Oct 28, 2009

Hello Halloween With A Fun Ice Cream!

Having read the title of this post you might be given to thinking that I have started writing poetry! No, give me a scoop in preference to a pen any day! It's just that Halloween is all about fun for children and I'm a great believer in "The Fun Of Ice Cream". Put the two things together and you can enjoy a fabulously, fun Halloween with ice cream as part of it.

My ice cream recipe idea for this Halloween?
Licorice toffee ice cream.

It's a creamy, sweet and sticky ice cream with a gloriously, ghoulish grey color - what I call "Gothic ice cream". I was thrilled when I first had the idea to make this ice cream because I wasn't quite sure what the color and consistency would be. Would it be too black? Would it be too sticky? Not a bit .... it worked out superbly.

Here is my Gothic ice cream recipe if you would like to try it.

Labels: , ,

Oct 23, 2009

Fall Is Here - Want Some Autumnal Ice Cream?

This time of year, the sunny days of summer can seem like a distant memory. The leaves are falling from the trees, the landscape is changing and the daylight hours becoming shorter. So what do you do at this time of year to 'brighten' up the day? Well, of course there's lots to choose from but many people, including myself, turn to the kitchen and see what we can cook up that's new and exciting.

At the moment my family is into Thai food and every week I'm working on a new and appropriate recipe. The essential ingredient in Thai food is coconut. It adds such a creamy and exotic taste to the dishes. If you like coconut then Thai food is for you!

Clearly a lot of people like coconut - my coconut ice cream recipe is one of the most popular downloads on ice-cream-recipes.com. In the last 12 months it has bee viewed times!

So if you long for a taste of summer this time of year, try some homemade coconut ice cream.

Labels: , ,

Oct 17, 2009

A Tangy Sweet Sorbet

When you've made as much homemade ice cream as I have over the years, it can sometimes feel like you've covered pretty much all bases ... but that thought has only ever lingered with me a second or two before a new ice cream idea then enters my head! That's the fun of ice cream and what happened recently when I gathered in the final apples of the season from my garden. I already have an apple sorbet recipe so what else might work?

I thought back to my childhood days when my mother would bake a traditional, English fresh apple and blackberry pie. I can close my eyes and still remember the warm, sweeet smell in the kitchen! We would look forward to it being served, freshly baked and hot from the oven - delicious.

Apple and blackberry pie was one of my father's favourite desserts and he was happy to eat it with custard or cream or ice cream. He loved ice cream in fact and was my "Knickerbocker Glory Champion".

Thinking of that good old, homemade pie gave me the answer .... I could use freshly picked homegrown garden apples with blackberries to make a sorbet.

How did it work out?

Well, as you can see from the photograph, it made a beautifully dark pink, luscious-looking sorbet with a tangy yet sweet taste. A true 'sweet and sour' water ice.

I served it for my family with some fresh fruit and they loved it. It's such a strong tasting sorbet that you only need a single scoop and it positively brings the fresh fruit alive.

Here it is my apple and blackberry sorbet recipe.

There's lots more reading on sorbet recipes on my website.

Labels: , , , , ,

Oct 10, 2009

French Ice Cream

Last weekend I cooked dinner for my family and some visiting friends. We all like Thai food so I opted to cook a Thai red chicken curry, served with rice, noodles and some fresh spinach. For dessert I served fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, chopped banana and peach) accompanied by homemade vanilla ice cream ... freshly made. It was so fresh that I had the ice cream maker churning whilst we were still eating the main course! It was delicious - honestly, I am not just saying that; everyone at the table echoed the feeling with my husband saying it was the best vanilla ice cream he had ever tasted! The recipe, which is on ice-cream-recipes.com of course (just follow the link above), is what I call a custard base ice cream and uses a real vanilla pod, fresh eggs, fresh milk, sugar and fresh cream. Essentially this is "French ice cream" because it requires a cooked egg custard.

Many years ago, using the term French ice cream inferred it was the best possible ice cream that you might find on a restaurant menu. One example is that of the RMS Titanic's first and second class dining menus - "French Ice Cream" for first class passengers and "American Ice Cream" for second class. Read my "Ice Cream & Class Distinction On The RMS Titanic" post from 2008.

Since those days of course the world has changed a lot and I doubt very much if the French only eat French ice cream! They definitely have a passion for ice cream though and I know this for 2 reasons ....

  • Firstly, the statistics from ice-cream-recipes.com show a significant number of visitors from France, searching in French for the term "glaces maison" (homemade ice cream)
  • Secondly, a friend who enjoys taking holidays in France - especially in and around Poitou Charentes - tells me that the ice cream there is always very, very good.

There are of course lots of other 'national' variations on ice cream such as Italian ice cream but that's a post for another day!

Labels: , , , ,

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.

Labels: , ,