Vanilla and Sortilège Milkshake

Milkshake in Bed

While sick people food can be delicious (see chicken skin and whisky), most of the time it’s not. It’s got to be bland, light and often dairy-free to avoid upset stomachs. Consequences be damned. This is the milkshake to have when life is making you queasy.

Milkshake in Bed

Sortilège is a sweet Canadian liqueur made from whisky and maple syrup. I use it a lot in fall and winter cocktails – its sweetness is excellent for replacing the sweet vermouth in Manhattans made with a spicy bourbon such as Bulleit. It’s also wonderful for sipping straight – it’s syrupy-sweetness coats the glass and your throat – a very good thing to have while ice-skating on a pond somewhere in Québec, ideally next to a sugar shack, which is how I like to imagine this spirit came to be.

Milkshake in Bed

Vanilla and Sortilège Milkshake

makes 1 milkshake
250ml good-quality, store bought vanilla ice cream
150ml whole milk (3.5 % M.F.)
250ml whipping cream (35% M.F.)
6 tablespoons Sortilège

I like to make this right in the glass, using an immersion blender but you could use a milkshake machine if you have one or a regular blender. First, using a mixer, whip the cream until just starting to hold its shape, then add the Sortilège and continue to whip until firm. Because there’s quite a lot of liqueur in proportion to the cream, you can expect a fairly loose whipped cream. Next in a tall glass add the ice cream and the milk and blend until fully mixed. Top generously with the whipped cream.

Milkshake in Bed

Ginger Ice Cream

Ginger Ice Cream

The sourness from the lime slime oozes into the spicy ginger and boozy-sweet apple in this ice cream, making for a superb dessert tribute for a bunch of 80s children to enjoy on Halloween as they rewatch Ghostbusters for the hundredth time and cry about how how old they are.

A lot of times home made ice cream freezes too solid and requires some time out of the freezer before it can be scooped. For those uninitiated to home made ice cream, it’s a hard first lesson to take. One of the reasons this happens is because most home ice cream makers aren’t able to churn enough air into the mix before running out of space in the machine. A trick learned from the genius Nigella Lawson is to take the extra step to whip the cream before adding it to the cooled custard in order to incorporate extra air into the ice cream before freezing it. Fat, sugar, and alcohol also help to keep ice cream from freezing solid after it’s frozen in the freezer. This recipe does have a higher portion of fat but it’s worth it and it’s not too sweet, allowing the spiciness of the ginger to come through. The Calvados is optional, though apart from being delicious, the alcohol will help to create a softer texture.

Ginger Ice Cream Recipe

Makes approximately 1 1/2 litres

Ingredients:
100g fresh ginger, unpeeled and thinly sliced
500ml whole milk (3.8% M.F.)
6 large egg yolks
125g granulated sugar
200ml whipping cream (35% M.F.)
1-2 tablespoons Calvados (optional)

In a medium pot boil the ginger in water for 2 minutes then drain, discarding the ginger water. This will kill the enzymes in the ginger that could potentially curdle the custard – a crucial bit of information taken from ice cream master David Lebovitz.

In the same pot as the drained ginger, add the milk and heat to just steaming, before it reaches the boiling point. Remove the pot from the heat and leave to steep, covered for 30 minutes to an hour.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and thick ribbons fall back onto themselves when you hold the whisk above the bowl. Slowly whisk in the warm ginger-infused milk then strain the custard mixture back into the original pan, reserving the ginger. On low heat cook the custard, stirring constantly for approximately 10 minutes until thickened and just starting to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Strain the custard back into the bowl and return the ginger pieces to the mix. Leave to cool slightly before covering and refrigerating to cool completely. If you’re impatient you can place the bowl of custard in a second bowl filled with ice, stirring the custard until it’s completely chilled.

Once the custard is cold, discard the ginger and gently whip the cream to thicken it to the same consistency of the custard. Add the thickened cream and the Calvados (if using) to the custard and freeze in your ice cream maker.