Ice-cream of the Month – Chocolate Oaty Biscuit

The idea for this ice-cream came to me all of a sudden, when trying to think of biscuits, ice-cream and dairy free foods all at the same time. Something like –

Dairy alternatives-oat milk-oats-Hobnobs-icecream…Eureka!

I’m not sure if I can call it Hobnob flavour, because it doesn’t have the actual biscuits in it (and copyright); but it does take the individual elements and make them into a glorious whole.

Normally  I would be extremely sceptical of non-dairy ice-cream, but honestly, this was amazing! If you want to go gluten free, then just use gluten free oats. It you don’t need to be dairy free and can’t get one of the ingredients, then just use regular milk or cream. I guess if you wanted to go vegan you could thicken the custard with cornflour, but the finished product wouldn’t quite have the right taste or texture.

Chocolate Oaty Biscuit Ice-cream

Ingredients:

  • 400ml oat “milk” (I used Innocent brand)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 70g golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml tub of oat “cream” ( I used Oatly creme fraiche)

For the oat crumble:

  • 100g rolled oats
  • 100g golden syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 40g dark chocolate

Method:

In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.

Heat the oat milk in a saucepan till almost boiling, then pour over the egg yolks, beating well the whole time.

Turn the heat down. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir over a moderate heat with a spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to thicken. Don’t cook for too long or it will curdle.

Remove from heat and stir in the salt, syrup and vanilla. Put the oat cream in a jug and pour the custard in, beating with a fork to combine. Put aside to cool, then chill in the fridge.

To make the oat crumble:

Toast the oats in a large frying pan. This will take around 3 minutes. You want the oats to have a nice nutty, toasty smell but not to be significantly browned.

Remove from heat and stir in the salt and syrup. Return to the heat, stirring quickly, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and tip the oats onto an oiled baking tray to cool down.

When cool, break into small pieces. Chop the chocolate into small pieces, mix with the oat chunks, and put in the fridge to chill.

When everything is chilled, follow your ice-cream machines instructions, remembering to add two thirds of the oat/chocolate mixture when prompted. Keep the remaining oat crumble to use as a topping.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can put the chilled custard in a tupperware container in the freezer. Every hour, break up the ice crystals with a fork or whisk. When it is almost completely frozen, mix in 2/3 of the oat crumble and leave in the freezer to set.

To serve, remove from freezer and allow to soften for 5-10 minutes before scooping, as it sets quite firmly.

Garden Party Ice Cream Part 2

Apparently ‘Poirot and the Bear’ was an epic two parter. Oh, and the ice cream didn’t really feature in the dream. Please see previous post!

Many people have a romantic view of the past. There is a word for it, which for the life of me I can’t remember, meaning a yearning for a past time, a golden age, which perhaps never really existed. For me it’s the inter-war period – the twenties and thirties – which I tend to view through rose tinted glasses; mainly because all of my knowledge has been gleaned through British novels of the time, 90% of which are dectective stories from the likes of Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham. There may be a body in the library, but there are garden parties, house guests, afternoon teas and the feeling of an endless English summer, populated by independant young women and handsome heroes, making eyes at each other in a secluded area of the vicarge garden.

Who needs reality anyway? Forget your troubles for an hour or two with a classic novel and a big bowl of homemade ice cream that tastes like a dream of summertime. Layered with strawberry sauce, studded with shortcake and meringue, drizzled with a cheeky lemon syrup, and no cyanide, sparkling or otherwise. July’s Ice Cream of the Month.

Who do you call when bears invade you garden party? “Why, Hercule Poirot of course!”
(See previous post)

Garden Party Ice Cream

For the ice cream:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300ml milk
  • 80g sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tin of condensed milk
  • 6 shortbread biscuits
  • meringue – either made using the left over egg whites or a couple of bought meringue nests.
  • 500g fresh strawberries
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar

First chop the strawberries and put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice. Heat gently until the berries are soft, mash them a little, then stir in the sugar. Allow to cool then pop in the fridge.

