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Rachel Allen's guide to making ice-cream at home without the fuss of an ice-cream machine

 

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Salted Caramel Swirl Ice Cream. Photo: Tony Gavin

Salted Caramel Swirl Ice Cream. Photo: Tony Gavin

Strawberries

Strawberries

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Salted Caramel Swirl Ice Cream. Photo: Tony Gavin

As far as essential bits of kitchen kit go, an ice-cream machine is fairly low on my list of gadgets to have at home if you're stuck for space or lacking the inclination. A smooth, fruity sorbet or rich, velvety ice-cream is great at this time of the year, and happily there are many ice-cream recipes that can be whipped up without the need for a machine.

The ice-cream machine's whole purpose is to churn the ice-cream mixture, breaking up the ice crystals as it freezes, giving you a smooth result. The ice-cream recipes here rely instead on a fluffy mousse of whipped-up syrup, egg yolks (or whites) and cream, resulting in light, delicious ice-creams that I just adore. There's no need for churning, and once they're made, pop them in the freezer - next time you see them, they're good to go.

I've always been a fan of that perfect combination of rich, dark caramel and briny salt. It's sweet but with an edge, and just perfect when swirled through creamy, rich ice-cream. A family favourite in our house, this salted caramel swirl ice-cream, right, is divine on its own or scattered with anything from Maltesers to popcorn.