Tag Archives: ice-cream

An Anniversary and A Marriage Made in Heaven…..Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

30 Sep strawb yoghurt 2

Tomorrow is Mister H and my second wedding anniversary.

If I had a hat, I would surely have been clinging onto it because we’ve had one hell of a ride, if you think about it. Life is really quite an adventure, huh?

International jaunts in the guise of honeymoons, a seriously grown-up mortgage, a move from the urban cool, to the suburban un-so, watching our delightful little man grow from a baby into a boy, and of course, our darling baby girl joined us and three became four.

One hell of a couple of years, indeed.

In fact, if we continued this trajectory, with this speed, our heads may well implode by our tenth anniversary, which would be a shame as I’m looking forward to making it to the tin gift, as I’ve always wanted a genuine billy can.

Mister H and I broke up for a time in our early dating period….. Or to be more precise, Mister H broke up with me.
What an idiot.

When he realised he’d made a terrible fuck up faux pas, one of his wooing techniques was to whisk me away to Port Douglas for a weekend of romance. I was making him work pretty hard for the honey, but I relented in the case of a tropical, all-expenses paid, weekend away in Far North Queensland.

One morning, we were walking along the romantic, crocodile infested, waterfront when we happened across a stunning little, white weatherboard chapel amongst the palm trees.
It had stained glass windows, and housed maybe 50 people at a push, and I fell in love…..With the chapel, not Mister H. I was still cranky as hell at him.

I’m going to get married there one day, I murmured, all glassy eyed, but not thinking him.

Just someone special.

Anyhoo, fast forward 12 months or so and he did propose to marry…. And as you may have guessed I said -

‘Sure thing, Sugar Lips, let’s get hitched’

Sorta. That’s what I wished I said. That would have been cool, huh?
What I actually said was along the lines of -

‘You’re not just saying that because I’m up the duff, are you?’

I’d pushed that chapel incident far to the reaches of my mind, so imagine my surprise when I asked my Dutch husband-to-be, with friends and family all over the world, where he would like to get married?

Port Douglas. In a little chapel.

Someone special, indeed.

Strawberry is the fruit of love and they’re damned cheap and delicious at the moment. Each tasty, little, red gem is like pure sunshine on your tongue.
I can truly see why they’re the fruit of love…..and the food of love? Ice cream, of course.

‘Tis surely a marriage made in heaven?

I wanted to make a creamy, yummy, strawberry frozen yoghurt but every time I’ve used fruit in an ice cream it’s gone icy and poo.

I realised my favorite fruit ices were often delicious swirls of fruit that actually tasted more like jam than pureed fruit, so after a couple of experiments, I came up with this.
It’s easy, it’s healthy, and it tastes like love in a bowl.
This can be made either with an ice cream machine or without….something for everyone.

Yield – about a litre

You will need -

  • 300g fresh strawberries, hulled, and chopped
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 700g good quality Greek yoghurt

Throw your strawberries and sugar into a heavy based pan over a low heat on the stove. Cook down, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or so until it’s quite jammy and strawberries look kind of clear and gummy.

Icecream machine -
Chuck your yoghurt into the machine and turn it on, stirring in all but 2 tablespoons of your strawberry mixture. Churn as per machine directions (about 15-20 minutes), then transfer into your freezer container. Dot your remaining strawberry mixture on the top and then swirl it through gently with a spoon.
Freeze for 3-4 hours until firm.

In freezer without machine -
Mix your yoghurt and all but 2 tablespoons of strawberry mixture in a bowl and place in the freezer. Every half an hour, remove from freezer and stir vigorously breaking up all of the ice around the edges and making it smooth again.
Repeat about 4 times until it’s almost a soft serve consistency.
Dollop your remaining strawberry mix around the top and then swirl through.
Freeze for a further 3-4 hours until firm.

This would work with almost any fruit by my guess. I can’t wait to try nectarine, and peach….oh, and mango.
I don’t generally give D Man store bought ice-cream yet, but he loves this and I have very little guilt giving it to him. There’s a bit of sugar, but whatevs…..no preservatives, no hidden nasties and sweet, sweet fruit of love.

Because Chocolate is a Health Food, I Give You Triple Chocolate Semifreddo….. Get Healthy.

6 Aug semifreddo2

I just sat down to do some photos and stuff and stuff from my trip and then discovered that some bozo left their photo cable on their mother’s dining table…….doh.
Never fear though, sweet readers, as I made a delight a few weeks ago and took pictures. I promise I’ll get back to some down home family meals in a minute…..

