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Life Hacks: 

Make perfect homemade ice cream

ice-cream-how-to-2

Three perfect scoops of ice cream that we sourced from the internet earlier

Nobody has ever been unhappy with an ice cream cone in their hand. For one, sulking while holding ice cream would look completely ridiculous, but it’s also that perfectly refreshing treat for a scorching hot summer’s day. Maybe it was the jingle of a Mr Whippy van that first sparked your excitement, but nothing beats three scoops of the homemade stuff.

So, without further ado, we’ve trawled the internet to help you achieve perfect ice cream every time.

1. The base

The most important decision for any ice cream maker is the base. You can use whipping cream, yoghurt or a mousse (made with eggs, sugar and water) to form the foundations of your dessert, but for traditional ice cream you’re going to want to go with custard. According to Martha Stewart, you’ll need the following ingredients for the perfect custard base:

– 1 cup whole milk
– 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
– 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
– 6 large egg yolks
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2. The mixing method

Now, depending on which equipment is hiding in your cupboards, it’s time for the hard work to begin. Many ice cream recipes online rely on you having an ice cream maker – so if you have one of those, obviously use that. Also, what are you doing here? You’re clearly a pro.

Alternatively, you can use a food processor, handheld mixer or – if you have very strong arms – you can whip the mixture into shape manually. For more detail on mixing methods, Brown-eyed Baker has two excellent options.

3. The heating and freezing

Before freezing your custardy ice cream mix, it first needs to be heated – but not for long. Felicity Cloake‘s recipe in The Guardian suggests just 15 seconds at 80C – or until it will comfortably coat the back of a spoon.

Once your mixture is ready, there are several methods for freezing. One involves plastic bags, ice and salt – and is generally a bit of a pain. Our preferred method from David Lebovitz is much simpler, you’ll just need to be around for three hours while it’s freezing, stirring at 30 minute intervals.

ice cream flavors

If vanilla feels a little too, erm, vanilla – experiment with fruity flavors

4. The flavors

So far we’ve focussed on vanilla, but the world is truly your oyster where ice cream is concerned – you could even have oyster flavored ice cream, if you wanted to. Thinking outside of the chocolate and strawberry staples, Nigella Lawson‘s Margarita flavor is a boozy treat for dinner parties, and, if you have an ice cream maker, try this Kinder Bueno recipe from The Londoner.

5. Cone or bowl?

Where ice cream is concerned, this is the question to end all questions. Presentation is everything when you’re entertaining – so a bowl with a wafer or meringue is usually favored over a cone. However, psychologist Susan Albers insists that a cone is the more ‘mindful’ way to consume – and much more satisfying. Who knew that your choice of ice cream receptacle could say so much?

6. Bonus recipe – Jamie Oliver’s 45-second strawberry ice cream

Lastly, if all the talk of churning ice cream and watching it freeze for THREE HOURS has put you off, you might prefer this 45-second recipe from Jamie Oliver. As ever, you can multiply Jamie’s timings by ten (the video itself is nearly 4 minutes), but even taking that into account you’ll have delicious strawberry ice cream in no time at all. Enjoy!

Photo: 3523 Studio / Shutterstock.com
Photo: CoolR / Shutterstock.com

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