I have been making it for years but I still feel as though I am searching for the elusive "perfect" recipe. There is so much variation in terms of egg/milk/cream/sugar ratio - at the moment I'm favouring Hugh F-W's recipe which is less eggy. I made the Gordon Ramsay vanilla one once, and it just tasted of egg as there were so many egg yolks in it.
Put milk and vanilla pod into a saucepan, heat gently until melted then bring ALMOST to the boil. Take off the heat and leave for 20 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until thick and creamy. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then strain back into the pan and remove the vanilla pod. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow to boil. Pour into a chilled bowl and allow to cool. Whisk the cream into the cold custard until evenly blended. Pour into an ice-cream maker and churn until frozen. Alternatively freeze in a shallow container, whisking 2 or 3 times during freezing to break down the ice. Allow the ice cream to soften slightly at room temperature before serving.
Make up a basic Creme Anglais: beat 3 egg yolks with 2-3oz caster sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Boil up half a pint of whole milk and add quickly into the egg mix (take care) whilst whisking briskly. Heat in a bain marie stirring constantly until the mix coats the back of a wooden spoon - you should be able to draw a line across the back using your finger. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Cool and store for later but... not if you're making the chocolate in which case....
Take a 4oz bar of 85% cocoa chocolate and grate some of it for later. Add the rest to the still warm creme anglais and stir until it melts. Now cool until cold.
Whisk up half a pint of double cream until soft peaks then fold in the creme anglais/chocolate mix along with the grated chocolate. Churn in the icecream machine for about 15mins and freeze.
Remove from the freezer 15mins before serving and eat within one week for best flavour.
ps. you can cheat on the creme anglais by simply cooking the mix in a pan but you will need to be vigilant and plunge the pan into cold water as soon as the mix is ready.
pps. add a double measure of Baileys before churning for a good treat.
BTPG - thats almost exactly what we use, except you can microwave to heat the milk then cook custard - just check / stir every 30 secs to avoid the scrambled egg look. Also if you soak raisins in the baileys type that is good too. Note don't add TOO much booze as this acts as an anti freeze - the ice cream never sets as hard and defrosts a bit quicker too - but its yummy. Have several alcholic type flavours, strawberry, banana, pear and such like from trips to France where they are keen on those.
I am very new to the whole home made ice cream making world and I don't know if this is considered cheating, but I bought the Ben & Jerry's home made ice cream recipe book when I bought my ice cream machine recently and Ben's chocolate ice cream has to be one of the yummiest chocolate ice creams I have ever tried. It is incredibly easy to make aswell.
DH has just made a clotted cream and white chocolate ice cream based on a basic recipe from the book which he then elaborated on, if it tastes anywhere near as good as it smells, I may just marry him again!