Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Basil Ice Cream


No, that isn't a typo nor is it as wacky as it might sound. After all basil is part of the mint family and no-one gives a second thought to mint ice-cream.

My first taste of Basil Ice Cream was at one of our favourite restaurants, Fenix and I've been hooked ever since. So recently when their recipe became available I knew I just had to make it. Armed with the trusty Gelateria and the freshest of basil it was full churn ahead.

The recipe itself is the height of simplicity - the end product is so unbelievably creamy it's hard to believe that all comes from the use of yoghurt. There aren't any eggs or cream in this mix. The process is threefold - make a sugar syrup and cool; blend the basil leaves, yoghurt and syrup until smooth and then strain through muslin. After that, it's all down to the ice-cream maker. The end result is a vibrant green ice cream that will have your tastebuds dancing.

basil ice cream

Basil Ice Cream

140 grams water
150 grams caster sugar
40 grams glucose
360 grams plain yoghurt (I used Mededith Dairy Sheeps milk Yoghurt)
70 grams fresh basil leaves
5 grams citric acid (or the juice of 1 lemon)

Place the water, caster sugar and glucose in a saucepan over a medium heat - stir well to dissolve the sugar and then let the mixture come to the boil.
Remove from heat and let it cool.

When cold, place the syrup along with the basil, yoghurt and citric acid into a blender and blend until smooth and the mix is a bright green.

Pass this through a muslin lined strainer and then put it through the ice-cream maker following manufacturer's directions.

It will take between 25-30 minutes to churn.

When done, pour into a sealed container and place in the freezer for a few hours before serving.

basil ice cream

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  1. I'm sold, Haalo. It will be my next attempt at ice cream. As always, brilliant photos!

  2. Haalo,

    I've heard of basil mousse with chocolate syrup but I must confess I looked at the recipe questioning it all the time. I thought "that's something I'll never try".

    But in Haalo I trust - this ice cream is superb! I love the stunning color. Your photos are beautiful.

  3. Stunning! I'm completely intruiged by how this would be in terms of flavour and texture - is it quite sweet? Would it be something you could hoe into, or something perhaps used more like a palate cleansing dish?

  4. Sounds delicious, I'd love to try this in the summer. I love your new look too!

  5. Thanks Trig - I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    Thanks Patricia - one spoonful will soon cast all doubts aside - this is the essence of basil in frozen form.

    Thanks Ellie - texture wise its completely smooth, that's due to straining it through muslin so you're left with this wonderfully creamy feel in the mouth. Flavour wise it's all basil - basil is a sweet flavour to begin with and this just enforces that flavour. I've had it as a component of savoury dishes, usually with tomato (that is a marriage made in heaven) and I've also had it as a component of sweet dishes, usually with berries of some type.

    Thanks Sara - hope you get a chance to try this!

  6. Haalo, what a beautiful colour.

    I have never thought of such a thing as basil ice cream.

  7. Thanks Karen - as soon as tasted this I was hooked and I've had it quite a few times since and love it even more. It's something you really need to taste.

  8. A beautiful colour, and pretty picture. Thumbs up Haalo!

  9. Serve that with a scoop of choclate ice cream and you're all set!

  10. And happy Australia Day!

  11. Thanks Angie!

    Sounds like a great idea Brilynn!

    Thanks Trig - there's a prawn on the barbie just for you!

  12. I tried basil ice cream in a restaurant in France last year, and it was wonderful -- love the contrast of a surprising flavor against the creaminess of the ice cream. Use of yogurt here is really surprising and could offer lots of different flavor options!

  13. It is one of those wonderful eating surprises that happens every now and again and it leaves you with that wow, I just had something special. I've made quite a few ice creams now with yoghurt and I'm amazed at the creaminess of the final product without needing to resort to making a custard or cream.


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