I don’t know if it’s because of the unrelenting heat these last several weeks, making us yearn for cooling ice creams and sorbets, or because the June & July BSFIC theme of herbs really resonated with you or just that I gave you two months instead of one to send me your posts but I’ve loved the surge of BSFIC entries and am delighted to share this wonderful round up of of posts today. Indeed, some of you have created and blogged not just one herby frozen delight but two… most impressive!
FoodyCat Alicia has never been afraid of creativity, which is how she comes up with ideas like this Goats Cheese, Thyme and Honey Semifreddo. Her recipes seem to be a cunning combination of instinct about what flavours might complement each other and a nod to what’s already in the store cupboard. This unusual ice cream is definitely encouragement to let your imagination run wild and then give it a try!
Julia prefers her sweets to be sweet and her savouries to be savoury so she went for a traditional combination of Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream, which she made without an ice cream machine. Referencing my easy triple mint choc chip recipe from last year she combined fresh mint with Bendicks in her delicious version.
Elizabeth also went for mint choc chip but her hers was in the form of Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. As can often be the case when you develop your own recipes, finished volumes are hard to judge. Elizabeth made too little of her first batch, for which she used a custard base, for the whole family to share, so she quickly made a second batch using a condensed milk and cream base as well. The first needs and ice cream machine, the second doesn’t. Two recipes for the price of one!
Rosanna’s Thyme and Orange Blossom Ice Cream sounds right up my street. A classic custard base with gentle flavours that remind me of our trip to Lebanon a couple of years ago. In her post she also gives a serving suggestion, pairing her ice cream with meringues and chocolate sauce in an exotic sundae. The meringue recipe (provided) is also a great way to use egg whites leftover from the custard recipe.
Hannah starts her post with a hilarious rant about the downsides of summer festivals. The worst of her ire is reserved for one offender – warm drinks! Her Lemon & Thyme Granita, garnished so beautifully with pretty thyme flowers, uses the same classic flavour combination as my later entry (and I almost switched ideas when I saw her post but decided our approaches were different and to just go ahead). Granitas have such a distinct texture compared to sorbets, I must try one myself soon.
Most of us hadn’t even made our frozen concoctions by the time Alicia had sprung into action for a second time with her Mojito Sorbet. This is a dream ticket sorbet for me, as I love mojitos and can readily imagine how well they translate into a frozen version. I love this idea for a simple adults-only frozen cocktail.
Citrus is definitely a thirst quencher in the heat, few more so than lemon. Claire shares her recipe for Lemon, Basil and Vodka Sorbet which she came up with after reading recipes for lemon and basil cake and blackcurrant and vodka sorbet by fellow bloggers. I particularly love her colourful photographs that illustrate her post.
Choclette dropped me a note to ask whether I considered rose to be a herb for the purpose of the challenge. Although the technical definition specifies herbs as the leaves of plants, I’m with Choclette on this one – I feel that rose fits better within the category of herbs than spices. Our everyday categorisations are so arbitrary anyway… thinking of fruits, vegetables, tomatoes and avocados… Choclette discovered the no-churn condensed milk and cream ice cream base when I ran my condensed milk challenge last year and like me, has become very fond of it. She uses it to great effect here with her pretty Rhubarb, Rose and White Chocolate Ice Cream.
Jerryfishbiscuits has been on a bit of a themed kick of his own lately, sharing recipes for retro biscuit ice creams. Since his previous entries have used a custard base, a condensed milk base and an Angel Delight base, for his Viscount Biscuit Ice Cream he decided to try frozen yoghurt, combining it with buttermilk and a minted sugar syrup. At the last minute, some melted After Eights added a second hit of mint and chocolate.
Christian wants to encourage people to think outside of the box, not only in terms of when they can enjoy ice cream but also what flavours of ice cream they can make. His Lavender & Chocolate Semifreddo is an unusual combination, but lavender has long been used as a flavouring for desserts, and I can imagine it working very well with the creamy custard base.
Next up is my own entry, a Lemon, Limoncello & Thyme Sorbet. Like Hannah I chose the classic lemon and thyme combination but went for a sorbet instead of a granita and added a healthy dose of lemon liqueur to make this an adult-only thirst quencher. The recipe is straightforward, combining a herb-infused sugar syrup with lemon juice and Limoncello and then churning in an ice cream machine to produce a very smooth and aerated sorbet. In the extreme heat, it melted fast, so I just had time to scoop some into my prepared lemon skins and shoot a few photographs before it melted… into my mouth!
Another second entry, this time from Elizabeth with her innovative Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream. Again, one could ask whether green tea and seaweed are actually herbs but given that they’re both the product of plant leaves and used for flavouring and seasoning, I’d definitely say so. Elizabeth’s first try with a condensed milk base wasn’t what she was aiming for, but her second attempt with a custard base was perfect. She also recommends soaking the seaweed before incorporating it.
Last but not least is Julia’s Lemon Curd Ripple Ice Cream with Lemon and Basil Syrup. She found the condensed milk and cream base perfect for this, swirling in thick ripples of lemon curd into the whipped base. She then added a lovely herb accent with her lemon and basil syrup (made with home grown basil), which she drizzled over the ice cream before serving.
I promised to send some herb seeds from my seed box to my favourite posts. Every single entry is great but I’ve picked out two that I really love. Rosanna’s Thyme and Orange Blossom Ice Cream and Elizabeth’s Green Tea & Shetland Seaweed Ice Cream. Ladies, can you email me your postal addresses so I can send you some seeds?
I’ll be posting the next theme shortly. As always, all bloggers (food, lifestyle, personal diarists) are welcome to join in. You don’t have to be an ice cream guru, just have a go and share your ideas and experiences with the rest of us!