Jul 1, 2009

Ice Cream Passion Poll - A Call To Ice Cream Lovers!

Hurrah! July is here - National Ice Cream Month has arrived. A great time to talk about Ice Cream Passion!

Here's the thing .... the number of visitors to ice-cream-recipes.com builds year on year by an average of 33%. I don't think the percentage of people around the world getting connected to the Net every year is as high as that in fact, and if I am right, it can only mean one thing - that the popularity of ice cream is growing. This is backed up by the fact that from the 1.15 million people who visited ice-cream-recipes.com in 2008, 4 out of 5 were new visitors.

People search consistently for "vanilla ice cream", "homemade ice cream", "strawberry ice cream recipe" all clearly indicating a passion for learning more about ice cream making.

So I've been asking myself how I can appease this passion a little more .... how can I make people feel like they are making a contribution to ice cream know-how?

The answer - "The Ice Cream Passion Poll"

I have opened up this blog post to comments and invite anyone with a passion for ice cream to CAST YOUR VOTE. Want to take part?
Sign in via your Google account and just state the following information:

1. The country where you live
2. If you are male or female
3. Your favorite, all time ice cream flavor
4. Your favorite ice cream topping/sauce
5. If you have a favorite ice cream memory

This is an exciting experiment for SERIOUS ice cream fans and if it proves popular (and doesn't get abused with junk posting!) then it will be an endorsement of the good side of the Net - allowing people around the world to share their ice cream thoughts with each other. So climb on board and join the Ice Cream Passion Poll!

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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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Apr 25, 2007

Vanilla Ice Cream

The most popular ice cream in the world is vanilla ice cream yet when you first consider the facts about vanilla it’s hard to see where the appeal comes from.

For example:
- The vanilla bean is not a fruit but from a climbing orchid
- It’s classed as a spice
- It’s visually very unappealing - dark, long and thin in appearance
- When first picked it has no fragrance at all

Not the kind of characteristics you would imagine for such an immensely popular and indeed valuable commodity.

So why is vanilla ice cream so popular? In my view you’ll find the best answer in making your own homemade vanilla ice cream. The taste is quite simply unique – a blend of sweetness mixed with a hint of spice, a slight fruitiness yet somehow floral as well.

There are different recipes for making vanilla ice cream. Whether you use actual vanilla beans or vanilla essence, whether you opt to use a custard base or just cream and condensed milk (quick & easy recipe), you’ll come out with a delicious tasting ice cream every time. A tribute to the unique appeal of vanilla.

Try one of my 2 Vanilla ice cream recipes

Watch the video – Making Vanilla Ice Cream

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Apr 12, 2007

Making Homemade Ice Cream

Say the words: “Ice Cream” to just about anyone and you’ll get an instant positive reaction – anything from a smile to a few words of praise to profuse extolling of its virtues! Let’s face it …. we love ice cream. Here at ice-cream-recipes.com I’ve been writing about ice cream and researching its many facets for some years now and I’ve yet to run short of new ideas and information to bring to my readers. I suppose it’s because making ice cream is great fun and something you never get bored with. There’s always new recipes to try, new ways to present what you make and even different ways to making ice cream. For example:

Using an Ice Cream Maker
If you want to make your own homemade ice cream on a regular basis, prefer to serve it fresh as soon as it’s made and can afford an electric ice cream maker, then this is the way to go.

ice cream makerI wouldn’t be without mine! Basically, it freezes as it batches taking from just 20 to 40 minutes (depending upon how soft or hard you like your ice cream). To me there’s lots of advantages to having an ice cream maker – here’s my list.

Using a Bowl and Your Freezer
This is the way most people made their ice cream before electric ice cream makers came along. Once you have your ice cream recipe mixture prepared you just need a wide topped bowl, use of your freezer, lots of arm power for regular beating of the mixture and a few hours spare for the freezing process. See my dedicated web page for full details.

Using Rock Salt & Ice (better done outdoors than inside the house – also great as a fun project for children)a) the smallest and simplest method is to use 2 plastic, zippable bags, one smaller than the other. Put your ice cream ingredients into the smaller bag, zip it up and then insert that inside the larger bag with rock salt and ice in between the bags. Roll the whole thing around for about 20 minutes, allowing the rock salt and ice to freeze the mixture. b) same as above but on a larger scale using 2 empty, cleaned food tins (1 larger than the other) that have separate and re-sealable lids. Mix your ingredients in the first, smaller tin and seal tightly using tape to ensure the lid is firmly sealed if necessary. Place this inside the larger tin and pack the rock sale and ice in between the 2 tins. Seal well. Roll around for about 20 minutes.

strawberry ice creamWhatever method you choose of making ice cream, it’s an enjoyable experience, made all the more wonderful by being able to enjoy what you’ve produced.

The Fun of Ice Cream is here to stay!
Watch our Vanilla Ice Cream Video

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