Ice Cream

Life Lessons and French Vanilla Ice Cream

You know that saying that goes: “when life give you flat sponge cake and curdled custard, make french vanilla ice cream”? Or it something like that. Week 22: Life Lessons and French Vanilla Ice Cream


In other news, did you know that French vanilla ice cream has an egg custard base? Up until this week, I actually didn’t know that fun fact. To be quite honest, I had always thought that there was more butter or something of that nature in the French-style vanilla since it tasted richer and had a slightly yellow tint to it. While that theory was cute, this new discovery makes much more sense.

And happy day, I just happened to have a whole bunch of seemingly useless egg custard on hand. Let me back up. It all started with a princess who just wanted some cake . . .

Princesstorte, or Swedish Princess Cake, is a lovely combination of sponge cake, whipped cream, creme patisserie, raspberry jam and marzipan. It is supposed to resemble a pale green dome of sugar with a pink rose and chocolate drizzles on top. Super cute. I get the concept of the basic elements, but for some reason I fell flat when trying to execute them correctly.


I’m so glad I decided to pop over to my mom’s house to make this cake instead of in my own kitchen – she is ridiculously cheerful despite terrible baking results and has tons of counter space. She has also mastered the magic of Netflix and summoned up a Great British Bake Off Master Class with Paul and Mary to watch while I baked. Perfection. (Ironically, the episode that started to play after I gave up on my cake was the one where they show how to make a Princesstorte. Somewhere, someone is laughing. Whatever.)


I look ready for a big bake, right? Got my springform pan, my cake slicing gadget (which I have yet to try – I’ll let you know if it works when I re-do this recipe in a month or so. Or I might just freehand the slicing. TBD), tons of dairy and other assorted items.


Now of course, you can also make your own marzipan and jam easily. Just takes a little time and a few extra ingredients. OR you can buy them at the store pre-made! No shame. Embrace the tube of store marzipan.

So far, so good. Things are being whipped and bubbles are appearing. Success is on the horizon! The sponge batter goes in the oven. And that was the last time anyone saw it alive. We only found a flat, dead, pancake of a sponge at the end of the 40 minute baking time. Unknowingly, I continued on to my creme patisserie.


In my defense, I have made successful creme pats before. For some reason, I did this one differently and it unfortunately turned on my. The key to a smooth, thick creme patisserie is mixing the egg yolks with the dry ingredients to make a paste almost, and then adding the hot vanilla milk mixture and stirring like crazy. Then it will thicken nicely and if kept on low heat, will not curdle. I did it backwards on accident and twas bad. Some things are not meant to be improvised on.


Me after realizing that my second attempt at creme patisserie was also useless. Brave smile. (I’m still smiling because this is before my sponge pancake came out of the oven.)

Luckily, my mom is a genius and remembered that we have an ice cream machine in the depths of the basement and that French vanilla ice cream starts off with a custard like the ones I had mangled. We added a bunch more milk, cream and sugar, and off we went!

Again with the unintentional red theme. Gettin in that picnic summer mode!


Such a cool little machine! Poor thing doesn’t get much use now that my mother is lactose-intolerant and my sister and I aren’t around anymore. I’m planning to change that. Thinking of all the summery sherberts and sorbets I could explore with!

I poured it into a tupperware when it was milkshake thickness, and popped it in the freezer overnight.




Ta-daa! Milkshake for breakfast. Yay for happy endings!


I’ll attempt the Swedish Princess Cake another week and I’ll use the recipe from the Great British Bake Off. It’ll be great! Stay tuned.

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