I love making ice cream but this idea for a macabre dessert can just as easily be made with store-bought ice cream and you can go to town with crazy coloured candy irises and all kinds of sauces and syrups for the 'blood'. Eyes Cream can either be slow food or a fast feast, the choice is yours.
The rather ghoulish name for red sauce used with ice cream cones and sundaes in the UK is 'monkey's blood'. Nobody really knows why, although legend has it that during the Napoleonic Wars an unfortunate monkey from a French frigate, who as a mascot was wearing a military uniform, was unfortunately arrested as a spy.
There is a very silly and highly coloured B Movie, based (very loosely) on Edgar Allen Poe's, The Raven and which stars four of my favourite horror and noir actors; Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Jack Nicholson. One scene shows Vincent Price's character, Dr Craven, searching a dusty laboratory for ingredients to make a potion to turn Peter Lorre's character, Dr Bedlo, back from the Raven to human form. The expression on Dr Craven's face when he opens a box to find a whole slew of eyeballs staring back at him is, well,... priceless.
We had enormous fun making this dessert, particularly in eating the ones that melted in the camera lighting and in making the eye balls as realistically gory as possible. We also enjoyed creating the 'cinema poster', with all credit to Andy as the Mad Doctor..
Step 1: Making the Rich Vanilla Ice Cream - Skip This Bit If You Are Buying Your Ice Cream!
A foreword about the ingredients:
MILK & CREAM
If you'd like to have a go at making your own ice cream this is just the right time. The cows are on fresh new pasture, which will be providing them with the juiciest and most nourishing grass right up until May when it starts to seed. To get the richest ice cream you need the creamiest milk and cream. I am lucky we get ours locally straight from the cows, so full cream and raw with nothing taken out. All pasteurised milk, even organic has had the cream removed and then a percentage put back in. Our local organic herd is a heritage breed, the Normandie, so the milk is super-creamy!
Home-raised from our own heritage and mixed heritage breed poultry, foraging in an organic forest garden and also eating sprouted organic grain. The yolks are very yellow so you get a natural deep, gold colour to the ice cream.
Organic cane sugar is really sweet, so I only use half that recommended in this old recipe from my Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. If you are using non-organic sugar you may need to play about with the sweetness by tasting the custard as you go along.
I use an organic Bourbon Vanilla bean and I have found the best way to get the full flavour, is to let it infuse into the milk overnight.
This ice cream is a custard-based one and I always start with a base of vanilla ice cream and then build up whatever flavours I choose afterwards, you can have great fun experimenting with textures and sauces but for the eye balls I'm just making a basic vanilla.
(This will make 2½ litres, around 4 UK pints or 2½ quarts of ice cream)
1½ litres (2½ UK pints), (just over 3 US pints) of raw organic full-cream milk
9 eggs (12 bantam)
255g (9oz) (just over 1 cup) organic cane sugar
250ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) raw organic thick cream
An organic Bourbon vanilla bean split lengthways
Place the split bean in the milk in a heavy bottomed pan and heat to below boiling point, just when you start to see water vapour rising off the milk.
Remove from heat and leave to stand - I leave it overnight.
Step 2: Making the Rich Vanilla Ice Cream - Method
I don't have an ice cream maker so this is the hand-made method but it is much easier if you have an electric whisk!
A flat edged wooden spatula and a silicon spatula to remove the last drop of custard from the pan!
I also try to use a minimum of plastic in our lives, so I recently was able to get hold of some glass freezer boxes, which are brilliant, particularly for ice cream. Shop around, I got mine half price in the sales.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they have a creamy, frothy consistency.
Re-heat the milk to below boiling.
Add the milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk well.
Use the same pan you had the milk in (no need to wash it!) to slowly heat the mixture. Some people get scared of making custard, they are worried they will end up with 'scrambled egg' but if it bothers you then you can use a bain marie. This is just another larger pan filled with warm water, so that your custard mixture is not in direct contact with the heat but sits inside the pan of heated water. Personally, I think if you have your custard on a gentle heat and are constantly stirring, you will be fine. At this point you need to put a good film on your computer, as it will take around 20 minutes constantly stirring the mix before the custard is ready. You will know when because it will start to coat the back of the spatula - as in the picture above.
Leave your custard to cool.
When cool add the cream and whisk thoroughly.
Pour the completed ice-cream custard into your freezer box, using the silicone spatula to get every last precious bit.
Put the box into the freezer. I have a really simple freezer, so my ice-cream is left overnight to get to the part-set stage.
Step 3: Making the Rich Vanilla Ice-Cream - Finishing
When the ice-cream is part set, you need to break up the ice crystals to form a smooth creamy texture.
Tip the contents of the box into a large bowl and using an electric whisk make a smooth paste.
Return the ice cream into the box and put back in the freezer. Leave to set again.
I usually get the ice cream out once more, when it is part set and repeat the process.
Once the ice cream is fully set you will be ready to go on to the next stage.
