Thursday, 20 June 2013

Something About Brown

I love brown.  To me it is the colour of Autumn, chocolate, warmth and kindness.  Brown has a softness that black does not possess, it has depth and comfort.  It is in the eyes of a horse when it looks deep into your soul, it is in the changing leaves on the trees in September, it is in sun scorched fields of hay and wheat and it is most definitely in a glass bowl of melted chocolate.  Yesterday, I had a very Brown Day...!

In my last post I mentioned I would be making Brown Bread Ice-cream.  The recipe was given to me some years ago by my friend Hilary Brown, (coincidence!) but I haven't made it for ages now.  The children all remembered it suddenly one tea time and begged me to make it again.  Being a Good Mother, or probably one who just wishes to curry favour with my children so they will be more biddable, I gathered the ingredients and set to.

It doesn't actually sound that appealing in reality.  I can't stand brown bread for a start as it makes me gag and toasted brown bread is like eating cardboard.  Why would anyone spoil a jolly good ham and mustard sarny by using brown bread?  Gross.  BUT, in this ice-cream you don't taste the bread, it is made into breadcrumbs to start with and then mixed with demerara sugar and ground hazelnuts and then toasted under the grill.

This is a bit tricky as it can easily burn and I have ended up with a tray full of ash before now.  Not very brown or tasty.  Next you beat egg whites into submission until they form stiff peaks and mix in a whole load of double cream and your toasted brown bits.  Pour and scrape it into a tub, sprinkle more hazelnuts on the top, put the lid on and stick it in the freezer until it is solid.  That's it.  No messing about with ice-cream makers or stirring it every half hour to break up ice crystals.  It's easy and delicious.

The thing with ice-cream is that you need something to go with it and what better than chocolate Brownies?  Pea made them while I faffed about doing something else.  Brownies are a bit tricky too as they need to come out of the oven before they really look done.  They should be a tad gooey in the middle but baked on the outside.  It takes practise, but she's almost got it now and they went beautifully with the ice-cream.

The boys both went berserk when they found out the answer to their daily question, 'What's for tea?'

'Hi mum.'
'Hello darling, did you have a good day?'
(A bit of unintelligible grunting follows)'What's for tea?'
'Veggie stir fry, egg noodles followed by brown bread ice-cream and chocolate brownies.'
'Oh my God! Really?  REALLY? Yeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssss!  Thanks mum.'

Hmm, easily pleased anyway.

A bit more Brown is hidden in the cake tins for later.  Or at least until H2 starts poking about and finds them.

If you have been sold on the idea of brown bread ice-cream, you will probably want to make it for yourself, so here is the recipe.  Make it, taste it and enjoy it.


75grams (3 ounces) wholemeal breadcrumbs
50grams (2 ounces) demerara sugar
50grams (2 ounces) hazelnuts, ground (you can use skinned or un-skinned as you like)
3 egg whites
125grams (4 ounces) caster sugar
About half a pint of double cream, lightly whipped
Hazelnuts, slightly chopped to decorate


Combine the breadcrumbs, demerara sugar and hazelnuts on a heatproof tray.  Place under a hot grill until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Leave to cool.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then gradually whisk in the caster sugar.  Fold the cream into the meringue with the breadcrumb mixture.  Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on the top

Turn into a 1.2litre (2 pint) freezer proof mould, (I use a Celebrations tub).  Cover and freeze until solid.

Remove from the freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

I really hope you enjoy making and eating this.  I think it is a good ice-cream to have in the winter too and would go down well with Christmas pudding.  Just a thought...

Have a good day and thank you for

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