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I scream

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I have, until now, rebelled against making my own ice cream. I refused to get an ice cream maker, thinking (rightly so, in my opinion) that they are a one-use item that take up far too much space. Plus it just seemed too, well, indulgent, to make something with nothing but double cream, eggs, sugar and milk. Something which will then, most likely, be eaten in one sitting. Now however I am proud to say I am a convert. Homemade ice cream is a revelation. That could well be because double cream, eggs and sugar are a whole lot more expensive than whey powder and the various gums that most ice creams are made with. Or it could be because for my first foray into ice cream I chose to make marzipan swirl ice cream. Either way it was beyond fantastic and there is now very little left after I took spoon to tub while sat in front of Julie & Julia, a film that is guaranteed to make you want to eat. Lots. May I suggest making this ice cream for a reason, a particular event or recipe, because having it sat in the freezer is, quite frankly, a terrible idea.

Marzipan swirl ice cream
From Love and Olive Oil

5o0ml double cream
250ml milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
3 drops almond extract

For the almond paste
50g ground almonds
25g powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg
50ml double cream

1. In a medium saucepan over a medium heat stir together 250ml of the double cream, the milk, sugar and salt.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks and then spoon in a tablespoon of the warm milk to temper the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Add roughly a quarter of the warmed milk/cream mixture to the egg yolks, then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan and stir for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly, to the consistency of a very runny custard. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. Stir in the 3 drops of almond essence, just enough to make the mixture taste tantalisingly, beguilingly of almonds, but not overwhelm the custard. Then whisk in the remaining 250ml double cream and leave the custard to cool in a tub overnight in the fridge.

4. To make the ice cream pour the chilled custard into a large, wide tub, with a large surface area and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. Every half hour, remove the custard from the freezer and stir it with a spatula vigorously and thoroughly, to break up any crystals that have formed, before returning it to the freezer.

5. Meanwhile, make the almond paste by stirring together the ground almonds, powdered sugar, lemon juice and egg in a pan to create a sticky paste. Pour over the cream and over a low heat stir until the past dissolves into the cream. Set aside to cool.

6. Once the ice cream has reached the consistency of soft, well, ice cream, spoon roughly 1/3 of it into a smaller storage tub. Drizzle some of the almond swirl on top, then add more ice cream. Alternate until both have been used up and you have a suitably layered and swirled dessert. Return the tub to the freezer for another hour at least, or up to a month or more, before diving in.

Makes a couple of pints, though this is highly dependent on how much of the custard you, ahem, “test” before getting to the freezing stage. And when I say test I definitely don’t mean dipping a ladle into the custard and tipping it into your mouth. No. That would be grotesque.




Written by guffblog

12th September 2011 at 21:30

Posted in Frozen delights

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Blend and freeze

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As summer starts hinting that it’s going to draw to a close, I know, already, it’s sad isn’t it, now is the time to make the most of your blender and freezer. First, stock up on those fruits that are in season; apricots, peaches, cherries, plums and freeze, freeze, freeze. You’ll thank me when you have almost fresh stone fruits in mid-winter, all ready to be thrown into a crumble or pie, to break the monotony of more damn apples. Second, stock up on those fruits which are reduced because they’re on their last legs; strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, the squishier the better. Then blend, blend, blend into smoothies, syrups and fruit soups. Alternatively, combine the two methods and blend and freeze to make real ice lollies, which are such a revelation, once tasted those five-tone stripy round lollies that look like they’re wearing little jumpers will never be on your shopping list again.

Strawberry, balsamic and black pepper ice lollies
From Epicurious

100g strawberries, hulled and halved
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and add a little more vinegar or sugar, depending on how sweet or tangy you want them to be. Pour into lolly moulds and freeze for 3-4 hours or until ready to eat.

Makes 4 small lollies.

