Chocolate and beetroot ice cream

Is there a point at which sugar content cancels out any goodness gained from the vegetables eaten? I don't know, but I do know that my kids eat ice cream anyway so if I can sneak a vegetable in there surely that's a good thing? I won't lie - this was rather time consuming, but it wasn't that hard. I borrowed an ice cream machine from a friend which definitely made it easier. I've copied out the instructions below for how to make this without one. If you try it let me know how you get on!

R is yet to try it (he saw me put the beetroot in...) but baby R had a bowl after tea tonight.


The recipe is from Veg Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Ingredients
300g beetroot
300ml whole milk
200ml double cream
4 large egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces.

First, cook the beetroot. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Put the beetroot into an ovenproof dish, add a little bit of water (about 1cm depth), cover with foil and roast until tender. This will take at least an hour, possibly longer. Leave to cool completely. Peel the beetroot, chop it roughly and purée it with 100ml of the milk. Measure the purée. You should have about 300ml - a little less is fine but you don't want more. Set aside.

Next make the custard. Heat the remaining milk and cream in a pan to just below boiling. Cool a little. Whisk the egg yolks and cream, whisking until smooth. Return to a clean pan. Cook gently, stirring all the time, until the custard thickens. Don't let it boil or it will 'split'. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until tepid, stirring often to stop a skin forming.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed in a larger bowl filled with just-boiled water, stirring from time-to-time. Stir the melted chocolate into the custard. Then stir in the beetroot purée. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug, leave to cool, then chill.

Once cold, churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until soft-set (this took 30 minutes in my machine), then transfer to a suitable container and freeze until solid. (If you don't have an ice cream maker freeze in a shallow container, mashing with a fork three times at hourly intervals before the mixture is solid.) Transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving, to soften a little.

Incidentally, we bought the beetroots for this on a lovely trip to a pick your own farm with R's nursery. Read more on my other blog, Stir Crazy Toddler.