The inspiration for this came from work, or is the better sentence at work. First of all, I would like to say that I love Christmas. The child in me just can’t seem to grow up when it gets to this festive season. Maybe it is because I was born at the end of November, so I have been wired to always be in a happy, joyous and festive mood from November all the way into the New Year. I am the person that will stop and smile at every Christmas display in a shopping centre. I still peer into the windows and wave at Santa. I don’t know whether it is my cloud 9 haze, but people seem to be much nicer during this period. They are patient, kinder, relaxed, smiling more etc. I know it can’t be just me who notices this, because as soon as January rolls in, you can feel the grouchiness coming back.
This magical seasonal fairy dust has also sprinkled its way into work and in 6 out of 10 off work conversations, there is something festive or Christmassey up for discussion. We have talked about parties, pressies, food, embarrassing family dinners, Menus, you name it. All we IT folks just drop our geeky brains for a few minutes and be normal human beings. Last week, we were talking about alcohol and how everyone seems to drink more during the holidays, then the topic shifted to cocktails. A colleague said her husband has a penchant for sweet cocktails, which she doesn’t understand, to which I responded, I am inclined the same and she said at least you are a woman. Imagine a guy at a bar ordering a daiquiri or a pina colada, and we all laughed. My reasoning which I explained to them was this. I don’t like the taste of most spirits used in cocktails, but when it is mixed with something sweet, my taste buds deceive my brain that it is ice cream or something, and I enjoy it. Then we went to talk about their friends and family members who embarrass themselves at Christmas dinners. The hilarious comments and faux pas some of them make under the influence. Gosh I laughed so hard, my tummy hurt. British people and alcohol, oh dear. Let me just stop here, because I am a bona fide proud lover and resident of the United Kingdom, I consider this home too, so don’t let me diss my own ‘people’ too much.
Laughs over, jokes over, we went back to work. I attended to a few things, got a breather and then my brain started churning. I was playing back our previous conversation, my mind suddenly stopped at Pina Colada and then it hit me. Pina Colada is made with rum, cream of coconut and pineapple. Ding! Ding! Ding!. This was almost too easy. Zobo drink can be made with pineapple too, so it is ‘a natural’ pairing. Why I never thought about it before, I don’t know. It was probably because I had some grand Zobo ice cream in my head, I didn’t see what was right in front of me. I have mentioned making a zobo ice cream for ages but never got round to it because I wanted to pair it with something. A plain zobo ice cream will not be creative at all, at the same time, pair it with the wrong thing and you end up with a yucky funny tasting mess. I have also never made ice cream before, so I wanted to use a recipe I could tweak. Many ice cream recipes don’t contain a liquid flavoured ingredient (apart from milk and cream) that you have to use so much of to retain its flavour. After loads of head scratching, Pina Colada to the rescue. Back home in the evening, I started researching recipes of Pineapple and Coconut ice cream, with the intention of replacing the Coconut milk with Zobo. Get my train of thought now? 400ml Coconut milk can be replaced with 400ml Zobo drink. BOOM!!! The rest of the story to make this was a tad frustrating, but thankfully the end result was magnificent. I tweaked a recipe from Delicious Magazine.
You will need
400ml zobo drink – my recipe HERE
250ml double cream – also called heavy cream
a dash of Vanilla extract
1/2 a lemon
3 egg yolks
1. Break the 3 eggs, extract the yolks, measure the sugar and whip with a fork or whisk
2. Transfer the whipped egg and sugar mixture to a pot on low heat. Measure the zobo drink and double cream, then add to the pot. Whisk gently, to cook the egg yolks.
3. With the pot simmering nicely, cut the pineapple into chunks and whizz in a blender to form a pulp. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: in hindsight, I should have whizzed the pineapple a bit more, the pulp gave me problems during the later stages.
the recipe calls for 400ml of zobo drink and I did not have enough, so I added a few zobo leaves to concentrate the flavour, and to also give it the deep pink colour I was looking for.
4. Leave the zobo cream mixture on the heat to thicken. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: zobo is more liquid than coconut milk, even on addition of double cream, it did not help thicken the mixture to a runny custard like consistency which the recipe state. To achieve this, you have to leave it on the heat to thicken up a bit. You should also be watching out for the colour. I was aiming for a mild shade of fuchsia. Spillage alert: double cream tends to boil over, so watch it closely. Once it has a light custard like consistency, add the pineapple pulp, vanilla and lemon juice. Let it cook a little more to further thicken. Ensure to taste to be sure that you are happy with the sweetness. Pineapple is sweet too anyway.
end result, a runny zobo cream pineapple custard. Mine was too runny, make yours to be thicker than this. Let it cool completely, better still don’t make the mistake I made. Put it in the freezer to chill. Now to the interesting stuff
I have a Kenwood ice cream maker. This is a really really cheap kit that cost me less than the price of 2 tubs of Ben and Jerrys. It makes Ice cream and Sorbets. I got it on eBay.
the top half contains the engine, while the bottom half is the bowl. This bowl should be kept in the freezer for at least four hours, preferably overnight. I wasn’t taking any chances, I left it in the freezer for 3 days (OTT, I know. lol). Don’t worry, there are no electrical components in the bowl, so it can stay in the freezer as long as you have the space for it.
take the bowl out of the freezer, connect the top half and lock it in place. It is IMPORTANT that you turn it on BEFORE you pour in the zobo and pineapple cream mixture.
Once the motor is running, carefully pour in the mixture and leave the machine to churn for 20 minutes. At least that is what the manual said. Hmmmph!!! that was not my experience.
20 minutes later, I had what you will call runny ice cream. I raced to find the manual and it advised that it is best to chill the mixture before adding to the machine. Nevertheless, that didn’t explain why my “ice cream” was runny. Off to YouTube, still no solution. Then I gave up and put it in the freezer. After all, there are websites that show you how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t be discourage. It is a simple process, freeze the creamy mixture, and whisk every hour or so till the cream sets.
I followed that process, and I ended up with a sludgy Sherbet or Sorbet like consistency. because my creamy mixture was runny to start with. If you start with a thick creamy custard, you should have no problems making ice cream manually. It was delicious no doubt, but I wanted Ice Cream.
then I had the idea to give the machine one more try. With my sorbet like mixture which was very cold and very thick, I attached the machine to it, and in under 5 minutes. BOOM!!!! I got creamy and smooth ice cream, just like it is supposed to. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!.
………………………and that’s a wrap. Scoop it out and serve.
I narrated my experience, for the benefit of those who may face the same problems that I did. This was my first time making ice cream, and hitches are part of the cooking experiment process. I will itemise the mistakes I made, so you watch out for it.
- The pineapple pulp was not smooth enough and the strands as you will see in the pictures below were preventing the cream from forming
- The creamy custard was not cold before i added it to the machine. In my excitement, i didn’t let it cool down enough
- The mixture was too watery – in hindsight I should either have reduced the volume of the zobo drink or increased the volume of the cream. Remember that the fat content of coconut milk ensures that it thickens naturally. Add it to double cream, and you will get an even thicker mixture. Zobo has zilch fat in it
Here’s the result of my experiment. When you make ice cream at home, the freshness hits you as soon as you taste it. Then you know the store-bought stuff is truly bad for you. I have tasted many a pineapple ice cream, but nothing came close to the real taste of pineapple that I got from this one.
i will be upadating this page with a restaurant style serving of this delicous ice cream. I will also be pairing it with chocolate chip cookies and homemade madeleines.