Tag Archives: mint

A Skeleton of Ice Creams

The 100th  of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a selection of my favourite, and oh-so-easy ice creams. Why a skeleton not selection? Down to adventuring girl, Maddie x

When Maddie was really little and just getting the hang of the old reading lark, she insisted on perusing a restaurant menu to consider her dessert options (rather than the traditional approach of one of us reading the options out to her).

After much deliberation, she announced that she would like a skeleton of ice creams and from that day forward….well a selection is somewhat boring in comparison, isn’t it?!

So, here we have my own personal favourite ‘skeleton of ice creams’, most of which are created from the simple base combination that is condensed milk and double cream. In every case, there’s no churning involved and no popping backwards and forwards from the freezer to stir out the crystals (who has time?!) Instead, these are a joy to make, taking just minutes to knock up and are simply wonderful to indulge in.

The key for the condensed milk/double cream flavours is to mix together 600ml double cream with a full 397g tin of condensed milk; and then divide the total mixture into two smaller bowls to create a goodly but not gigantic amount of  two separate ice cream flavours, e.g. mint and chocolate chip with one half and coffee and kahlua with the other half.  It can get quite addictive and you may end up with a freezer full of different pots of ice cream ….no problem there though!

Black Forest Gateau Ice Cream

Spectacular! I dreamed up this combination in that lovely time of the morning that is the dawning of the mind as well as the sun in the sky….and this is the type of stuff I come up with!!!! What can I tell you – it’s absolutely bloody gorgeous – the Kirsch-steeped cherries work so well with the sweetness of the base ice cream and the dark chocolate rippling through it. Mount this lovely deliciousness atop shortbread, sprinkle some grated dark chocolate over the top and it becomes quite the elegant dessert!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ of a 397g tin of condensed milk (see tip)

150ml black cherries, pitted and roughly torn up

3 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry liqueur)

40g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

What to do…

The day before you want to make your ice cream, tip the torn cherries into a bowl, pour over the Kirsch, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge overnight to let the flavours develop.

When you’re ready to make your ice cream, roughly break up the chocolate and pop it into a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a steamer, sitting in a saucepan of simmering water and melt. Remove from the steamer and set aside to cool slightly (to touch).

Meanwhile, use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Use a spatula to scrape the ‘marinated’ cherries and liquid into the bowl and gently but thoroughly mix together. Pour over the chocolate and use a skewer to swirl the chocolate throughout the ice cream, creating a chocolate ‘ripple’ effect.

Cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Be very excited when it’s ready because it really is spectactular! Salivating as I type!

Tip…

If you want to present the ice cream as per the picture, wrap foil around the bottom of some chef’s rings or cookie cutters and plop the ice cream inside the moulds before freezing, pressing it in to make sure there are no gaps. Use a ring/cutter of the same size to cut out the shortbread bases from the recipe, ‘Proper Old-Fashioned Shortbread’.

Sensationally Sinful Coffee and Kahlua Ice Cream

Having experimented with three ice cream flavours last week, I went back and quadrupled the recipe for this one – seriously it falls under the heading of ‘stratospherically stupendous and sinfully good!’ I’m not joking – it’s also REALLY addictive (I can practically hear it whispering from the freezer, ‘have some more, you know you want to!’ Moving on to the practicalities, it’s also so easy and quick to make and the result is luscious, decadent, silky smooth and tantalisingly tempting! Make it once and you’ll be hooked!!!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ a 397g (1 tin) condensed milk

2 espresso coffees/100ml VERY strong coffee (cold)

1 tablespoon camp coffee

2 tablespoons Kahlua/coffee liqueur

What to do….

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Pour in the cold espresso, Camp coffee and Kahlua and stir to incorporate. Pour into a plastic container, pop the lid on and stick it in the freezer for at least 6 hours. Indulge, enjoy, immerse yourself in the sheer gorgeousness of it! You’ve probably worked out that it’s a favourite of mine.

For an exotic alternative…

Simply add 12 – 15 cardamom seeds at the same time as the coffee and Kahlua- it adds an extra dimension that is a wonderful aromatic, slightly spicy and exotic Middle-Eastern flavour that somehow intensifies the coffee – fabulous! The only problem we now have is which version we prefer the most – with or without the cardamoms!!!

Lemon Curd and Limoncello Ice Cream

Wow! Lemon Curd and Limoncello Ice Cream – where to start?! This glorious ice cream is rich and creamy whilst also lemon-tangy and refreshing. It’s sweet but not too sweet and then we have the not insubstantial quantity of the fabulous Limoncello Italian liqueur running through it – this element tips the ice cream into the realms of grown up and quite sensational. Enjoy on a hot summers day or to conclude a lovely dinner. Or – in the name of the blog – at just after midday on a Monday!!!! Any excuse! It truly is scrumptious though and dead easy to make!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ a 397g (1 tin) condensed milk

170g (normally half a jar) lemon curd – homemade or shop-bought

90ml Limoncello Italian lemon liqueur

What to do…

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk, lemon curd and Limoncello and use a balloon whisk to gently fold them in so that they are all evenly incorporated. Taste. Add in a little more Limoncello if required (!)

