It was late. We had just finished dinner with colleagues in Tokyo. But with our jetlag we were far from ready to go to sleep. So we decided to head to the bar for a nightcap. In extremely atypical (for me) fashion, I noticed the menu featured Yamazaki 25 whisky. I am not usually a whisky drinker, but I knew that this particular whisky had at one stage won the “world’s best” title. So I decided to order that as my nightcap.
And I fell in love.
My birthday was not soon after that trip, and when asked what I wanted I replied without hesistation: “A bottle of Yamazaki whisky please.”
My husband was shocked. Whisky and me just have not really been a natural pairing. I love the smell of peaty whisky, like Lagavulin. But I had not really found “the right” whisky for me – one that is peaty yet smooth. One to be sipped neat, and enjoyed slowly to end an evening of laughter and conversation.
For my birthday I was given a bottle. And then at Christmas, when we were trying to decide on our menu, I thought: “Why not give whisky ice cream a try – it would go perfectly with the Christmas pudding and mince pies on offer… Or just on its own… I mean, who wouldn’t like a nice whisky ice cream?!”
I googled and searched but could not quite find a recipe that caught my fancy. So I decided to modify this Brown Bread Ice Cream recipe I found on David Lebovitz’s site.
I have to say, it wound up being perhaps the best ice cream I have ever eaten.
Or maybe that was the Yamazaki…
Whisky Ice Cream
250 ml full fat milk (I use Gold Top milk in the UK)
375 ml double cream
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt (I used Himalayan pink salt as it was to hand in my kitchen)
225g philly cream cheese, cubed
5 egg yolks (large eggs)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons high quality whisky you love – I used Yamazaki
- Heat the milk, half of the cream, salt and sugars in a pan.
- Take the other half of the cream and whisk together with the cubed cream cheese into a smooth mixture.
- Whisk the egg yolks. Add some of the warmed liquid to the mixture to cream a foundation for the egg custard, mixing well will the yolks. Pour the yolk mix back into the liquids that are heating up.
- Make an egg custard. This takes time. Keep the heat really low and still constantly. Essentially you are using the egg yolk mixture you just added back to the pan as a thickener, waiting for it to heat up and change the consistency of the liquid into a thick liquid. You do not want the eggs to stick to the bottom of the pan, or to heat too rapidly which will cause them to scramble. Just slow steady heat and regular stirring. You will know you are ready when the custard mix slides off the back of the spoon like a gel, thick and not drippy.
- Add the custard mix to the cream cheese mix and whisk well together until smooth.
- Add the vanilla and whisky. Stir through thoroughly.
- At this stage most recipes say to cool the mix well before churning. However, I am usually impatient and have an automatic Magimix ice cream machine so often just add when warm to the machine and start churning straight away.
- Once finish, restrain yourself. This was the best ice cream I have ever had!