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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Apr 11, 2009

Easter Ice Cream - With Chocolate, Nuts & Honey

Every Easter I'm aware that many of my readers will be thinking of doing some home entertaining or, at the least, a little home cooking. So Easter recipes are high on the agenda for Internet searches around this time of year - and I don't want to disappoint anyone who is looking for ideas!

Last Easter I suggested a rich white chocolate ice cream recipe. Great for using up any white chocolate easter eggs you might have left over. The same applies to milk chocolate too - here is my chocolate ice cream recipe using real milk chocolate. So if your family gets a lot of chocolate this Easter, remember they don't have to eat it all at once - make some ice cream with it or, indeed, keep some of the chocolate until after the holidays and then make ice cream with it. After all, the 'best before' date on chocolate is usually pretty good. In fact I met a chocolatier a couple of years ago who told me that, generally speaking, chocolate can be good for up to as long as a year after it's been made. Even so, you should always check the manufacturer's date on the packaging.

However, I digress .... back to Easter ice cream!

This Easter I'm going to suggest 2 ice cream recipes:

Something 'nutty' - my crunchy pecan & maple syrup ice cream recipe. The reason? It has proven to be one of the most popular with people I know which makes it a pretty good bet for when you have visitors over the holidays.

Something 'sweet' - my honey ice cream recipe. The reason? Most people like honey. It also gives a great texture to the ice cream and, funnily enough, is an ice cream flavor that many people have yet to try. So the reaction to be offered it is usually one of surprise and interest.

Honey is always great to have in your kitchen at Easter anyway - it's delicious served on hot cross buns or scones!

Indeed, if you serve honey in any shape or form over Easter, you might like to share with your guests a few, fascinating facts about the wonderful honey bee. The link I've given is to a great BBC web page - nothing too scientfic or overbearing, just some great information.

Happy Easter ice cream making!

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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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