Written by guffblog

15th August 2011 at 16:11


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The key to a good yoghurt-based ice lolly is swirls. Absolutely. Layers are all well and good, and freezing fruit in a fancy formation so it peeks out at you from the surface of the lolly is very stylish and of-the-moment, but nothing beats swirls. They look so effortlessly stylish, make you think of sauce that’s melted and slowly dribbled down the sides of the lolly. And the key to swirls, oddly enough, is not swirling. You would think all you have to do is mix the yoghurt and the sauce, give it a couple of turns with the spoon and then pour it into the mould. Nothing could be further from the truth. Beautiful swirls take care, attention and time. The most important thing is to allow each part of the lolly to freeze in place before moving onto the next section. Of course, if all you want is a redcurrant and yoghurt lolly then feel free to slop all the ingredients in a mould together, add a lolly stick and leave to freeze. If however you want your frozen desserts to have style, you’ll need to be prepared for a tiny (only really very small) amount of faff.

Redcurrant-swirled yoghurt lollies
Inspired by Cannelle et Vanille

The redcurrant sauce recipe makes a good pound or so of the stuff, but it’s great swirled (or dolloped) into yoghurt or cooked down a bit further into a jam. It’s quite tart so feel free to up the sugar accordingly, and is also full of pips, which can be strained out if you like, though I personally like the little pops of mouth-puckering acid you get when you bite into one.

Redcurrant sauce

500g redcurrants
2 teaspoon lemon juice
50g sugar

120ml yoghurt
100ml redcurrant sauce
1 teaspoon honey

1. First make the redcurrant sauce. Top and tail the redcurrants (alternatively throw them in whole and strain later). Add to a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar and cook first over a low heat, until they release some of their juice, then over a medium heat, so they gently simmer and slowly cook down into a sauce. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Once thoroughly sauced, set aside to cool.

2. In a small bowl stir the yoghurt and honey together. Take your ice lolly mould and a full tablespoon of redcurrant sauce and liberally smear the inside of each mould with the sauce. Make sure the sauce is all over the sides of the mould as well as in the base. Place the mould in the freezer to set. This is the main step to getting the best swirly effect.

3. About 20 minutes later remove the moulds from the freezer and put a tablespoon of yoghurt in each, topped with half a tablespoon of sauce. Spread the sauce over the surface of the yoghurt, then return the moulds to the freezer. Leave for 30 minutes, then repeat with the rest of the yoghurt and sauce. Put the lolly sticks in the moulds; they should go through the lower layers with only some resistance, unless you have left the moulds in the freezer for too long. Refreeze until ready to serve.

Makes 4 average-sized lollies plus lots of redcurrant sauce.

Written by guffblog

11th July 2011 at 20:38

Posted in Frozen delights

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One soft avocado

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One soft avocado, sitting on its own, smooth green flesh, heart of stone; its friend already eaten, leaving it all alone.

I only needed one, but apparently avocadoes come in twos these days; they need a buddy to hold their hand on their big adventure into the outside world, beyond the doors of the supermarket and into someone’s home. Now I could have just eaten the avocado straight up, with a little salt, but that seemed an inauspicious end for such a noble fruit. Instead I wondered how to best make use of the rich, creamy fattiness of the fruit and settled on ice lollies. Most recipes I saw online for avocado ice cream or “pops” included copious amounts of either water and sugar, or cream, which both seemed rather odd to me since a sickly sweet avocado-flavoured anything does not appeal, at least not to my mind, though perhaps my tastebuds would beg to differ, and the avocado is so lovely and creamy as is, that it doesn’t need cream or lots of liquid to thin it out. So I added just a hint of sweetness, a hint of sour, and a hint of salt to make a subtle lolly that’s creamy without the cream and the most beautiful shade of green.

Avocado ice lollies

1 soft avocado, stoned and cut roughly into chunks
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon honey
5 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more milk to get a completely smooth texture. Pour or spoon into ice lolly moulds and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Makes 2 large ice lollies.

Written by guffblog

28th June 2011 at 19:25

Posted in Frozen delights

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