Last year, I had great fun with Ice Cream Wednesday, a series of ice cream posts kick-started by an evening of frenzied ice cream making with friends.

As well as recipes I made myself, I also shared some great guest posts from fellow bloggers who made tasty concoctions including Pear & Ginger Ice Cream, Candied Bacon, Toasted Pecan, Maple Syrup, Southern Comfort & Salt Ice Cream, Plum & Earl Grey Frozen Yoghurt, Tarragon, Lemon, Lime & Tequila Ice Cream, Chocolate & Honey Sorbet and Salty Snickers Ice Cream Bars!

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This year, I’d like to invite bloggers to join in with the ice cream fun by taking part in a new bloggers’ challenge called Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, hosted here on Kavey Eats.

I hope to make this a monthly challenge, where we can choose a different theme each month. At the end of each month, I’ll post a round up with pictures and links back to all the blog entries, so we can all enjoy seeing what everyone else has made.

By the way, don’t think you can’t enter if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Here’s a fantastic post from ice cream guru David Lebovitz on making ice cream without a machine.

This challenge is open to bloggers from anywhere in the world and your blogs can be food, family, lifestyle, home… the more the merrier!

 

How To Take Part

  • Read the monthly challenge theme (below).
  • Create and blog a recipe that fits the challenge by the 28th of the month.
  • In your post, link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • In your post, include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge.
  • Email me with your name and the name of your blog, the link to your post, the title of your post and an image for my roundup, 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, such as Dom’s Random Recipes, Ren’s Family Friendly Fridays, the fabulous We Should Cocoa or any others you fancy. You can even enter this one more than once, if you write two separate blog posts that fit the challenge!

If the recipe is not your own, please credit the source and be aware of copyright issues.

If you tweet about your post using #kaveyeatsicecream or #bloggersscreamforicecream, I’ll retweet any I see.

 

Theme for February 2012 – Custard Based Ice Creams

I want a theme that will work for new comers and old hands alike so I’m kicking things off with this one.

If you’re new to making ice cream, making your own custard base from scratch seems a little daunting, but is definitely worth the effort. Adding real vanilla seeds is enough to produce a decadent dessert.

For old hands, you can share the recipe for your killer custard base or add in your own choice of flavourings from fruit and nuts to chocolate, from cake to marzipan, whatever you like!

 

Every Wednesday, throughout the summer, I’ve been enjoying sharing posts about ice cream.

But now that the last breaths of summer have made way for the golden light and amber leaves of autumn, it’s time to turn towards thoughts of hedgerow harvests and onwards to winter warmers.

For those who want to hear the chimes of the ice cream van one last time, here’s a reminder of all the #IceCreamWednesday posts. Enjoy!

  • Store Cupboard Ice Cream Recipes (including Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream Sorbet, Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream, Chocolate Liqueur Ice Cream, Peaches & Cream Ice Cream and Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream)

Thank you to all my generous guest posters for sharing their lovely recipes.

 

I’ve been so pleased about how much people have been enjoying the Ice Cream Wednesday series on the blog, not just reading my own posts but being inspired to buy their own ice cream machines and get in on the action too!

Kate aka The Little Loaf is a fellow food blogger and a twitter friend, and she has been really supportive of Ice Cream Wednesday. I know she has serious ice cream skillz so I asked if she’d be willing to contribute to the series and I’m sure you’ll agree, she’s come up with an absolute winner.

Incidentally, I just love her blog explanation for her nickname, which was given to her “at the age of two by a great aunt who noticed [her] appetite for bread was considerably bigger than [she] was“. That life-long obsession with all things baked has expanded into a sweet tooth, a love of cooking and an interest in trying new restaurants.


Little Loaf’s Salty Snickers Ice Cream Bars

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Do you remember the nineties internet craze of ‘pimp my snack’? People took every day treats and created crazy confections; giant Jammie Dodgers, Cadbury’s Crème Eggs filled with kilos of cream and party rings the size of a dinner plate. This recipe is seriously indulgent, but not quite on that scale.

With more primping than pimping involved, it takes a childhood classic, the Snickers ice cream bar, and makes it into an altogether more sophisticated version, using posh peanut butter, rich roasted nuts, a sprinkle of salt and good quality dark chocolate.

So there you have it, my take on Ice Cream Wednesday: silky smooth peanut butter ice cream topped with a layer of gooey caramel and peanuts, salty-sweet with a pinch of fleur de sel, and cloaked in a rich robe of glossy dark chocolate.

