The metal bowl of my sister’s ice cream maker has been sitting in my freezer for the last 365+ days. Initially, I detested the fact that it was taking up valuable real estate in my freezer, and then as time went on, I forgot about it.
Fast forward one year later, and I’m browsing through some new cookbooks of mine that for some reason, have an abundance of ice cream recipes. I usually bypass these things because:
a) I’ve always thought that buying my own ice cream is faster than making it myself and
b) I don’t own an ice cream maker.
Er, at least until now.
After I shoot a text message to my sister that I’m taking over her ice cream maker for the day, I flurry about getting things together for the flavor I’ve decided to make: a vanilla malted. I’ve talked about my professed passion for anything that has malted milk powder in it ”“ it’s one of those things that I make sure to have ample stock of in my pantry, thanks to my Bin, who lugs back at least two kilos of the stuff whenever he’s in Singapore on business.
Into a heavy saucepan goes one cup each of heavy cream and half-and-half (half evaporated milk, half fresh milk), heated up until just shy of a boil. The malted milk powder (Horlicks, if you please) is then added and stirred until dissolved. Setting that aside, I combine four egg yolks, a handful of sugar, and a pinch of salt. I then slowly whisk in the hot cream-Horlicks mixture into the yolk mixture, and the entire thing is stirred over heat until it becomes thick, like custard. I then strain the mixture into a large mixing bowl and then it’s chilled over an ice-bath, a fancy name for ”˜big bowl of water and ice.’ Once the liquid’s at room temperature, I pour it into the ice cream maker and I’m ready to churn — which in this modern age means flipping the ice cream maker switch to “on.”
Ever heard of the saying, “A watched pot never boils?” Believe you me, it’s true. Standing over that wee ice cream maker, silently urging it to harden the ice cream ”“ “freeze baby, freeze!” ”“ it looks like soup. I give it a light smack on the side (as if that would help!).
“Bin, my ice cream is not ice cream!” I yell to my unsuspecting husband, who’s reading the newspapers in the living room.
“That’s because you’ve only let it churn for five minutes!” He yells back, without even looking up from the paper. He’s quite used to my outbursts, so he thinks nothing of the urgency in my tone. He’s right. So I back away from the ice cream maker and set my timer for 15 minutes.
“All good things come to those who wait” is another saying I’m sure you’ve heard. Impatient girl that I am, it hardly works with me, but I did get ice cream. In my glee, I yell once more, this time excitedly to my Bin. Together, we peer into the ice cream maker, its white plastic handle churning what was now a thick mass similar to soft-serve. We dip a teaspoon into the seeming abyss and taste.
“It’s too eggy, Lor,” my Bin says. I have to agree. My ratio of egg yolks to cream is more than double, so there’s definitely an “eggy” thing going on here, like frozen custard, which is why I call it that, and not ice cream. It’s creamy and the malted milk powder flavor is very pronounced. I add some peanut butter malted milk balls and a strawberry barquillo, and it looks like a bonafide sundae. Hoo-ah!
But next time, easy on the egg yolks.