Pour into a plastic container, pop the lid on and stick it in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Mango and Passion Fruit Ice Cream with Rum

Wow-oh-wow! What a fabulous naughty ice cream for a sizzling summer’s day: cooling mango and oh-so fresh passion fruit combined with a soft creaminess and then a lovely little kick of rum at the end. It tastes like a cocktail and immediately transports you to the beach. Incredibly easy – stock the freezer up now!

What you need…

4 passion fruit

300g mango, roughly chopped

300g double cream

½ a 397g can of condensed milk

40ml dark rum

What to do…

Start by halving the passion fruit and scooping out the juice and flesh into a sieve over your blender. Use a spoon to push through as much of the juice as you can. Discard the remaining pips. Chuck in the mango and whizz to purée the whole lot together.

In a large bowl, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the cream into soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk, fruit purée and rum and use a balloon whisk to gently fold everything together so the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Pour into a plastic container and whop into your freezer for 6 hours/overnight.

Mint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ of a 397g tin of condensed milk

Green food colouring (I use icing colouring which comes as a thick gel)

1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract

60g dark chocolate chips

What to do…

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Tip in the peppermint extract. Insert a cocktail stick into the icing colouring and then dip it into the ice cream mixture – a little goes a really long way. Use a balloon whisk to gently but thoroughly mix together and add more colouring until you achieve the colour you like. (If you are using liquid food colouring, add ¼ teaspoon at a time until you achieve the colour you like).

Chuck in the chocolate chips and stir in thoroughly.  Pour your ice cream into a bowl or tub,  cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Inspired by…

The base mixture of double cream and condensed milk is courtesy of the wonderful Mary Berry. From there, I experiment with flavours by chucking in all sorts of combinations.

And for something slightly different in the making…

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Quite simply, one of my favourite ice creams, best served with poached pears, carmamelised apples or just on it’s own with a spoon, somewhere private!

What you need…

300ml double cream

4 large, happy eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What to do…

The day before you want to indulge in your ice cream, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Rinse the whisks and then in a second bowl, whip the cream until thickened. Rinse whisks again and then in a third bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thickened and creamy in colour. Add the cinnamon and whisk again to combine.

Use a balloon whisk to fold the cream into the eggs and sugar and then gently fold in the egg whites. Pour your ice cream into a plastic container with a lid and pop into your freezer overnight. Et voilà – it’s done!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

Affogato al Caffe e Disaronno

Wow! This is just Naughty with a massively capital ‘N’.  Ice cream, Disaronno, espresso and chocolate: it tastes like a combination of Italy’s boozy trifle, Tiramisu and my favourite cocktail, Espresso Martini.  Equally, we started off eating it with a sundae spoon and ended up drinking it! The biggest problem is that it makes you greedy to get the lot down as quickly as possible, so fantastically naughty, it is! Made in seconds, this could become a really wicked little habit! What can I say: you need to try it!

Serves 1 (but that would be sad: double up and share with your favourite person)

What you need…

1 scoop of ice cream (vanilla or coffee and Kahlua) work brilliantly

1 tablespoon Disaronno

1 shot freshly made espresso coffee

1 teaspoon good quality dark chocolate, finely grated

What to do…

Wodge ice cream into the bottom of a pretty glass or small cup.

Pour over the Disaronno, then the espresso and then, sprinkle over the chocolate.

Immediately dive in with your spoon, marvel at the wicked gorgeousness of it, plunge in the spoon a couple more times before discarding it to drink the rest of your affogato! There’s probably a more elegant way of enjoying this but….this level of naughtiness deserves some gusto!

Tips…

You are supposed to use cold espresso, but we like it hot, gradually melting the ice cream, as we indulge. Either way: Yum!

If you are not quite as partial to Disaronno as I am, you could always swap it for Baileys.

There’s nothing to stop you mucking about with the quantities of any of the ingredients in this pudding-cum-cocktail.

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Dangerously so!

Tips for all the ice creams…

Once out of the freezer, these ice creams take about 10-15 minutes to reach the consistency whereby you can easily scoop it out.

How easy…

I have only used ice cream recipes that are quick and easy to knock up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon, Feta and Olive Salad with Mint

The 99th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this salad is a wonderfully refreshing and sunshiny lunch – perfect with a glass of rosé – al fresco on a warm June day….unlike today!

