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Archive for March, 2008

Toffee Ice Cream

Toffee Ice Cream I grew up with toffees of various kinds – English toffees in white wrappers, salt water taffy, and toffee apples at farm fairs. Toffee is different from caramel in that it uses dark brown sugar or molasses along with butter. When put in ice cream, it makes for an unbelievably rich and sweet experience.

I like leaving big chunks of the cooled candy in the ice cream, although I have also experimented with adding the toffee while it is still warm and letting it melt into the freezing ice cream mix. It turns the finished product toffee-coloured and gives it a uniform texture and flavour that is great if you like a smooth ice cream. This recipe uses cold toffee. Just be ready – it does stick to the teeth!

MURPHYS TOFFEE (TAIFI) ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 130g sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 240 ml cream
  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 grams of toffee candy

What to do:

  1. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.
  2. Bring the milk to a low simmer.
  3. Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat.
  5. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly (around 65-70C) and just coats the back of a spoon. Don’t over-heat, though, because at around 76C you will scramble the eggs!
  6. Immediately remove from the heat.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Break up the toffee candy into small pieces. (This might be easier if the toffee is cold!)
  9. Toffee Ice Cream CloseupWhip the cream until it has doubled in volume (you should have soft peaks – don’t over-whip).
  10. Fold the cream (gently stir) into the custard.
  11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, adding the toffee when the ice cream is already quite solid.
  12. Otherwise, cover and place in the freezer, again adding the toffee when it has become semi-solid.
  13. If you’re using a domestic ice cream machine, transfer to a freezer-proof covered container when the ice cream has achieved a semi-solid consistency (around 15 minutes). Place it in the freezer, and continue to freeze until it is solid.

Note:

To pasteurise the eggs, heat the custard to 73C and maintain that temperature for at least 5 minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, though, and keep stirring! If the custard goes any higher than 76C, the eggs will scramble. Immediately cover and place in the freezer until cool.

Yield: 8 servings

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No Democracy (or Parking) in Dingle

I’m a pretty laid-back fellow, but certain things really get to me. One of them is the disregard of any form of government to the wishes of its people.

In Dingle, we’ve had a famous battle over the name of the town. Whatever one’s stance about the issue (and I understand arguments on both sides), Road signthe fact is that the town held a plebescite, and 96% voted for “Dingle/Daingean Uí­ Chúis.” It’s now a year and a half later, tourists are still confused by the use of “An Daingean” on the road signs, and the government still hasn’t honoured the wishes of the people.

In an even more worrying development, Kerry County Council launched a Traffic Plan for Dingle a year ago, which I wrote about here. Basically they wanted to remove almost all of the parking from the centre of town and create satellite parking around the edges.

For most of the year, Dingle is a tiny market town of 1,800 residents, without any traffic problem outside weddings and funerals, and removing the parking would be a disaster for businesses and for quality of life (would you really hike 10 minutes in a January gale to grab a coffee, visit friends, or do your shopping?)

There was uproar about the plan a year ago, and most of the businesses, associations, and residents sent in opposing submissions. Do you think Kerry County Council paid any attention to the submissions? It seems not. They just launched a new traffic plan that still takes away the parking. I haven’t seen it yet, but it appears that instead of removing 130 parking spots, they now propose to remove only 122. Very generous.

They say it’s a new plan, and so the old submissions are invalid. All the submissions need to be re-done. For what? To save another few parking spaces? I think they could have a battle on their hands this time. Stay tuned…

Traffic Plan Dingle

P.S. In the interest of fairness, I have heard from both the press officer of Kerry County Council and a local Counciller who say that this is just a draft, that they are open for input, and that submissions will be taken seriously this time around. Let’s hope so!

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The Fat Duck’s Egg and Bacon Ice Cream

YouTube Preview Image I had heard about the egg and bacon ice cream at the Fat Duck – a bit of molecular gastronomy from Heston Blumenthal’s wild and weird tasting menu. I found the above video, showing it up close and personal, on the All Things Ice Cream blog.

It wouldn’t be my thing at all, but you might find it interesting!

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Ice Cream Politics, Etc.

