One of my food and drink goals in recent years (and certainly for the next few too) is to learn more about sake. Not just how it’s made (which I understand pretty well now) and the different categories of sake (which I finally have downpat) but – most importantly of all – working out what I like best in the hope of reliably being able to buy sake that I love.

Here, I share what I’ve learned over the last few years plus some of my favourites at this year’s HyperJapan Sake Experience.

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Images from shutterstock.com

What is Sake?

Sake is a Japanese alcohol made from rice.

Although it is referred to in English as rice wine, it is often pointed out that the process is more akin to brewing beer, where one converts the starch to sugar and the resulting sugar to alcohol. In wine making, it is a simpler process of converting the sugars that are already present in the fruit. Of course, it’s not entirely like beer making either as the sake production process is quite distinct.

Wine is typically around 10-15% ABV. Beer is usually lower, with most beers coming in between 3-8%, though there’s been a trend towards ever stronger beers lately. Sake is brewed to around 18-20%, but often diluted to around 15% for bottling.

Until a few years ago I’d only ever encountered cheap sake served warm and was not a huge fan. However, since trying higher quality sakes served chilled, I’m an absolute convert.

In terms of typical flavours, my vocabulary is woefully lacking, but for me the core flavour is a subtly floral one – perhaps this is intrinsic to the rice and rice mould? The balance of sweetness and acidity varies though classic sake is not super sweet. Sometimes it is fruity and sometimes it has a more umami (savoury) taste. I am often able to detect clear differences on the palate but unable to define these in words – clearly I need to drink more sake!

 

How is Sake made?

Sake is made from rice, but usually from varieties with a larger, stronger grain with lower levels of protein than the rice varieties that are typically eaten.

The starch sits within the centre of the rice grain, surrounded by a layer of bran, so rice is usually polished to remove the outer layer before being made into sake. The more the rice is polished, the higher the percentage of starchy centre remains, but of course this is more expensive as it needs far more rice to produce the same volume of alcohol.

After polishing and being set aside to rest, the rice is washed, soaked and steamed. kōji rice mould (Aspergillus oryzae) is sprinkled over the rice which is left to ferment for several days. This mould helps to develop the amylase enzyme necessary to convert starch to sugar. Next, water and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) are added and the mixture allowed to incubate. Water and yeast are added multiple times during the process. The resulting mash then ferments at 15-20 °C for a few weeks.

After fermentation, the mixture is filtered to extract the liquid, and the solids are often pressed to extract a fuller range of flavours.

In cheaper sakes, varying amounts of brewer’s alcohol are added to increase the volume.

Sake is usually filtered again and then pasteurised before resting and maturing, then dilution with water before being bottled.

These days you can also find unpasteurised sake and sake in which the finer lees (sediment) are left in. I’ve even had some very thick and cloudy sakes where more of the solids have been pureed and mixed in to the final drink.

 

What are the different categories of Sake?

Because the most desirable bit of the rice is the core of the grain, the amount of polishing is highly relevant. Labels must indicate the seimai-buai (remaining percentage) of the original grain.

Daiginjo means that at least 50% of the original rice grain must be polished away (so that 50% or less remains) and that the ginjo-tsukuri method – fermenting at cooler temperatures – has been used. There are additional regulations on which varieties of rice and types of yeast may be used and other production method restrictions.

Ginjo is pretty much the same but stipulates that only 40% of the original rice is removed by polishing (so that up to 60% remains).

Pure sake – that is sake made only from rice, rice mould and water – is labelled as Junmai. If it doesn’t state junmai on the label, it is likely that additional alcohol has been added.

So Junmai daiginjo is the highest grade in terms of percentage of rice polished and being pure sake with no brewer’s alcohol added.

Coming down the scale a little quality wise, Tokubetsu means that the sake is still classed as ‘special quality’. Tokebetsu junmai means it’s pure rice, rice mould and water whereas Tokebetsu honjozu means the sake has had alcohol added, but is still considered a decent quality. In both cases, up to 60% of the original rice grain may remain after milling.

Honjozo on its own means that the sake is still rated above ordinary sake – ordinary sake can be considered the equivalent of ‘table wine’ in France.

Other terms that are useful to know:

Namazake is unpasteurised sake.

Genshu is undiluted sake; I have not come across this yet.

