Brown Bread Ice-cream

12 April 2005

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).

Serves 4-6

4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 vanilla pod
250ml milk
40g butter
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!

Food - Sweet        21 comments    Permalink

  • Wow, Keiko, you have some excellent ideas! I love your blog as you always bring something quite new!(at least for me).
    Thanks. Love the recipes, love the pics.

    Posted by Dreska | 12 April 2005 #
  • Yum, Keiko, yum!!! I will have to borrow my friend’s ice cream maker to help me with this because I have no idea how to churn ice cream. :)

    Posted by caryn | 12 April 2005 #
  • Hi Dreska - thank you, I didn’t think I was doing anything particularly unusual, but as long as you are happy, I’m happy too :)

    Hi Caryn - Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to put the non-machine option! When you have the chilled custard, whip the cream until thick and fold into the custard. Stir the bread crumbs in, pour into a container and freeze for 4 hours, beating once with a fork to break up the crystals (it will still taste fine, but churning in a machine makes a big difference as it folds in lots of air). I know I keep saying this, but an ice-cream machine is something really worth having. I hope you’ll like the recipe!

    Posted by keiko | 13 April 2005 #
  • I am so happy to see another post Keiko! And to top it off, a Brown Bread ice cream recipe! Question: Do you have one of those machines that you freeze the interior chamber in the freezer or do you have one that does it all electronically? No need to freeze any machine parts? I am seriously researching which machine to get, not sure which is better in the long run.

    Posted by rowena | 13 April 2005 #
  • That’s it, Keiko. I’m buying myself an ice-cream maker when I go back to the States next week. All your ice-cream creations makes me crave for some home-made ones myself.

    Posted by Lynn | 13 April 2005 #
  • Keiko, this is the page I’ve unconsciously been waiting for ever since I started my blog--thank you so much (though of course I realize you didn’t write this post just for me...did you? Grin)! I wanted a beautiful photo and a good description from someone who’s actually tasted brown bread ice cream, and now I have one!

    Plus, now that you’ve convinced Lynn to get an ice cream maker, I’ll just make sure to be one of her taste testers, and then I’ll finally get to taste this ice cream for myself. I owe it all to you.

    Posted by Rachel | 13 April 2005 #
  • Oh no, I just realized my previous comment made it sound like I’m about to nick your photograph or something! I promise I won’t do that. Just a link, if you don’t mind.

    Posted by Rachel | 13 April 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, first I want to thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I was thoroughly excited! Your site is such a feast to the eyes with all the beautiful pictures, and an inspiration to me. I want to be just like Keiko when I grow up! haha :) (if you ever decide to compile your food photos into calendar/posters, please let me know!)

    Posted by Kristi | 14 April 2005 #
  • Hi there Keiko,

    When I saw the recipe for Brown Bread Ice Cream, bells went off in my brain and my tastebuds yelled ’gimme some’!!!!

    Well I made the ice cream this morning, and my husband is lucky I am a generous woman, I left enough for him the sample when he gets home from work!

    Thank you so much for the recipe!


    Posted by | 14 April 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko - what a wonderful site! Your photos are jaw-droppingly beautiful. I’ve linked you and you can be sure I’ll be a regular visitor. Thanks for giving me a vicarious bite of my favorite substance on the planet - ice cream...

    Posted by Melissa | 14 April 2005 #
  • I love ice cream, and I will try this recipe as soon as possible!!!

    Posted by Dagmar | 15 April 2005 #
  • This is very interesting -- I never thought to use bread in ice cream before! Any idea if you can buy this in the store?

    Posted by Kelli | 16 April 2005 #
  • Hi Rowena - thank you for your kind note as always. I’ve got one with a freezer built in, so you can make ice-cream whenever you want. However, it’s *enormous* and take a lot of space on the worktop. Mine is Gaggia and I’m really happy with it - I’m sure you can buy it cheaper in Italy!

    Hi Lynn - I started to feel like I’m an ice-cream machine evangelist or something, which I’m sure is a good thing... :) I hope you have a great time back home and am looking forward to seeing your shiny machine (are you getting a KitchenAid as well?)

    Hi Rachel - thank you, I was actually going to let you know that I’ve done it! This will definitely be my favourite and I’m a bit jealous that you’ve got such a lovely site name ;)

    Hi Kristi - thanks for your comment. I’m looking forward to reading your posts, I think you’ve got a lovely site name too :)

    Hi Sandra - thank you for visiting, you’re indeed a generous lady to leave some ice-cream for your husband (which I usually don’t...)

    Hi Melissa - thank you for your kind note. I love your site and look forward to talking about British culinary with you...

    Hi Dagmar - my cat had a lick of this!!

    Hi Kelli - I never thought to use it either! I don’t think I’ve seen any for sale even in the UK. You can always skip the making custard bit if you have good vanilla ice-cream.

    Posted by keiko | 18 April 2005 #
  • Hi,
    just wanted to let you know I made this recipe yesterday and everybody loved it. It went very well with a rhubarb and apple tart my sister had made. I’ll be making it again - the basic custard was a really good one too, it froze very smooth and creamy.


    Posted by Esther | 23 May 2005 #
  • Hi Esther - thank you for your notes, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the ice-cream. Your sister’s rhubarb and apple tart sounds delicious! I must say that I love the custard too, I’ve made it hundreds of times!

    Posted by keiko | 5 June 2005 #
  • you don’t mention freezing. is this warm ice cream? how is it going to set?

    Posted by othinny | 3 January 2006 #
  • Hi Othinny - sorry if there wasn’t enough explanation, but I meant churning the custard in an ice-cream machine! You can freeze it after you churn it, or you can enjoy it straight from the machine.

    Posted by keiko | 5 January 2006 #
  • I made this but the crunchy bits became soggy (SOFT) So no chrunchy bits! How come? (I don’t have an icecream machine).

    Posted by Ben | 12 March 2006 #
  • Hi Ben - I don’t think it matters if you have a machine as you put the crumbs in towards the end of churning. Did you toast the crumbs until crispy? The texture is similar to Cookies & Cream.

    Posted by keiko | 22 March 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I did make my own brown bread and I did toast the crumbs until crispy but I put it in the freezer for a few hours so I think that made the crumbs soft. But it has to become icecream hasn’t it? Would it be alright to put it over the icecream or do you have another option?


    Posted by Ben | 25 March 2006 #
  • Hi Ben - I think you’ve just given me a perfect solution. I didn’t think about it, but sprinkling them onto the ice-cream must be the way to keep the crunchiness, I’ll do that next time, thank you for your suggestion!

    Posted by keiko | 31 March 2006 #

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