Break the biscuits and meringue into chunks (if you made your own using the left over egg whites, you will need about 1/4 of it. The rest can be used as a garnish later). Chill the chunks in the freezer.

Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk to combine. Heat the milk to boiling point.

Pour the milk onto the egg yolks, whisking the whole time. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat gently, stirring the whole time with a wooden spoon or spatula (the whisk won’t make enough contact with the bottom of the pan, risking a burnt and lumpy custard) until the custard has thickened to the consistency of cream and remove from the heat.

Pour into a large jug and add the double cream and condensed milk. Cool in the fridge.

Make the ice cream following the instruction for your machine. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can pour the custard into  a 1.5 litre tupperware container and put it in the freezer. Every couple of hours, stir with a fork to break up large ice crystals. When it is fairly thick but still stirable, add the ripple as below.

When the ice cream is ready and working quickly, spoon half of the mixture into a tupperware type container, spread with spoonfuls of strawberry sauce and sprinkle over half of the chunks. Repeat for a second layer. Using a palette knife or simliar, ripple the two mixtures together. Don’t overdo it or it will lose the ripple effect!

Freeze for a few hours or overnight.

Meanwhile make the optional lemon syrup.

Lemon Syrup

  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • zest and juice of 6 lemons, preferably unwaxed.
  • 200ml water

Sterilise a large glass jar or bottle and keep it hot. This can be done in the oven at around 120 degrees, in the dishwasher if you have one, or by heating in boiling water. Wear rubber gloves to avoid burns.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins

Add the juice and zest and simmer for another 5 mins.

Very carefully pour into the hot bottle. It has to be hot, otherwise the heat of the syrup will cause it to crack. Remember boiling sugar is INCREDIBLY HOT, please be careful and keep pets and children out of the way.

Allow to cool, then keep in the fridge. As well as a dessert topping you can add soda water to the syrup for a refreshing drink.

Strawberries aren’t actually berries but “accessory fruits”.

Garden Party Ice Cream Part 1

Sometimes recipe inspiration can come from the strangest places…

Written by not-so-small boy, aged 12. Based on a dream which occurred after reading Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling in the same week.

POIROT AND THE BEAR by R.H 6th July 2019

“It was a wonderful sunny day at Mrs White’s garden party. The guests were enjoying themselves immensely, as Mrs White had made everybody’s favourite ‘Garden Party Ice Cream’. Delicious!

Suddenly, disaster struck! Out of nowhere a grizzly bear appeared! Proceeding to kill first, Mr Percy, then Mr Brimble and finally poor Miss Bickford – Smith, in a most ungentlemanly manner! The bear then crawled away in the direction of the school playing fields.

Now, Mrs White, a quick thinking woman, decided that something must be done before anyone else was hurt; so she called the best bear catcher in Britain – why, Hercule Poirot of course!The great man promptly arrived and saw what he had to do. He had to wrestle the bear! It was an epic battle, which seemed to last for many hours. Poirot struggled valiantly until he gained the upper hand. Unfortunately the bear escaped Poirot’s grip, and ran away in a cowardly manner.

Poirot wondered where it would strike next, and who could stop its tyranny…

Recipe to follow soon!

He’s going to be a great writer some day. I know because he said so.

Happy Little Accidents?

Painter Bob Ross, famously said something along the lines of “There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents”. Does this apply to recipe fails, as well as trees? Sometimes. Not always.

The way the macarons turned out was rather dissapointing, especially considering how much time and effort goes into making them. Thankfully in this case there was a soloution. Macarons are made with egg whites, leaving several unused egg yolks. Instead of letting them go to waste, I use them to make ice cream.Well, you can get cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream, so why not macarons ‘n’ cream. After all, they were already broken into handy bite sized pieces. It’s even good enough to re-start Ice Cream of the Month!

So now you know what to do if you make a total pigs ear of your macarons, or if you inexplicably find yourself with a pile of macarons that need using up quickly. I’ve left the ice cream plain, so you could use any flavor of macarons you liked, mine were coffee flavoured.

Macaron Chunk Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300ml milk
  • 90g sugar
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 150g – 200g crumbled macarons (any flavour)

Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk to combine. Heat the milk to boiling point.

