The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 13 Challenges.
Since replicating Season 8 of the Great British Bake Off wasn’t enough, I decided to try my hand at a different season! This time, I am working on season 13 which is the most recent season! This season had some great bake ideas as well as some not-so-great ones (but we’ll get there when we get there).
So, I figured, let’s do this all again! One of the big challenges I wanted to attempt this time around was coming up with original ideas for the signature and showstopper challenges instead of doing a recreation. On your mark… Get set… Bake!
The technical challenge this week is one I have mixed feelings on. It’s ice cream! Yay! But the flavor is not my favorite. I am not a huge fan of pistachios… So pistachio ice cream feels like ruining a perfectly good ice cream. But I do not know who else would agree with me on that. I feel like pistachio is a controversial flavor.
But I do like making ice cream. One of the biggest issues with this challenge is the equipment needs. You need an ice cream machine to churn the ice cream. Luckily, I already had one of those. That is not standard kitchen equipment though which makes this recipe more difficult to recreate at home.
There are really two parts to this recipe: the ice cream and the waffle cone. Again, there is a potential equipment limitation as a waffle iron is needed. I previously purchased one for a different GBBO challenge recipe, but this recipe is very needy in terms of equipment. But who can say no to ice cream in a waffle cone?
Check out the Season 13 Great British Bake Off Page to see other bakes from this series or the Make section for more recipes! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think and how the recipe works for you!
Since there are two parts to this recipe, there are a lot of ingredients needed. There is a lot of dairies in the ice cream and the waffle cone is effectively a batter. But I needed all those ingredients to make the final dish. Also, a lot of pistachios.
I was a little surprised to see the ice cream base is also crème anglaise. This is the same custard that I used in making the floating islands. I thought that the custard was loose but now that I know it is unchurned ice cream… I feel like I got it spot on before!
So, I had some high expectations since I was able to do a different version of this recipe last week. How hard is it to reproduce that success? (Dangerous words, I know)
First, I wanted to flavor the milk. This recipe calls for two different types. Well… one is a cream. I combined the milk and cream and threw in a vanilla bean pod. This is to really give the ice cream base a vanilla base. And vanilla bean pods flavor is delicious.
I heated the milk mixture over the stove and brought it to a soft boil. This is the type of boil where you see bubbles on the sides of the pot but not bubbles erupting throughout the top of the whole pot. I did some research and found that milk boils at 203° Fahrenheit, so I wanted to bring the mixture to about 200° Fahrenheit.
Then I removed the milk from the stove and set it aside to cool. I wanted it to be warm but not hot. I arbitrarily decided that warm was about 110° Fahrenheit. While the milk was cooling down, I prepped the eggs. I placed the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisked until the mix was light and fluffy.
The vanilla bean pod was removed from the milk. And the egg mixture was ready to go into the milk mixture. I did this step while stirring constantly. The milk should not be enough to cook the eggs, but it is better not to take the chance.
The crème anglaise then needed to come down to room temperature. I did not want to shock the mixture by putting it in the fridge right away. Once the crème anglaise came down to room temperature, I placed it in the fridge to chill for about an hour (or however long it took me to make the remaining ice cream parts.
The crème anglaise is the base of making pistachio ice cream and I am very excited to see how it turned out. The taste was delicious, so I was a little nervous to taint it with pistachios.
I have now determined that praline is just nuts encased in caramel. To make praline, I started by making caramel. I put sugar in a pot and let it dissolve. I always get surprised watching sugar turn into a liquid. It can get pretty dark, so it is good to watch the sugar and make sure it does not burn.
The sugar was then removed from the heat and then stirred the pistachio into the sugar. I then placed the mix onto half of a silicone mat. Only half of the mat was used because the other half was folded over the top. I used a rolling pin to flatten out the whole mixture.
And then it was time to let the mixture cool. I wanted the sugar to harden back up so I could chop everything into small pieces. Because the chunks were going in the pistachio ice cream, I wanted it to be relatively small chunks. I ended up putting the praline in a Ziplock bag and breaking it up with my wooden hammer (a rolling pin can work too)
Yea… I do not really know why this is its own section. To make the paste, I blitzed together pistachios and oil in a food processor. That is, it. Paste made. I did deviate from the original recipe because I could not find pistachio oil, so I ended up using coconut oil. This caused the paste to have a kind of Indian vibe to the ice cream.
Back to the Ice Cream
Now that I have all the components of the ice cream made, it is time to make pistachio ice cream. I started by whisking together the pistachio paste and the crème anglaise. The pistachio paste did not really make the ice cream the classic “green” pistachio color. So, I added some food coloring to get the color I wanted.
I then put the mixture into the ice cream machine and let it churn. And churn. And churn. After the ice cream finished churning, I mixed in the pistachio praline before putting the ice cream into a container. I put a layer of plastic film over the top of it and put the ice cream into the freezer.
I would let it freeze for one to two hours. Honestly, I would let it freeze longer than that, but one to two hours were the instructions from bake off so…
While the pistachio ice cream was freezing, I used the time to make the waffles. The waffle batter was more delicate than I expected. It felt like I was making macarons.
I started with a large bowl and egg whites. The egg whites were whipped until soft peaks were reached. Then I added salt and some sugar, whisking until the egg whites got to stiff peaks.
There are no raising agents in this batter, so the egg whites are the only thing to bring air into the batter. Although waffle cones and fluffy textures do not really go hand in hand in my mind. I then folded in the remaining sugar and the vanilla extract into the egg whites.
Finally, I folded the flour and then the melted butter into the egg whites. And now the batter is put together, so it is time to cook and shape the cones. This process was a little daunting because I did not have fond memories of working with these types of waffles.
And just like I thought, my hands did end up burning slightly in this process. The waffles needed to be taken off the waffle iron and immediately wrapped around the cone mold. While hot. With my hands because it was a delicate step, and I did not know any good tools from this.
Each waffle needs to cool and set in the cone shape. I then dipped it in some melted chocolate and then some pistachios. The cone needed to be tied back into the pistachio ice cream after all!
The last component of this recipe is chocolate sauce. Which, again, is a really simple step. I melted the chocolate and then mixed in the coconut oil. The chocolate needed to stay warm to be a sauce, but you can always warm up the sauce if it becomes hardened.
Now all that is left is to put everything together and serve!
This was a really difficult challenge for me. Not because of the recipe but because I was making something that I didn’t like. I was still consistently tasting the ice cream and all of the parts. The parts tasted good from an objective standpoint. But I personally was not enjoying them.
I was truly surprised how smooth this ice cream came out. Homemade ice cream can have trouble when it comes to the water in them. They can form ice crystals which make the ice cream less smooth and creamy. I did not have any issues with this recipe!
When substituting ingredients, it is important to think about how those flavors will interact. I added coconut and it is very prominent in the final recipe. I probably should have gone with an oil that had less flavor to keep the ice cream more in line with the pistachio flavor.
Pistachio Ice Cream
- 1 Ice Cream Machine
- 1 Waffle Iron specifical for waffle cones
- 1 Food Processor
- 2 ½ Cup Whole Milk
- ⅔ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Vanilla Bean Pod
- 9 Egg Yolks
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Pistachios
- 1 Cup Pistachios
- 5 Teaspoon Pistachio Oil
- 2 Egg Whites
- A Pinch of Salt
- ¾ Cup Powdered Sugar
- ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- ⅓ Cup Pistachios finely chopped
- ½ Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 Teaspoon Deodorized Coconut Oil
- On a large pan, combined the milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean pod and heat over medium heat, until just below boiling (milk boils at 203° Fahrenheit). Remove and let stand until warm. Remove bean pod.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and granulated sugar until it reaches ribbon stage. Pour over warm milk while continuing to whisk.
- Cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes until thick and smooth. Remove sieve through a fine mesh, let cool to room temperature, and then chill.
- In a medium pot, heat caster sugar until it dissolved and turns a dark amber color. Remove from heat and add in the pistachios stirring the sugar over the pistachios.
- Pour it out onto half a silicone mat. Fold the other half of the mat over the top of the mix and roll out to flatten. Leave to cool and let harden. Roughly chop into small pieces.
- In a food processor, blitz together pistachios and pistachio oil until it becomes a paste.
Pistachio Ice Cream
- Whisk together pistachio paste and crème anglaise. Add food coloring (a little at a time) until the green is achieved.
- Churn in machine as instructed. Add in praline bits. Scrape into a container and freeze for one to two hours.
Ice Cream Cones
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Add salt and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
- Gently fold in the vanilla extract and the remaining icing sugar.
- Fold in the flour and melted butter until smooth.
- Place a heating tablespoon of batter on a waffle cone iron. Cook and shape around a pointed cone. Repeat 5 times to have 6 cones in total.
- Place chopped pistachios in a bowl.
- Melt chocolate in another bowl. Dip the cones in the chocolate and then in the chopped pistachios. Set aside to set.
- Melt the chocolate until smooth. Stir in coconut oil and leave to cool but not set.
- Scoop Ice cream into a cone and top with the chocolate sauce and pistachio praline as desired.