucose.

Pour the strawberry mix into eight lightly greased shot glasses. Place a lolly stick in the centre of the glass and freeze. (To keep the stick in the centre of the lolly, I slit a cork in two places, once along the bottom, which I slide on to the side of the glass, and once vertically along its side, into which I slot the stick.)

To coat the strawberry ice-lolly in the cream, once the strawberry is frozen solid remove from the shot glass, by dipping the glass in warm water – it should then slide out. Now dip the lolly in the double cream and place back in the freezer to set. It's then ready to serve or will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer.

Rhubarb-and-custard ice-cream

Makes 8

For the marinated rhubarb

2 sticks rhubarb
11/2 tsp icing sugar
11/2 tsp grenadine

For the vanilla ice-cream

100ml water
80g sugar
20g glucose
1 vanilla pod (2 tsp of essence will do)
350ml double cream

Using a sharp knife, slice 2mm-3mm thick slices of the rhubarb lengthways and lay on a microwave-proof plate, sprinkle with the icing sugar and grenadine and cling-film tightly, making a couple of small holes to let the steam escape. Microwave this for a minute on a high setting and 10 seconds thereafter until just cooked; set to one side and allow to cool.

For the ice-cream, bring the water, sugar, glucose and vanilla pod along with the seeds to the boil. When this has dissolved, remove from the heat and place in the fridge to cool; it's important that this is cold when used in the next stage.

Whip the double cream to a soft peak, remove the pod from the syrup, and gently fold in the syrup.

To put together the ice-lollies, take eight round moulds (roughly 4cm-5cm in diameter), place on a flat tray and wrap the cooked rhubarb strips around the inside of the round moulds tightly so they'll eventually be on the outside of the ice-cream; pour in the ice-cream and balance a stick in the middle of each, and freeze for at least four hours before serving.

Arts & Entertainment
William Shakespeare's influence on English culture is still strongly felt today, from his plays on stage to words we use everyday
voices Furore is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion, says Nigel Farage
weird news... and film it, obviously
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
peopleMan repeatedly tried to enter her homes in Los Angeles and London
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

    It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

    Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
    Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

    Migrants in Britain a decade on

    They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
    Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

    Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

    The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
    Why musicians play into their old age

    Why musicians play into their old age

    Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
    How can you tell a gentleman?

    How can you tell a gentleman?

    A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
    Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

    Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

    The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
    Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

    Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

    Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
    Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

    Sam Wallace

    Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
    Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

    Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

    Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
    Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

    Through the screen

    British Pathé opens its archives
    The man behind the papier mâché mask

    Frank Sidebottom

    The man behind the papier mâché mask
    Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

    Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

    Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
    Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

    Boston runs again

    Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
    40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

    40 years of fostering and holding the babies

    In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents