Apr 3, 2010

Easter Egg Ice Cream

Over the last 10 years I have learned and indeed written a lot about making ice cream. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that ICE CREAM is a vast subject! Perhaps that's why I enjoy it so much - there is always something new to learn, always a challenge that awaits.

When it comes to Easter, however, I have realised that there is only one truly appropriate homemade ice cream you can make .... Easter egg ice cream.

Chocolate Easter eggs come in all shapes and sizes and the chocolate might be white, dark or milk. My mother, who is 80 this year, recalls fondly the chocolate easter eggs of her childhood. It was 1930s England and they were always milk chocolate eggs, made by Cadbury. Only about 3 inches tall, they had no fancy foil wrapping but were memorable for the tortoise-shell pattern on the outside of the chocolate shell. As one of 9 children, she only got 1 easter egg but relished every bit and there was never any left over in the household!

How times have changed .... today, according to many people I know and from what I have read in the media, there is invariably some Easter egg chocolate left over in the average household .... often because there have simply been too many bought or received as presents. Before the holiday comes to an end, everyone has had more than their fair share of chocolate so an Easter egg or two gets put to one side 'for a rainy day'.

Well, whether you wait for the rain to come or not, just remember that you can always use up that spare Easter egg in some homemade ice cream. My suggestions?

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

White Chocolate Ice Cream

And if you don't use up all that Easter egg chocolate in making your ice cream, remember you can grate it to use as a fabulous ice cream topping.

Happy Easter .... eggs and all!

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Oct 6, 2009

Longevity With A Love Of Ice Cream

I had never heard the name of Getrude Baines until recently. Aged 115 she had become the world's oldest woman but sadly passed away last month. The story of her life is a fascinating one and was reported around the world. The biggest single point of interest seemed to focus on her diet. Let's face it, if someone could come up with the exact diet that allows longevity beyond 100 years, there would be serious demand for that knowledge! So naturally the media focused on what Getrude had enjoyed eating all her life. To the astonishment of many she said she enjoyed eating 3 things:

  • fried chicken
  • bacon
  • ice cream

Eating ice cream until you're 115 - what an amazing thought!

Thinking about this reminded me of how two of the oldest women that have ever lived (ages 119 and 122) had admitted to being big eaters of chocolate all their lives. Could it be that ice cream and chocolate, two of the foods most vilified for their potential negative impact on health, could in fact have a special, hidden secret? If so, just imagine the potential of chocolate ice cream!

It might be just a coincidence of course. My own belief, however, is that these foods can have a very positive effect upon a person's frame of mind. Chocolate has been proven to contain a mood enhancer called phenylethylamine and as for ice cream, well, anyone who really enjoys ice cream knows the good feeling they experience when they eat it. What's that if not mood enhancement? Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing the idea of people over indulging in chocolate and ice cream. No, I think it's simply a case of 'a little of what you fancy does you good'. In fact I've just Google'd the phrase and a BBC article came up in the results with a report on how researchers have discovered that physical and emotional enjoyment can enhance immune function for hours afterwards. Effectively, life's small pleasures may be able to boost the immune system over a long period. Perhaps Getrude just knew it all along.

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Jul 29, 2008

More Gelato Recipes

I've written about gelato ice cream before and introduced you to a nice vanilla gelato recipe which you can make at home. Now I have more gelato recipes and wanted to share them with you. I've chosen to cover chocolate and banana which I have read are 2 of the most popular flavors in gelato ice cream:

chocolate gelato (gelato cioccolato)
banana gelato (gelato banana)

The chocolate gelato recipe calls for dark chocolate as an ingredient and although I don't like to eat dark chocolate on its own, I find it super in ice cream or in this case gelato. I'm sure there are other people out there like me! There's something about blending rich chocolate into an ice cream mixture that becomes quite irresistable!

I read an interesting BBC article a couple of years ago about how chocolate can be beneficial to health and it led me to read up more on the subject. What I found was an amazing array of information, anecdotes and research in support of the idea and my chocolate and health web page was written as a result. There's so much to know and understand about chocolate and I'm sure there's still more to be learned.

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Jun 2, 2008

Ice Cream Knowledge Earns $50,000

A favorite TV quiz show in my family is "Eggheads" where a team of "Quiz Experts" are challenged each show by a team from the general public. It's not often that the challengers win and indeed the prize money ($2000 per show) rolls over to the next show if they don't. So by the time a team finally beats the "Eggheads" the prize money is usually quite high.

On a recent show we were watching, the challengers actually won - and what's more the key question they answered correctly was about ice cream! Here it is ....

Question: What costs $1,000 as a 'house special' at Serendipity 3 in New York?

Answer: A Chocolate Sundae

The challengers not only had the pride of knowing they'd beaten the experts but they won $50,000 in the process. How's that for a pay-off to liking ice cream!

The real, detailed answer to the question of course is 'Golden Opulence Sundae' which I've previously written about on Blog Of Ice Cream. (Follow the link to view)

If you're interested in ice cream sundaes, you'll find pictures on my website of ones I made at home including:

strawberry ice cream sundae

chocolate ice cream sundae

There are more on the main page of ice cream sundae pictures.

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Mar 21, 2008

Easter Foods, Traditions, Recipes

Celebrating Easter is a tradition in many parts of the world and usually involves a short holiday, allowing people to make time to get together with family and friends. Sharing the celebration of Easter also means sharing food so it's not surprising that there are also traditional foods for eating at this special time of year. These include hot cross buns, simnel cake and, of course, easter eggs.

Why then are certain foods associated with Easter? It's a good question and one which many of us overlook, simply taking forgranted that we may be given some simnel cake or a hot cross bun when out visiting over Easter. To answer this and other questions about Easter I decided to read more and I found 2 great websites which I'd like to share with you - for no reason other than they are really good, interesting resources of information.

The first is called Kaboose which is a well established site all about family, food, home and crafts. This page is worth visiting - ideas for Easter recipes (including an Easter Basket Cake).

The second is a page on the BBC website about Easter traditions which covers why certain foods have a connection with Easter - eg. simnel cake and hot cross buns. It also goes into the tradition of Easter eggs and why they are still so popular today.

If you are cooking a special Easter dinner this weekend, there's certainly no shortage of ideas for good recipes to try and, not wanting to miss out on such an opportunity, I'm going to add my 'three peneth' (great, old Yorkshire saying!) by suggesting one of my own recipes - rich white chocolate ice cream. I made some recently and even went so far as to add a little mashed banana as an experiment. The end result was delicious though a single scoop was more than enough for me as it was very rich!

Whatever you're doing over Easter - have a happy one!

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Mar 13, 2008

Food & Health - Chocolate to Green Tea

When I work through a new ice cream recipe I'm always interested to look beyond the end result of the homemade ice cream itself and read up on the properties of the ingredients. For example, when I made a honey ice cream I read about the history of honey and was fascintate to read about its health properties.

The same applied when I made chocolate ice cream and green tea ice cream. I read that chocolate is a great mood enhancer because it contains phenylethylamine; indeed two of the oldest women that ever lived (ages 119 and 122) admitted to being big eaters of chocolate all their lives. Could there be something in chocolate that benefits women's health? There's a lot of scientific research being done into chocolate and many other everyday foods; unravelling their mysteries will take time but may eventually be worth it.

Until then, perhaps women who like chocolate (like me!) will continue to seek more conventional women's health products to help cope with the stresses of modern living - from vitamins to detox remedies and more. Then there's your children's health to think about - vitamins for kids are well worth reading up on in order to ensure they get a good balanced diet - with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure of course!

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