Thursday 30 April 2009

Caramelised Brown Bread Ice Cream

I do not own an ice cream maker. Never have and don't plan to, because believe it or not you don't need one to make amazing rich gourmet-quality ice cream!

I am not exaggerating when I say this easy-no-churning-needed recipe is so creamy and smooth that people have asked if it's a new flavour by Haagen Dazs. They usually spend the next five minutes gaping in awe when I say not only is it not, but it isn't store-bought at all! They then assume I have some fancy machine or complex ingredients list, and by the time I've explained that I put it together in less than 20 minutes with nothing more than an electric whisk and some eggs, cream and icing sugar, I am some kind of otherworldly culinary goddess with magical powers in their eyes. I usually bask in this reverence for a while just for fun, but the truth is it is just so, so easy that no extraordinary skill is required.

An old-fashioned English flavour popular since 18th-century Victorian times, brown bread ice cream is rustic, nutty-tasting and satisfyingly delicious with a chewy caramel bite. Use interesting types of bread i.e. with seeds, nuts, oats and grains to give it a different flavour each time.

This ice cream base works for other flavours too- I've made a dark chocolate version by omitting the crumbs, adding cocoa powder with the icing sugar and folding some melted chocolate into the cream. Happy experimenting!

Crunchy Crumb Mixture:

2 slices brown bread or 2 brown rolls- whizz in food processor to make crumbs.
85g sugar (I use brown but white sugar works too)- combine with crumbs. Spread thinly on tin foil. Grill 15 mins at moderate heat, stirring constantly with a fork, until caramelised and crunchy.

Ice Cream:
2 egg whites- whisk until stiff in a large bowl (ensure your equipment is completely clean, dry and grease-free or the whites won't stiffen!)
2 egg yolks- combine with 1 tsp vanilla extract (NOT artificial flavouring, which has a far inferior taste). Fold into egg whites.

Whisk together until flopp
y (be careful not to overbeat until too stiff):
85g icing sugar, sifted
300ml double cream

Fold together double cream mix, egg white mix and crunchy crumb mix. Pour into container and freeze for at least 4 hours. Move to refrigerator for 20 mins before serving to soften slightly.


  1. '...believe it or not you don't need one...'- You're such a confident chick! You should set up a stall selling your wares soon.

  2. haha I'm confident in this because I was surprised myself it turned out well without a machine! :) No stall for me thank you, cake orders from home will do fine x

  3. The ice cream I made turned out really thick. I'm thinking of trying it with single cream instead - will it work? Also, I used vanilla flavouring - is that whats required in your recipe above? Thanks

  4. Hi Lucy,

    Hmm as far as I know it needs to be double cream because of the higher fat content, which is what makes it creamy and rich. Not sure what you mean by it turned out really thick, do you mean it was stiff rather than creamy?

    First thing I can think of is hopefully you used pouring double cream and not the Extra Thick variety which some supermarkets sell as well.

    Also possibly the cream was overbeaten- try whipping it only until floppy and soft, before it turns to stiff peaks like the stuff sprayed out of a can.

    And lastly the ice cream turns quite hard after freezing, but should be the perfect consistency if you leave it to soften for about 20 mins before serving.

    I use vanilla extract, more expensive (I try to stock up when it's on sale) but the taste is far superior, and it tends to come with little black vanilla seeds inside which look really nice. It's not the same as flavouring, which is artificial and in my opinion has a quite obvious chemical-ly taste, but if you don't mind then it's definitely the cheaper option.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Thanks!
    I'm pretty sure I've not used the extra thick cream (I used Elmlea double cream) but it's possible that I've over-whipped it.

    What brand of vanilla extract do you use? coz the one I use tasted artifical - like chemicals indeed!!

  6. Hi Lucy,

    I've used Elmlea before, it still works although I found it less smooth and creamy (it is a lower-fat substitute after all) so I'd say try fresh pure double cream if you can:)

    As for vanilla, I usually use Supercook, but make sure it says extract or essence and not flavouring because they do both! Some supermarkets sell either their own brand too, e.g. Asda Extra Special 80p.

    Good luck! :)

  7. What is Brown Bread? Is that what we call Wheat Bread in the US?

  8. Hi photogirl,

    Brown bread is wholewheat/wholemeal/wholegrain bread, not sure what you call it in the US but it's the direct opposite of white bread if that makes sense? :) I think what you call "Wheat Bread" is an in-between made of a mix of white and brown flour, instead of 100% wholegrain flour.

    For this recipe it doesn't really matter if you don't use 100% wholemeal bread, but the more grains/nuts/seeds there are the more interesting your ice cream will taste :)

  9. Thanks Samantha! (Lovely name - it's my daughter's name, too!)
    Yes, in the US, there are variations of what they call "wheat" bread - but we definitely have the 100% whole grain wheat type as well. This recipe sounds so interesting with the caramelized bread, I'll have to go buy bread and try it! It's healthy since it's 100% whole grain bread, right!? haha! ;)

  10. Umm...I love you..oops...that slipped. Want to come to Jamaica as a chef?!

  11. Haha thanks Jessiker! I don't need to come, the recipes are here anyway so you can easily do them in Jamaica!:)

  12. I tried this today and it turned out totally amazing. Thanks for the recipe. I want to try out other variations... throw a bit of cocoa on the crumbs for chocolate flavour.. throw in a shot of espresso to get coffee flavour... the possibilities are endless

  13. I modified your recipe slightly to make it coffee flavored. I used instant cappuccino powder mixed with a small amount of water to make a very thick cappuccino (I didn't want to affect the consistency of the mixture with too much liquid). I also ground some coffee beans coarsely and added to the bread crumbs mixture so some of the caramelized bread crumbs have a crunchy coffee taste to them. The rest was all the same. It turned out great!

  14. Sounds delicious ataha, thanks for sharing!

  15. Just discovered your ice cream recipes and I wish I had seen them before I got an ice cream maker! They look amazing! Do you think I could stick it into the machine anyways? And is it OK that the eggs aren't cooked?

  16. Hi snowpeech,

    Yea most ice creams (and mousses) have raw eggs, it's fine :) You can definitely still stick it in the machine although I think that will just give you extra washing up because it doesn't need churning. Your machine will be useful for sorbets and gelato and other more complex recipes though!


  17. Hi Sam,

    Just stumbled across your blog while I was looking for caramalised brown bread icecream and I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    I wonder if you might be able to help me. I have been trying to find a recipe for Macau cookies the same as the ones you buy in a tin (I live in New Zealand and we have them here imported from China). Do you know the ones I mean? They are made with almond meal (I think?) and they are like a pressed cookie that when you bite into it they are very powdery and sweet.

    I've only ever found one recipe online for these and tried it, and they were nothing like the bought ones. The recipe I found only had icing sugar and ground nuts and something else I can't remenmber, but I couldn't even eat them as they were horrible!

    Would you happen to have a recipe for these?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      You're very welcome!

      I think I know the cookies you mean (usually with a pattern embossed right)... I don't have the exact recipe but it sounds very very similar to fah sang peng if you just substitute ground peanuts for ground almonds. My recipe is here:

      Hope that helps!

  18. I can eat all the recipes and flavors of ice cream. That is how I am addicted to that.
    Ice Cream Recipes