Boy · Dahl

Bestemama & Bestepapa’s Krokan Ice Cream

Author: Dahl, Roald
Book: Boy: Tales of Childhood
Difficulty rating: Pride and Prejudice

Deliciousness rating: Outstanding

A tremendous craggy mountain of home-made ice-cream would be carried in. Apart from being the creamiest ice cream in the world, the flavour was unforgettable. There were thousands of little chips of crisp burnt toffee mixed into it (the Norwegians call it krokan), and as a result it didn’t simply melt in your mouth like ordinary ice-cream. You chewed it and it went crunch and the taste was something you dreamed about for days afterwards. (Dahl 57)


From Roald Dahl’s Cookbook by Felicity and Roald Dahl (141)

  • Krokan 
    • 1 oz butter. This is the one project where you shouldn’t use KerryGold butter — it’s so soft, it must mess up the ratio of water to other ingredients. Use regular butter instead.
    • 2.5 oz almonds, skinned and coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 oz almonds, skinned and finely chopped (the recipe called for bitter almonds, but they’re illegal in the U.S. because they contain cyanide in raw form)
    • 5 oz sugar
    • Salt (not included in the original recipe, but let’s be real, toffee is always better with salt)
  • Créme Anglaise 
    • 1.75 pints milk
    • 1 vanilla pod, split
    • 10 egg yolks
    • 9 oz sugar
    • 4 oz heavy cream


1. Put the ice cream maker in the freezer for a week so it’s cold enough.

2. Make the krokan. Lightly grease a piece of foil placed on a baking sheet.

3. Mix the butter, almonds, and sugar in a heavy frying pan.

4. Cook over medium heat. Stir continuously, making sure it doesn’t burn.

5. When it’s a nice golden color, turn onto the greased foil.

Krokan - Feature
Krokan 2

6. Let it cool completely.

7. Put the toffee in a Ziploc bag and lightly crush it into small pieces with a rolling pin.

Krokan 3

8. Make the créme anglaise. Put the milk and the split vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

9. Meanwhile, put the yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and mousse-like.

10. Still whisking, pour on the milk until combined.

11. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Over low heat, stir continuously until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (Be careful not to overheat the mixture or it will separate.)

12. Pass through a fine sieve and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

13. Churn the ice cream. When the créme anglaise has cooled, add the cream and pour it into the ice cream machine. Churn until almost frozen. Add the krokan and churn for another few minutes.

14. Serve straight from the machine or freeze until needed.

15. Serve the ice cream with as much extra krokan topping as you like.

Krokan 4
Did it measure up?
Guys, try this. You don’t have to make the créme anglaise — just get some good vanilla ice cream. The krokan doesn’t take long, and it is magical.

Dahl, Roald. Boy: Tales of Childhood. New York: Puffin Books, 1984.

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