Goat's milk is not only low in lactose but is perfect for ice-cream, says Craig Allen of Greedy Goat.
We've had people in tears of joy at our stall in Borough Market, London. These people are tasting ice‑cream for the first time in years, because they're lactose-intolerant or have an allergy. They well up; then we well up. It's so rewarding.
Goat's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk. It does contain lactose, but only a tiny amount compared to cow's milk. It makes a great base for ice-cream - it tastes less fatty and enhances the flavours we add, such as salted caramel, honeycomb, and strawberry and balsamic. Customers think it's going to taste sour or "goaty", but it doesn't.
Greedy Goat was founded by me and my friends Mark, Toby and Tom. We'd come to Borough Market in our lunch break, have a beer and discuss what we'd make if we had a stall. Then Toby stumbled across a goat's milk farmer in Essex and Greedy Goat was born in 2011. There are about 90 Anglo-Nubian goats on the farm. We used to make the ice-cream there, but now we get the milk delivered to the "goat shack", our HQ in south London.
Ice-cream has become boring. We want to make quirky flavours and encourage people to try new combinations. We pour Matcha tea over clotted ice-cream, and drizzle olive oil over pistachio to bring out the nuttiness.
The business is growing fast. We're about to launch into delis, talking to farmer's markets about more stalls and we're also supporting a charity called Kids For Kids by buying a goat a month for families in Darfur. We're all still doing our day jobs, too, which is getting complicated. We're all passionate about this.
Salted caramel goat's milk ice-cream
Salted caramel is our most popular flavour - we always sell out of it at the stall.
For the salted caramel
250g caster sugar
50g unsalted goat's milk butter at room temperature
125g whole goat's cream
For the ice-cream
650ml whole goat's milk
135ml whole goat's cream
1 vanilla pod
75g salted caramel
1 Make the caramel first. Add the sugar to a large saucepan. Heat the sugar over a medium-high heat, whisking it as it melts. When the sugar is a deep amber colour and has a slight toasted aroma, this is the point where the caramel can go from being perfect to burnt in seconds, so keep an eye on it.
2 Add the butter, but be careful, as the caramel will bubble up as it's added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it has all melted. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream. Whisk until it has fully incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Whisk in the salt. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10-15 minutes, pour into a glass jar and cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks.
3 To make the ice-cream, gently heat the goat's milk and cream in a large saucepan. When the mixture reaches 40C on a sugar thermometer, stir in the sugar. Split the vanilla pod with a knife and scrape out the seeds. Add them to the mixture. Whisk slowly in the pan until the temperature reaches 85C then filter and decant the mixture in a container and chill at a temperature below 4C. Chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours.
4 Remove from the fridge, mix in the salted caramel and blitz with a hand blender. Freeze the mixture in an ice-cream machine according to instructions, then place in a freezer to set for at least two hours. If you don't have a machine, place the mixture in the freezer for 45 minutes, take it out and stir and repeat. Return to freezer once more for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Exclusive reader offer
Greedy Goat is giving readers 50p off their next scoop of ice-cream from its London Borough Market stall - simply quote "Guardian Cook offer". Valid until end of June 2013
In Picture: Craig Allen from Greedy Goat Ice-Cream at Borough Market. Photograph: Tricia de Courcy Ling for the Guardian