Praline Ice Cream
The crunchy texture of toffee and nut is a pleasant surprise in ice-cream. It makes an interesting contrast if served with a smooth icecream.
To serve approximately 6 people you'll need the following:
- 1 pint basic rich vanilla ice-cream
- 6 ounces of caster sugar
- 6 ounces of unblanched almonds
- Either get yourself some quality vanilla ice cream OR... make it yourself! Bonus points if you make some basic vanilla ice cream. Otherwise just pretend you did to impress the diners.
- To make the praline, place the caster sugar in a heavy-based pan and heat it gently until it melts. Stir with a metal spoon until the sugar turns brown (protecting your hand with an oven glove).
- Quickly stir in unblanched almonds. Pour the praline on to greased baking foil or a marble slab. Spread the mixture out thinly.
- When cold break the praline into pieces and put them either into a mortar to be ground with a pestle or into a mixing bowl to be crushed with the end of a rolling pin. Alternatively, put small pieces into an electric grinder.
- Mix the praline into the vanilla icecream at the final beating stage, and freeze until firm. Or if its store-bought, let it melt a bit and mix in the praline and then beat, and freeze again. Make sure it's quality stuff otherwise it won't re-freeze properly.
Variations to the Recipe
Numerous additions can be made to the basic vanilla ice-cream to turn it into a selection of inviting desserts, each magically different from the next. The additions are all made during the finals steps of making basic vanilla ice-cream before the final freezing.
- For brown bread ice-cream, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of brown breadcrumbs on a baking tray. Scatter 1 tablespoon of caster sugar over the crumbs and bake in a moderately hot oven until colored. Remove from tray and cool. Add crumbs with 2 tablespoons rum to the vanilla ice-cream at the final beating stage. Make sure the crumbs are well dispersed in the ice cream.
- For ginger ice-cream, add 3 ounces of chopped preserved ginger together with 3 tablespoons of the syrup to the ice before final freezing.
- For a tutti-frutti ice-cream, chop 2 ounces of glazed cherries, 1 ounce of angelica, and 1 ounce of mixed orange and lemon zest. Add these, with 1 ounce of sultanas soaked in 3 tablespoons cognac, plus the cognac, to the ice-cream before the final freezing.
- For walnut ice-cream, chop 2 ounces of walnuts. Add these, with 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier.
- For Oxford ice-cream, add 225 grams of coarse-cut marmalade to the ice-cream.