Finally I managed to try one of the recipes from my Modern British cookery course last month – the course was mainly demonstration based and not very hands-on, so I wanted to try some for myself.
After I made the post about the course, some people asked me to put the brown bread ice-cream recipe up – I could have just written the recipe from the course, but it was one of the things I really enjoyed on that day and I LOVE ice-cream, so decided to try it out in my kitchen.
Brown bread ice-cream is a very old-fashioned English recipe and it is basically vanilla ice-cream plus caramelised bread crumbs – maybe a bit similar to Cookies & Cream, but crunchier. I’ve seen some recipes that don’t involve roasting the bread crumbs, but this small effort really is worth it and makes a difference.
I should note that I made the brown bread this time (I can be quite a perfectionist…), but you can just buy some from a good baker. When I was roasting the bread crumbs in the oven, I could tell that the recipe was going to work well, and of course it did!
I adapted the recipe below from the one we used at the course and the one in my ice-cream book (I’ve tried so many recipes from this book and all of them worked really well).
4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 vanilla pod
80g crustless wholemeal bread
50g soft light brown sugar
250ml double cream
1 tablespoon brandy or Grand Marnier (optional)
Whiz the bread in the food processor to make crumbs. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and add the crumbs, stir well then spread the mixture on a baking sheet.
Bake the crumbs in a pre-heated oven at 180 centigrade for 15-20 minutes, turning from time to time until they are toasted and crisp. Allow to cool.
Cut the vanilla pod open and scrape out the seeds. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and seeds and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until thick and pale. Gradually pour on the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring all the time. When the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon, strain out the pod, add the brandy and cool.
Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick. Rub the breadcrumbs between your fingers to break up any lumps. Stir the crumbs into the mixture, churn for 5-10 minutes until ready to serve.
It says that this ice-cream was popular in Victorian times – it’s always nice to know that we can still enjoy old recipes!