I currently have the great pleasure of a houseguest from Hannover. Franzi is an old friend of Shiv (see Saffron icecream in Primrose Hill park) and is staying for a few weeks to enjoy to fabulous weather an sophisticated culture of the north of england (ahemm).
Then when Shiv also came to visit and I found myself with 2 lovely people in my house it was inevitable that the excitement would spill over into making icecream.
As this was a slightly last minute affair I grabbed what ever was to hand for flavouring, which fortunately turned out to be some Caol Ila 18 year old whisky and some left over honey (although I only had 100ml / approx 1/2 Â US cup of honey so I had to make the difference up with sugar). I also decided to throw in a whole pint of cream (thats an extra 100ml / 1/2 US cup) and double the amount of whiskey (compared with Peter’s recipe).
Last minute Whiskey and Honey Icecream
- 1 1/2 eggs
- 100ml honey
- a little over 100ml caster sugar
- 1 pint (568ml) of double cream (48% fat)
- 4 tablespoons of Caol Ila 18 year old (43% alcohol by volume)
- Organic full fat milk (4% fat) to bring volume up to 1400-1500ml
The Ices book states that for 1L of mix 15ml / 1tbsp of 40% spirit will depress the freezing point of an icecream mix by around 1 oC. So this mix’s freezing point should have been depressed by around 2.5 degrees. Since I can normally get around -4 to -8 in a good cold brine I figured it shouldn’t be a problem.
Since this was Franzi’s first time I naturally made her do all the work…
Shiv on the other hand is already a pro.
Â Â When the moment of truth came we weren’t disappointed.
The end results had a nice clear whisky flavour, which was well balanced by the honey. Maybe my hand slipped with the sugar because I thought it was very slightly too sweet, it did freeze, but event the following day was relatively easy to eat straight from the freezer – I guess due to a combination of the high fat, high(ish) alcohol and slightly high sugar added together. That said the reduced proportion of honey really worked well and I would definitely repeat this recipe again possibly with the normal amount of cream in next time.
Later in the evening the sugar content issue got me wondering and I went back to do some measuring…
Some notes on volumes – apologies, some might find this bit a little academic:
My freezer is a “1/2 gallon” size, i.e. 8 cups (1890ml) volume. However the can only holds 8 cups Â when its empty (actually 8 1/4 cups / 1950ml if you fill it to the limits of water surface tension). When you actually but the paddles in it you can only get an absolute maximum of 7 3/4 cups (1830ml) in it. In addition you need to leave a little space at the top for the icecream to expand, so in you actually only need between 6 cups (1400ml) and 6 1/3 cups (1500ml) to fill the can to between 45mm and 35mm from the top of the can respectively.
This has some interesting consequences for sugar content and hence freezing point/consistency of the icecream. The Ices book recommends a sugar content (by weight) of minimum 12%, maximum 20%.Â If you were to make the Gerard version of the Russell recipe (i.e. 1 US cup of granulated sugar = 200g) and top up to 8 cups total volume Â you would get approximately 10% sugar content which is a bit low and likely to give you an icey texture. If you were to top up to around 3-4cm below the rim of the can (which is what Peter always showed me to do) you end up with nearer 13% sugar which is about right (according to the Ices book).
So the moral seems to be that the Russell recipe wins again and all this scientificizing Â just proves something we already knew from experience. However the interesting thing is that the Russell recipe is a scaled down version of the recipe for a 1 gallon freezer so the question arises – how much does mix does a “1 gallon” freezer actually hold with the paddles in? and what’s the resulting sugar % if you put 2 cups of sugar in a gallon batch?