Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Experimental Coolery 2013: Bananananana Ice Cream

For Christmas, my parents-in-law bought us an ice cream maker. Which is itself a somewhat interesting story - when I opened it, I had the box held so I couldn't actually tell what it was, and so looked somewhat uncertain, in turn prompting them to be concerned that I didn't like it. Of course, when I used the secret Jedi technique of "turn it round so you can see", all became clear.

Anyway, we made our first use of the new toy on Sunday, making one of the suggested recipes. (Originally, we were going to make strawberry ice cream, but of course strawberries are way out of season. The only ones Tesco had were both very expensive and also rather manky-looking - they'd been 'ripened' under a sun lounger, and so were red in the middle but green at both ends. So we passed.)

Making the ice cream is a really easy process, with one caveat: you need to freeze the bowl first, requiring 24 hours of notice. The instructions recommend keeping it permanently in the freezer, but that's really not an option - our freezer is usually heaving with good food.

And the result? Well, it tasted bananananana-y, and it felt ice-cream-y, so that's pretty much ideal.

The only real issue I have is that it's not much cheaper than just buying ice cream (even good ice cream), and it's not as good as those good ice creams (but it is at least as good as the cheaper ones). The consequence of this is that it's like making bread - it's not going to be worth the effort to use it to make 'standard' ice creams (or to bake 'standard' breads), but what it does allow, and should be ideal for, is the option of making custom ice creams - flavours that you don't get.

Basically, it's an excuse to make lots and lots of ice cream, for "experimental purposes". In particular, I'm intrigued by the notion of an orange choc chip* ice cream (because mint choc chip is good, and because although mint chocolate is good, orange chocolate is better). Oh, and I can't help but think that the bananananas may be improved by the addition of their partner-in-crime, the walnut.

* Of course, this might prove to be awful. After all, if it was actually good, you'd think you'd be able to buy it. But, hey, that's why it's called an experiment.

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