I met my friend, Sally, when we both worked for a property development company in London some years ago. She cooked for the directors and I used to love hanging out talking to her in the kitchen, poking my nose, but more often my finger, into something tasty. That last habit pretty much came to an end when I sneakily dipped my finger into what I thought was cream but turned out to be horseradish cream. Whoa, hot…!
I must have liked this ice cream recipe, as I wrote it down. I hadn’t heard of brown bread ice cream then and haven’t seen it anywhere since. I know it’s out there because when I googled it there were recipes abound with a variety of methods and ingredients. That, of course, only confused me. As did its origin – so I’ll leave it to the experts to decide whether it came from England, Ireland or someplace else.
There’s minimal information in the recipe so I’ve muddled along with what I’d written. It turned out quite good but I’d have liked it more creamy and with a smoother texture.
I didn’t have enough cream so topped it up with milk, which I’d seen used in another version. I was also trying to overcome the overindulgence of pouring 300ml cream and then some more into the bowl! Go figure…this is why it is not as creamy, isn’t it? Still, with less fat and wholemeal breadcrumbs, don’t you just feel much better? No? Thought not. Neither do I.
My (ahem) drinks cupboard - not that I have one you understand, just a collection of odd, seldom-used bottles – consists of Limoncello and Malibu (the youngest inhabitants) and sherry, port and Frangelico (so old I can’t even remember what that is), but not regular rum, so Malibu it was. (Aren’t liqueur bottles such weird shapes? They really stand out, screaming, “look at me, look at me”, then obviously no-one does because they sit there for years until you’re required to use a drop in some dish.)
On the web, some brown bread ice cream recipes used ice cream makers, some used a custard base and a lot were caramelizing the breadcrumbs with sugar before toasting.
I'll leave the breadcrumbs coarser next time (I got a bit carried away on the pulse button!). I’m also keen on caramelizing them to see how it changes the taste.
Whizzing up breadcrumbs from leftover wholemeal bread and putting them in a plastic bag in the freezer means they’re ready for use when you want to whip up this dessert. Then all you just have to do is wait until it freezes.
Take the ice cream out to soften about 30 minutes before serving.
Note: I decorated the scoop in the photograph with some fine strips of candied kumquats.
brown bread ice cream
75g/3oz wholemeal breadcrumbs
300ml/1/2 pint double cream*
250ml/8 fl oz of whipping cream*
75g/3oz demerara/pale brown soft sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp rum (optional – I substituted with Malibu)
2 egg whites (stiffly whisked)
1 tbsp honey
*As I’ve never seen double cream here in New Zealand, I suggest using single cream for both types mentioned.
Spread breadcrumbs on a baking tray and roast in a moderately hot oven (180°C) until crisp and lightly browned. Leave to cool.
Beat the creams with the sugar.
Mix the egg yolks with the rum and add to cream.
Gently fold the cooled breadcrumbs into the cream mixture.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture with the honey.
Freeze. Remove from the freezer about 30 minutes before serving.