Rich Vanilla Ice-Cream with Chocolate Puffs

My Belgian great aunt whose measurement round her waist when she married equalled the measurement round her neck when she died at the age of ninety-two prided herself on her vanilla ice-cream. I think you will enjoy it too.


For the Ice-Cream

  • 350ml/12fl oz full cream milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways
  • 85g/3oz caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 175ml/6fl oz whipping cream (35% fat)

For the Chocolate Puffs

  • 115g/4oz chocolate
  • 8 egg whites
  • 450g/1 lb caster sugar


In a medium saucepan mix the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla pod to just below boiling point and set aside for at least 15 minutes to infuse. In a heat-proof bowl mix the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar, beating, preferably with an electric beater, until they reach the ribbon stage. Still beating pour on the scalded milk.

Now either place the bowl over boiling water or transfer the whole lot to a double boiler. Stirring frequently allow this to form a custard that coats the back of a spoon and holds a clear line. Remove from the heat and plunge immediately into cold water to arrest the cooking process. Transfer to a jug, cover and refrigerate till quite cool. Add the cream and mix well. Remove the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the mixture, discarding the pod.

At this stage if you have an ice-cream maker churn the mixture for 15 minutes, if not transfer to the freezer stirring every 10 minutes until it is set. Serve with Scottish raspberries or other fresh fruit.

This chocolate biscuit recipe is, I think, the first and comes from my Patrick Lamb, which I bought myself at Sotheby’s to celebrate my tenth sober birthday.

Melt the chocolate over hot water until soft and mix with the sugar. Mix the egg whites with a fork (do not whip them) and add to the chocolate and sugar to form a paste. Roll into pieces the size of walnuts. Place in tiny cake papers on a baking sheet covered with oiled greaseproof paper and cook in a slow oven at 140°C/275°F/ Gas 1 until crisp.