This ice cream is a cinch. An absolutely cinch. No cooking, no cooling, no churning, no icy lumps. It’s in the freezer within 15 minutes and ready to eat just two hours later. It’s incredibly soft and creamy while being rich and decadent from the dark chocolate. And all that with just four simple ingredients. This is a win-win ice cream.
There were many reasons why we chose to move to Lithuania. Among them was the fact that Lithuania has distinct seasons – cold snowy winters, cool bright springs, hot sunny summers and mild golden autumns. In Ireland we get excited if we see a sunny day during the summer. Only last week the papers were anticipating “a scorcher, with highs of 20 degrees” over the bank holiday weekend. We had about two weeks of weather in the low 30s in mid May and similar temperatures again this morning. In Lithuania you’re nearly relieved to see a few clouds when you wake up in summer – you might actually get through the whole day without having to change your clothes!
I love the sunny summer days, though. I love being out in the fresh air, working in the garden or looking after my hens. I love summer food – salads, barbecue and, of course, ice cream. I don’t have an enormously big sweet tooth but I do have a weakness for dark chocolate ice cream.
I’ve never had much patience for making ice cream, though. I got an ice cream maker free with a smoothie maker I bought a few years back. I vowed to keep the bowl in the freezer at all times so I could whip up some ice cream whenever I liked. I think I used it about four times, and three of those were to make frozen yogurt or sorbet. I made proper ice cream just once. It was such a faff – make the custard (which was a pain in itself), allow to cool, transfer to ice cream maker (which had to be prefrozen), churn for yonks until it set, scrape out (with difficulty – some was frozen to the bowl) into a container and freeze again until ready to use. This is not the kind of cooking that appeals to me. I like things simple. I don’t mind if a dish takes time to cook, like a roast or a stew, but I don’t go in for multiple stages or unspecified waiting periods. (How long, exactly, does it take ice cream custard to cool before you can add it to the churn?)
So I set to finding a no-custard, no-churn ice cream. I’d seen a few recipes on TV and found this recipe from Mary Berry. She hadn't included a chocolate version so I played around with it myself to get the perfect combination. I use only the egg whites and not the whole egg in my version. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, I think the ice cream tastes creamier and has a softer, more mousse-like texture without the yolks. Secondly, I make loads of mayonnaise, especially in summer, so using the whites for ice cream and the yolks for mayonnaise works well for me. The first few times I made the ice cream I used a whisk, as outlined by Mary. However, since the arrival of my food processor from Ireland I have been using that instead, which makes the whole process an even bigger cinch.
Makes about 1 litre (2 pints)
4 medium eggs, whites only
100 g | 1/2 cup white sugar
100 g | 3 1/2 oz dark chocolate (50% cocoa or better), broken into squares
300 mls | 1 1/4 cups double cream
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