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I love and adore ice cream, absolutely and unconditionally. Some of my earliest memories involve ice cream, going to Lindale (the home of New Zealand’s nicest ice cream, at least when I was a child) and eating the dark chocolate and cherry ice cream. In the last year, I have started making my own ice cream, and it is fantastic. The flavours you can buy in the shops are so limited compared to what you can make. I’ve made chocolate coconut and curry powder ice cream, Riesling and pear sorbet, baked apple sorbet, and many others. Even more conventional flavours become amazing when made at home – for the most beautiful vanilla you’ll ever eat, try this: http://www.ice-cream-recipes.com/ice_cream_recipe_vanilla.htm (eat it on the same/next day).

Apologies for the terrible quality – camera died and were taken on a cellphone

I usually use an ice cream maker to make ice cream, because it is generally quicker and I am deeply impatient, especially when it comes to sweet and creamy things. However, since moving into my flat, I have had a small and wimpy freezer, and haven’t managed to get the ice cream maker to work properly. Therefore I’ve been looking at ways of making ice cream that are yummy, the right texture, low effort and don’t involve an ice cream maker. This is definitely one of those. It is a very soft ice cream, almost like a frozen moose. It is stunningly flavoured, and really tastes like you are eating frozen hot chocolate. I know it is winter, but with ice cream this good, who cares? The jelly mould I have served it in is not compulsory, but is fun.

I have used the marshmallow ice cream from Baking Bites (http://bakingbites.com/2012/06/marshmallow-ice-cream/), and then added chocolate.

 

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream (serves six)

One and a half cups of milk

One and a half cups of cream

30 marshmallows (roughly NZ standard packet size)

Three teaspoons of vanilla essence

Two tablespoons cocoa powder, or to taste

Heat the milk (a small amount reserved) and marshmallows until the marshmallows melt, then remove from the heat. Use a large pan to do this, as the mixture will puff up and gain in volume. Dissolve the cocoa powder into the reserved milk, mix to remove as many lumps as possible, and stir this into the marshmallow mixture. Use as much cocoa powder as you think you need – less if you want a milkier hot chocolate, more if you like it dark. Taste, and decide if you need more cocoa. Add the vanilla essence. Cool, first out of the fridge then in it. When cold, whip the cream and stir into the marshmallow mixture.

If you aren’t using a mould, place the mixture into a container. Cover with a piece of baking paper (this stops ice crystals forming on the top) and freeze overnight/until frozen. If you are using a mould, this is where the fun starts. Wet the inside of the mould with a little cold water, and pour the mixture into the mould. Cover with cling film, and freeze overnight/until frozen. Now is the time to remove it from the mould, which is actually much easier than you might think/fear. Fill a bowl of very hot water, and dip the mould in for a good five seconds. Now swiftly turn the mould upside-down onto a plate/serving platter, and bang the bottom of the mould to make the ice-cream come loose. It doesn’t always work the first time, so don’t panic! If it doesn’t slide out, return it to the hot water and repeat the process. Eventually it will come out.

If it has softened too much during this process, return it to the freezer (covered with cling film) to harden up again. If it is too hard, leave it in the fridge before serving. To serve, leave as is, or pipe whipped cream around the edges for decoration. If you are using a ring mould, as I do, stack marshmallows into the centre. To get a nice clean cut, use a non-serrated knife, heated in warm water and then dried.

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