Muroka has been pressed and separated from the lees as usual but has not been carbon filtered. It is clear in appearance.

Nigorizake is cloudy rather than clear – the sake is passed only through a loose mesh to separate the liquid from the mash and is not filtered. There is usually a lot of sediment remaining and it is normal to shake the bottle to mix it back into the liquid before serving.

Taruzake is aged in wooden barrels or casks made from sugi, sometimes called Japanese cedar. The wood imparts quite a strong flavour so premium sake is not commonly used for taruzake.

Kuroshu is made from completely unpolished brown rice grains. I’ve not tried it but apparently it’s more like Chinese rice wine than Japanese sake.

I wrote about Amazake in this post, after we enjoyed trying some in Kyoto during our first visit to Japan. Amazake can be low- or no-alcohol depending on the recipe. It is often made by adding rice mould to whole cooked rice, allowing the mould to break down the rice starch into sugars and mixing with water. Another method is to mix the sake solids left over from sake production with water – additional sugar can be added to enhance the sweetness. Amazake is served hot or cold; the hot version with a little grated ginger to mix in to taste.

 

HyperJapan’s Sake Experience

Last month I tasted a great range of sake products in the space of an hour’s focused drinking as I made my way around Sake Experience in which 11 Japanese sake breweries shared 30 classic sakes and other sake products.

Once again, this was my personal highlight of HyperJapan show.

For an extra £15 on top of the show entrance ticket, one can visit stalls of 11 Japanese sake breweries, each of whom will offer tastings of 2 or 3 of their product range. You can learn about the background of their brewery, listen to them tell you about the characteristics of their product and of course, make up your own mind about each one.

One reason I love this is because tasting a wide range of sakes side by side really helps me notice the enormous differences between them and get a better understanding of what I like best.

A large leaflet is provided as you enter, which lists every sake being offered by the breweries. A shop at the exit (also open to those not doing the Sake Experience) allows you to purchase favourites, though not every single sake in the Sake Experience is available for sale.

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Kavey’s Sake Experience 2015 Picks

My Favourite Regular Sakes

Umenoyado’s Junmai Daiginjo is made using yamadanishiki rice and bottled at 16% ABV. The natural sweetness is much to my taste and the flavour is wonderfully rich with fruity overtones, and a spicy sharp piquancy that provides balance.

Ichiniokura’s Junmai Daiginjo Kuranohana is made with kuranohana rice and bottled at 15-16% ABV. This one is super fruity; the brewery team explained that they use a different yeast whch creates a different kind of flavour. There is less acidity than usual, which emphasises the sweetness.

Nihonsakari’s Junmai Ginjo Cho-Tokusen Souhana is made with yamadanishiki rice and bottled at 15-16% ABV. To me, this Junmai Ginjo represents the absolutely classic style of sake; it has a hint of dairy to the aroma and a typical sake flavour, subtly floral and very crisp.

My Favourite Barrel-Aged Sake

Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura’s Taruzake is barrel-aged and bottled at 15% ABV. The wood flavour comes through clearly, though it’s not overpowering – this is a clean, dry style of sake with a hint of greenery. Although it’s not hugely complex, it’s well worth a try.

My Favourite Sparkling Sakes

Ichinokura’s Premium Sparkling Sake Suzune Wabi is made with Toyonishiki and Shunyo rice varieties and bottled at 5% ABV. Unlike some sparkling sakes on the market that are carbonated artificially, the gas is 100% natural, produced during a second fermentation. This sake is sweet but not super sweet, with a fruity aroma balanced by gentle acidity. If I understood them correctly, the brewery team claimed that they were the first to develop sparkling sake, 8 years ago. Certainly, it’s a very recent development but one that’s become hugely popular, a way for breweries to reconnect with younger markets who had been turning away from sake as their drink of choice.

Shirataki Shuzo’s Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Sparkling Sake is made with Gohyakumangoku rice and bottled at 11-12% ABV. Although most sparkling sakes are sweet, this one breaks the kōji (mould, kōji, get it?) as it’s a much dryer style, though not brut by any means. I can see this working very well with food.

For the more typical girly sparkling sakes, Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura’s Mio and Ozeki’s Jana Awaka are both sweet, tasty and affordable.

