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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Feb 19, 2009

Country Cottage Ice Cream - A Quickie Recipe

Here is something I heard about this week that I just had to share with my Blog Of Ice Cream readers - an ice cream recipe that's quick and easy to make, that doesn't need an ice cream maker and uses just cream, sugar and yoghurt. No eggs, no milk. Interested? Read on!


  • 10 fl oz (300ml) heavy cream (double cream)
  • 4.5 oz (140g) caster sugar
  • 10fl oz (300ml) good quality, fruit yoghurt (from any store or supermarket)


  • Heat the cream and sugar in a small pan, ensuring the sugar dissolves but do NOT boil it.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add the yoghurt and stir into well mixed.
  • Pour the mixture into small ramekins and leave to cool.
  • When cool, place the ramekins in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and place into the freezer until it becomes the right consistency.
  • Remove from the freezer and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
    Note: Serves 4

I have yet to try this one myself but John, whose recipe it is, assures me he's made it many times and it's always delicious. In case you're wondering who John is, he is not a professional chef but the owner of some super holiday cottages in a quiet country village on the edge of England's stunning Lake District. Perhaps most famous for being Beatrix Potter country, John tells me that there is a multitude of interesting sights to see and things to do in Cumbria. Follow the link to see the list of just 40 of them that he mentions on his site!

If you fancy making some more easy ice cream recipes you can download some from my website - vanilla ice cream, banana ice cream, chocolate ice cream.


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Feb 16, 2009

Baobab Ice Cream Anyone?

One of the reasons that ice cream is such a delicious food is that it can be made with so many different ingredients - from all kinds of fruit to chocolate, wine, tea, coffee and lots more. The biggest category of ingredients has to be that of fruit. Standard popular fruits such as the strawberry are great for making ice cream that's deliciously creamy; the more citrus fruits lend themselves better to making ideal, refreshing sorbets.

I'm always on the look-out for unusual fruits to try in ice cream. Last year I made strasberry ice cream, publishing the first Internet ice cream recipe ever for that fruit - not often you get to achieve a 'world first'! It was such a strong tasting, aromatic ice cream that I can't wait to get my hands on some more strasberries this year when they are in season.

My mother recently sent me a newspaper cutting about .... the Baobab. I had never heard of the word before and yet it sounds like an astonishingly unusual and also beneficial fruit. Here's what the article claims about the Baobab tree:
  • it sometimes referred to as 'the upside-down tree' because of its root-like branches
  • it can live for up to 500 years with some living as long as 2,000 years
  • it has been known to grow up to a height of as much as 98 feet
  • hollowed out baobab trees in Africa are sometimes used as shops and barns
  • the baobab fruit looks like a coconut on the outside
  • its white pulp is powdery with a cheese-like texture
  • the pulp tastes slightly sour
  • it is high in iron, potassium and anti-oxidants
  • it is native to Africa
  • it has been revered in Africa for thousands of years
  • only specially trained people are allowed to climb the baobab tree to collect its fruit
  • in some parts of East Africa it is sold as a type of sweet with a red, sugar coating

The nutritious properties of the baobab's pulp apparently make it ideal as an ingredient for cereal bars and smoothies and it is now being imported into the EU for the very first time for that purpose.

So we have a new fruit to experiment with - and enjoy. I have yet to see any baobab fruit pulp in my local supermarket but I will keep looking as I would love to try some in an ice cream recipe. As and when I do you'll hear about it on this blog .... so watch this space!

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Dec 28, 2008

Festive Spicy Ice Cream

During the Christmas holidays many of us meet up with friends and family that we don't see very often throughout the rest of the year. So I think it's a great time to give people a treat. Cooking at home for people is a real pleasure - sure it's hard work too but it's like anything, the more positive the energy you put into it, the better the result. With food of any kind this makes the best possible recipe!

So how about making some spicy ice cream for your guests? Most are not likely to have tried this before but, given that it's Christmas, they're probably in party mood and would really relish trying something a little different - especially if the host has gone to the trouble of making a homemade treat.

My idea? Honey with Cinammon and Cloves Ice Cream. Great, simple ingredients - honey, milk, sugar, eggs and cream with the added spice of cloves and cinammon. It's not the quickest ice cream recipe because you need to allow the spices to infuse in the milk (at least an hour or even overnight if you have time) but it's the richness of the spices that makes this ice cream special. It's probably only at Christmas, or at least in winter time, that you'll think of making and eating such an ice cream in fact ... but that's what makes ice cream such a fantastic food - you can vary the ingredients according to the seasons.

Follow the link above to find the full recipe instructions.

I hope you enjoy this festive, spicy ice!

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Jul 12, 2008

Green Tea Ice Cream

Green tea ice cream is not the first ice cream flavor that comes to mind but it's one of the more unusual ice cream recipes. It's also surprisingly popular and my green tea ice cream recipe is amongst the top 10 ice cream recipes viewed on my website.

Admittedly it's a rich recipe using cream and eggs but if you're looking for an indulgence to share with family and friends that's just that little bit different, it's certainly worth considering and that's probably the reason it's so popular.

The other reason for its popularity is possibly because more people are becoming aware of green tea's reported health giving properties. For example, green tea is totally unfermented - in fact it's steamed which gives it up to 60 per cent more polyphenols than most other teas. This is one reason why there's also a growing demand for green tea extract as a health supplement.

Green tea is a fascinating subject and if you'd like to read more I have a dedicated green tea web page.

Did you know that movie superstar and marshall arts expert Jackie Chan has put his name to a selection of green teas? I was surprised to learn this because he doesn't exactly need the advertising revenue! However, having read about Jackie Chan's life, career and wonderful charitable endeavours, it's clear he's a man with strong convictions. These include taking a pride in yourself, your health and the world around you. I remember once watching the outtakes from one of his earlier movies called 'Mr. Nice Guy' and after a street scene shot had been completed, Jackie was seen to bend down and start picking up litter from the gutter only to go and put it all in a street litter bin and then calmly walk off with no fuss back to continue filming.

Having just read about Jackie Chan's Tea I'm keen to try some out myself. If you want to do the same, it is now available online - in the green tea products section of the Ice Cream Recipes Online Store (in association with Amazon).

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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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