The ice cream is Philadelphia-style, meaning no complicated custard making, which allows you more time to fiddle around with the other elements of the recipe. As long as you make sure the ice cream stays super cold at all stages, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

For the ice cream
(taken from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)

Ingredients:
180g good quality smooth peanut butter
180g golden caster sugar
660ml single cream
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

  • Line a 23 cm square loose bottomed tin with baking parchment.
  • Puree the peanut butter, sugar, cream, salt and vanilla in a blender until smooth.
  • Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Once almost set, spoon into the prepared tin, smooth the top flat and freeze until hard.

For the caramel

Ingredients:
115g unsalted butter
1 x 397g tin condensed milk
4tbsp golden syrup
Fleur de sel to taste

2 large handfuls roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

  • Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat for two to three minutes, then add the condensed milk and golden syrup.
  • Beat the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
  • Bring it to a slow simmer then, keeping the temperature even, cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until thickened and light golden-brown in colour (this mixture can burn very easily, so keep stirring and don’t leave the pan unattended).
  • Once you have a thick caramel, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then remove the ice cream from the freezer and pour a layer of caramel over.
  • Sprinkle with peanuts and fleur de sel, then return to the freezer to set hard.

For the bars

Ingredients:
350g good quality dark chocolate
170g unsalted butter
3 tbsp corn or glucose syrup
small handful roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

  • Line a large flat board with baking parchment and pop in the freezer to cool.
  • Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup together in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water until smooth, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Remove the frozen ice cream and caramel from the freezer. Pop the bottom from the loose bottomed tin, then slice the ice cream into bars – I made 14 large bars, but you can adjust to your taste and appetite! Remove your prepared, lined board from the freezer too.
  • Now you need to work quickly. Taking two spoons, drop one of the bars into the chocolate mixture. Turn quickly to coat evenly in a thin layer of chocolate, then transfer onto the prepared board and sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional).
  • Repeat for the remaining bars, returning to the freezer in batches if necessary (i.e. if they start to melt).
  • Keep the bars in the freezer, covered, removing around 10 minutes before you want to eat them so the ice cream softens and the caramel becomes gooey.

If you try this one, do let us know how you get on!

 

We’ve really been enjoying making lots of home-made ice creams, sorbets and frozen yoghurts over the last several weeks. But there’s also times when it’s nice to buy ready made.

Here are my tasting notes about the range of ice creams designed by Heston Blumenthal for Waitrose; they went on sale a few months ago.

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Chocolate & Rosemary

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This was the first one we tried and was a bit disappointing.

Although the rosemary comes through quite clearly in the smell, it doesn’t really reach the taste buds. The chocolate flavour is pleasant; a decent quality. But the main problem is the texture, which is grainy rather than smooth. That lets it down hugely.

Salted Caramel Popcorn

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After my first mouthful of this, I wasn’t sure. I liked the flavour but there was the strange papery texture of popcorn husks which I found a little off-putting. For Pete, that was a key issue, and he didn’t really move further from that.

But, this ice cream very quickly grew on me, because I just adore the flavour.

It’s utterly reminiscent of the crunchy, sweet, toffee popcorn I used to buy and eat in the cinema as a kid, in place of the boring plain salted kind sold in the foyer in huge tubs. This ice cream captures that flavour perfectly, and I couldn’t help but sing “Butterkist Butterkist ra ra ra” as I ate it. Perhaps I’m giving undue attention to this old popcorn brand, but as Blumenthal is just five years older than me, I suspect his memories of the same toffee popcorn may have come into play during development! I didn’t get a huge salty kick from this, though it is there, subtly.

I polished off the entire tub in just a couple of sessions and shall be buying another one soon!

Mustard Savoury

Definitely the most unusual of the trio – and certainly the kind of idea many expect from Blumenthal – is the savoury mustard ice cream.

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This was also the most surprising. Neither of us thought we’d like this much, but went ahead and served a small scoop each with some very delicious steak.

It was fabulous, with a perfectly judged mustard kick and a hint of sweetness that balanced it out very nicely. We actually can’t wait to serve this again with other savoury dishes.

Kavey Eats received review samples of these ice creams from Waitrose.

 

Ice Cream Wednesday started out as an evening of ice cream making amongst friends, after my friend Dom (the founder of Chocablog) and I were both loaned an Gaggia ice cream machine to review. I took my machine to Dom’s place and we gathered 11 of us together, along with an eclectic range of ingredients, and made 9 delicious frozen concoctions.

Dom has kindly given me permission to share his chocolate and honey sorbet recipe here as part of the #icecreamwednesday series, though you can also find it over at Chocablog. Over to Dom:


Ever since Gaggia lent me an ice cream maker to play with, I’ve been experimenting with it, making random ice creams with whatever happens to be available. But this has become my favourite thing to make, as it’s so simple and incredibly chocolatey!

