Triple motion reaches the Southern Hemisphere!

My wonderful, talented, intrepid Antarctic biologist sister was awarded a PhD by Stellenbosch University for being very clever and hard working. Hurray!

My first thought (naturally) was “lets make a batch of icecream to celebrate”. So I threw the ½ gallon freezer in my bag and 12 hours of long haul flight hours later I was in Cape town.


Things didn’t run so smoothly initially when the bag containing my beloved machine disappeared into the black hole of baggage handling. Thankfully it re-appeared 24hrs later with the contents having suffered no ill effects from the journey. However for this brief period the fate of my ice-cream adventure hung in the balance.

I was relieved to find the Cape to be well stocked with ice, cream and salt but despite this the first batch was a bit of a disaster.

I decided to make a fresh ginger Russell recipe approximation

  • Fresh ginger, approx 7cm long, 2cm,
  • 2 US cups of cream (sorry can’t remember the brand)
  • 1 US cup of white granulated cane sugar
  • 2 eggs

I choose fresh ginger because I’d made it at least twice in the preceding 2 months and was pretty happy with the results. When I first started experimenting with this flavour I tried heating the milk with finely chopped ginger and then straining it. However the milk never really took on a rich gingerly flavour and I decided I needed to put the whole root in. I reasoned that because ginger’s pretty fibrous it would be important to prevent any long fibrous ginger strings from getting into the final mix to ensure a smooth consistency. I find the following method for preparing ginger very effective:

Slice the ginger lengthwise in 2 planes and then across the grain to produce very small pieces. Liquidize the ginger together with the sugar to a smooth sludge in a liquidised/food blender or liquidize with a hand held blender stick thing.

Add the ginger to the remaining ingredients as per the normal Russell recipe

I was keen to make a good first impression but also I had succumbed to the temptation of hyperbolizing as to the greatness of home-made icecream to my sister’s housemate Johnny. So I had expectations to meet.

Imagine my dismay then when the batch turned out to be grainy, chalky and fluffy. The texture was like a cross between the apple sorbet we made on Barra and the Stilton icecream.

Thankfully the evening was saved by the beautiful clear SA sky, an excellent T SA pinot noir (Hamilton-Russell, 2006) and a brai.

The following day we made a trip down to the Cape of Good Hope and I peered into to turbulent waters contemplating my failure (pathos) (+an excuse for nice pictures).


Cape of Good Hope (looking west from Cape Point)

I think there were 3 origins of the badness in this batch.

1. I had inadvertently used milk which had previously been frozen and was possibly a little old. The milk protein was probably on its way to curdling in the first place and when I added the acidic ginger pulp it just tipped it over the edge and made cheese.

2. The ginger was also old and fibrous. So the flavour was a little subdued and I suspect that the little pieces of liquidised fibre acted as foci for the milk protein to congeal around.

3. South African Cream appears to be 38-40% fat, that’s approximately half way between UK whipping cream (35%) and double cream (48%). So the mix probably had a lower fat content than my normal recipes.

For my second attempt I went for straight vanilla:

  • 2 ½ cups Parmalat cream (40% fat)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Full fat milk to top up
  • Vanilla extract

This time everything was absolutely fresh. We cranked on the evening of my sister’s graduation ceremony with the whole Lee family present, Johnny and Jen’s neighbours.

Jen and I getting startedDad and I finishing off"the moment of truth"Isabel and "the proof of the pudding"

As you may have gathered this batch was a success (there are few palates as discriminating as that of a 2 year old)

However the best proof of success was that 1 week later Jen e-mailed be as inquired about getting hold of her own white mountain freezer – why of course!

Another victory for the growth of our international brotherhood (and sisterhood) of triple motion enthusiasts!

(Many thanks to Johnny, Mum and Dad for the photo’s)

Dr Big D

As the ice cream doctor, Big D is the scientist among us, obsessing over the chemical properties of ingredients and the balance of sugar/fat/ice ratios. His experimental drive brings exciting and challenging new flavours to our bowls. Big D has a 2-quart and a 6-quart freezer. His 2-quart freezer is particularly unique with it's iron bar for a crank, which he built after breaking the old one in determination to make the perfect ice cream.

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6 Responses

  1. Thibault says:

    We should have a giant world map where we could put a pin on all the places we’ve made ice cream in… Although I guess Edinburgh would be just a big cluster of hundreds of pins…
    The little girl is so cute! Is she your niece?

  2. Dr Big D says:

    Isabel’s the daughter of my sister’s neighbour. She’s a supercharged ball of energy, in fact one of the only time I saw her standing still was to eat the icecream. Actually she was very shy of me the whole trip, but as you can see her shyness didn’t extend to the icecream.

  3. Cole says:

    Big D! So sad I didn’t get to see you just now…. But here’s my thought: Maybe you should boil the ginger in water and then strain. If you boil the water down, you can make very strong ginger tea — then mix this with the milk etc.

    Or if you don’t want to use heat on the milk leaving ginger in for a few days should impart flavor.

  4. sue says:

    on the subject of ginger-if you don’t have time and patience to steep it for a couple of days (as suggested by Cole) you could try peeling,chopping and then pressing it in a (well cleaned)garlic press. If the ginger is fresh, quite a lot of juice comes out.

  5. Peter Gerard says:

    …or you could use a potato-ricer!

    Just make sure the milk is very fresh, or you could curdle it with the acidic ginger!

  1. 28 September 2009

    […] For those of you who do not avidly follow the Triple Motion website and so missed out on the ‘Triple motion reaches the Southern hemisphere’ entry, a braai is a national pastime here that involves making a lekker (nice) fire and slapping […]

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