My Favourite Yuzu Sake

Some of the yuzu sakes I tried were perfectly tasty but very one dimensional, just a blast of yuzu and nothing else. One was a yuzu honey concoction and the honey totally overwhelmed the citrus.

Nihonsakari’s Yuzu Liqueur is bottled at 8-9%. The yuzu flavour is exceptional, yet beautifully rounded and in harmony with the sake itself. It’s not as viscous as some of the yuzu liqueurs certainly but has some creaminess to the texture. Be warned, this is one for the sweet-toothed!

My Favourite Umeshus

Learn more here about umeshu, a fruit liqueur made from Japanese stone fruits. Umeshu can be made from sake or shochu, but those at the Sake Experience were, of course, sake-based.

Urakasumi’s Umeshu is bottled at 12% ABV. Made with fruit and sake only, no added sugar, it’s a far lighter texture than many umeshu and has an absolutely beautiful flavour, well balanced between the sweetness and sharpness of the ume fruit. Because it’s so light, I think this would work well with food, whereas traditional thicker umeshu is better enjoyed on its own.

Umenoyado’s Aragoshi Umeshu is bottled at 12% ABV. A complete contrast from the previous one, this umeshu is super thick, in large part because the ume fruit, after steeping in sake and sugar, are grated and blended and mixed back in to the liqueur. The flavour is terrific and I couldn’t resist buying a bottle of this one to bring home.

My Favourite Surprise Sake

Ozeki’s Sparkling Jelly Sake Peach comes in a can and is 5% ABV. The lightly carbonated fruity liqueur has had jelly added, and the staff recommended chilling for a few hours, shaking really hard before opening and pouring the jellied drink out to serve. The flavour is lovely and I’d serve this as a grown up but fun dessert, especially as it’s not very expensive at £3 a can. I bought a few of these home with me!

 

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Kavey Eats attended the event as a guest of HyperJapan.

 

This month’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream is another ‘Anything Goes’.

Sweet or savoury, any kind of frozen treat is eligible – ice cream, gelato, granita, semi-freddo, shaved ice, slushie, sorbet, spoom… We’ve just done ice lollies but if you blog lollies in August, they are welcome too.

Or you could get creative and share a recipe in which ice cream is just one element – arctic rolls, baked Alaska, ice cream sandwiches…

Some of the themes we’ve had before are custard based ice creams, no-churn recipes, dairy-free, and a host of ingredient-lead themes such as booze, chocolate, fruit, herbs and spices. We’ve also got into the nostalgic groove with ice creams reminding us of childhood and of ice cream van favourites. Feel free to revisit any of these and more.

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images from shutterstock.com

How To Take Part In BSFIC

  • Create and blog a suitable recipe in August 2015, published by the 28th.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • Include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge (below). Feel free to resize as needed.
  • Email me (by the 28th of July) with your first name or nickname, the link to your post and a photograph for the roundup, sized no larger than 600 pixels on the longest side.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like.

If the recipe is not your own, please be aware of copyright issues. Email me if you would like to discuss this.

I’ll post a round up showcasing and linking to all the entries and I’ll also share your posts via Pinterest, Stumble and Twitter. If you tweet about your post using the hashtag #BSFIC, I’ll retweet any I see. You are also welcome to share the links to your posts on my Kavey Eats Facebook page.

IceCreamChallenge_thumb1For more ideas, check out my my Pinterest ice cream board and past BSFIC Entries board.

 

As I write this, it’s pouring with rain outside and has been since I woke up some hours ago. Heavy drops are bouncing hard on the flat roof outside the window, making quickly-dissipating concentric circles one after the other after the other in mesmerising, ever-changing patterns. Grey skies and endless water have washed away the skin-warming heat we experienced just a few weeks ago.

The beginning of July felt like one of those endless summers of childhood. Sunblock was vigorously applied, sun-starved limbs were eagerly exposed, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses saved us from squinting against the bright light, and barbeques across the nation were eagerly dusted off and put back to use.

For me, there are few snacks that speak of summer as much as ice lollies; the perfect cooling refreshment. Best eaten quickly before the heat starts to drive sticky, melted rivers of sweetness down the stick, onto hands, from there to drip drip drip onto bare feet, or better yet the parched grass underfoot.

Unsurprisingly, most of the entries for this month’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream were made earlier on in the month, when the weather still had us yearning for icy treats.

