Caramel, nutmeg and brandied raisin ice-cream (an alternative to brandy butter)

We are all poorly. Coughing and spluttering and retching. The lurgy has struck. So this will be short. 

So Christmas day is nearly here (well according to The Early Learning Centre there are 11 more sleeps.) I'm serving cherry and pecan pudding rather than Christmas pudding but for the traditionalists feel the need to offer something brandied to accompany it. Not being a fan of brandy butter (is that just me?) I thought a nice brandied ice-cream might go down a treat. The nutmeg in this recipe is very subtle - this isn't a highly spiced or boozy ice cream, more a hint of the festive season in a frozen cream format. Is also very good for lurgy induced sore throats. And you don't even need an ice cream maker!


- a handful of raisins
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 3 egg yolks, lightly whisked
- 100g sugar (any will do)
- 350mls double cream
- a scant grating of nutmeg

Right, first thing's first, take the raisins and put into a saucepan with the brandy. Heat over a medium flame for about 5 mins, stirring until all the brandy is absorbed or thereabouts. You can then set this saucepan aside - you can even do this the day before and leave overnight. 

Next, put the sugar in another saucepan with 1 tbsp cold water and heat until you have a caramel coloured syrup - be careful not to let it burn but you do need to be relatively fearless. Once it looks suitably autumnal in colour - a kind of deep red, add 3 tbsp boiling water and then cover the pan and leave on a medium heat for about 15 mins. 

Take off the heat and pour, a dribble at a time, into the egg yolks. Whisk as you go. Then, keep on whisking until it's all light and frothy and pop into the freezer for 30 mins. Leave the whisk in the bowl and give it a good stir every 10 or so minutes. It may have separated in the cold so this helps with that little issue. 

In the meantime whisk the double cream until it forms peaks. Top tip for not getting cream all over your kitchen is to use an electric hand held mixer and do it in a tall mixing jug. After the half hour of freezing the caramel and egg yolks is up, fold in the whipped cream, add the raisins and also grate in a little nutmeg. Mix with a metal spoon carefully and pop into a lidded container and re-freeze.

Every hour or so for about 5 hours take a fork to the mixture and stir, breaking up the ice particles. You can do this more often if you remember. Sounds like a faff but when you taste it all that forking will be forgotten. Mr B even said 'remind me why we have ever bought ice-cream?' upon tasting this little creation. If only I'd known ice cream was this easy to make earlier. 
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