Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Tuesday's Time To ... Enjoy A Scrummy Ice Cream Treat!

Source for this image (not ours, but very similar!) here.

Oh my goodness!

We enjoyed the most delicious treat this afternoon!  Papa Bear and Cubby have been working very hard indeed the last few days, to get a major job finished that they have been working on for most of the summer.  It was finally signed off today, and to celebrate, I decided to make a delicious treat for everyone to enjoy when they got home.  It's been very warm here the last few days, so I thought some ice cream would make the perfect treat - and after looking in my kitchen cupboards and doing a bit of research, I decided to make ... wait for it ... peanut butter ice cream!

It was actually quite difficult to find a peanut butter ice cream recipe.  There were a couple on my favourite recipe website, Taste of Home, but none there which really appealed to me.  They used Reece's Pieces for one thing, which we can't get here in England (not without going to a specialist store, anyways) and for another, though they had the Reece's Pieces in them, they weren't actually peanut butter flavoured.  What I wanted was the equivalent of caramel ice cream, but using peanut butter instead.  As I had all the basic ingredients (apart from the cream, which I could easily buy locally) I wanted to keep the recipe quite straightforward - peanut butter, with perhaps some nuts, and not too much else!  I was pleased to find the following recipe on the BBC Good Food website (click on the link if you want to go to the site).  For ease though, I have reproduced it here ...

Start this recipe in the morning if you plan to serve it for tea on the same day - or the day before, if you haven't got an ice cream making machine.  You will need:-

For The Ice Cream
300 g golden caster sugar (we only ever have the golden version but if you don't have this, use half white and half brown sugar instead)
50 g salted butter (I used margarine and it worked fine)
300 mls (large pot) double (heavy) cream
5 egg yolks (freeze the whites for another recipe), gently beaten
6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter (a whole jar, pretty much)

For The Caramel
100 g golden caster sugar
Good quality sea salt

I also added a bag of crushed chocolate covered peanuts, but these are optional.  Though very delicious!

1.  Start by making the caramel.  It's a little scary to make caramel for the first time - it seems as though it will burn well before it is ready to caramelise, and the fear of the whole pan catching fire means that I like to use a candy thermometer so that I can be sure that the caramel has reached just the right temperature to set without burning.  Of course, you can do it just by time.  If you choose to do it this way, it is worth knowing that it will probably take longer than you think to reach the caramelisation stage - it can take as long as 20 minutes, so be patient and keep watching the pan.  Either way, all you do is put the 100g golden caster sugar into a large, heavy based pan (ideally one that is pale coloured, if you are not using a candy thermometer).  Simply heat the sugar until it melts, stirring occasionally.  It will probably spit a little - this is the scary part, because boiling sugar can give you a nasty burn, but if you watch the pan carefully then you won't come to any harm.  Keep going, stirring now and then, and tipping the pan occasionally to ensure that the sugar melts evenly, and heat it until it gets to the colour of strong (but with milk added) tea - if you are using a candy thermometer just keep going until the thermometer reaches the correct level - about 343 degrees F.

2.  Remove pan from heat and allow to cool a little, then pour whilse still warm onto an oiled baking sheet, making the pool of caramel as thin as you can (I used a disposable foil baking tin, but oiled it also).

3.  For the ice cream, once again begin by melting the sugar (yes, I know this means quite a bit of washing up.  The easiest way to remove caramelised sugar from a pan is to fill it with warm soapy water and actually heat it on the stove top a little, until the sugar begins to melt off).  Once the second batch of sugar has caramelised (it will take longer - perhaps 15 minutes - as there is more of it this time) add the butter and cream, and melt together (this bit doesn't take long at all).

4.  Now remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture carefully onto the beaten egg yolks.  Stir together very carefully (don't beat or you may fetch up with caramelised scrambled eggs!).  Return the whole mixture to the pan and warm through gently (in fact when I did this, I poured the eggs onto the caramel mixture instead) - once again be extremely careful not to overheat or the mixture will curdle and you will have to start over.  Stir in the peanut butter and remove from the heat.

5.  Crush the caramel on the baking sheet into bite sized pieces and add to the ice cream, combining well.  At this stage, I also added a bag of chocolate covered peanuts, also crushed.  Yum!

6.  Now either pour the mixture in a freeze box and place in the freezer, or, if like me you have an ice cream making machine, place the mixture in the fridge until it is cool (about 3 hours) and then churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.  I prefer to make my ice cream with my machine as it makes a smoother, creamier finished product.  But if you don't have one you can get almost the same results if you beat the mixture a couple of times during the freezing period.  Either way it will be lovely! 

If you are making this without an ice cream making machine it will need to be frozen overnight.  With an ice cream making machine  it will be ready to eat once it has been churned!  And I do need to warn you ... it probably won't hang about very long ... the recipe states that it is supposed to serve 6 but I am afraid to say we ate the whole entire quantity very easily between 4 of us!  I served it up with flaked chocolate and chopped salted peanuts as a garnish, almost as soon as the menfolk were home from work.  And the unanimous verdict?  Absolutely divine.  I shall definitely be making this again - soon!  And I hope you try it out too.  Enjoy!