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Kate, author of Veggie Desserts, is an expert at incorporating vegetables often thought of as savoury, into sweet treats. Her Cucumber and Lemon Popsicles look super refreshing. I’ve often heard people suggest that cucumber has no flavour, but it certainly does, especially when the flavour is allowed to be the star of the show.

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Wonderlusting Lynda is not new to BSFIC but has not entered for a while, so it was such a pleasure to see her bright Coconutty, Carrot & Mango Ice Lollies, a welcome splash of colour and flavour. And how funky does that nail polish look against the orange and red?!

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I was delighted by how well my Eton Mess Ice Lollies turned out – a simple combination of fresh strawberries, sugar, double cream and crushed meringue. I took these along to a barbeque with friends and they seemed to go down well!

fruity yoghurt pops

Kate from Happy Igloo created these attractively layered Fruity Yogurt Pops by combining fresh fruit with natural yoghurt for a healthy ice lolly. Yoghurt makes such great ice lollies, adding a welcome tang to the taste of sweet ripe fruit.

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Great minds think alike – Corina from Searching For Spice also chose to mix natural yoghurt with fruit for her Peach and Banana Ice Lollipops, opting for a two-layer lolly. I love the shape of her moulds too!

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Debi, author of lifestyle blog Life Currents, made these pretty Double Cherry Popsicles by combining dried and fresh cherries with lemonade. You must check out the adorable penguin lolly mould she used for one of the lollies!

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Caroline’s Chocolate Milk Ice Cream Lollies tasted delicious but the lollipop moulds she tried out didn’t quite work – the head broke off one cow and the stick off the other. The important thing is that they tasted good and hopefully won’t put Caroline off further ice cream experiments!

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I’m so excited by these Korean Inspired Strawberry and Tofu Lollies by Sneige from Orange Thyme. We had been chatting on twitter and I suggested she try something with a Korean influence. I learned when making a traditional Japanese shira-ae salad dressing quite how versatile tofu can be but would never have thought to use it as a base for a sweet ice lolly – so clever!

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Lisa aka the Cookwitch was determined to make some ice lollies this month. Her first attempt – a rhubarb and custard jam, peanut butter and condensed milk experiment – sounded utterly delicious but woefully, it didn’t freeze. However, Lisa came up trumps on her second try, with these Melty Nutella Ice Lollies.

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Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary is full of colour this week, after she posted her Fruity Lemonade Ice Lollies against a field of yellow. Elizabeth uses her Froothie Optimum power blender to blitz whole lemons for the recipe so these are super sharp, just as her kids like them, but the beauty of the recipe is that you can adjust the sweetness to your personal tastes.

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Last but not least is Fuss Free Flavours Helen’s delightful Cooling Cucumber Elderflower Mint Ice Pops which make great use of a power blender to combine cucumber, mint, elderflower cordial and water for a light and refreshing lolly.

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That’s it for this month – some super ice lollies, I hope you agree.

Keep your eyes open, August’s BSFIC post will be up very soon!

 

For the latest Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream I set a theme of sorbets and granitas.

Corin Sorbet

Corin at Pro-Ware Kitchen created this rather grown up Tangerine and Prosecco Sorbet, the perfect palate cleanser. I love the beautiful orange colour and am seriously coveting the pretty champagne coupe glass.

Caroline Sorbet

One advantage of sorbet over ice cream is that it’s a little easier to make low calorie versions. Caroline from Caroline Makes shares this Slimming World Kiwi and Lime Sorbet which substitutes powdered sweetener for sugar. Of course, you can stick to sugar if you like!

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Regular BSFIC participant Alicia Foodycat put forward a rogue entry, a No-Churn Lemon Ripple Ice Cream! Yes it has dairy, but as she says, lemon is so refreshing it’s almost like a sorbet! Besides, BSFIC is all about sharing frozen treats, so I’m happy if she is!

Jen granita

Another grown up entry from Jen of Jen’s Food in the form of this Sloe Gin and Tonic Granita. Doesn’t this look just the thing for a warm midsummer’s evening?

Lemon Balm Sorbet - Kavey Eats - (c) Kavita Favelle -landscape-text

Lastly, I made use of some of the herbs from our back garden for this simple Lemon Balm Sorbet which also features a slosh of white rum to add flavour and keep it super soft.