We all know that eating chocolate is good for us, right? ‘Tis not just wishful thinking, it’s actually true.
Dark chocolate is in the same category as a blueberries and green tea in the antioxidant department and is also known to aid cardio-vascular health. I don’t know about you but I can kid myself, no problem, that an entire block of Lindt Intense Orange is practically a run around the block. My three Lindt favourites are the Intense Orange (dark chocolate with dried orange pieces and flaked almonds), Touch of Salt (as the name suggests) and their new Intense Strawberry (pieces of freeze-dried strawberry  – hello, can I kiss the dude that came up with that gem???).
Perhaps I could put on a unitard and bike helmet, eat a block of all three and call myself a triathlete.
(Ha, a triathlon joke. I must tell Mister H, he’ll think I’m positively hilarious. His training is going well though, thanks for asking. Only 12 weeks until the half-iron man. Nut job.)

I think if the Mayans and the Aztecs could see how far we’ve come with the cacao bean they’d have extended their calendar for shizz, or at least added some dedicated chocolate munching days.
From the humble beginnings of what, in hindsight, would have been a fairly ordinary drink (a far cry from Max Brenner’s thick, syrupy and rich death-by-chocolate hot chocolate), we now have all manner of chocolate goodness with which to stave of our PMT and stop us murdering our partners. I have been known, mid-toddler-tanty to walk straight to the cupboard and eat a piece of chocolate. I have to actually stand inside the pantry so he can’t see though as that would no doubt make everything worse because I ain’t sharing with no screaming kid.

(NB if you look closely at this photo you can see the reflection of my flouro track pants. That’s pure art!).

It is proven that eating chocolate releases happy-hormones, and it must be so because today’s recipes made me really, really (two reallys) happy. Then, when Mister H said it was the best ice-cream I’d ever made, I was extra really happy.
I’ve told you a couple of times that ice-cream takes me to my happy place so think about it. Three Chocolate Semifreddo.
Shut. The. Front. Door.
(I still can’t bring myself to drop the F bomb here cos I know my Nana reads it and she doesn’t know I have a filthy truckers vocabulary under my belt)

This is not my recipe, this is courtesy of one of Australia’s finest chefs, Neil Perry. This is in his ‘The Food I Love’ book which I adore. It’s simple food, and he talks about cooking principles too, not just recipes. It’s a really mix and match book which is so indicative of his passion for food.
The fine thing about semifreddo (fancy Italian for half-cold, which is weird because it’s totally frozen, but those Euros are a little odd) is you don’t need an ice-cream machine. Any old iced confectionary lover can make it.

Yield :

6-8 portions. Depends who’s serving!

You will need :

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70g good quality milk chocolate
  • 375ml pure whipping cream
  • 200g good quality white chocolate
  • 60g good quality dark chocolate

Take a rectangular loaf dish measuring about 20 x 10 x 7 cm and line the inside of it with a few layers of plastic wrap allowing some excess to hang over the edges. This will give you something to help you to get it out once it’s frozen.

Whisk the egg yolks in a medium stainless steel bowl with half of the sugar and the salt. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Fill a saucepan one-third full of water and bring to a simmer. In a heavy based saucepan, heat your milk to just below boiling over a medium high heat but do not let it boil. Whisk the milk slowly into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl fits snugly as you don’t want it to touch the water. The bowl mustn’t be too deep or the water level too high (I had to piss about with bowls here cos I got it all kinds of wrong. May I suggest you test the bowl to saucepan ratio before you begin?). Cook the mixture for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the bowl (you don’t want scrambled eggs forming) until it has thickened slightly.
Stir in vanilla extract.
Neil strains his through  sieve at this point but I just transfer into a bowl and stick it straight into the fridge and refrigerate until cold.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. Melt over low heat. Whisk until smooth. Slowly mix one-third of your custard base into the chocolate and allow to cool.
In a small bowl whip 125 ml of the cream with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture and pour into your prepared loaf tin. Place in freezer.

Prepare your white and dark chocolate mousses in the same way and put them into the fridge. When your milk chocolate layer is firm to touch spread on your white chocolate and stick it back in the freezer, waiting a further 50 mins or so until that layer is firm to touch before adding your third and final layer of chocolatey goodness.
Freeze for at least 4 hours until hard.
To serve, unmold the semifreddo and remove plastic wrap. Slice and eat. You’ll note that I was a little eager to layer up as my layers are not super distinct. Patience, Grasshopper.