This sorbet has all the flavour and texture of a rich, creamy chocolate ice cream, but has the benefit of being completely dairy free and incredibly easy to make – provided you have access to an ice cream maker!

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Chocablog’s Chocolate & Honey Sorbet

Ingredients

350ml water
100g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate
1tbsp honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Method

  • The first thing to do is dissolve the sugar in the water. You can make the sorbet mixture in a saucepan, but I just used a large pyrex jug, adding the sugar to boiling water from the kettle, stirring, then placing in the microwave for a minute to bring back to the boil.
  • Break the chocolate into pieces, then start to add to the hot water a little at a time. Use a whisk to vigorously stir the mixture each time until the chocolate has melted into the liquid. Repeat until all the chocolate is melted, whisking each time.

  • Add the honey, vanilla extract and salt, and whisk thoroughly again to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge, whisking occasionally to prevent any lumps forming. While it’s cooling, turn the ice cream maker on to pre-chill.
  • Add the mixture to the ice cream maker, set the timer for 30 minutes and start the machine.

  • When the machine has done its thing, transfer the sorbet to a plastic container and place in the freezer for a few hours (preferably over night) to firm up before serving.

You’ll find the sorbet melts very quickly, so for best results, pre-chill the bowls in the freezer too.

 

After Leila’s guest post for last week’s #IceCreamWednesday, sharing a recipe for delicious Plum & Earl Grey Frozen Yoghurt, I had a hankering for some froyo of my own.

But sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for anything involving much of an effort.

Suddenly, I remembered The Collective Dairy yoghurts, which I first encountered a few months ago. “Those would make great frozen desserts”, I thought!

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I churned a pot of the Luscious Lemon in the ice cream machine for instant gratification. It was fabulous, with a naturally creamy texture and a perfect balance between sweet and tart. So very smooth and so very tasty!

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But one of the aspects I particularly love about The Collective Dairy yoghurts is the way the flavour component is not mixed in with the yoghurt but layered below and above it. Churning the yoghurt mixed the lemon curd thoroughly into the yoghurt, which tasted great but didn’t look as gorgeous as the swirls of bright yellow lemon against white.

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So I decided to put some of the Passion Fruit yoghurt into lolly moulds (after a quick dash to Poundland when I singularly failed to work out where I’ve managed to hide my existing moulds), all the better to retain the pretty layering between fruit and yoghurt. I loved how these came out, they were beautiful and really tasty!

I love the tang of froyo, not to mention the joy of feeling virtuous when eating something so decadent. So, I recommend having a go at churning or making frozen lollies from your favourite luxury yoghurt brands!

 

Let me take you back, back through the mists of time, or maybe just this summer, to the very first Ice Cream Wednesday, when 11 ice cream lovers gathered with two ice cream machines and a wide range of potential ingredients, to make and enjoy as much ice cream as we could in a single evening!

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One of my favourite ice creams of the night was Kate‘s incredible tarragon, lemon, lime and tequila ice cream, which she and Emma Jane made to finish the evening with a bang! Ever since, I’ve been chasing Kate to share her recipe, so you too can try this surprising, unusual and very tasty ice cream for yourselves.

Over to Kate:


Tarragon, Lemon, Lime & Tequila Ice Cream

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Tarragon is my favourite herb so wanted to experiment with it on #icecreamwednesday. My lovely friend Emma was bringing along some tequila so I was keen to incorporate that and thought that they’d sit well together. Limes are a natural bedfellow with tequila so I purchased some of those and Emma had also brought with her some lemons that her mother had grown in Spain. So this recipe all came about quite organically really.

I originally planned a sorbet for these ingredients as it seemed to fit well and would have a margarita slant to it. I still intend to try it out as one – I’m thinking it’d be a great palate cleanser before dessert at a dinner party.

Ingredients
285ml double cream
4 large egg yolks
170g caster sugar
30 tarragon leaves roughly chopped (as mentioned I love tarragon but it’s a strong herb so you may not want to use as much)
1 shot (about 30ml) tequila (recommend a reposado 100% agave tequila)
juice ½ lemon
juice ½ lime

Method

  • Heat the cream in a saucepan until it starts to boil. Whilst it’s heating whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they’re thick and creamy. Remove the cream from the heat and slowly stir in the sugar and egg yolk mixture. Return to the heat until it forms a thick custard (15-20 minutes).
  • Add the tarragon, tequila, lemon and lime and stir in thoroughly.
  • Leave to cool, pop in your ice cream maker to churn and then into the freezer. If you don’t own an ice cream maker, after cooling put into a shallow plastic container, put into the freezer and stir every 20 minutes.
 

