Chocolate & Brioche Ice Cream

When I was younger I once ate a two litre tub of Ice Cream with my cousin. We were at our grandparents house and they were busy in another room. They told us we could have some and my grandad came back to find we had eaten it all. He wasn't angry though, he just laughed, he thought it was hilarious. My gran was less impressed. There was just something about how cold it was that I used to love about Ice Cream. And I wasn't all that choosy about the flavour either, I ate them all except Tutti Fruity and Rum and Raisin. Oh yes, Pistachio used to annoy me too, but only because I would think it was mint every single time I saw it. Then came those horrible few seconds where you realised it wasn't. Every time. I once ate an entire box of Toffee Feast's too...I was so greedy! To this day I can't look at them without feeling sick.

As I've gotten older, my metabolism has slowed down and I've developed a slight lactose intolerance so it's very rare for me to have any ice cream of any flavour. But for the last couple of months I've been craving it (especially Raspberry Ripple, which I can't find anywhere) and I figured I'd rather make my own than waste this rare occurrence on a flavour I only kind of like. The ice cream machine is an attachment to my Kenwood mixer and the poor summer last year and crappy spring this year means I've hardly used it since it was bought for me at the start of last year, it was crying out to be used!

This is another recipe that took a while but only because of the two flavours. Had I done this as one flavour it would have taken me around an hour and a half tops (not including churning time or time to make the brioche if you choose to do so instead of buying it). Please note this recipe contains raw eggs so if you are worried or can't have them either 'cook' the eggs in the sugar syrup (in a bowl over  a pan of boiling water whisking constantly) or use egg substitute.

Vanilla Brioche Ice Cream:

600ml Double Cream
6 large handfuls Brioche Breadcrumbs
2 Small handfuls Vanilla Cupcake Crumbs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
115g Sugar (Caster or Granulated if you have none)
160ml Water
4 Egg Yolks

Chocolate Ice Cream:

600ml Double Cream
275g Plain Chocolate
110g Butter
165g Sugar (I used very dark chocolate but cut down if you use regular dark chocolate)
160ml Water
4 Whole Eggs

Brioche chunks (either make or buy)

Firstly the brioche and cupcakes. Chop or break these up roughly and add them to a food processor.

I then placed most of the chunks in the blender to make crumbs and left the rest whole. Place the cream, brioche breadcrumbs and vanilla in a large pan (or bowl for the purposes of the photo!)

The bigger bits are brioche and the smaller buts are vanilla cupcake crumbs. I thought I'd taken pictures but can't find them, I promise they're there though.

Bring this to a light boil then remove from the heat and place to one side. Next Boil the Sugar and water and beat the eggs. While still beating add the sugar and then, finally add the cream mixture and transfer the entire mixture to your ice cream machine. It was dark by the time my machine was finished churning so I put it straight into the freezer to set over night.

The following day I started the Chocolate Ice Cream.

Place the butter in a pan, once it starts to melt add the chocolate and, once it begins to soften, stir to blend.

Then add the water and sugar to a pan and boil until it forms a syrup.

At this stage you need to beat the eggs.

Then trickle in the syrup while still beating.

Then turn your attention to the cream. Add this to the eggs whilst still beating.

Once thickened, add the chocolate, then beat again.

This was then poured into the ice cream maker and churned until frozen. I had removed the vanilla brioche ice cream from the freezer to soften so I could combine the two flavours more easily.

I placed the remaining chunks of brioche into the oven to toast then removed and let cool and firm up further. Then I added a drop of milk and a few heaped tablespoons of caramel to a pan. Once melted I added the brioche and stirred gently (so I didn't break them) until all the liquid had been absorbed.

I didn't want the chocolate ice cream to be too firm so I stopped the machine when it was still a little soft.

Then it was time to assemble!

The vanilla was nice and soft by then so I added this in random sized scoops along with handfuls of the brioche and the chocolate ice cream.

I didn't want layers so I did this in a bowl then added it all to my tub.

Then pour this into your container (and all over the flour, radiator and the washing you are currently drying because your container is too small) and place in the freezer to set. And the next day you have this...magic!

Time consuming? Yes. But definitely worth it.


Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Drizzle

Cupcakes are probably the things I make the most, and yet for some reason I had absolutely zero pictures of any cakes. Not only that, as much as cupcakes are renowned for being pretty or cute, these were the hardest shots for me to take out of pretty much everything I have done.

For some reason I just couldn’t take a picture that showed how delicious these looked in real life. I had ok lighting but the pictures still felt ‘cold’ for some reason. It wasn’t until I ate one (that’s the empty red wrapper at the front of the shot) that things started coming together.

I think there are a couple of reasons for this:
  1. I was probably hungry. It’s as simple as that. I think cupcakes are to me as spinach is to Popeye. They make the magic happen!
  2. I was probably trying to make the shot too perfect. I think sometimes there is a tendency to try and take some ‘magazine style shot’ and it’s easy to forget about the actual food you’re photographing. If it happens to naturally come out looking picture perfect, great, but sometimes less is more. That caramel was actually supposed to be a perfect swirl that mirrored the curve of the buttercream. That would have, undoubtedly, showcased my talent, but would it have as tasty as that picture right there? I think not!
Now the recipe is one that I've used for years and I honestly can't remember where I got it from. I do think it's quite common though as I've seen very similar recipes in various places all over the web. It's great for add-ins and as a standard Vanilla cake recipe it's light, moist and flavoursome.