Step 4: Making the Eyes - Ingredients
I chose very simple organic ingredients, two sorts of chocolate; milk and plain, cocoa, to make the flecks in the irises, powdered sugar to add a glint to the pupil. I built up the eye onto a chocolate 'button' which gave me the round shape, I can buy these from the jar in my local organic store, so just got the amount I needed.
I actually made the icing sugar from the same cane sugar I had used in the custard. I just needed to put it through a coffee grinder. Organic sugar isn't white so it doesn't have the same look as non-organic icing sugar but that didn't bother me!
So that everything was ready for me to make the eyes, I melted my two chocolates in glass pitchers/jugs, in hot water.
Step 5: Assembling the Eyes
I just used the tip of the knife to roughly outline the iris of the eye in milk chocolate.
Then I sieved coco onto the eyes to add coloured flecks to the iris.
Using a spoon I could then drop the dark chocolate pupil into the eye.
I added the icing sugar 'glint' with the end of a crab fork.
Step 6: Making the Raspberry Sauce & Preparing the Dish
The Raspberry sauce was simply:
2 heaped dessert spoons of organically grown raspberries from the garden, which I had frozen last year.
1- 2 dessert spoons of organic cane sugar
I cooked this quickly in a small pan on the top of the stove until it began to thicken to a syrup, I kept stirring it with a wooden spatula, as it is such a small amount and I didn't want it to burn.
When the sauce was cool I smeared it all over the bottom of my plate and then began to form the eye balls.
I found this to be a mistake, as under the lights and warmth of the kitchen, the ice cream began to melt!
So we unfortunately had to eat these!
On the second attempt I placed the spoons and the dish in the freezer first, this worked really well as you will see in the next step.
Step 7: Sculpting the Eye Balls and Presentation
With the plates and spoons chilled in the freezer, it was much easier !
I only have a rudimentary ice cream scoop so I made two halves of the eye balls and then moulded them together. Between making each one, I rinsed my hands in cold water, to add to the cooling effect.
If you can get hold of a fancy ice cream scoop then you will get a complete eye ball in one go!
The 'blood' this time smeared on a chilled plate also stopped the ice cream from melting. We also added more sauce over the top of the eye balls to make it even gorier!
The last step is making the 'film poster'.
Step 8: Mad Doctor Poster
I'm using Linux with Ubuntu so there are several great free shareware packages for manipulating photos and adding text. One is GIMP Image Editor and the other one I use for text is Inkscape Vector Graphics Editor.
We tried first using a flash to get a stark 1950s - 60s type B picture effect but I didn't like the colour balance. So I turned off the flash and took it in available light.
Once in GIMP I created a Black and White version of my colour shot using the 'Colorize' option on the 'Colors' tab on the tool bar.
I then made this look older and more filmic by adding 'Softglow' which is in the 'Artistic' option of the 'Filters' tab.
I went back to the 'Colorize' option and created a deep blue version of my original shot by changing the 'Hue' and 'Saturation' levels.
Bringing up my 'Softglow' version (which was now my master shot) and the 'Blue' version, I cut the lenses from the spectacles in 'Blue' using the 'Ellipse Select Tool'. I then pasted them to my Master as a 'New Layer', and right clicked on the image, to bring up the menu and then used the 'Scale Layer' from the 'Layer' option to get the right size.
For the other coloured sections: The single eyeball on the spoon I used my original shot and the 'Paths Tool' to cut it out and again I pasted it in as a new layer and used 'Scale Layer' to correctly size it.
For the Eyes Cream in the dish, as you can see from the original shot, we were having the melting ice cream issues, I mentioned earlier, so were forced to eat them! Therefore, I took the image of the Eyes Cream from my second set of shots, after I had chilled the dish. I chose the final one we had taken with the extra 'gore' as it so well suited the hammy B Movie genre. I also liked this shot because it was on a different angle than the original. This gave the idea that the 'Dr' was offering the spectator an eye ball and when combined with the text gave a nuance of the cheesy early 3D effect. So using the 'Ellipse Select Tool' I cut out the Eyes Cream and pasted it into my Master. As there was a difference between the two shots, which showed in the shadows on the plate, due to change in angles and the fact that the latter shot was in natural daylight, I cloned in some extra 'blood' and using the 'Smudge' tool, smoothed the transition between the two shots.
Using Inkscape, I selected the 'Color Picker' to get an original text colour from the raspberry sauce on my Master shot. I then wrote the text and with the text selected and using the 'Path' tab, chose the option 'Object to Path'. Then from the 'Object' tab, I chose the option 'Ungroup'. I could now manipulate each letter independently to form my 'screamer'. I then exported this as a bitmap and imported it into Gimp as a 'New Layer' where I could 'Scale Layer' it to size. I then used the 'Posterize' option on the 'Colors' tab to finish the look of my poster. You can see the difference this makes if you look at the first two shots above.
Step 9: Au Revoir and Films
Hope you enjoyed this Instructable and will get as much fun making and eating ice cream eye balls as we did.
If you would like to see the ice cream right from the very basics then here are two films showing where two of the major ingredients come from.
If you want to know more about our chickens and way of life, then here is a link http://holistic-hen.blogspot.com
All the very best from Normandie,
Pavlovafowl aks Sue