A wonderful refreshing but satisfying salad that beautifully marries the earthiness of feta and olives with the bursting sunshine, juiciness and freshness of watermelon. A perfect light lunch or starter, the addition of aromatic, fresh mint just finishes it off. Very yummy and dare I say it, quite healthy too!!!!

What you need…

½ small watermelon, peeled deseeded and chunked

½ cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced

200g feta cheese, chunked

90g pitted black olives

A small handful mint, chopped

for the dressing

4 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

First, tip the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar, pop on the lid and shake like mad.

Tip all the salad ingredients, except the feta, into a pretty salad bowl, pour in the dressing and thoroughly mix together. Gently stir in the feta – too energetic an approach and the feta will crumble. Job done! Serve and enjoy this very moreish, rather gorgeous salad!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Ridiculously!

 

 

Mint and Chocolate Chip ‘No Churn’ Ice Cream

Gorgeous – delectably fresh and minty with a generous handful of chocolate chips. Delightfully moreish and it has the most important seal of approval from the grand kids – it must be good!!!!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ of a 397g tin of condensed milk (see tip)

Green food colouring (I use icing colouring which comes as a thick gel)

1½ teaspoons peppermint extract

60g dark chocolate chips

What to do…

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Tip in the peppermint extract. Insert a cocktail stick into the icing colouring and then dip it into the ice cream mixture – a little goes a really long way. Use a balloon whisk to gently but thoroughly mix together and add more colouring until you achieve the colour you like. (If you are using liquid food colouring, add ¼ teaspoon at a time until you achieve the colour you like).

Chuck in the chocolate chips and stir in thoroughly. Pour your ice cream into a bowl or tub, cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Tip…

Working out what ½ can of condensed milk is would clearly be a pain in the neck. When I make ice cream I mix together 600ml double cream with a whole can of condensed milk and then spoon half into a separate bowl to create a different flavour. This works brilliantly and the freezer always has lots of different flavours in (coffee and kahlua, salted caramel with Tia Maria, mango, passion fruit and rum, chocolate and black forest gateau, for instance – all made with the same double cream and condensed milk starting point).

How easy…

These ‘no-churn’ ice creams literally take minutes to knock up!

Inspired by…

The base mixture of double cream and condensed milk is courtesy of the wonderful Mary Berry. From there, I experiment with flavours by chucking in all sorts of combinations!

White Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper and Fresh Mint

I’m not normally a fan of white chocolate but this recipe intrigued me – a dessert with black pepper? What a fabulous surprise it was! It’s spectacularly simple and fast to make: within 20 minutes, you have a truly fantastic dessert: the rich creaminess of the white chocolate is perfectly contrasted by the black pepper and the fresh mint – honestly I just had to keep digging in to marvel at the simplicity and deliciousness of this great and rather elegant dessert! Don’t hesitate – give it a go!

Serves 6

What you need…

280g good quality white chocolate, chunked

300ml double cream

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

12 fresh mint leaves (6 finely sliced and 6 reserved for decoration)

What to do…

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in a steamer over a pan of simmering water to melt (for some reason it takes waaaay longer than milk or dark chocolate but it WILL melt). Once melted, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down slightly (I stuck mine in the metal sink).

Using a handheld electric whisk, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Put 2 tablespoons of the cream into the melted chocolate and use the whisk to gently beat them together. Use a spatula to scrape every last bit of the melted chocolate/cream mixture into the remaining double cream together with the pepper and mint and then, using a balloon whisk, very gently fold in the ingredients so they are thoroughly mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into 6 pretty glasses (tall Champagne flutes are particularly elegant but you need long handled spoons to go with them!).

Pop in the fridge for just 20 minutes or overnight if you’re preparing ahead. Just before serving, decorate with the remaining mint leaves. Serve to a dubious group whose faces will light up with joy! Gorgeous!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Couldn’t be any easier and you can prepare ahead!

Prawn, Strawberry and Mint Salad

 

Most unlikely bedfellows, prawns and strawberries snuggle up together happily in this vibrant salad that truly celebrates British summer time. A joy to eat on it’s own or as a side to barbecued fish: light, refreshing and simply yummy! Give it a go with beautifully ripe strawberries – you’ll be converted, I promise!

Serves 4 as a side salad

What you need…

350g jumbo king prawns, cooked

200g British strawberries, hulled and halved

A handful fresh mint leaves, torn

Handfuls of your favourite salad leaves. I use rocket, little gem and basil

for the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon runny honey

A squeeze of lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

In a screw top jar, chuck in the dressing ingredients, pop on the lid and shake like mad. Set aside.

Clean the salad leaves and tear if necessary.

Tip the salad leaves, strawberries, mint and prawns into a pretty salad bowl.

