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Vanilla, but Not Plain

It's wonderfully warm here and Kina Karianke, Angama's Head Pastry Chef, decided it was time to talk about her favourite subject — ice cream
Above: Kina dishing up something sweet

I went to school at St Mary’s boarding school in Narok. The best part about school was that it introduced me to ice cream. When I was in class eight, around age 14, we went on a school trip to Kisumu on Lake Victoria. My classmates and I enjoyed the beachside feel of the place so much. Eventually, one of my friends said, 'let’s go buy an ice cream'. None of us had ever had it before but we walked confidently up to the supermarket and all got a vanilla ice cream on a stick. It is still my favourite flavour to this day. 

It was not love at first lick — it was so cold! But I eventually fell in love with ice cream. Now, I eat ice cream almost every day. It does help that I make ice cream as part of my job, but even when I go home I make sure I have it at least once a week (it’s hot here!). While I’m at Angama, I am constantly making ice cream. Nicky Says* has over 24 different recipes for ice creams and sorbets.

An affogato — never a bad idea
Tiramisini with Kina's coffee ice cream

We use vanilla ice cream in many of our desserts and recipes — for example, the children’s milkshakes and everybody’s favourite, the affogato. When the lodge is busy, I can make up to 5 litres of vanilla ice cream a week. Luckily, we got a new Nemox ice-cream machine just in time for the busy season last year. I love that machine! Alongside vanilla, I also love to make the lavender flavour using fresh lavender from the Shamba.

But you don’t need a fancy machine to make delicious ice cream. In fact, another of my favourites is kulfi which is an Indian dessert. The recipe is centuries old and has so many classic Indian flavours — saffron, pistachio, cardamom — making it quite rich, but it’s easy to make, refreshing and delicious. Here is the recipe if you want to give it a try: 

The perfect end to lunch on a hot day

Indian Kulfi Ice Cream

  • 1 x 380g can evaporated milk 
  • 1 x 385g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups fresh cream
  • A generous pinch saffron threads
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp fresh cardamom seeds (no pods) 
  • ½ cup roasted and chopped blanched almonds
  • ½ cup roasted and chopped pistachios

Freeze the evaporated milk overnight, then remove it one hour before making the kulfi.  

Beat the evaporated milk and condensed milk together until fluffy. Beat the cream separately until it forms soft peaks and fold in half of the saffron threads. Add the cream to the milk mixture and beat again. Stir in the vanilla essence and cardamom seeds, then beat until fluffy. Pour into a shallow plastic container, layering with the almonds and pistachios.

Finally, top with more nuts and sprinkle on the remaining saffron threads, then freeze. Cut the ice cream into squares and serve it on one of grandma's dainty floral cake plates, if you can remember where you packed them.

Notes from the Editor:

*Nicky Says is the collection of over 550 recipes that the kitchen use to delight our guests’ tastebuds (and keep our chefs on their toes)

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Food , Angama Team , Indian Food , Out of An African Kitchen

About: Kina Karianke

Kneader, baker and crème brûlée-maker — Kina is Angama’s Head Pastry Chef and total kitchen sweetheart. Although she hails from nearby Narok, her talents have taken her all over Kenya, even Tanzania, until she arrived at Angama in 2015. Most days, you’ll find her trying out a new ice cream flavour or sampling her favourites for freshness (wink wink).

Browse all articles by Kina Karianke Meet the angama team

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Join the Conversation (4 comments)

Comments (4):

William Mack

5 February 2023

So looking forward to a bucket list destination with my beautiful wife (Carol) of 44 years and our son(Bryan) and daughter in law (Allison) February 16-18. I close my eyes as if the upcoming balloon ride will open my eyes to breathtaking vistas !

    Charlotte Ross Stewart

    7 February 2023

    Hello William, we are so looking forward to having you and your family to stay with us. We wish you safe and speedy travels and you'll be flying over the Mara in a hot-air balloon in no time.

Bunny and peter

5 February 2023

We are both looking forward to your delicious ice cream and pastries, kina! Also to seeing all the angama family soon. We won’t be on our bikes this time! X

    Charlotte Ross Stewart

    7 February 2023

    Hello Bunny and Peter, we're all looking forward to having you with us once again — however which way you decide to arrive. Kina's busy stocking up the freezer as we speak so come hungry!

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