Candy Cane Ice Cream

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It’s about to get all Christmassy up in this place.  And do you know why? Because I try and cram so much into my life that it is not till a couple of weeks out from Christmas that  I actually realise it is December. It just happened to me again this year. It’s a whole week into December and I’ve only just realised Christmas is hurtling straight for us and will arrive a mere 18 days hence. Crap.

So, over the next 18 days, I’ll bring you all the christmas cheer I should have been bringing you in the last couple of weeks. Therefore, if like me you are also disorganised, I will throw a few recipes your way so you can say “gee Amanda, thanks for that last minute Christmas cheer I’m totally going to make that”.

The dessert theme for this year will be candy canes. But, check back over the next 18 days as I’ll bring you: another candy cane themed sweet; Chew Town’s favourite summer cocktail perfect for Christmas eve drinks; and possibly even a glazed ham (if I can get my act together).

So lets start with this candy cane ice cream. I decided to make this ice cream because turning anything into ice cream is awesome, but also because after a big Christmas lunch on a hot Australian chrissie day you can forgo the wintery pudding and serve up some frosty, minty cheer from the freezer.

The thing I love most about this ice cream is that it is flavoured entirely by the candy canes, which means no running out to find peppermint essence. Also, the candy canes turn the ice cream a gorgeous blushed colour which looks pretty darn cute topped with come roughly chopped candy canes. Word of warning, this is a lip smacking creamy ice cream so you’ll require an ice cream machine and probably only need to serve up one or two small scoops per person which will be enough to completely get their attention!

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Candy Cane Ice Cream

2/3 cup candy canes, crushed (about 12 small candy canes)
900ml cream
1 cup white sugar
pinch salt
10 egg yolks
1/2 cup candy canes, roughly chopped (about 8 small candy canes)

Combine cream, crushed candy canes 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt in a new saucepan and place on a medium heat until the mixture begins to steam and foam around the edges (be sure not to allow it to boil).

While cream mixture is warming, in a bowl whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk the yolks and sugar until thick and light. Once cream mixture has steamed, add one cup of it to the egg yolks in a steady stream while whisking constantly (this must be done quickly so the egg yolks don’t curdle). Then pour the egg mixture back into the cream mixture on the stove and whisk well. Continue to stir the mixture, heating the cream over low heat until you can draw a line through the back of a coated spoon (nappé consistency). This is your ice cream base!

Set aside the mixture in the fridge until completely cool (you can speed up this process by setting up an ice bath to cool the base – fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and place the container with the base inside the bowl stirring frequently.

Once mixture is cool, pour it into your ice cream machine (ensuring you follow your the machine’s instructions). Churn the ice cream until it is smooth, creamy and holds thick on a spoon. Transfer the ice cream to a new container and stir in the chopped candy canes.

Serve immediately for a soft serve consistency topped with some chopped candy canes, or freeze for a couple of hours until more frozen. Enjoy!

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