Having originally only intended to make cheese & possibly (later on) yogurt,
we’ve been wisely persuaded to ‘branch out’ into ice cream by our good friends Dreda & Roland Randall of Monach Farm (supported too of course, by their daughter & son-in-law, Ellie & Warren Goff, pioneering goats’ milk ice cream makers at Butterfly Lodge in Essex). Dreda was concerned that because for the majority of the time I both run the Ffarm & make the cheese single-handedly, I would be literally ‘run ragged’ as cheesemaking is an incredibly labour-intensive process. By alternating with ice cream, not only would I be diversifying my product base but also giving myself a little more valuable flexibility.
Whilst I was initially unsure, having invested a great deal of time & money into cheesemaking equipment & training, I soon realised that they were right: especially with the added incentive that although there are plenty of ice-cream companies in our locality as it is a coastal/tourism region, there is nevertheless nobody who caters for those unfortunate enough to suffer from allergies to mainstream dairy products.
The composition of goats’ milk is different to that of the cow, having much smaller fat globules which remain suspended in solution. Subsequently, it contains a more readily digestible fat & protein content than is found in cow’s milk & is an excellent source of protein, calcium & phosphate. It is known to have significant health benefits for sufferers of asthma, eczema, recurrent ear infections & even rheumatoid arthritis. And it contains lower levels of lactose than cows’ milk, so is often an acceptable alternative to bovine dairy products, as a result. And the best news is, it contains lower levels of cholesterol – so you can enjoy even more of it!
But what about that ‘goaty’ taste…..? Well; if the male is not running with the herd, the animals are not grazing pasture containing strong-tasting herbage which causes ‘milk taint’; & most crucial of all – if the milk is handled correctly, cleanly (from clean & well-cared-for stock) & is chilled rapidly, immediately after milking; all you should taste is lovely, lightly creamy, sweet milk!
Warren & Ellie’s Caprilatte ice cream bears testament to this. With its’ rich, luxurious taste & velvet-smooth texture, it’s not only a delicious alternative to mainstream dairy ice cream, it is a high quality luxury food in its’ own right, made of the best local produce & manufactured in small, carefully-controlled quantities at Butterfly Lodge Farm. ‘Caprilatte’ has won numerous awards, including Diplomas in the Ice Cream Alliance’s 2006 Awards, in the Non Cows’ Milk & the Strawberry classes. If you’re ever in the Colchester area, make sure you call in & try some….but warning, you’ll be hooked!
Having tried my friends’ ice cream I was immensely impressed & suitably inspired to ‘have a go’ myself, at home. I’ve since experimented with a variety of natural flavours (often growing wild in the hedgerow!) & have been amazed & delighted with the results. As a result we’ve purchased an ice cream batch pasteuriser (which makes 230 litres of ice cream per hour…oh, bliss!) & a cream separator; & can’t wait to get started. Meanwhile poor Tony has to endure being fed my experimental batches of freshly-churned ice cream on a regular basis – what a hard life! There’s still more equipment we require; & I’m off on a professional ice-cream-making course at Reaseheath College in October 2007 – but at least we’re well on the way. And I’ll do my utmost to make ice cream of which my wonderful, supportive friends, will be justifiably proud.
-Please click the links to ‘Caprilatte’ & ‘Monach Farm’ for more info on Warren’s pioneering ice cream antics!-