Last year I spent a lot of time baking goodies to give away as Christmas gifts, and I plan to do the same again this season. I love doing it for a number of reasons:
ONE: It satisfies my baking-ache, without having dozens and dozens of goodies sitting around our house, tempting us to eat them all. (For a few years that’s what I did…made all kinds of cookies & candies and we just ate, ate, ate our way through the holidays.
TWO: It’s a thoughtful way to give a gift to family, friends, teachers, etc. without spending a lot of money or giving just one more Starbucks (or Chapters, or Tim Horton’s) gift card. At least I think it is…or is it maybe a cheap, cheesy gift and I’m deluding myself? Let me know what you think, below in comments.
THREE: I love to try new things, so every year I add something new to my arsenal. Four years ago it was peppermint bark, then I reverse-engineered Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars (yum), then last year I learned how to make poppycock, and my plan for this year is to make chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Over the weekend, I was googling holiday recipes so that I can get started on (I need to do one or two small things each week to freeze so that I can get it all done without having to dedicate an entire weekend to baking/candy), and I found the list of Baileys recipes former Kitchen Party blogger Elizabeth tested last year. There was Baileys Fudge
and Baileys Truffles, and a bunch of luscious Baileys bevvies (Baileys Shiver, Baileys Lattè, Baileys Mint Chocolatini). Feeling super-motivated, I printed out a Baileys Crème Brulée
recipe (sent direct from Baileys!). I was keen to make it, especially since it includes whole coffee beans, and my hubby and I are huge coffee-philes (we import our own green beans and roast them ourselves, even!). But ya know, a crème brulée is a custard-based recipe, and I have this baaaad history with custard-based recipes. Basically, I suck at anything involving cooking egg yolks (unless you want scrambled eggs). I have tried making custards, cooked puddings, nanaimo bars and more, and I always end up with a curdled mess. So for now, the Baileys Crème Brulée is going to be shelved in favour of this Baileys Ice Cream recipe I found at www.baileys.com.
Baileys Ice Cream
6 egg yolks
4 oz (125g) caster sugar
18 fl oz (500ml) milk
1/2 pod vanilla, split
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) extract of vanilla
2 fl oz (55ml) double cream
2 fl oz (55ml) Baileys
Use a whisk to beat the eggs with 1oz (30g) of the sugar in a
bowl until the mixture lifts from the surface in ribbons. Put the milk,
the remaining sugar and the vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the
boil. Pour over the egg mixture, beating well. Return to the saucepan
and heat gently to thicken the mixture until it coats the back of a
spoon – don’t heat too fiercely or it will turn to scrambled egg.
Strain through a sieve and leave to cool. Beat the double cream and
Baileys into the mixture and put in a 1 litre freezer container and
freeze. Remove from the freezer every 15 minutes to beat out any large
ice crystals that have formed, until the mixture is mousse-like. Freeze
until set, about 2 hours.
Ice cream will be a first for me, but as this seemed like a relatively simple recipe that didn’t require an ice cream maker, I figured I’d give it a go.
***SEVERAL HOURS LATER, AFTER HAVING MADE/TRIED TO MAKE THE ICE CREAM***
Did I mention that I have a thing about custard? That I can’t cook recipes involving milk, sugar and – most critically – egg yolks?
Did I mention that this recipe calls for just that?
Well, I did screw up and scramble the yolks, but was able to fix the problem when the recipe called for straining the cooked mixture through a sieve. I think this was to get rid of the vanilla pod (which I didn’t include. I thought I had one, but it turned out that I had two packs of cinnamon sticks – I thought the longer ones were a pack of vanilla pods. Ooops.) In any event, I took advantage of the sieve to get rid of the worst of the albumin and tossed it in the freezer anyway, to see what I might get.
I did have a wee nip of Baileys to console myself (okay, it was a slug straight from the bottle) during the freezing of what I thought was going to be my disgusting curdled egg ice cream.
But: my Baileys ice cream turned out divine. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING as satisfying as making your own, homemade Baileys ice cream, folks.
Check it out!
It’s actually closer to a gelato than a traditional ice cream, both in consistency and flavour. But hey…so much the better, in my books, anyway. This was truly a really, really good recipe, and what a thrill I’ll get this evening when I serve it to my parents for dessert and say, "I made that, Mom & Dad" (geez, some people never grow up!)
Next up…Crème Brulée???
Kath is guest-blogging on Girls’ Night, avidly testing any recipes involving Baileys. NEW: now featuring custard-based recipes! Check out her regular blog on urbanmoms.ca at Losing It and out in the blogosphere at This Is Kat, where you will find her Fair Trade Holiday Wish List: a follow-up to her last Girls’ Night post.