Obama Ice CreamObama Ice CreamThis is not a real tub! It’s those folks over at Slate, who are running a campaign to name a flavour for Barack Obama after Ben Cohen of the Vermont ice cream company endorsed Obama (and the senator won in Vermont – that’s the power of ice cream!) Should Hillary get a flavour as well? How about Mr. McCain? I reserve the right to “borrow” this excellent idea the next time Ireland heads into a general election…

On a different note, I gave a recipe for Green Tea and Ginger ice cream recently, and if you want to see another take on green tea ice cream, head over to Tartelette, for a mouth-watering post about white chocolate and matcha ice cream taken from Kuidaore.

Finally, here are a couple of ice cream blogs to check out: Vegan Ice Cream Paradise (where you can find a vegan version of Guinness ice cream among other things) and Ice Cream Fellow who brings his scientific approach to the ice cream process…

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Don’t Leave Ice Cream Unattended!

Cat with Ice Cream Cone Today, I wanted to take a couple of photos of ice cream. I put out a cone to do some exposure tests, then went inside to fetch a different lens.

Cat licking lipsI hadn’t noticed the presence of Gatsby, the ice cream cat, but when I returned with my lens, I caught him making the most of his opportunity.

Cheeky creature!

It’s kind of hard to take photos while laughing, but I managed to snap off a few.

Gatsby doesn’t like much being the object of humour and knew he was riding his luck, so he stalked off pretty quickly.

Funny as it was, I don’t think this sets a good precedent.

No doubt taking photos of ice cream at home has just become that little bit more difficult!

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Dark Toffee

Dark Toffee I’m in a sweet frame of mind, and here’s a toffee I love to munch on. It’s also used in our Toffee Ice Cream, and I’ll put up the recipe for that in due course. I always love making candy, because I find it such a miracle that sugar can transform itself so radically.

This toffee is very dark and rich, since the recipe calls for dark brown sugar, and one inevitably eats far too much of it. One can, of course, make it with light brown or even regular sugar, but I like the deep flavour of the molasses contained in dark brown sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 150 g butter
  • 200 g dark brown sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup

What to Do:

  1. Butter a small baking dish.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
  3. Stir over medium heat until the ingredients are combined.
  4. Turn up the heat and stop stirring.
  5. It will start boiling.
  6. If it starts smoking around the edges, stir gently in a circle around the edge to keep it from burning.
  7. Check if it’s ready by dropping a bit of the toffee in a cup of cold water. It should be firm but not hard to the touch.
  8. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the buttered baking dish.
  9. Toffee CloseupAllow to cool somewhat.
  10. When it’s mostly hardened, score it with a knife to make it easier to break.
  11. Allow to cool completely, break up and enjoy!

Notes:

  1. A word of caution – caramelised sugar is very, very hot, so please take care when making this!
  2. Make sure the pan is very clean before you start. If there is residue already on the pan, it is more likely the candy will burn.
  3. The final product will have the consistency of the bit you drop into the cold water. If you like your toffee soft, take it off the heat when it forms a soft ball when dropped in the water. If you like your toffee hard, keep cooking and take it off the heat when it forms a hard ball in the water.

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White Wellies Spotted In Dublin!

Blog Award In the very unlikely event that you weren’t there and the suspense was killing you – yes – I did wear the entire get-up to the awards list night – white wellies, chef’s hat, dessert-print trousers and all. At least everyone knew who I was, although the funniest thing about it was when I was in the lift heading up to my room, an elderly Scottish couple staying in the hotel smiled at me sympathetically and said, “You’re only just finished? It’s a tough job. I bet you have to cook our breakfast as well tomorrow!”

The night was great, I was honoured to win Best Business Blog, but what really made the evening special meeting and chatting with so many other brilliant bloggers including Frank (thanks for the drink), Simon (congrats), Paul (thanks for sponsoring), Grannymar (congrats), Laura, Sinead (congrats), Manuel, Shane (congrats), Rick (congrats and well done on the night) Copernicus, Deborah (so sorry I won’t make brunch), Jen, Martin, Val (thanks for the drink!), Granddad (congrats), Feebee, Krishna, Markham and so many others that I’d be here all day!

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks so much to Damien and everyone who put on such a great night.

P.S. Thanks also to George Bush for the introductions of each category. (See here).

P.P.S. There are photos here and here.

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Author

Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Company

Murphys Ice Cream

Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).

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