How to make ice cream

Invest in a good ice cream maker, and never serve thawed out ice cream

Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire once said “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal” and I definitely agree. We’re so spoilt for choice these days, we could be eating a different flavour each day of the year.

As a child, I was fascinated by the science behind making ice cream. Fast forward to 2014 and I am at the Paul A Young Fine Chocolates’ kitchen learning the basic principles. It turns out it is pretty simple. The core ingredients are cream, sugar and egg yolks. In theory, it’s like making custard - but a frozen one.

First you must bring the cream to simmer, then add the sugar until it has dissolved. This is where the vanilla pod gets added if making vanilla ice cream. The whisked egg yolks (Paul uses pasteurised ones) are slowly whisked in the hot cream mixture and Madagascan chocolate is added before it is poured into a container to cool down, ready to get churned into a swish ice cream maker, the kind with built-in freezer. The final product was a beautiful chocolate ice cream that was smooth, creamy and moreish.

Paul is an advocate of making homemade ice cream. His tips are: invest in a good ice cream maker, so that you do get a lot of use from it; if you have the patience, churn your own ice cream; and never serve thawed out ice cream - chuck it away because you can get ill from it.

Ice cream can also be made using liquid nitrogen. Camden-based Chin Chin Labs, Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour, have an atmospheric shop heaving with customers waiting for their freshly made ice cream. The mixture goes into a Kitchen Aid and the magic starts once the liquid nitrogen is poured in! Plus, husband and wife team Ahrash Akbari - Kalhur and Nyisha Weber make their toppings in-house that complements the various flavours they make. They’ll recommend chilli topping if you’re going for the passion fruit ice cream.

Eating ice cream is definitely up there in the list of 'feel good foods'. For me it's like having little scoops of happiness in a cone or a tub, so it's a pity that 1 in 5 people in Europe is lactose intolerant, which means ice cream is a no-no. Enter The Greedy Goat with its lactose-friendly ice cream made with British goat’s milk.

Not only is The Greedy Goat about “healthier indulgence”, it also sells interesting flavours like Lemon, Lime and Basil, Raspberry and Chilli, Strawberry and Balsamic, Apple Pie and Pistachio with Olive Oil. The Greedy Goat’s stall in Borough Market took my palette to the next level. My favourite has got to be the Salted Caramel ice cream with a sprinkle of pink Murray River salt for extra saltiness.

Proprietor (aka Goat Herder and self-confessed foodie) Craig Allen said that these flavours were a result of “experimenting at home quite a bit” and taking a risk with the flavours they make - plus the bonus of having a chef that is good at balancing flavours.

In my ice cream quest, I also learned that it is not just for summer, but all year around. Elena Barone, Gelupo’s Head Chef, said that she is constantly using what is in season when deciding what flavours to make. 

Elena, who has a weakness for affogato with hazelnut ice cream, said: “Always try to use fresh fruit - this season, we will have lots of strawberries, peaches and apricots. Next season we will come up with flavours that involve figs and walnuts.”

It has been made apparent in my mini London ice cream pilgrimage that we’ve all become adventurous when it comes to flavours. Another husband and wife team Raj and Raj Kotecha from Islington’s Udderlicious have a strong community of loyal customers who take part in their “flavour of the month” competition. The prize is free ice cream and a place in the “flavour of the month” wall. So far, they have made apple crumble and custard, rhubarb and fig and banana caramel to name a few. Apparently, the quirkiest suggestion they have had was snail...

Ruby Violet in Tuffnell Park constantly develops new flavours. They have nearly 20 flavours a day but has an array of 150 flavours to alternate from. Proprietor Julie Fisher, who named the shop after her grandmother, is keen to work with other companies to develop other flavours and uses fresh fruits and duchy originals for her ingredients.

It is great to see ice cream producers use British ingredients just like the award-winning family business Jude’s. Their Very Vanilla is made from a traditional cream anglaise base and their legendary Salted Caramel is made with Maldon seasalt.

Making ice cream should also be about having fun, especially with creating new flavours. Matt O’Connor, known for his irreverent shop The Icecreamist that sold Baby Gaga (made from breast milk), combines his passion for ice cream making and the politics of flavour. His new venture, Licktators, has a punk rock attitude with Monty Python humour and aims to deliver top end quality ice cream. The fun flavours include cinnamon doughnut Doughnut Disturb, lemon curd John Lemon and Marshmallow Law. O’Connor, who grew up in the Margate/Ramsgate area, combined the traditional British ice cream and Italian gelato style.

With so many to choose from it is hard to whittle down the top alternative flavours, but it seems like the most popular ones are: Salted caramel, followed by Rum and raisin, Masala Chai, Pimm’s, Strawberry and basil and Pistachio. We've come a long way since Vanilla.

Images: Matthew Hemes

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
    Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

    The end of an era across the continent

    It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
    Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

    'Focus on killing American people'

    Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
    Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

    Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

    The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
    Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

    Same-sex marriage

    As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
    The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

    The Mafia is going freelance

    Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable