This ice-cream float is a slightly grown-up and gourmet version of everyone’s childhood favourite. The rich flavour of toasted almonds in the ice cream pairs deliciously with the dark, earthy flavours of old-fashioned root beer.
Almond Ice-Cream Float
250 ml (1 cup) finely chopped almonds
6 egg yolks
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream
1 ml (1/4 tsp) fine sea salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) almond extract
125 ml (1/2 cup) plus 30 ml (2 tbsp) granulated sugar, divided
4 bottles root beer
Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast until deep golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, place yolks; cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cream, salt, toasted almonds, almond extract and 50 ml (1/4 cup) of the sugar to a boil. Turn off heat and let mixture steep at room temperature for 15 minutes; return to a rolling boil.
Whisk remaining sugar into bowl with yolks until smooth. Gently temper yolks by slowly adding hot almond cream while whisking constantly. Once completely combined, strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large metal bowl. Place bowl of ice-cream base over another bowl of ice water and stir until cool.
Freeze mixture in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions until ice cream has a smooth, soft-serve-like texture. Store in freezer for 4 hours before serving.
To serve, fill 4 tall glasses with 2 or 3 scoops of toasted almond ice cream each, pour in root beer and serve immediately.
Makes 1 l (4 cups).
Note: When making without an ice-cream machine, here is an alternative recipe:
1 l (2 pints) good-quality vanilla ice cream
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) roughly chopped almonds, toasted
Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften. Transfer ice cream to a large bowl, add toasted almonds and quickly stir until combined. Return ice cream to original containers and freeze for 4 hours to harden before serving.
Source: California Almonds, AlmondBoard.com.
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