The recipe is:

1/2 cup of Butter
1 cup of Sugar
2 Eggs
1 & 1/2 cups of Plain Flour
1/2 cup of Milk (I use Almond Milk as it's what I drink most, so usually have plenty in the house)
1 & 3/4 teaspoons Baking Powder (NOT BICARB!)
3 teaspoons Vanilla

First Place your butter in the mixing bowl along with your sugar

You would usually mix after that step,, I didn't as I was losing light and needed to move quick if I wanted to mix, bake, ice and photograph them in time.

Next (once you've mixed!) add the eggs



And finally (because you forgot to take a picture of the vanilla), the baking powder

Then just mix. Once I'd realised I'd forgotten I added the vanilla, though I've done these as chocolate chip, crushed Oreo and lemon in the past. They were all amazing, this cake is a great base.

Divide the mix between your cupcake cases

Make sure to only fill the cases 1/2 to 2/3 full as they WILL overflow otherwise. Also, this mix will make 12 cupcakes if you use margarine but, strangely, 11 if you use butter. Seriously, I've made these numerous times and every time the number differs depending on what I've baked with.

Anyway, place these on the middle shelf of your preheated oven at around 240. They take around 20 minutes and, as with all cakes, will be done when a cocktail stick or knife inserted comes out clean.

I used my standard Vanilla Buttercream on half of these and added Cocoa Powder and a little melted dark chocolate to it to ice the rest.

Vanilla Buttercream:

250g Butter at room temperature
Icing Sugar

If the butter is too hard it's best to microwave it for a couple of seconds. The softer it is the more icing it will yield. How much Icing sugar you add will then depend on how soft the butter is and how firm you want the icing to be. Clearly to use this on cupcakes you'll need it to be firmer so just keep adding a little sugar at a time until it's right. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk but be careful as they may split your icing.

Then divide the mix in half and add cocoa powder, melted choc and more milk until its the consistency you want/need. Then Ice!

I couldn't be bothered cleaning the bag/using a new bag in between flavours which is why my icing is striped. It looks and tastes awesome though, so here's to laziness! I then covered the cupcakes on a homemade caramel sauce which, while not perfect, does make the cakes look amazing. It's a simple recipe but I'm using a lot lately so I'll try and post the recipe soon. In the meantime...

Little Beauties...



Just a quick recipe here. I can't really tolerate bread. I love it but, it makes me seriously ill. That doesn't stop me eating it though. I have owned a bread machine for around three years and in that time I have probably made...5 loves of bread. Ridiculous! I decided I wanted to start using the things I actually have but, being me, I didn't want to make your bog standard loaf. I do enjoy a plain white loaf but I always seem to need to change things!

I have wanted to make Brioche for a the longest time and since I knew I'd have lots of bread left once I'd made it I decided to come up with some recipes to use up the leftovers. In the coming weeks there will be 5-7 brioche inspired and themed recipes. But, of course, none of them would be possible without the main ingredient. I had no clue whatsoever how to make a loaf of brioche so I didn't even attempt to make a recipe up. Instead I searched online and found this. It worked perfectly and I will be making it again soon with some possible add ins. The recipe is below along with step by step instructions and pictures.

For once I didn't make any changes. So...on with the recipe!

1 3/4 teaspoons yeast
1 3/4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons water
8 tablespoons butter

First add the yeast, sugar and water. I used warm water and let this covered for around 10 minutes until it started to foam. I would usually add this straight into the bowl of my bread machine but it's too dark for pictures.

After 10-15 minutes the mix will look like this

Add the rest of the ingredients (excluding butter)

Then tip the ingredients (excluding butter) into your bread machine and cook on the required setting.

Now the directions say you should add the butter during the last 10 minutes of the first kneading cycle. I had no idea when this was! My machine doesn't tell me how long is left on each kneading cycle so I managed to miss it. Instead I added the butter during the first 10 minutes of the second cycle. This worked out just fine and it was all kneaded in by the time the cycle was done.

Then I waited while it cooked. Once it was done, it was amazing. I managed to be patient for a change and left the bread in the machine for the sides to firm as recommended. Once cooled, the texture was perfect.

As a quick side note, the second time I made this I missed the end of the first cycle again. I started adding the butter to the second cycle but I added it too quickly and, well, it wasn't pretty! It formed a ball of dough in the centre of the machine, as it should, but the outside turned into a sticky mess. I baked it anyway as I could't be bothered wasting the mix and wanted to see what would happen. It actually baked fine in the middle but the outside was much too crumbly and dense. Be warned, when it says take your time adding the butter, take your time.

I managed to use it anyway and I'll post that recipe soon, along with all the others.