When you are ready to serve, shake the dressing again, pour over the salad and toss so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed together. Serve on it’s own or with barbecued fish and a lovely cold glass of white wine: totally delicious! Summer on a plate, right there!

Inspired by…

Don’t know – I think I made this one up.

How easy…

It’s salad so it’s not hard!

Prawn and Pomegranate Salad with Mint and Coriander

This is quite simply a really yummy salad: the delicate fishiness of prawns intermingled with citrusy, fresh coriander, the cool cucumber, the aromatic, sweet mint and then the tart piquancy of pomegranate seeds. All of those flavours rolling around together are just fabulous and the pomegranate seeds make the salad look like it’s bejeweled! Simply lovely served with barbecued fish! Try it – you’ll love it!

Serves 4 as a side dish or starter

What you need…

Seeds from ½ pomegranate (buy ready-prepared if you can – lot’s easier)

7cm length cucumber, peeled, sliced and then quartered

2 large handfuls coriander, chopped

Small handful mint leaves, torn

A selection of your favourite salad leaves (I like rocket, red chicory, baby gem, baby spinach, iceberg)

200g cooked prawns

for the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon runny honey

A squeeze of lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Into a screw-topped jar, tip all the dressing ingredients, screw the lid on tightly and set aside.

In a large, roomy salad bowl, chuck in all your ingredients.

Just before you are ready to eat, shake your dressing like mad and then pour over the salad before tossing all the elements together so that everything is evenly mixed and coated with dressing.

Tips…

Sometimes, I buy raw prawns and cook them in a splash of oil and salt about 30 minutes before we eat this salad, adding them at the last minute. The slight warmth of the prawns seems to emphasise the other flavours – really lovely.

A variation on the pomegranate is strawberries, hulled and quartered. Less tart, they give the salad a gentler tone.

For extra crunch, include some sugar snap peas that have been sat in boiling water for 2 minutes before being refreshed in cold water and then drained.

Include basil and parsley to make up the leaves if you happen to have any in the fridge. There are no rules, just a mix of flavours you enjoy together.

Inspired by…

I’m not sure: I think I made it up!

How easy…

See, it’s just salad, which I’ve always viewed as something that should be dead simple but really tasty.

 

Baked Lamb with Rosemary and a Little Aside of Redcurrant & Mint Sauce

What can I tell you? Succulent, full of flavour, just falls off the bone – a real treat – and not just for Easter either – this recipe will be revisited on several spring and early summer Sundays – it is delicious, very moreish and cooks itself, allowing you to do other things! The redcurrant and mint sauce is simply the best and emphasises the lovely flavour of the lamb perfectly. If you haven’t tried this Delia-inspired recipe, give it a go – it’s an absolute winner!

What you need…

1 x 1.8 – 2kg leg of lamb

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 3-4 sprigs

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon rock salt

Black pepper

for the sauce & the gravy

250ml jar redcurrant jelly

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Sea salt and black pepper

275 ml dry white wine

1 x lamb stock cube

A good shake of Bisto lamb gravy granules

Glug of milk/splash of double cream

What to do…

In a small food processor, whizz together the rosemary leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. (Use a pestle and mortar to crush and the salt and rosemary if you don’t have a small food processor).

Spread a large sheet of foil in a roasting tin and place the lamb on it. Stab the fleshy parts of the joint with a skewer. Spread the rosemary mixture all over the upper surface of the lamb and tuck in the sprigs of rosemary.

Bring the edges of the foil up over the lamb, make a pleat in the top and scrunch the ends. This foil parcel should be fairly loose to allow the air to circulate. Bake the lamb for two hours, then open out the foil, baste the joint well with the juices and return it to the oven for a further 30 minutes to brown. (This cooking time should produce the lamb very slightly pink: you can cook for less or more time according to how you like the joint served).

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining 3 tablespoons of the redcurrant jelly with the vinegar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Use a balloon whisk to help dissolve the jelly into the vinegar. Add the chopped mint and some seasoning and pour into a jug – the sauce doesn’t need to be served warm.

When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Discard the foil, spoon off the fat and make some gravy with the juices left in the tin: in a saucepan, combine the juices with the white wine and the remaining redcurrant jelly from the jar. When the gravy is hot, crumble in the lamb stock cube to intensify the flavour. To create a lovely consistency, add gravy granules until it looks how you would like it to. Taste. Add milk and/or cream to tone down any slightly acidic flavours and to ensure the gravy becomes rich and silky.

Serving suggestion…

Rosemary-roasted root vegetables, John’s Yorkshire Puddings (both previously blogged) work well with spring greens, peas or broccoli.

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Dead easy: baste it, pop it in the oven and it cooks itself!