Monday, June 17, 2013

Home made Strawberry Ice Cream

Dear Readers,
If you have been wondering why Square Meals has been inactive for so long…we have no specific reasons/excuses. Personal issues have kept both of us extremely busy over the past month and we are very sorry for the long silence. We assure you that we will back in action soon!
Yours Deliciously,
Square Meals
Now that we are done apologizing, let's get cooking…or rather freezing. It is still extremely hot in Chennai and what goes better with the heat than a scoop (or more) of delicious ice cream. Soon after I got here, I visited one of Chennai's latest ice cream shops, IBACO. I was accompanied by two young cousins who were raving about the ice cream there and I went with high expectations…but I was disappointed. Their range of flavors like Electric Black currant, California Pistachio, Fig & Honey and more sound exotic but the taste was just about passable. I have definitely had much better tasting ice cream, from smaller vendors…like the ones by the beach. Better than any of those, though, is homemade ice cream. Long long time ago, my mother used to make ice cream at home. I remember how my relatives used to throng to our house for a scoop of my mom's ice cream. The all time favorite was vanilla ice cream topped with fresh mangoes…yumm!!! The recipe how ever had two special powders GMS(Glycerol monostearate) and CMC (Carboxy methyl cellulose), which was available only in some stores.
This recipe however, has only three simple ingredients, apart from the flavoring we add. So get creative and impress your family with an array of ice creams. Experiment with different fruit purees, syrups, herbs etc., and build your ice cream repertoire.
Milk – 1 cup
Cream – 2 cups
Sugar – to taste
Strawberry pulp – ¾ - 1 cup
Finely chopped strawberries – ¼ cup
In a thick bottomed vessel, heat the milk, cream and sugar until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture thickens just a little bit. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberry puree and pieces.
Once the milk/cream mixture has cooled completely, add the strawberry puree and stir well. Now fold in the strawberry pieces. Transfer to an air tight container and place in the freezer. For the next 6-8 hours, remove from the freezer every 2 hours and beat using a whisk it electric beater (on low speed). After the 8 hour period, leave it untouched until it sets completely (4-6 hours). Be patient and make sure you do not keep opening the container to take a quick taste/peek.  Bon Appétit.
Note: I divided my milk mixture to make three flavors: strawberry, coffee and chocolate. I added a couple of spoons of instant coffee powder, and it was quite successful. For the chocolate, I added a couple of spoons of drinking chocolate, but the final product was hopeless. This flavor alone was full of ice crystals while the other two were pretty smooth and creamy.