As a child excited by the arrival of an ice cream van to our quiet cul-de-sac, whether I ordered Flake 99 in a cone or a bubble-gum toting Screwball in moulded plastic, I knew that at the heart of both was pale-as-snow, smooth-flowing, soft-serve, vanilla-flavoured Mr Whippy ice cream.
There were actually two variations of Screwball that Pete and I remember – the ready-filled ones with raspberry ripple ice cream under a cardboard lid and the Mr Whippy one, but when I decided to recreate a Screwball, it had to be Mr Whippy. I quickly realised that making ice-cream-van dispenser-style soft-serve ice cream at home is not as straightforward as it might seem. But I found an online recipe that seemed doable and, with Pete’s help, had a go.
To our surprise, the strange recipe worked!
In the absence of suitable plastic moulds (I considered finding and cannibalising a model dalek but decided that might be a bit expensive), I served my upside-down Screwball in a pretty glass instead.
Screwball Featuring Homemade Mr Whippy Ice Cream
- 170 ml double cream
- 160 ml full fat milk
- 75 grams caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 leaf gelatin (and cold water to soak)
- 4 bubblegum balls
Soak the gelatin leaf in a bowl of cold water.
Combine double cream, milk and vanilla extract in a pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring constantly and checking that the mixture doesn’t boil.
When the mixture reaches simmering point, retrieve the gelatin from the water, squeeze excess water out (and discard) and add to the saucepan.
Once the gelatin has dissolved, add the sugar.
Continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken a little.
Once the mixture has thickened sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool and then refrigerate for an hour.
After chilling, whisk for 5 minutes using an electric whisk at full power.
Decant into ice cube trays and place in the freezer to set solid.
Note: it’s very difficult to remove the set ice cream from regular plastic trays. We found ice cube bags the easiest but silicone ice cube trays may also be OK.
Once the cubes have frozen solid, remove and place into a (powerful) blender or food processor and blitz until reduced to a frozen paste.
Transfer into a piping bag and pipe into cones or serving dishes.
Add a bubblegum ball to each serving.
Happy ice cream making!