French Toast, Bacon, Maple Syrup Ice Cream
Very, very occasionally Himself gets on a healthy eating jag. Allow me to set the scene. It is 3.30 in the morning. The floor is littered with the detritus of a drunkenly conceived takeaway. Himself is on the couch and has assumed a position that in our house we call Level 10.
Don’t be getting excited now, there is nothing remotely amorous about Level 10. It is the final stage of sitting before you could be considered supine. The chin is resting on the chest, limp arms lie beside the torso – which is occupying the seat portion of the couch as opposed to the usual back section – and the legs trail lifelessly to the floor.
‘I’m starting boot camp,’ he announces.
I respond incredulously: ‘You just complimented the girl in Luigi’s on her new haircut, meaning you know the staff of our local takeaway well enough to keep track of their hairstyles.’
‘Shmalls the moor paison,’ he says, which I interpret as ‘all the more reason’.
Immediately, I know that he must be stopped. Improved diet and exercise leads to more energy, and for the sake of our marriage I need to keep him doughy and lethargic – and probably not use these adjectives to describe him. No one can resist this frankly outrageous breakfast of ice cream and bacon.
For the ice cream, you will need:
--200ml condensed milk
--100ml maple syrup
--1 bay leaf
--1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
--5 egg yolks
--30g caster sugar
For the French toast, you will need:
--Lots of crispy bacon
--Half cup of milk
--4 thick slices of good white bread
--Lots of butter for cooking (no point in holding back on this one, you’re already eating ice cream for breakfast)
Place the cream, the milk, the condensed milk, the cloves, the maple syrup, the bay leaf and the grated nutmeg into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the caster sugar for four minutes until the mixture is very pale and has the consistency of whipped cream. Now pour the cream-and-milk mixture into the whisked-egg mixture through a sieve, then stir to combine.
Pour this custard-like mixture into a clean pan over a medium heat and stir it until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Allow it to cool, pour it into a container and place it in the freezer.
For the next 2-3 hours take the ice cream out every half an hour or so and give the mixture a good mix to break up the ice crystals. A hand-held beater or a stick blender are good for this, and an ice-cream maker is even better, if you have one.
When your ice cream is ready it is time for ‘Operation Plumpington’ to commence. Fry up the bacon, and whisk the eggs and the milk together. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick pan over a medium high heat. Dip the slices of brioche in the egg mixture and then fry until golden and crispy on both sides. Serve the French toast along with the bacon and maple-syrup ice cream.