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Thanks to everyone who joined in. July’s BSFIC theme is ice lollies, so do get freezing and join in!

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Temperatures are soaring and that can only mean one thing: ice lollies – or ice pops, popsicles and freeze pops, as some of you call them!

Whether you go for the simplest lolly made with cordial or fruit juice, layer stripes of different colours and flavours or make a cream or custard base – as long as you freeze it on a stick, we’re good to go.

Ice Lollies
Images courtesy of
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How To Take Part In BSFIC

  • Create and blog a suitable recipe in July 2015, published by 28th July.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • Include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge (below).
  • Email me (by the 28th of July) with your first name or nickname (as you prefer) and the link to your post.
  • Please include in your email an image for my roundup, sized to no larger than 600 pixels on the longest side.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like.

If the recipe is not your own, please be aware of copyright issues. Email me if you would like to discuss this.

I’ll post a round up showcasing and linking to all the entries and I’ll also share your posts via Pinterest, Stumble and Twitter. If you tweet about your post using the hashtag #BSFIC, I’ll retweet any I see. You are also welcome to share the links to your posts on my Kavey Eats Facebook page.

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For more ideas, check out my my Pinterest ice cream board and past BSFIC Entries board.

Jun 282015
 

The herb patch in our back garden has gone wild. Lemon balm is one of the winners of the battle for space and light, thrusting proud stems laden with aromatic leaves in all directions. We also have bold bushes of sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme.

I think the pure and subtle flavour of herbs can be a little too tempered in dairy ice creams, but sings loudly in simple and refreshing sorbets. Since I’ve enjoyed both mint and basil sorbets in the past, I figured a lemon balm sorbet would work nicely and give us a way of using up some of that lemon balm bonanza.

Lemon Balm Sorbet - Kavey Eats - (c) Kavita Favelle -landscape-text

I opted to use my wonderful Froothie’s Optimum power blender to speed up the process. Blending together sugar, water and lemon balm leaves and a large dose of white rum took only minutes and produced a super smooth liquid which I cooled down and churned in my beautiful Smart Scoop ice cream machine (from the Sage by Heston Blumenthal range).

The advantage of this method is that it’s super fast and the flavour of the herb is good and strong.

The colour, of course, is much darker than steeping herbs in a sugar syrup and straining out before churning.

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The rum adds a punch of flavour but also keeps the sorbet super soft. If you prefer your sorbet to freeze really hard, use less or omit entirely.

Simple Lemon Balm Sorbet

Ingredients
200 grams caster sugar
300 ml water
10 grams freshly picked lemon balm leaves, stems removed
1-2 tablespoons white rum

Method

  • Place all ingredients into the power blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Transfer to fridge to cool.
  • Churn in an ice cream machine, or transfer to freezer in a tub and fork through every hour for 3-4 hours.

Lemon Balm Sorbet - Kavey Eats - (c) Kavita Favelle - portrait-text

This is my entry for the Early Summer Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, which has a theme of sorbets and granitas.

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The Optimum 9200, the newer model of my 9400, retails for £429 but is currently on sale for £349. Visit Froothie’s website for details and don’t forget to enter “Special Ambassador Offer” on checkout for an additional 2 year warranty free of charge. Please use my affiliate link (here and in my sidebar) to support Kavey Eats.

 

When the sun comes out, it’s time to look to the freezer for sweet, delicious, frozen treats.

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Images from Shutterstock.com

For this extended Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, I’m looking for refreshing sorbets and granitas!

Get blitzing, freezing and blogging!

All bloggers are welcome – food, lifestyle, parenting or health and from anywhere around the world – if you share recipes with your readers, we’d love to have you join in!

How To Take Part In BSFIC

  • Create and blog a suitable recipe between May 1st and June 28th 2015.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • Include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge (below).
  • Email me (by June 28th) with your first name or nickname (as you prefer) and the link to your post.
  • Please include in your email an image for my roundup, sized to no larger than 600 pixels on the longest side and without decorative borders applied.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like.

I’ll post a round up showcasing and linking to all the entries, a few days after the closing date.

Your posts will also be shared via my Pinterest and Stumble accounts.

If you tweet about your post using the hashtag #BSFIC, I’ll retweet any I see.

