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Ice cream cake

Based on this recipe by Laura Vitale.

Up until yesterday, I had never made ice cream myself. I don't own one of those fancy automatic ice cream makers, and stirring a batch of ice cream every so often while it's freezing up and getting hard (to prevent crystallization) seemed like a pretty tough job. Then I saw the recipe linked above, which is stir-free! In fact, it is super simple, using only five ingredients that you can throw together in a couple of minutes, and then you just pop it into the freezer and wait. The trick seems to be that you use whipping cream, and whip that up well so it's nice and light and airy, thus automatically creating an ice cream texture (rather than a rock-solid popsicle) for you. Of course, I had to give that a try!

I used the following:

  • 1 2/3 cup (400ml) whipping cream
  • 4/5 cup (200ml) light cooking cream
  • 1 1/3 cup (200gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 1 shot (about 1oz/30ml) amaretto liqueur
  • 1 cup crushed (about 4-5 whole) almond cantuccini biscuits

You start by crushing up your cookies. I just used a large knife for this, and sort of chopped them rather than crushing, really. Do whatever works best for you, as long as you get nice small pieces.

Cover a bowl or oven dish or something like that with cling film. Make sure to leave a little bit of it hanging over the sides. Cover the bottom with a layer of cookie crumbs. This will leave about half to 2/3 of the crumbs for use in the ice cream.

Add the whipping cream, light cream and amaretto to a bowl, and mix with an electric mixer until it is as stiff as possible. Mine wouldn't firm up completely (the way whipping cream usually does when it's on its own), probably because there's also cooking cream in there. So I just whipped it up for 3-4 minutes and figured it was good enough. :P

Quickly fold in the powdered sugar, vanilla sugar and the rest of the crushed cookies.

Pour the mixture into the pan, and cover it with the overhanging sides of cling film. Place in the freezer overnight.

Remove from freezer and unwrap. Cut into slices.

It should be relatively soft coming out of the freezer (compared to commercial ice cream), so if you use a sharp, hot knife you should be able to cut it almost immediately.

Drizzle with a little extra amaretto if desired, and serve! As you can see, the structure is almost identical to store-bought ice cream. There was a tiny bit of crystallization going on in the center, but it wasn't bothersome at all.

Assuming you cut this into 10 servings, here's the nutritional info per serving (excluding additional amaretto): 1.5 g protein, 26g carbs, 16 g fat, 0.4 g alcohol; 260 kcal.

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