Dominique and Me: Vanilla Ice Cream

Ice cream is a pastry chef staple, I’m pretty sure that college has burned the method into my brain. The ghost of Louis Pasteur haunts my dreams.

Dominique Ansel states that vanilla ice cream is his favourite flavour, and RESPECT. That’s quite a bold statement to make and has probably riled Ben and Jerry up while they throw three-thousand different ingredients into one tub (no hate, I love a Ben and Jerry’s). My mum has a real issue with people calling boring people ‘vanilla’ because vanilla IS NOT boring, its delicious. Instead, you may as well just call people tasty or the best ice cream flavour, because it’s the truth (if you start calling people tasty though, you may receive a restraining order ;)).

This recipe comes up a couple of times in his book, which is handy because its definitely one of his simpler recipes ;). Of course, this vanilla ice cream is used in Ansel’s viral Frozen S’more, where he coats the ice cream in a chocolate feuilletine and marshmallow before being blowtorched (incidentally, I have to make this recipe later on in the book and I. Am. Freaking. Out.)

The recipe is incredibly straight forward. Warm the milk, cream and vanilla before pouring onto whisked yolks and sugar, return to the pan and continue to cook. Ice cream base is essentially just a crème anglaise, and similarly must be pasteurised. Pasteurisation removes the risk of food poisoning by ensuring the item reaches a certain heat, before cooling quickly. In this case (and most non-commercial cases), I cooked the crème anglaise until it reached 80 Degrees Celsius and retained this heat for 15 seconds (feel like I’m making Louis Pasteur proud). The ice cream must be cooled to a safe fridge temperature within 90 minutes (bye bye bacteria).

Once the ice cream base is chilled, you can start churning. Ice cream is churned in order to prevent the formation of large ice crystals, creating a perfectly smooth ice cream. I have quite a cheap ice cream machine that takes like 20 minutes to finish churning, which is painful. I was also stupid enough to stick a spoon in the machine while churning, causing a mess of nearly churned ice cream all over the kitchen (I’ve never hated myself more). Once churned I put it in a tub and froze. Honestly, this whole recipe could not have been easier.

I think its hard to truly appreciate a vanilla ice cream. Everyone has had it, everyone knows what it tastes like, its hard to be wowed by a vanilla ice cream. Where I am from there’s this fairly well-known ice cream company that make a vanilla ice cream, and its nice but dare I say overhyped (honestly, I would get lynched for saying that to anyone local). It’s incredibly smooth and vanillary (?), but at the end of the day so is a really good fresh egg-custard ice cream. This is a really good fresh egg-custard ice cream

After waiting 16239 hours until it was soft enough to scoop ;), blimey it was a good ice cream. It’s the sort of ice cream that’s hard to stop eating even though deep down you want to stop eating it, it was delicious. I made it the day before I made Ansel’s incredibly sophisticated (I would expect no different ;)) apple tarte tatins (the next blog post) and paired with a warm tarte tatin it was NEXT LEVEL.

NEXT UP: Apple Tarte Tatins (these are not your regular tarte tatins trust me, the base isn’t even cooked with the fruit! Crazy, I know. ;))

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