Franzi’s first homemade icecream (Whisky and honey)
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 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.
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 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%. 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 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 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?