Ice cream is surely one of life's great pleasures, when I was a child the height of frozen luxury was a cornetto - though sadly it was more likely to be a choc ice covered with something not very like chocolate and filled with a virulent yellow something (still seemed good). The great lost ice cream of childhood was something shaped like Dracula, it was bright red, probably horrible, and what we got from the village shop - which sold vanilla (again lurid yellow) chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Once they did pineapple which was unconvincing. All this was a long time before Ben and Jerry's hit the country or before ice cream makers were a common kitchen gadget.
I'm very fond of my Ice cream maker - it's not, as I may have mentioned before, a very sophisticated model but it churns and freezes enough to make a very passable product once it's had a few extra hours in the actual freezer and there's the added bonus that you know exactly what's gone into it. Recipes are fairly ubiquitous now too - most general cookbooks will have a few (Sarah Raven's have proved to be particularly good) and there are quite a few dedicated volumes out there but very few of them have looked like they'd make the ice cream I love (to many egg yolks, I don't want frozen custard and that's the flavour I've found comes through). 'Dri Dri Gelato' is the best book I've found so far although I find I'm making alterations to the recipes - this may be down to my ice cream maker as much as to personal taste, and is a little bit effected by what I have in the kitchen.
The great thing about this book is that the quantities are small - they pessimistically suggest they'll feed 4, those must be for 4 people can put away an almost epic amount of ice cream, but still it's a quantity that fits neatly into my mixer. So far I've tried the vanilla and chocolate, both have been excellent. There are sorbet's that look good (just wait until strawberries and raspberries are cheap and plentiful) and although at the moment I'm not quite sure what the point of Granita is I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and try it sometime soon.
This is the chocolate ice cream I made, I like it, my mother liked it, and the blond liked it - it has only a passing relationship with the original recipe and is most decidedly ice cream rather than gelato...
Chocolate Ice Cream
12 floz (375mls) whole milk
8 floz (250mls) double cream
25g dark chocolate
140g caster sugar
2 egg whites
80g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gently heat the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water until it melts, add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and egg whites and beat until it forms soft peaks (or at least isn't a solid lump) slowly add the milk and cream until you have a nice smooth liquid. Churn until you either get ice cream because you've got a lovely posh effective mixer, or for about 40 minutes when you'll have a reasonably thick mix which will want a few extra hours in the freezer. Best eaten within a week of making.