Having just sent off two rolls of film which I’ve been using since Autumn-ish last year, I’ve had film vs. digital on my mind. A digital camera is great for most things because you can take so many photos so easily (the only caveat being that you’ll probably need a few 1 TB external harddrives 😉 ). That said, I still can’t help but feel excited by the possibilities that a new reel of film, loaded into my mum’s old Olympus, brings. There’s something a bit more magical about the potential that each of those 36 exposures contains.
During my past few months of travelling, I’ve found that I much prefer to leave my heavy DSLR at home and bring its lighter, ‘vintage’ sibling along. Each click holds a memory in the little plastic time capsule, only to be remembered and revealed once the roll is done and the film sent off to be developed. As someone who is very visually attuned, I love having a physical, atmospheric print to help me to think back to a time or place. It’s much better than having to rely on my, frankly rather rickety, memory.
Food, however, is one thing I remember very easily. Somehow (!) ice cream is especially present in my mind. Those 99p soft-serve flake ice creams from the ice cream van, my lactose-intolerant phase which saw me sacrifice feeling well for a spoonful of chocolate Haagen-Daz, the first bite of a Cornetto on the beach in Spain. It’s special, it’s delicious and I want to eat it ALL the time.
Last month I found myself addicted to a malted-milk ice cream that my mum had made on a whim. So when #popsicleweek rolled around I immediately knew what I wanted to make! I laced a cornstarch thickened, malty ice cream with flakes of chocolate, stracciatella style. I used vegetable oil in the chocolate flakes so that their melting temperature is lower. This means that the chocolate isn’t waxy and tasteless when frozen, each flake will simply melt in your mouth. I then dipped the ice cream in a chocolate-coconut oil shell – the coconut oil thins the chocolate out so that dipping is easier – and sprinkled with whatever fanciness I could find. I went for bee pollen cos it’s fabulously pretty (no, I don’t believe in any of the health claims about it. It IS tasty though!!) and crunchy cacao nibs. Chopped nuts, dehydrated fruit powder or a sprinkle of Maldon salt would be fab too!
– I used the Horlicks Instant Light brand of malted milk powder as I didn’t want the ice cream to be too rich.
– I used 2 of these silicone moulds*
- 1 tbsp cornflour, (cornstarch)
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche or cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) double (heavy) cream
- 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) instant malted milk powder (see notes)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the 'stracciatella' mixture (chocolate chips):
- 1 oz (30 g) bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- decorations: cacao nibs, , bee pollen
- In a small bowl, mix the cornflour and creme fraiche. Slowly mix in a few tablespoons of the milk until the mixture is fluid then set aside.
- Place the remaining milk in a medium pot along with the cream, malted milk powder and sugar. Whisk this mixture over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the cornflour mixture into the pot and continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Stir in the vanilla and chill the mixture until completely cooled (I like to transfer the mixture into a large jug to save space in the fridge).
- Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the machine's instructions. Once churned, transfer the gelato to a freezer safe container.
- Make the 'stracciatella' mixture by melting together the 1 oz of chocolate and 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Drizzle some of this mixture over the churned gelato. Freeze the gelato for a minute so the chocolate sets, then stir it to break up the chocolate layer. Repeat the drizzle/freeze/stir until all the mixture has been stirred in.
- Scoop the gelato into popsicle moulds and insert a popsicle stick (see notes for the mould I used). Freeze overnight until solid.
- Make the dipping mixture by combining the 3 oz of chocolate and 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a small pot. Heat and stir over a low heat until just melted. Run the mould under hot water to loosen, then remove the pops and dip, one by one, into the dipping mixture. Set onto a plate or baking tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle with decorations and freeze again until the chocolate has set.