160 gr Dark Muscovado sugar, Mauritius origin, softened ( about 4.6 ounces ) click to see how to soften
If your Muscovado sugar has hardened during storage, it is advisable to soften it first.
Start by measuring the quantity you need to use and put it in a container with two slices of apple for a few hours (no need to peel). Close tightly with a lid and let it soften; the sugar will absorb the apple’s moisture and become soft again.
If you have a microwave oven, you can quickly soften it there; place in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with a wet paper towel and a plate and heat for 40 seconds on medium power (approx. 450 Watts) checking if it has softened and then heat in 10-sec bursts, if needed, till softened.
Step 1 – Prepare the Dark Muscovado sugar
Start by preparing the Muscovado Sugar: put it in a bowl and start massaging it with your fingertips. Your aim is to find as many lumps as possible and rub them with your fingers to dissolve them. Do your best and enjoy the procedure.
Step 2 – Prepare the Custard Base
Put the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl, and whisk them lightly to break them down. Put them back in the fridge, keeping the whisk in the bowl.
In a medium saucepan, put the heavy cream, sugar and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring often with a silicone spatula, until the sugar dissolves.
Increase the heat to high and remove the egg yolks from the fridge. When the cream comes to a full boil, let it boil for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat, and immediately start pouring it in a steady stream into the egg yolks with one hand, while whisking them vigorously with the other.
While the mixture is warm, use the spatula to thoroughly scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, where residues of egg yolk lie.
Step 3 – Cool the Custard Base
The mixture is hot and you have to stir it often with a spatula, to prevent a film from forming on the surface.
When it is no longer hot, place in an ice bath and let cool completely.
How to prepare an ice bath - click to see
You will need a large bowl, larger than the bowl with the prepared ice cream base. Put in some ice cubes and cold water. Carefully nest the bowl with the ice cream base in it. Pour more cold water from the sides, till it reaches the ice cream base in the inner bowl in height. Take extra care not to spill any water into the ice cream base.
Alternatively, first nest the bowl with the ice cream base into the empty larger bowl. Fill the sides with ice cubes and cold water, taking care not to let any water spill into the bowl with the ice cream base. This is my preferred method, as sitting directly on the bottom of the bowl, rather than sitting on ice cubes, is more stable.
When the custard has cooled, pour it through a mesh strainer into a sealable container.
Cover with the lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight to cool, or read the instructions below for shortcutting the process.
______ In a hurry? Here is how to speed things up: ______
If you want to bypass the overnight refrigeration process and whip the ice cream immediately, you can put the custard in a sealable bag, place it in a large container, fully cover it with ice and let it chill for a few hours ( it may take up to 3 hours to properly cool ).
The downside of this method is that you will need lots of ice. And you will definitely need a thermometer to check if the temperature has reached the desired 4º C ( about 39º F ).
Also note that the flavour of the ice cream is better if the custard is left to chill in the refrigerator overnight. However, to most peoples’ palate this flavour improvement goes unnoticed. So go on and choose the cooling method you prefer.
Step 4 – Whip the Custard Base
Remove the custard from the fridge. It has to be thoroughly cold, or else it will not whip.
Pour it into the bowl of a stand or hand-held mixer. Start beating at low speed and gradually increase the speed to high. Whip until soft peaks form and it is two times its volume. It should hold its shape when lifted with a spoon.
With the mixer running add the alcohol, a little at a time. The custard will become looser, but should not lose volume. Keep beating for a full minute.
Step 5 – Freeze the Dark Muscovado Ice Cream
If you want to scoop it, transfer it to a freezable container. Cover with cling film and let it set. Setting will most likely take 6-8 hours.
If you want to use to fill a mould or an ice cream torte, use directly after whipping. Depending on the mould, check for firmness before attempting to unmould. Also, note that you may have to wait as long as 24 hours when you unmould it, especially if you have a silicone mould.
How to store the No-Churn Ice Cream
This ice cream will stay soft enough to be eaten directly out of the freezer.
For long-term storage, cover with cling film touching the surface of the ice cream and then with aluminium foil for extra protection.
It is at its best for one week in the freezer. After this, its texture starts to deteriorate. Discard after one month.
Dark Muscovado sugar: Dark Muscovado sugar is a special raw dark brown sugar. The one I use is from the island of Mauritius.
It is the traditional methods they use there, which make this sugar so special, so I can only guarantee the taste for the sugar labeled as “Dark Muscovado sugar” of Mauritius origin. This is the one which will give your ice cream a stellar taste. I have no experience of Dark Muscovado sugar of a different origin, so I am unable to recommend any.
If you wish to use dark muscovado sugar of another origin, the best way to test it is to try a spoonful; if it tastes extraordinary, then chances are that your ice cream will taste extraordinary too.
In any case, do not use any sugar labeled simply as “Dark Brown Sugar”, as it is NOT a suitable substitute for this recipe.