Mint. I associate mint with tea and hot summers, it is always a pleasure to inhale mint's flagrant fresh aroma. In Greek mythology Mint was known as the herb of hospitality a perfect fit for Maison Cupcake blogging event, hosted by a delightful blog: Soul Curry.
I have very little time for Nigella, I can't really see the attraction though Sarah of Maison Cupcake has tried to explain it to me on several occasions. But that was not going to deter me to enter her Forever Nigella event. I had to bid my time a little and wait for a topic which I felt comfortable enough with so not to have to trawl through piles of Nigella's recipes.
As you may have noticed I am going through a phase of ice-cream mania - I was pretty certain that Nigella would have a recipe for mint ice-cream and lo and behold, she did. The interesting addition to her mint ice-cream is Bourbon, my own added nuggets are chocolate and crushed meringue.
When adding alcohol to ice-cream is lowers the point of freezing same with sugar- therefore it takes longer to freeze. Now pay attention that's the scientific bit: too much alcohol and it will not freeze at all. So refrain to add an extra splash you need only to add enough to be able to taste it-For the non-scientific bit: nothing stops you to have a glass on the side. In her recipe Nigella adds 1/4 cup of Bourbon. Why can't metric be used? that defies my understanding (though Nigella's website has a table of conversion) but there you go, it is 65ml.
Bourbon Mint Ice-Cream with Chocolate and Meringue Nuggets
250 ml whole milk
150 g caster sugar
500 ml double cream
100g plain chocolate (70% cocoa) chopped
30 g chopped fresh mint leaves
2 large egg yolks
Warm the milk, cream, Bourbon and the mint, turn the heat so that it almost boil. Reduce and cook gently for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature until it cool slightly.
Strain the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan (the milk will be a lovely shade of emerald). Press on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavor as possible, then discard the mint leaves.
Meanwhile in a separate heatproof bowl , beat the eggs and sugar, using an electric whisk, until thick and pale. Gradually beat the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and continue stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove the bowl from the heat and cover the surface directly with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming allow the custard to coool completely before refrigerating for at least 1 hour.
Once chilled, chum in an ice-cream maker, stop 5 minutes before the end to add chocolate and meringue. Transfer to a freezer bowl and leave in the freezer.