Coping with the heat wave……

13 09 2013

Spring sprang early (about six weeks…), but Summer’s doing the same now.  32° yesterday, the forecast is for 35° in Gympie today, so it’s highly likely we’ll get the same here….  apparently, other places further inland might hit 40° today, and if this occurs, it will be the earliest 40°day in Queensland on record.  EVER.  But our new PM thinks Climate Change is crap……

So, I’m making ice cream…….

Home made ice cream, the proper stuff not made with pig fat and palm oil, leaves shop bought produce for dead.

Egg yolk/sugar mixture in double boiler

Egg yolk/sugar mixture in double boiler

Apart from being cold and delicious, it’s also less unhealthy and there’s even real food in it….!

Now we have rebuilt our flock of ducks and chooks, and ostensibly designed protection from foxes for them, we have a glut of eggs.  Two of our ducks are sitting on some 36 eggs right now, ensuring Christmas dinner will be pretty good.  But back to the ice cream;  here’s my recipe.

I always start by making Creme Anglaise (custard for the plebs…)  Warm one cup of milk (goat’s milk in our case – just milked only three hours ago, how fresh is that?)

Separate five eggs (I used three duck and two chicken eggs this time – use what you’ve got) and mix half a cup of raw sugar with the egg yolks in a double boiler.  Most recipes say a whole cup, but half a cup’s quite enough, we are cutting right back on sugar consumption here.  I use a stainless steel round bowl over a saucepan of hot water on the smallest gas ring.  Once mixed, add the warm milk, and continuously stir with a wooden spoon (yes, you have to STAY there and stir or your custard won’t come out…) in the double boiler

pour warm milk into mixture

pour warm milk into mixture

until – and you have to pay attention here – the Creme Anglaise magically starts thickening.  It’s a subtle thickening, probably no thicker than good cream.  The timing for removing from the heat is when the custard coats your wooden spoon thickly enough that you can draw a line across the spoon and the line doesn’t droop.  At that stage, I put the bowl in a sink with cold water to cool it down before putting in the fridge; I don’t put hot things in fridges, it makes them burn too much energy, and who’s in a hurry?  ‘Proper’ custard, by the way, is nowhere near as thick as the ready-made stuff you buy in the shops… so don’t fret if it’s still pourable when cold…..

Once the custard has reached the temperature of the sink water, add one cup of unadulterated pure cream (or even better if you can get it, double cream..  I never use thickened cream which contains gelatin…), three teaspoons of organic Vanilla essence (the real stuff is better than ‘flavouring’..) and put in the fridge until it’s at refrigerator temperature, normally 4°C, then transfer to the freezer.  Keep an eye on it, you don’t want it to start freezing at this stage.

time to withdraw from heat

time to withdraw from heat

This is when you add whatever it is you want your ice cream to taste like.  Add nothing, and you have Vanilla ice cream.  Add chocolate, and you have chocolate ice cream.  I’m very partial to chilli chocolate myself….  yummmy!

Ice Cream Machines

Not all ice cream machines are created equal, I discovered after buying ours, a totally impulsive purchase.  We luckily got the right type.

Our machine works by using a double walled metal tub that contains what I suppose is the same stuff they put in cool bricks for eskies.  You store this in the freezer permanently (it actually helps to improve the freezer’s thermal storage capacity) ready for use whenever you want to make ice cream.  When it’s in the machine, the 25W motor turns it continuously in one direction while a cleverly shaped plastic ‘blade’ is held stationary by the clear plastic dome you can see in the picture.  Pour your ice cream mixture in through the top as the machine is on, and it churns and aerates and freezes your ice cream in about half an hour.  How long it takes entirely depends on how cold the mixture is when you pour it in, but the whole process only involves consuming 12.5Whr, or 0.0125 kWh, which like nuclear energy is too cheap to meter.   J

The other type of ice cream maker which I do not recommend costs 3 to 4 times as much to buy, and has an inbuilt refrigeration compressor (or something) to ‘make’ the cold.  I don’t know how much more energy this consumes, but it has to be orders of magnitude more than the machine we use.

Machine in action

Machine in action

Chocolate mixture in cold bowl with blade in place

Chocolate mixture in cold bowl with blade in place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for the piece de resistance……….

Chocolate Ice Cream with 2 year old Mead on the deck....

Chocolate Ice Cream with 2 year old Mead on the deck….

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4 responses

13 09 2013
lemmiwinks

Very impressive!

15 09 2013
Don

Hi Mike,
Did you watch the ABC screening of the BBC program “Super Earth”. I consider it to be denial triumphalism at it worst. With the ABC showing programs like this, what hope do we have.

15 09 2013
mikestasse

Ah yes I did…… was giggling throughout! When I saw the seven metre diameter sewer pipe, I was wondering what would drive the pumps once Mexico runs out of oil, which must be coming very fast now as they have one of the fastest depletion rates in the world….

Peak Shit…?

27 10 2014
Claire

looks good dad. i have something for you to pour over that or enjoy after dinner. will be good to see you.

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