You are also welcome to share links to your posts on my Kavey Eats Facebook page.

IceCreamChallenge_thumb1

For more ideas, check out my my Pinterest ice cream board and past BSFIC Entries board.

 

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Image from Shutterstock stock library

This month’s theme for BSFIC was Dairy Free – either by use of a dairy substitute or skipping it completely. I hope you enjoy the delicious entries below!

Kip March BSFIC

In that brief sunny period at the beginning of March, when it seemed as though spring had firmly sprung, Kip the Messy Vegetarian Cook created this Vegan Cream Cheese Ice Cream drizzled with chocolate sauce and hundreds and thousands.

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I was next, with my very first dairy free ice cream. I kept it very simple by combining coconut milk with chocolate and adding a splash of coconut rum for a Bounty-inspired Chocolate & Coconut Dairy Free Ice Cream.

Ros March BSFIC

Baking Addict Ros served her Lemongrass and lime Sorbet with Lime Jelly, creating a lush green and white dessert. She used an egg white to give body and texture to her sorbet, a little like the lemon spoom I made a few years ago.

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Corin from Proware Kitchen made a luscious Cherry Garcia Coconut Milk Ice Cream featuring roasted cherries, black rum and coconut. She is a fan of coconut milk ice cream bases which are light and refreshing but still provide a creamy consistency.

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I love the idea of combining tahini into a frozen banana instant treat, as in Kellie’s Vegan Banana & Cardamom-Tahini Ice Cream on Food To Glow.

Monica March BSFIC

Monica at Smarter Fitter keeps dairy out of the mix entirely in her vibrant Mango Chilli Sorbet made using tinned kesar mango puree. As a mango aficionado I can tell you that kesar, along with alphonso, mangoes make really excellent sorbet, and the additional of chilli must surely add a killer kick.

Helen March

Over at Fuss Free Flavours, Helen has created another vibrant treat, her Blackberry, Apple & Thyme Sorbet. I bet that hint of herb makes this sorbet much more grown up in flavour.

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Hotel Chocolat kindly supported this month’s BSFIC by giving us one of their brand new Milk Free Milk Chocolate easter eggs to give away and after reviewing all the entries, they have selected Kip’s Vegan Cream Cheese Ice Cream to win their new Milk-Free Milk Scrambled Egg easter egg! Well done, Kip!

In the meantime, look out for the next BSFIC challenge, coming shortly!

 

I was a lucky child. Neither my sister nor I experienced any major accidents, illnesses or health issues. Our occasional visits to hospital were brief and easily dealt with by our local hospital or local health services.

But some families are not so lucky. Some families have to deal with serious childhood sicknesses that are desperately worrying, may require specialist treatment and can result in short or long stays in hospitals far from home. How hard it must be for parents to handle the extra stress of journeys to and from home and hospital, trying to simultaneously provide love and support to the child in hospital and as normal an environment for their other children, let alone trying to keep on top of work commitments and everyday chores.

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The Sick Children’s Trust provides free, high quality ‘Home from Home’ accommodation as well as emotional and practical support to families who have seriously ill children in hospital. Founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas, the charity has ten houses based at major paediatric hospitals across the UK and it costs them just £28 per night to provide their much-needed service. They currently support around 3,500 families a year and demand is growing, as children must increasingly travel long distances for the specialist treatment they need.

At a recent launch event for the trust’s Big Chocolate Tea Party, I listened first hand to the stories of parents who had stayed in one of the homes, and unsurprisingly, it made a huge difference to each and every one of them. The accommodation allows the parents and any siblings of the sick child to stay together in a location close to the hospital, providing not only a base to sleep but also a place to rest, to unwind and to emotionally recharge during a very tough time.

The Sick Children’s Trust is once again asking supporters to host their own Big Chocolate Tea Party between now and May to help raise funds to support the charity’s work.

They aim to raise £100,000 which will go a huge way in helping them support sick children and their families. Remember, just £28 provides a room in a Home from Home for a night.

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Edd Kimber’s S’more Choux Buns and John Whaite’s Chocolate Teaser soufflé

Paul A Young, master chocolatier and Vice President of the Sick Children’s Trust has been inspired and touched by the charity’s work. The Big Chocolate Tea Party gives him “the perfect opportunity to use [his] love of chocolate to fundraise in a fun and indulgent way while supporting many families who are facing the most difficult of circumstances miles from their home.”