This week’s wonderfully delicious #icecreamwednesday post comes from my friend Leila Dukes, who now works at ING Media, a PR agency with a specialist food & consumer team. Leila’s long been considering setting up her own food blog. Please join me in encouraging her to do just that!

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Over to Leila for a fantastic fro-yo recipe:


I considered using the phrase “guilt-free” in the name of this recipe, but I don’t believe that an ugly emotion like “guilt” should ever be associated with food.

I never feel guilty about enjoying any food (it’s all about balance, baby – bring on the cheeseboard now and I’ll work it off tomorrow!) but this combination of creamy yoghurt, tasty plums, real vanilla, fragrant earl grey and just a little sugar can only be a good thing. It’s refreshing and fruity rather than overly sweet; I even had it for breakfast on a particularly hot & stuffy morning.

The origins of this recipe came from this ice cream recipe from Morfudd Richards that the Indy published a couple of years ago. I’ve tweaked it a little – mainly by replacing the cream with more Greek yoghurt, to make it lighter and fresher and because I almost always have yoghurt in the fridge but hardly ever have cream.

Plum & Earl Grey Frozen Yoghurt

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Ingredients

600g plums (around 6-7 medium sized – I had almost 15 baby ones)

1 vanilla pod

100g caster sugar

1 Earl Grey tea bag

150g water

150g Greek yoghurt (plus a couple of extra spoons for luck)

  • Wash the plums, cut in half and remove the stones. Place cut-side down in a wide, shallow pan (make sure it’s well-washed; you don’t want any lingering whiffs of onion/garlic to ruin your fro-yo).

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  • Split the vanilla pod along its length, scrape out the seeds and bung the whole lot in with the plums. Add the caster sugar, tea bag and water and heat until you get a few bubbles.

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  • Let the sugary syrup bubble gently for 15-20 minutes to get the flavour from the vanilla pod & tea bag. Turn the plums halfway through to make sure the fruit is completely softened.

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  • Pick out the tea bag and the vanilla pod (I stuck my vanilla in a jam jar of sugar to make some flavoured sugar) and blend the plums along with the syrup until smooth. Let the plum mixture cool down in the fridge for a bit.
  • When the plum mixture has cooled, mix in the Greek yoghurt and put in an ice cream maker to churn (or pour into a plastic container and freeze, removing the container every couple of hours to beat out any ice crystals).

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  • Because this is a frozen yoghurt, it sets quite firm so take it out of the freezer for 10 minutes or so before you want to scoop.

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  • I like this on its own or with a few crushed Amaretti biscuits sprinkled on top.
 

Two Wednesdays ago, Pete and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the Novelli Academy, the Cookery School run by handsome French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

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Located in Tea Green, a small village on the outskirts of Luton, not far from the airport, the Academy is located in a beautiful 14th century farmhouse where Novelli also lives with his family.

Novelli has teamed up with well known ice cream makers Carte d’Or and developed a set of recipes using their range.

During our session, we were shown how to make Baked Alaska, Rum & Raisin Pain Perdu and a chocolate trio (below).

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We were also treated to a marvellous lunch of sea bass in a tomato sauce, cider and honey braised pork (with a coffee and cocoa gravy), boulanger potatoes and vegetable alongside. Although the pork was cooked long and slow, we watched Novelli making the other dishes before us, learning many useful tips along the way.

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Novelli is an animated and enthusiastic teacher, keen to really engage with his students and share his own passion for eating well. Throughout the session we were invited to smell, taste and get involved.

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Also helping during the day was Felice Tocchini, an Italian chef from Lucca, Italy. Felice owns two restaurants in Worcestershire and teaches some of the classes at the Academy.

Novelli is very focused on creating tasty food without throwing in unnecessary calories. He cuts back on saturated fats and sugar as often as possible, anywhere he can do so without compromising on flavour.

In fact, when he made his summer Baked Alaska, he used only 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 grams) of caster sugar for 6 egg whites! To our surprise, the meringue held its shape perfectly well and it worked, though I found it just a little too lacking in sweetness for me. But it completely put pay to the belief that meringue won’t work without a minimum of 50-60 grams of sugar to every egg white. I’m definitely intending to experiment to find a midway point between the austere 40 or so grams Novelli used on the day and the 250 grams he lists in the standard recipe.

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I was also very happy to learn how to make spun sugar spirals and delighted when I succeeded! And as we had a little time at the end, Novelli also did an adhoc demonstration of making choux pastry, with more great tips about how to ensure the best results.

