Tag Archives: desserts

Sticky Date Ice Cream

It’s summer, and that means Ice Cream!

sticky date 03

This is a particularly rich and creamy ice cream, which works equally well on by itself, or accompanying cake or pudding. So if it’s not summer where you live, don’t let that stop you trying it. Seriously, what’s the point of indoor heating if we can’t have ice cream in the middle of winter.

Recipe:
Makes about 1.5 litres.

Very Basic Vanilla Ice Cream mixture sticky date 02
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch salt
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Basically making ice cream is like making custard, and then freezing it.

Mix a couple of tablespoons of milk with the cornflour in saucepan and stir until smooth. Boil or nuke the rest of the milk and cream, then add to the milk/cornflour mix. Bring to boil, then let cool.

Beat sugar, egg yolks and salt until thick and creamy, add about 1/4 of the milk and mix together, then pour this back into the to saucepan and heat on medium, stirring continually until mixture thickens slightly. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla. Pour into suitable container and refrigerate.

(I often use a vanilla pod, which I heat with the milk and cream, and then slice lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the mix. But this time I just used vanilla extract.)

Sticky Date mix:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp butter
1 cup roughly chopped dates

Place sugar, water, and butter in saucepan and bring to boil. Turn heat down to medium, stir until sugar is dissolved, and add dates. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the dates are gooey and caramelized. Cool.

Start churning the vanilla cream mixture in ice cream maker as per instructions. When it is just over halfway churned, add 1/2 the sticky date mixture, and continue churning. Then, when transferring ice cream to a container for freezing, fold in the rest of the sticky dates so that they form ripples of caramelized goo.

Freeze until needed. Eat.

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Vegan hazlenut & chocolate chip biscuits

or “cookies” for those with a slightly different lexicon

While I’m neither vegan nor gluten intolerant, I have friends who are one or the other and it’s nice to be able to bake things which I can share.

I’m pretty good at making gluten free versions of most cakes, muffins, and biscuits, but I often struggle to think of vegan alternatives to eggs. For some recipes, the egg is not really essential, but for certain things it’s needed to bind the other ingredients together. I had a hunch that using a thick coconut cream might do the trick, and it turned out to be correct (at least in this instance).

These turned out to have a crisp outside and a moist, crumbly center. The only thing I would do differently next time is use hazelnut meal instead of almond meal, to emphasize the hazelnut flavour.

vegan biscuits 01
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Comfort Food

Rice Pudding:

I’ve been unwell this week, and although the trees are starting to bud outside, it’s still the cold part of winter with frosts every morning. Clearly this calls for comfort food, and snuggling on a sofa with a novel or DVD.

My comfort food for dinner tends to be rice with something simple. Which means it’s no effort at all to cook some extra rice so that I can have rice pudding for dessert. Rice pudding is one of those things which can be either stodgy and bland, or creamy and delicately flavoured. I like to think that mine falls into the second category.

rice pudding_3614

Ingredients
Makes 3-4 servings
3 cups cooked rice (refrigerated leftover rice is fine)
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 vanilla pod
1 cup dates
Cinnamon
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