So worth the effort……so worth the effort. (two times)

Mountain Meet Mohammad – Salt Butter Caramel Ice Cream

25 Jun ice cream

Once upon a time Mister H and I had a life.
Of course, we still have a life, but in the words of a great philosopher, ‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it’.

Our old life was situated in a cool inner city suburb with cracking views. We had friends that we met out a couple of times a week for dinners and cocktails and I’d laugh at my own jokes for hours. We could pop out for dinner any night of the week, and pick up milk (and a hooker or some crack) on a street corner 24 hours a day.

Of all the things that have fallen by the wayside, I don’t miss the bars, not at all. Nor do I miss the restaurants, well, not really. Ok, maybe a little bit. I look back fondly at the people left behind and I feel a hint of nostalgia, but I don’t miss our old neighbourhood……except when it comes to Messina.
Messina is an ice cream shop in Darlinghurst. We used to live a 15 minute walk away, and I used that walk as an excuse to get a big ass double scoop.
My very first experience with Messina was the Pear and Rhubarb Gelato. It really tasted just as the name suggested and I fell head over heels in love with the autumnal flavours of the summery ice cream. It was the beginning of a passionate affair. Initially, I couldn’t go beyond that one flavour but the specials board, changed weekly, enticed me to stray from my first love…. There was ‘Elvis, The Fat Years’ – Banana Cake in a Peanut Butter Ice cream with Strawberry jelly swirl. That shit would give you a heart attack on the toilet fo’ shizz.
Coconut and Pandan, Rose Water and Pistachio, Passionfruit Pavlova, Poached Figs in Marsala, the mouth watering list goes on and on……and then, one day, they made Salt Caramel and White Chocolate Chip.

Anyway, this got me to fantasising about flavours that I would concoct and I decided I needed to get me an ice cream machine. Pronto.
Raspberry White Chocolate was a fail….Lemon and Elderberry Sorbet? Ballsed it….then I cracked it.
Chai was a roaring success, as was Liquorice. Turkish Delight was indeed delightful, Apricot Coconut was a garden party in your mouth….then I put my ice cream machine away on a shelf and forgot about it.

Until now. That Salt Caramel Ice cream has been on my mind, so I thought the only way to get my hands on it, was make it. I thought winter was as good a time as any to get cracking and make some seriously bad-for-you goodness. I based this on a David Lebovitz recipe….. next time I would use only half the praline as it all melted and created a caramel sauce in the bottom that is SERIOUS! Not bad, just SERIOUS!

 Yield (did anyone other than my mum notice I’ve been misspelling yield?)  : 1 litre

Because of the caramel content in this ice cream, it’ll remain softer than usual. To make it firmer, crank up your freezer a bit or store it in a shallow container.

For the caramel praline – 

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt, such as Maldon Sea Salt

For the ice cream custard – 

2 cups whole milk, divided
1½ cups sugar
4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup  heavy cream
5 large egg yolks, 0r 6 medium
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the caramel praline, put ½ cup of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, heavy duty saucepan.
Put some baking paper on a flat baking tray. Heat the sugar over a medium heat until the edges begin to melt. Gently stir the edges to the middle until it has all dissolved. Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn.
You need to take it a little further than you think to ensure a rich caramel flavour. It won’t take long.
Without hesitation, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring, then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it to get a nice, thin layer.

ACHTUNG!! Be careful – I spilt a wad of it, and tried to catch it. It’s hot and it sticks. Set aside to harden and cool.

To make your ice cream custard, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 1.5 litres) over the ice, pour 1 cup of the milk into the inner bowl to chill.
Spread ½ cup sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method as before. Once it’s started melting, add the rest of the sugar bit by bit. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go.
The caramel may get a bit chunky and sticky, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted.
Stir in 1 cup of the milk.
Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Pour the custard into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Pop into your ice cream machine and churn as per directions.

While the ice cream is churning, break the hardened caramel praline into millions of little bits. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Note: As the ice cream sits, the little bits of caramel may liquefy and get runny and gooey, which is what they’re intended to do – unless you’re me and they all sink to the bottom and create a bed of goo.

 ‘We dare not trust our wit for making our house pleasant to our friend, so we buy ice cream’
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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