I think I may have mentioned previously that I simply adore licorice. Like Vegemite, it seems to be one of those flavours people either adore or loathe. I simply delight in the taste; one of my favorites snacks is to eat sticks of fennel like you might eat celery or carrots.
It comes as no surprise that when I saw this recipe published in The Guardian, I simply knew I had to try it. The recipe was originally published in The Perfect Scoop from David Lebovitz (containing many mouth watering recipes.)
I have limited experience in producing ice-cream. The recipes I have made previously rely on a custard based. (My favorite ice-cream making experience was in Albury when Alex and I made an amazing fig and rose-water ice-cream!). I don’t have an ice-cream maker and nor do I have any desire to purchase one.
If you have never made ice-cream don’t be daunted by the prospect. It’s as simple as making a custard!
Firstly I should clarify that the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of anise seeds. I didn’t have any anise in the house, instead I used a handful of Star Anise.
The ingredient list is quite small: star anise, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of whole milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon flavored honey, pinch of salt, 5 egg yolks.
As an Australian I always find creams to be problematic. We don’t use terms such as heavy cream, or double cream and we don’t produce half and half. While many years of cooking has provided me with a rough idea of what each cream is, sometimes I find a good google search is necessary.
In this case I found the Taste forums to be informative in suggesting that if heavy cream can’t be found, it can instead be made at home by combining half the quantity of pure cream and half the quantity of thickened cream.
Toast the anise in a dry saucepan until they smell fragrant. Pour in a cup of the cream, and add the milk, sugar, honey and salt. Take off the heat and cover.
After you have allowed the mixture to infuse for an hour begin to reheat.
In a large bowl spoon out the remaining 1 cup of cream. Keep a sieve near by as a little later you will pour the liquid into the cream and will need to remove the anise.
In another bowl whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add the warmed mixture into the egg yolks ensuring you keep whisking the yolks. Do a little at a time so you don’t scramble the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and mix constantly over a medium heat until you produce a lovely thickened custard (use the ribbon test).
Slowly pour the mixture into the cream and stir to combine. Be patient in adding the warm mixture as you want to avoid curdling the cream. The recipe then asks you to keep stirring the mixture in an ice-bath. Transfer to a freezer container and refrigerate until chilled then place it in the freezer.
I left it in the freezer overnight and I was presented with this wonderful ice-cream!
The ice-cream is so light and creamy and has this wonderful aroma. I did find that the honey was slightly overpowering but that could have been my lack of precise measuring. The recipe suggests serving with chocolate so I used the most amazing chocolate sauce in the world. Our friend Fran makes this delicious sauce that is a closely guarded family secret. It seriously takes all of your will power not to finish it in one sitting.
The chocolate is a lovely accompaniment to the ice-cream.
While the recipe wasn’t difficult by any means, it was slightly more complicated than others. I think I’d love to make a honey macadamia ice-cream next time.
Does anyone else love making ice-cream? Do you have an ice-cream maker or use a similar method to the one posted?