Pour the milk onto the egg yolks, whisking the whole time. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat gently, stirring the whole time with a wooden spoon or spatula (the whisk won’t make enough contact with the bottom of the pan, risking a burnt and lumpy custard) until the custard has thickened to the consistency of cream and remove from the heat.

Pour into a large jug and add the double cream. Cool in the fridge. Chill the macaron crumbs in the freezer.

Make the ice cream following the instructions for your machine, adding the macaron crumbs when prompted, or towards the end when the ice cream is nice and thick. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can pour the custard into  a 1.5 litre tupperware container and put it in the freezer. Every couple of hours, stir with a fork to break up large ice crystals. When it is fairly thick but still stirable, add the macaron crumbs.

Apparently the first macrons were made in Italy rather than France.

Scone Flavour Ice cream!

Well, after a scorchingly hot late spring, British summertime has settled into the usual pattern of warmish and overcast / warmish and wet. Do a spot of people watching in any public place and you will see…

  • people wearing winter coats, because it’s not sunny;
  • people wearing next to nothing, because it’s SUMMER;
  • bizarre variations on the above, such as the strappy top/Ugg boot combo!

Still, the weather gives us something to talk about at the bus stop, or indeed in a tearoom, over a nice traditional cream tea. What if it is hot and you can’t decide between a scone with clotted cream and jam, or an icecream?

In a sudden flash of genius I thought “why not combine the two?”

And so, that is how scone flavour icecream came to be. First you will need a scone. Of course, I am in favour of an homemade scone, but I suppose a shop bought one would work, though I strongly dissaprove! I’m sure I’ve already posted my favourite scone recipe somewhere, but I’ll probably post it again soon.

Scone Flavour Ice cream

  • 1 scone
  • 300ml milk
  • a 500g (or thereabouts) pot of clotted cream
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • around 300g strawberries and another 60g of sugar OR half a jar of good quality (and not too thick) strawberry jam/conserve
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

First flavour the milk by heating it to almost boiling and adding the crumbled up scone. Cover and put to one side.

Next make the strawberry jam ripple. Chop the strawberries and put in a small saucepan. Add the 60g sugar and the lemon juice and heat gently until the strawberries are soft and syrupy. Put to one side. When cold, pop it in the fridge to chill. If you are using jam you can skip this step.

After an hour or two the scone pieces should be very soft. Use a hand blender or food processor or whisk, to thoroughly combine the scone and milk.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until thick and creamy. Re-heat the milk to almost boiling and pour over the egg yolks, whisking continually. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir (with a wooden spoon) over a medium heat, until thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the clotted cream. Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Make the ice cream following your machine’s instructions. When it’s done, scoop into a tub, gently spoon over the strawberry sauce/jam and gently ripple it through the icecrean with a metal spoon. Freeze until firm.

Don’t be put off by the idea of a scone dissolved in milk, it really worked! Maybe I should bring back ice cream of the month, what do you think?

Q: What’s the fastest cake in the world? A: Scone!

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Ice Cream ‘n’ Stuff

Wow, what a crazy couple of months! School holidays, small boy back to school, Eldest Son back to college, new cats, new chickens and my usual chronic apathy. Be assured I have not forgotten you my dears! Many an awsome blog post has been composed in my addled brain, but never made it as far as the keyboard.

Ice Cream of the month and cake of the month are coming to an end (for the time being) to make way for fresh and exciting (?) monthlies.

July was the month of soft fruits. This year, thanks to a very makeshift fruitcage, the chickens failed to eat every single gooseberry before they were even ripe! Victory at last! There were enough to make a deliciously tangy ice cream, and some strawberry and gooseberry jam for teacher gifts (they do appreciate a change from chocolates). Gooseberries are rather tart, to the usual ice cream recipe, add about 150g of berries, cooked to a puree and add extra sugar to taste.

During August I wanted to do something a bit different. Blueberry and marshmallow didn’t turn out how I hoped, the marshmallows froze almost solid, very tough on the old gnashers! In the end I went for fennel, orange and chocolate chip, a combination of the three main fennel recipes to be found in blogland. It makes a nicely sophisticated and grown up ice cream.

