When you talk to chefs or cooks and you ask them what they remember from childhood they will always say it’s the cake and biscuits along with the homemade bread which they remember the most.
In lots of cases none of their family were chefs just good cooks and that’s where they learnt things never seen or thought in training colleges.
I believe you can learn so much by just going around the cake stalls at farmers markets because a lot of food on sale there is cooked with great love by people who understand the art of good baking.
One desert that can’t be mass produced is homemade ice cream so here are a few recipes for some delicious ice cream that is straight forward to make and requires no stirring in the freezer. The vanilla ice cream is great with fresh raspberry sauce or a thick slice of homemade apple pie.
Vanilla Ice Cream
4 free-range egg yolks
2tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ pt cream, softly whipped
Put the egg yolks and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir over heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, then remove the spoon and boil the syrup until it reaches the ‘thread’ stage, 106-113°C/223-236°F.
It will look thick and syrupy and, when the metal spoon is dipped in, the last drops of syrup will form thin threads. Pour this boiling syrup in a steady stream onto the egg yolks, whisking all the time until it becomes a thick creamy white mousse. Fold the softly whipped cream into the mousse, pour into a bowl, cover and freeze. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving.
White Chocolate ice cream
12 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
250 white chocolate, chopped
600ml double cream
Whisk the egg yolks and the caster sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Bring the milk up to a boil in a pan. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and leave to one side. Pour the hot milk onto the egg yolks and whisk together.
Return to the pan and heat, stirring all the time until the mixture thickens. Pass the hot mixture through a sieve onto the chocolate and allow to cool.
Mix in the cream and place in an ice cream machine and churn until set or transfer to a sealable container and place in the freezer and stir after 2 hours return to the freezer and leave till set.
Store until needed. Remove 20 minutes before serving.
Brown Bread Ice cream
175g brown wholemeal breadcrumbs
300ml double cream
300ml single cream
125g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6
Spread the breadcrumbs out on a baking tray and toast in the oven for a couple of minutes until crisp and slightly browned.
Meanwhile, beat the two creams with the sugar. Mix together the yolks and rum, and add the cream mixture, beating it in well.
When the breadcrumbs are cool, fold them gently into the cream mixture, making sure they are evenly distributed. Lastly, whip the whites of the eggs until stiff and fold into the mixture. Transfer to a sealable container, place in the freezer and store until needed.