Malted milk ice cream with cocoa nibs

Oh sweet malty ice cream, where have you been all my life?

Oh sweet malty ice cream, where have you been all my life?

A confession. I’ve thrown out a lot of ice cream in my time. I have a bad habit of buying a tub of ice cream to eat a single scoop. Months later I’d find forlorn containers in my freezer, the contents oxidised and fringed with ice crystals. I’m all about the cooking, rather than the eating when it comes to sweet treats. Now I rely on my friends to consume the things I make so they don’t go to waste.

Last June was all about pies and tarts. Amongst other things, I baked chicken and chestnut pie, beef and red wine pie, a zucchini and herb borek and pistachio cardamon tart. With my oven out of action, I’m focusing on ice cream. It’s one of those easy homemade desserts that people find impressive. It somehow reeks of effort yet baking a cake or pastry is so much more work. A bargain too if you use seasonal ingredients.

First up is malted milk, a throwback to childhood milkshakes. Forget cocaine, this powdered stuff is where it’s at. Charlie has nothing on addictive malted milk and the street price is much more affordable. The original recipe by David Lebovitz folds through chopped malted milk balls (malteasers) after churning but with half a jar of the cocoa nibs in my pantry, it seemed wasteful not to use it.

I’ve adapted the recipe since the combined milk and cream product half-and-half isn’t available in Australia. The quantities of milk and cream have been adjusted to replicate the combination in the original recipe but if you prefer a less rich product, use 500mls of cream and 250ml of full cream milk instead. Make sure to stir constantly when cooking the custard on the stove otherwise you might end up with scrambled eggs. It’ll take at least 5 minutes to reach the desired consistency. For a chocolate malt ice cream, adding in about 8 grams of pure cocoa powder to the heated milk mixture should create a delicious twist. You don’t want the chocolate flavour too strong otherwise the delectable maltiness will be suffocated.

Flecked with bitter cocoa nibs

Flecked with bitter cocoa nibs

Just don’t blame me if you can’t stop at a single creamy, malted scoop. Somehow I don’t think I’ll find sad remnants in the freezer at a later date. Nostalgia can be the most powerfully addictive flavour of all.

Malted milk ice cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovtiz

  • 600ml x cream (about 35% fat)
  • 150ml x full cream milk
  • 150g x raw sugar
  • 90g x malt powder
  • 6 x large egg yolks (free range eggs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon x salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon x vanilla extract
  • 80 grams x cocoa nibs
  1. Place the cream, vanilla extract and malt powder in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl.
  2. Measure out the milk, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan and heat just until warm. Don’t let it boil over!
  3. While the milk mixture is heating up, gently whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl.
  4. When the milk is warm and the sugar is dissolved, slowly add the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. I like to use a heatproof spatula so I can ensure I’m reaching the bottom of the saucepan. This stage should take about five to eight minutes.
  5. Once the desired consistency is reached, pour through the strainer into the malt powder mixture and stir to combine. If you want to churn your ice cream right away, quickly cool the saucepan in a sink filled with ice and water but it’s best to let it completely chill for a few hours or overnight.
  6. Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The texture should be like soft serve. Five minutes before churning ends, pour in the cocoa nibs and let the machine distribute it through the ice cream.
  7. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and chill until firm. To prevent oxidisation and because I eat ice cream rather slowly, once it’s frozen, I like to place a layer of baking paper on top to reduce the ice cream’s contact with air but if you eat it within a fortnight or so, this isn’t necessary.

    Makes a litre of ice cream.