Monster ice cream
Familiar with Cthulhu and the twisted pantheon of unspeakable gods and creatures conjured up by cult horror writer H P Lovecraft? If not, don’t worry – in order to enjoy this ice cream you don’t have to. But it does help to be young at heart and appreciate how much fun certain types of horrors can be if only you’re in the right mood!
When one of my daughters some time ago asked me to make some “green ice cream” for her class in school, I quickly made an association to a Shoggoth.
Not familiar with Shoggoths? Well, according to the initiated you should probably thank your lucky star, since Shoggoths are huge hideous monstrosities. They come straight out of the so-called Cthulhu mythology, created by the horror writer H P Lovecraft, and just looking at a Shoggoth is likely to result in massive sanity loss. Luckily, however, today’s ice cream did not bring about any particular insanity 😉 .
I tend to be one of those who usually promote ‘natural’ ice creams. And while I firmly believe that ingredients for good ice cream preferably should be “closer to the farm than to the factory”, there are some occasions that simply call for artificial food colouring. One day, I still intend to test whether ice cream could be coloured green with the help of spinach, but I feared that such experiments may not go down too well with my daughter and her schoolmates. So – green food colouring it was!
And the particular base? Sicilian gelato, made with my new favourite starch Arrowroot -the particular slimy consistency which the not-so-frozen ice cream takes on proved to be excellent for monstrous ice cream creations!
Extremely easy to make (even without an ice cream machine!) and quite low-calorie too, all this ice cream requires is the following:
Whisk and dilute the Arrowroot in some of the milk, then bring the rest of the milk (mixed with the sugar) close to a boil. Add the diluted Arrowroot-milk and whisk while cooking (without boiling) the base for a couple of extra minutes or so. Cool down the ice cream base, then mix in the food colouring and chill in the refrigerator. Churn in your ice cream maker according to instructions, or still-freeze using only your freezer. When the ice cream is almost finished, place in freezer-safe container and add the sugar pearls (if using) in desired, multiple eyes-like patterns. Cover with plastic film and a lid and store in the freezer until serving-time. Or, for a markedly slimy experience, serve immediately whilst the ice cream still is quite soft 😉
I would like to underline that Sicilian gelato is the best ice cream base I know of when it comes to making really good, smooth ice cream without an ice cream machine. And this ice cream should be no exception!
- 700 ml (about 3 cups) whole milk [optionally, substitute some of the milk for cream, which will make the ice cream richer (and fatter). I would only replace 100-200 ml (0.4-0.8 cup), by the way. ]
- 125 ml (a full ½ cup) sugar
- about 5 tablespoons of Arrowroot starch [or other suitable starch, but then you lose out on the funny consistency and the glossy finish]
- (optional) pinch of salt
- Food colouring (here the colours green and red, but clearly up to you)
- Shiny sugar pearls (edible) for decoration
- Whisk together 100 ml (about 0.4 cup) of the cold milk with the Arrowroot starch, making sure that there are no remaining lumps. Set aside for now.
- Blend the remaining 600 ml (about 2.5 cups) of the dairy, the sugar, (and the optional pinch of salt) in a sauce pan. Warm until steaming hot (not boiling!) on medium heat.
- Blend the Arrowroot starch mixture with the rest of the ingredients in the sauce pan and whisk away. Since Arrowroot thickens at lower temperatures than corn starch and also does not react well to overheating, limit the continued cooking to a couple of minutes or so).
- Whisk well, let the mixture cool down and add the food colouring.
- Refrigerate the base for a couple of hours, then churn according to the instructions of your ice cream machine. When almost done, put in a freezer-safe container and add the sugar pearls as "eyes".
- Cover with plastic film and a lid and store in the freezer until serving time.
- In case you have no ice cream machine, still-freeze the base in your freezer (see the post on how to best make ice cream without an ice cream machine). And remember: like Sicilian gelato in general, this base is perfect for still-freezing!