Paul,  Raymond Blanc, Edd Kimber and John Whaite have provided recipes to inspire anyone keen to get involved, you can find ideas and download some of these recipes and fundraising materials here.

Alternatively, email email chocolate@sickchildrenstrust.org for a free party pack, which includes more recipes.

As a thank you for taking part and helping to raise funds to support the charity’s homes, all those who host a party or bake-off during the May 2015 Big Chocolate Tea Party campaign will be entered into a draw for a chocolate tea weekend for two in Paris, including Premium Leisure Eurostar tickets, two nights bed and breakfast accommodation in a five star Paris hotel and a pair of tickets to Salon du Chocolate, the prestigious annual chocolate show.

John Whaite’s Chocolate Teaser soufflé

This recipe is blissfully easy, but more importantly, it’s decadently perfect for a lazy, indulgent brunch. The mayonnaise isn’t a typing error – I use mayonnaise a lot when working with chocolate cakes I need to be gooey. The mayonnaise adds an egg-like texture, which helps create an unctuous inside because it doesn’t coagulate like an egg.

Makes four

Ingredients
2 tsp golden caster sugar
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (60% is fine, don’t go overly bitter)
70g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp golden syrup
5 eggs, separated
1 tbsp mayonnaise
200g Maltesers, roughly bashed
For the sauce
100g milk chocolate
100ml double cream
100g Maltesers, bashed to fine pieces
Essential equipment
4 x 200ml ramekins, very well greased with butter
Baking sheet

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.
  • Sprinkle the sugar into the greased ramekins and shake about so the sides and base are covered.
  • Place the chocolates and golden syrup into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Allow the chocolate to slowly melt together with the syrup, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, but not set.
  • Meanwhile, put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk until they are fluffy and stiff.
  • Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate along with the mayonnaise. Gently fold in the roughly bashed Maltesers, before very gently folding in the whisked whites – you want the mixture to be a smooth, even- toned batter, though of course with humps of Malteser.
  • Divide the mixture between the ramekins, cleaning the rim of each with your thumb. Set on to the baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until beautifully risen. They may crack on top, but who cares – you’re going to be diving in soon anyway.
  • To make the sauce, simply place the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stirring occasionally, allow the chocolate to melt into the cream until you have a smooth, glossy sauce.
  • To serve, tell the eater to take a spoonful out of the centre, then pour in some of glorious, warm sauce.

Thank you to The Sick Children’s Trust for inviting me along to your launch event, and sharing with me the amazing work you do to help sick children and their families. Recipe and images courtesy of The Sick Children’s Trust.

 

I was dreadfully late in publishing the round up of entries into August’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, which was a joint challenge with Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipes. Since it seems a bit unfair to expect anyone to participate in a September challenge in the half month remaining, I’m merging with next month.

What’s more, I’m throwing it wide open to say that any kind of frozen treat – ice cream, gelato, granita, lollies, semi-freddo, slushie, sorbet – goes!

Ice cream desserts are welcome too so if you fancy trying your hand at baked alaska, ice cream pie or an ice cream sandwich, this BSFIC is for you!

No restriction on style, ingredients or theme; whatever you want to make, if it’s a frozen treat, do please share it with BSFIC.

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Images of frozen treats from
Shutterstock

Posts published any time in September or October are welcome, but if they’re already up, please edit them to add the link and badge and send me the entry email.

How To Take Part In BSFIC

  • Create and blog a suitable recipe any time in September or October. The deadline is October 28th.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • Include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge (below).
  • Email me (by the 28th of the October) with your first name or nickname (as you prefer) and the link to your post.
  • Please include in your email an image for my roundup, sized to no larger than 500 pixels on the longest side.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like.

If the recipe is not your own, please be aware of copyright issues. Email me if you would like to discuss this.

I’ll post a round up of all the entries at the end of the month and I’ll also share your posts via Pinterest, Stumble and Twitter. If you tweet about your post using the hashtag #BSFIC. I’ll retweet any I see. You are also welcome to share the links to your posts on my Kavey Eats Facebook page.

IceCreamChallenge

For more ideas, check out my my Pinterest ice cream board and past BSFIC Entries board.

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