We all scream for Ice Cream !

Ice cream is an ancient dish. It goes back hundreds of years and some stories originate from England, some from Rome and even from China. The fact is that ice cream is probably the most loved dessert the world over, loved by young and old alike.

Waffles with Honey and Ice Cream
Waffles with Honey and Ice Cream

Ice cream is believed to be a French chef’s creation for Charles I of England at a state banquet: the new dish was cold and resembled fresh fallen snow but was much creamier and sweeter than any other after-dinner dessert. The guests were delighted, as was the king, who summoned the chef and asked him not to divulge the recipe for his frozen cream. The king wanted the delicacy to be served only at the royal table and offered the cook 500 pounds a year to keep it that way. Sometime later, however, poor Charles fell into disfavour with his people and was beheaded in 1649. But by that time, the secret of the frozen cream remained a secret no more. The cook, named De Mirco, had not kept his promise. This story is just one of many of the fascinating tales which surround the evolution of ice cream. The first improvement in the manufacture of ice cream (from the handmade way in a large bowl) was the invention of the hand-cranked freezer in the 19th century. About 1926 the first commercial successful ‘continuous process’ freezer was perfected. And this has allowed the mass production of ice cream!

Modern commercial ice cream is made from a mixture of ingredients like milk fat, caseins, whey proteins, lactose, sucrose, corn syrup, stabilizers and emulsifiers and surprisingly fifty five to sixty percent of the content is water. Ice cream factories usually make their own ice cream mix by combining milk, cream and sugar in a large vats, with the proportions and mixing controlled by computers.

Ice cream has milk as the major ingredient and similar products like frozen custard, ice milk, sorbets, Gelato, an Italian frozen dessert, and the popsicles (frozen fruit puree, or fruit juice or flavoured sugar water on a stick) and our very own kulfi also comes under the category of ice cream. Some classic ice cream desserts are famous around the world, I would like to mention the Arctic Roll which is a British dessert made of ice cream wrapped in sponge cake to form a roll, often with jam between the sponge and the ice cream. Another is Baked Alaska, a dessert made of ice cream straight from the freezer placed in a pie dish lined with slices of sponge cake and topped with meringue. The entire dessert if then placed in an extremely hot oven just long enough to firm the meringue. The meringue is an effective insulator, and in the short cooking time needed, it prevents the heat getting through to the ice cream.

Ice-creams now come in a mind-boggling variety of flavours. Many people also like ice cream sundaes, with ice cream, hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream, cherries and other toppings of their choice. The ice cream in India I believe is still largely unexplored, however every now and then I do come across some brilliant flavours and concepts when it comes to this icy delight. One such thing is the chilli ice cream. The unexpected pleasantly surprising spice of green chillies, in the otherwise sweet, creamy icecream is what makes this a stand out. Im going to share this recipe with you so you’ll can try it first hand and experience the fabulousness of it!

Mango Icecream
Mango Icecream

Another favourite pic of the season is a fresh mango ice cream! Watch me whip up the same here.

Don’t forget to visit www.sanjeevkapoor.com for more recipes and do share your ice cream story with us in the comments below and let’s continue to inspire each other to create more magic in the kitchen!

Happy Cooking !

Make your own convenience store

A few days ago I had discouraged you from frozen foods and many of you have asked me you do not want to as the attractions are too many in the malls plus the convenience of cooking. We do expect a lot from frozen foods, don’t we? This is got me thinking and now as we turn more health conscious we can expect to see frozen foods that are low in calories, low in fat content and have less sodium. But one word of caution. You cannot always judge the frozen food by its cover. Not even by the delicious picture that goes on the cover or the catchy name on it.

Well, one simple rule while shopping. Read the label. Check the total calories. See the portion size. They may be smaller than what you expect them to be. This is a smart way used by the packagers to keep fat levels down. Look for the percentage of calories from fat, not on the number of calories. Often fewer calories mean less food, not necessarily less fat. This is what we mentioned earlier about smaller portion sizes. They might put in some type of sauce to make a mini meal look complete but you will have to rustle up a salad and finish off with a piece of fruit to satisfy the appetite. Some prepackaged preparations come with handy sachets of readymade sauces. Skip this product and skimp on the calories and sodium. We have to be more realistic about this.

Look out when shopping for frozen eats! Here’s the what and why:
Read the ingredients: Some cases meat might not be all meat. It might be mixed with soy or wheat products. This makes it lower in fat. The taste might not be different but the portions certainly become heartier. If the label says it is a cheese dish and the list of ingredients reads cheese way down on it then you know this is cheating hence forget picking it up. It is safer to buy a product with generous amount of low fat cheese than buy something that cheats.

Always supplement your frozen meal with lots of either frozen or steamed vegetables which are quick and convenient. Remember the recommendation is to have five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. As for desserts, you could indulge in fruit yogurt etc but remember they are still sweetened with sugar and can be high in calories.

Why not make your own freezer work wonders for you in the convenience department?

Happy cooking
Sanjeev Kapoor.