Thursday, 3 January 2013
Happy New Year!
I served slices of this bombe with a hot chocolate sauce on New Year's Eve, but after seconds and thirds (just to make sure...), we decided that it drowned out the flavour of the ice cream.
It's best served alone, so you can give the nutty caramel flavour and the creamy but slightly grainy texture - contrasted with the outer crunch - your full attention.
Hazelnut Praline Bombe
(Ice cream base adapted from David Lebovitz's Vanilla Ice Cream)
For the praline:
160g whole hazelnuts
125g granulated sugar
For the ice cream base:
330ml double cream
170ml whole milk
50g granulated sugar
big pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Tip the hazelnuts onto a tray and place into the oven. Toast for 4-5 minutes - they should smell good and might look a bit oily. Lie a sheet of parchment paper flat on your worktop. Sprinkle the sugar for the praline into a heavy-bottomed medium pan and shake into an even layer (if possible use a frying pan or one that's not too deep - the cold sides will harden the caramel when you scrape it out, so the higher the side the more caramel you'll lose).
Place the pan over a medium heat - it will take a few minutes for the sugar to start to melt but keep an eye on it. Don't stir the sugar, though you can gently move/flick the unmelted sugar with a heatproof spatula into the patches that have melted. It may start to colour in patches - keep heating until it has all melted and is a uniform deep bronze colour. Quickly add the hazelnuts and stir, then immediately scrape out onto the parchment paper. Leave to harden.
When the praline is cool, cut off 60g and set it aside. Place the rest in a food processor and keep blending until you have a paste.
To make the ice cream base, pour 200ml of the cream into a medium saucepan along with the milk, sugar and salt. Pour the remaining 130ml of cream into a jug or bowl and place a metal sieve over the top. Put the egg yolks into a small bowl, break them up with a whisk, and place near the stove. Heat the cream/milk on medium-high until it starts to steam, then pour about about a third into the yolks, whisking the yolks as you pour. Scrape the yolk mixture back into the pan and whisk briefly to combine. Place back over the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir until the custard thickens so that it covers the back of the spoon (see here for help on making custard and consistency). Pour through the sieve into the cream bowl. Add the praline paste and stir until the mixture is uniform. Cover with cling film and chill overnight.
The next day, line a 3/4 litre pudding bowl (or similar sized bowl) with cling film, leaving enough overhang to fold in and cover the top. Churn the ice cream according to the instructions for your ice cream maker. Scoop the ice cream into the pudding bowl, pressing down as you go so there are no bubbles or gaps. Level off, fold the cling film over the top and place in the freezer to firm up for at least 3 hours.
Bash up the remaining praline - either in a pestle and mortar, the processor or by placing it in a bag and bashing it with a rolling pin. The pieces need to be fairly small but not powder. Remove the bombe from the freezer and use the cling film to ease it out of the bowl. Turn out onto a serving plate. Leave it to soften for 5 minutes then press the praline into the sides and top. Serve, then cut into slices.
EDIT: I'm thinking of testing this again soon to see if it's nicer if you strain the custard before churning the ice cream - I can't decide if I like the slightly grainy texture or not. It keeps coming back to haunt me - until I manage to try it again, it's up to you if you want to strain it to make a smoother ice cream or leave it as it is.
A few related posts:
Cider Caramel, Sautéed Apples & Cinnamon Ice Cream
Dulce de Leche Ice Cream