I always want ice cream more when the weather’s cold. It’s a very unimaginative association thing, I think. Anyway, it’s been very cold here in the middle of England recently, and the nagging need for ice cream has been stronger than ever.
Mainly, I just buy ice cream and I’m OK with that. Because to be honest, I find making ice cream a bit of a chore. I don’t like ice cream makers much (and I ceased to own one several years ago), and I certainly can’t be bothered to make ice cream that needs to be ‘churned’ by hand (i.e. you make the mixture, freeze it, and then stir it regularly over several hours so that it freezes smooth and not ice-crystally).
But, I’ve always wanted to try a make-by-hand, ‘no-churn’ recipe. Mainly because it utilises one of my favourite baking ingredients, sweetened condensed milk. This stuff is a real multi-tasker and a kitchen hero, I reckon. And it’s the secret to easy, no-churn ice cream.
To make this ice cream, you simply mix condensed milk with whipped cream, and stir through flavouring and add-ins as you please. Then you freeze it. And that’s it. Smooth, creamy ice cream that you didn’t need to attend to on an hourly basis. Hooray!
I decided to channel cake mix flavouring to this batch, and added vanilla (two types), a tiny amount of almond extract, and sprinkles for that nostalgic ‘can-I-lick-the-spoon’ cake batter flavour. It really does taste (and look) extremely like vanilla cake mix. Especially pre-frozen! Lick the spatula once you’ve put it in the tin to freeze, and tell me if I’m wrong. It’s delicious and you might be tempted not to freeze it – but do. Because then you’ll have cake batter ice cream, and that’s just even better. Creamy, rich and studded with little sugar hits.
If you wanted to go all out on the cake batter theme, you could add in some imitation butter flavouring. I didn’t because I’m scared of what ‘imitation butter’ actually is. But prejudices aside, I imagine it could work brilliantly here!
Best eaten with a cherry on top.
*Note* Make sure your sprinkles are the kind that can stand up to being stirred through a ‘wet’ batter. Many sprinkles available in the supermarket are simply sugar strands which dissolve when they hit moisture. Instead, you want a ‘waxy’ sprinkle, like ‘jimmies’, which won’t dissolve.
Recipe: Cake Batter Ice Cream with Many Sprinkles
- 1 can (397g) of condensed milk
- 500ml double (heavy) cream
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use another teaspoon of vanilla extract)
- A couple of drops (no more!) of almond extract (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 120g (this is quite a lot – you can just add less) ‘waxy’ sprinkles, like jimmies
1. Whip the cream until just until soft peaks form.
2. Empty the condensed milk into a large bowl, and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
3. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until incorporated and smooth.
4. Gently stir in the sprinkles and salt until they are well combined.
5. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin, and smooth the top with a spatula.
6. Wrap the loaf tin several times in cling film, making sure you press the cling film down against the ice cream mixture do there is no gap between the cling film and ice cream.
7. Freeze for several hours, until solid (I left mine overnight).
8. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before attempting to scoop and serve.