Fennel, Orange and Chocolate Icecream

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate

Heat the milk to boiling point. Add the fennel seeds, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least six hours, preferably overnight. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and chill till needed.

Beat together the egg yolks, sugar, orange zest and cornflour.

Carefully strain the milk into a clean saucepan and reheat.

Pour the hot milk over the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Pour it all back in the saucepan and stir briskly over a medium heat untill the mixture has thickened to the consistency of cream. Remove from the heat.

Pour into a jug. Add the double cream. Put in the fridge to chill.

Following the instructions for your machine, make the ice cream, adding the chocolate chips right at the end. Scrape into a tub and freeze until firm.

fennel

 

So what “monthlies” can you expect next? All will be revealed soon(ish)!

It is thought that “gooseberry” may be a corruption of the Dutch word Kruisbes or the German Krausberre. Sounds legit.

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Just Peachy!

Crumb towers is now home to two adorable pains in the bum, called Peach and Muffin. They prevent any work being done by being cute and fuzzy, destructive, pooping in corners and sitting on the keyboard. It may be half way through August, but I honestly didn’t forget about cake and icecream of the month, I just never got round to posting anything!

Ice cream of the month was refreshingly tangy Gooseberry and Clotted cream. Follow the usual recipe, subsituting clotted for double cream. Gently cook 150g of gooseberries until soft, push through a sieve and add 6 heaped tbsp of sugar. Add to the custard and freeze as usual.

Of course, cake of the month had to be Peach Muffins (see what I did there?)

peach muffinA fluffy muffin, studded with chunks of fresh peach and drizzled with a peach schnapps glace icing. You want the peach to be on the firm side, if it’s too ripe it will just taste insipid when baked. Tinned peaches are also fine.

Peach Muffins

  • 10oz (300g) plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 8 floz (240ml) milk
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 3floz (90ml) vegetable oil
  • a couple of peaches, skinned and chopped or 5 oz (150g) tinned peaches, drained and chopped

Makes 8 – 12

Prepare the muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 190°c (170 fan, 375°F, gas mark 4)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in the sugar.

In another bowl, beat together the oil, egg and milk. Stir in the almond essence and peach chunks.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Stir (don’t beat) until only just combined. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for about 20 mins. They should be golden brown on top.

If you want to make a glaze, mix 6 tbsp of icing sugar with peach schnapps or peach juice to make a runny icing. Spread about 1 tsp over the top of each muffin while still warm.

Peaches were first cultivated in China and spread to Europe via Persia.

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Ice Cream Of The Month: Creamy Peanut Butter

They say that everything is better with peanut butter, unless you’re allergic to peanuts of course.

Peanut butter cakes, ice cream and sweets abound, along with salted caramel, it seems to be a food trend that is here to stay. You can even get a peanut flavoured hot drink now! Peanut Hottie ( http://peanuthottie.com/), made with de-fatted , peanut flour, makes an interesting change to coffee or hot chocolate. I find the flavour a little too subtle though and would suggest using twice the recommened amount of powder.

Do you remember George the gall bladder?

georgeBecause of George I have to eat a fairly low fat diet these days, peanut butter is fairly high fat, so no more indulging in Reece’s peanut butter cups or PB brownies *sigh*. So, for a while I’ve been wondering if Peanut Hottie powder might be a subsitite for the real thing, and decided to have a go making some ice cream with it. It worked really well, though I still feel it could have a stronger flavour. At least the flavour is natural though, unlike a lot of American foods! The thickeners in the powder (guar gum and xanthan gum) give the ice cream a particularly voluptious “mouth feel”, and you could add whatever peanut butter candies you fancied; mini PB cups, Reece’s Pieces or M&M’s. Have a look in the American import section of the supermarket, nearly all the sweets and chocolate are peanut based!

Creamy Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp Peanut Hottie powder
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • a 150g bag of mini peanut butter cups (optional)

Whisk together the egg yolks, peanut hottie and sugar.

