Do you remember those carefree days of childhood when you used to go to fairs and pig out on candy floss? Or weekend outings to the neighbourhood park when you were bought candy floss as a special treat? I surely do. Those were simpler, easier times, when there weren’t many fancy desserts and a little treat meant, often, something like cotton candy aka candy floss, known as ‘Buddhi Ke Baal‘ (literally ‘old woman’s hair’) in many parts of India.
I am always hunting for unique flavours of ice cream and, this summer, have tried my hands at making quite a few new-to-me ice creams at home. When I saw several international bloggers making cotton candy ice cream, I knew I had to try it out too, that I was going to love it. But, a quick search showed me that most of these bloggers had used cotton candy syrup to create the ice cream, something that isn’t available in India, as far as I know. I began racking my brains to find a substitute and, soon enough, I did. I used the end product – cotton candy (buddhi ke baal) – itself.
I bought a couple of packets of cotton candy from a departmental store – these days, cotton candy is available all neatly and hygienically packed, eh? Over a weekend, I perfected my version of cotton candy ice cream, which was much loved by everyone at home. All of us connected instantly to it, I think, because of the nostalgia associated with it, the charm, memories of us as little beings peering into huge vats that would go whirrr-whirrr-whirrr as cotton candy was made.
Here’s how I made the ice cream.
Ingredients (makes 4-6 servings):
- 250 ml fresh cream
- A pinch of salt
- 200 grams sweetened condensed milk
- 2 packets of cotton candy (30 grams each)
- About 1/4 cup of milk, boiled and cooled to room temperature (optional)
- Heat about 50 grams of the fresh cream in a thick-bottomed saucepan, till it starts bubbling. Switch off the gas at this point.
- Tear the cotton candy into small pieces and add them, one at a time, to the hot cream. Stir. The cotton candy will begin to dissolve into the cream immediately. Make sure all of the candy is thoroughly dissolved.
- Set the cream aside for a few minutes, till it cools down to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, take the rest of the fresh cream in a large mixing bowl. Whisk till it is slightly light, without overdoing it.
- Now, add in the salt and condensed milk to the mixing bowl, and mix well.
- Add in the cotton candy-cream mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix well, making sure everything is thoroughly incorporated together.
- Taste the mixture. If you feel it is too sweet, add a little milk to balance it out. If you think the mixture tastes alright as is, leave out the milk.
- Transfer the mixture to a clean, air-tight, dry box.
- Place the box in the freezer, covered. Set temperature at high. Let the ice cream freeze till it is set well – this should take about 4 hours.
- Get the box out of the freezer only when you are ready to serve the cotton candy ice cream. Serve immediately.
- I used Amul Mithai Mate condensed milk to make this ice cream.
- The pinch of salt helps the ice cream set faster and better. Do not add more than a pinch, though, as that might alter the taste of the ice cream.
- I used Amul fresh cream.
- I used 2 packets of Candy Mist store-bought cotton candy (30 grams each), to make this ice cream. The cotton candy that I used was a mix of butterscotch and strawberry flavours. You could use cotton candy in any flavour that you prefer.
- Using milk is optional. Use it only if you feel your ice cream mixture is too sweet.
- You could use slightly less condensed milk to make the ice cream, if you prefer. I felt 200 grams of condensed milk, with the addition of about 1/4 cup of milk, worked best for me.
- Cotton candy packets off roadside or fairground stalls would do too.
You like? I hope you will try this recipe out soon, and that you will love it as much as we did!