Swedes love the sweet things in life. They are the world's biggest eaters of godis (sweets/candy) and Europe's biggest consumer of ice cream with the average Swede said to lick their way through a massive 13½ litres (28½ pints) of ice cream per year.
But isn't Sweden too cold for ice cream?
Firstly, before I get too many complaints, Sweden isn't so cold in the summer; London and Stockholm are normally at about the same temperature. Secondly, and more importantly, although contrary to commonsense, the colder the place the more the people who live there seem to like ice cream. For instance, in the United States, Alaskans eat more ice cream per person each year than any other state!
Ben & Jerry, who established one of the world's most successful ice cream companies, learnt this when they established their first ice cream parlour in Burlington in Vermont, which has an average of 161 days a year when the temperature is below zero and lots and lots of snow. And didn't they do well?
Coheeni's First Law of Ice-Cream Eating Dynamics
Ben & Jerry claim that an Indian mystic called Coheeni tells us that, when you lower your internal body temperature by eating cold things, you will feel warmer because there is less difference between your internal temperature and the external temperature. It wasn't in my thermodynamics course, but perhaps it should have been...
Our ice cream base recipes
Most of our ice cream recipes use a base adapted from Ben & Jerry's "Homeade Ice Cream & Dessert Book". This wonderful book simplifies ice cream making by avoiding lots of faffing around with heating custards. The technique results in wonderful soft easy-scoop ice creams, the stuff that made Ben & Jerry national heroes in the States.
Some of our recipes use raw egg and so the normal warning applies: anyone who shouldn't eat raw egg shouldn't eat ice cream made with raw egg!
Tips for good ice cream
Our recipes are easy to follow but three tips are worth reiterating here:
1. Make sure the ingredients, apart from the sugar and any egg, are cold before you start,
2. Use raw (pure) cane sugar because, according to Ben & Jerry, it's not possible to make a better ice cream with any other sweetener,
3. When scooping, aim for smooth, long lines and never use a wet scoop - the water freezes to a thin layer of ice and will ruin the texture of the ice cream you are serving.
Apart from that making ice cream is easy-peasy.
A pint-sized machine
Buy an ice cream machine if you can (I use a Le Glacier 1.1 made by Magimix) as it makes life a bit easier, but all our recipes include instructions for making ice cream without a machine.
Our recipes are based on using a 1 pint (0.6 litres) machine. If you use a 1 quart (1.2 litre) machine you will need to double the quantities in our recipes. (You should always make the quantity specified for your machine because otherwise your ice cream will contain too much air or not enough.)
Swedes like all the normal range of flavours, with chocolate and vanilla being two of the most popular, but four flavours seem to be particularly Swedish, from left to right:
I love them all, but my personal favourite is hjortronglass.
Our other ice cream recipes
Try our recipe for mandelflarn (almond tuile) which are superb with ice cream, as shown above with blåbärsglass (bilberry (wild blueberry) ice cream). Mandelflarn are easy to make and they can also be moulded into attractive shapes if desired.
Enjoy making ice cream!
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