Heat the milk to boiling point. Pour the hot milk onto the egg yolks, whisking the whole time.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened.

Pour into a jug. If you think the custard may be lumpy, pour it through a sieve. Add the cream, then leave to chill in the fridge.

Following the instruction for your machine, make the ice cream, remembering to add the PB cups at the appropriate time.

Spoon into a freezer proof container and pop in the freezer for a few hours to firm up.

 

 

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Ice Cream Of The Month: Elderflower

Summer is coming….I think?

We are trying to make the most of our National Trust membership before it runs out, so far we’ve been to four places but each time a major part of the gardens have been closed due to wet weather! Ah! British summertime!

When the sun does come out, the English countryside is a wonderful place to be. Invoke the air of an English Country Garden with May’s ice cream of the month: Tangy elderflower, served with boozy G&T strawberries. For simplicity’s sake I used elderflower cordial, but you could make your own elderflower infused syrup if you like, there are plenty of recipes on the internet.

elderflower

Elderflower Ice Cream

 

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 250ml elderflower cordial (I used Bottlegreen)
  • the zest of 1 lemon

Beat together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and cornflour. Heat the milk to boiling point.

Pour the hot milk over the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Pour it all back in the saucepan and stir briskly over a medium heat untill the mixture has thickened to the consistency of cream. Remove from the heat.

Pour into a jug. Add the double cream and elderflower cordial. Put in the fridge to chill.

Following the instructions for your machine, make the ice cream. Scrape into a tub and freeze until firm.

For the gin and tonic strawberries:

Take a small punnet of strawberries, wash them and then cut into quarters. Pop them in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of gin (or other booze of your choice) 2tbsp of good quality tonic water and a heaped tbsp of sugar. Stir gently then leave to macerate for half an hour. The strawberries will have soaked up the flavour and the juices will be nice and syrupy.

The perfect dessert for a sunny weekend!

 

Ice Cream of the Month For Breakfast: Blueberry Pancake

Blueberry pancakes for breakfast, mmm. Studded with blueberries or smothered in blueberry sauce, pancakes are perfect for a leisurely breakfast, also the inspiration behind March’s ice cream of the month, for Ice Cream for Breakfast day falls on the 21st of March. www.facebook.com/March21IceCreamforBreakfast/info?tab=page_info

It’s the small, silly and fun things that make life enjoyable. Eating quinoa and sawdust for breakfast is all very healthy and admirable, but hardly a celebration of life!

Naiive as I am, I thought I was being clever and original, but no! In internet land there are quite a few recipes claiming to be pancake flavoured. At least my method is different, the ones I looked at used butter “extract”, buttermilk and maple syrup to make a taste reminicent of pancakes. I go a step further and actually use batter! And you know what, it worked!

Have you ever heard of Hasty Pudding? No? Well it’s a simple batter pudding that takes a matter of minutes to make and has a thick , velvetey texture. Add cream, sugar and a blueberry ripple, and there you have it. You saw it here first, folks !

Blueberry Pancake Ice Cream

for the blueberry sauce:

  • a small punnet of blueberries
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Put the berries and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat gently until the berries are soft. They release a lot of juice so don’t add any extra liquid. Stir in the sugar. Squish the berries with a potato masher. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge.

For the ice cream:

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml double cream

Melt the butter in a small pan, stir in the flour and allow to cook for a minute. Off the heat, very gradually whisk in the milk. It will look a bit lumpy to begin with, but will soon become smooth. Stir in the sugar.

Over a medium heat and stirring briskly the whole time, simmer the mixture until it thickens.

Remove from the heat. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, then whisk into the mixture. Allow to cook for one minute more, it should be nice and thick now.

Pour through a sieve, into a jug to remove any stray lumps. Stir in the cream. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge.

Following the instructions for your machine, or using a hand method, make the ice cream. In a 1.5 litre tupperware container, alternate blobs of ice cream with blobs of sauce. Stir gently with a knife to ripple them together. Freeze until firm.

This ice cream sets very firmly, take it out of the freezer for 10 mins prior to serving or cut into blocks.

pancake 2