Jean-Christophe Novelli’s Summer Baked Alaska

Novelli’s Baked Alaska combines a traditional summer pudding with a simple Baked Alaska. Instead of a plain cake or bread base, the ice cream sits on a summer pudding full of fresh, delicious summer fruits.

The recipe refers to making individual individual puddings but for our demonstration, Novelli made a single larger one instead.

Serves 6

Ingredients
450g soft fruits – strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackberries
Splash of water
Star anise
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Approximately half a white loaf or very thin slices of Genoese sponge cake
Sprinkle of caster sugar
Carte D’Or Cherry Blossom ice cream (300g)
Caster sugar for dusting
For the meringue:
6 egg whites
Pinch of salt
250g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod

Method

The night before…

  • Toss the fruit and the spices, along with a splash of water, into a hot pan and let it simmer. After 3 minutes, take it off the heat and remove the star anise before you cover up your purée and let the flavours infuse.

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  • Cut the crusts off the bread and lightly toast the slices. Or if you’re using sponge cake, cut it very thinly and toast it in a dry hot pan.
  • Drizzle a bit of fruit puree into the bottom of 6 dariole moulds and line them with the toasted bread (or sponge). Remember to keep some slices back for the tops.

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  • Spoon in the rest of the fruit purée mixture and top with a toasted slice, then press it all down firmly. Balance a heavy plate on top of the puddings and leave them overnight in your fridge.

On the day…

  • Place six scoops of Carte D’Or Cherry Blossom ice cream in the fridge for 3 hours prior to serving.
  • Now for the meringue. Add a pinch of salt to your egg whites and roughly whisk, then add 2-3 teaspoons of caster sugar, along with the vanilla seeds and start whisking again until the mixture is stiff.

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  • Sprinkle in the remaining sugar and spoon all of the mixture into a piping bag.

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  • Turn out the puddings onto a heatproof plate and balance a scoop of Carte D’Or ice cream on the top of each one.

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  • Quickly pipe the meringue over the ice cream and cover the puddings completely.
    (The dessert can be put aside in the fridge or freezer at this stage, and then finished just before serving.)

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  • Give them a dusting with caster sugar and flash them under a hot grill until the meringue is golden. Speed is of the essence.

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  • Serve immediately and tuck in at once, before the ice cream melts!

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You can find more of Novelli’s ice cream recipes at the Carte d’Or website.

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Kavey Eats attended the Novelli Academy as guests of Carte d’Or and Jean-Christophe Novelli.
Many thanks to Neil at GolinHarris.
Additional images provided by GolinHarris.

 

It would be easy to dismiss my friend Sig’s new book as jumping on the Scandi band wagon, but it’d be completely wrong to do so. Since June 2008 Sig has been sharing the joy’s of Scandinavian cooking via her blog, Scandilicious.

Describing her heritage as Scandinavian-English-American-Irish-German-Jewish-Lithuanian (and born to a Norwegian father and English-American mother) Sig is well known for sharing an eclectic range of recipes with a distinctly Scandinavian theme. Having studied food anthropology, graduated from Leith’s and been one of the students that contributed to Fiona Beckett’s The Ultimate Student Cookbook, she has brought all her experience into her first solo book Scandilicious.

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Wonderfully warm, just like the author in person, Scandilicious is an attractive and engaging book. I particularly like the use of sketched illustrations by artist Liam Wales, though there are plenty of photographs of the finished recipes too. It really has its own style, and is not at all like any of the other Scandinavian cookbooks on my shelf.

There are many tempting recipes such as a range of fruit compotes and jams (to go with home made yoghurt amongst other treats), banana and cinnamon crispbread, raspberry and rhubarb lemonade, vanilla and sour cream waffles, a whole range of open and closed sandwich ideas, spiced blueberry juice, mor monsen (Norwegian lemon, currant and almond cake), kladdkaka (Swedish gooey chocolate cake), mustikkapiirakka (Finnish blueberry tart), Bergen fish chowder, chilled cucumber and borage soup, beetroot and ginger soup, pickled herring, Janssons frestelse (Swedish anchovy and potato gratin), lemon and nutmeg krumkaker (cornets) and lingonberry jelly. And that’s only a selection – there are many, many more appealing recipes!

This banana and cardamom ice cream is very simple but quite delicious.

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Scandilicious’ Banana & Cardamom Ice Cream

Feel free to substitute grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon or clove if you fancy a different flavour combination. If you’re making this for children, you may wish to omit the alcohol.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
300 ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
4 small ripe bananas
50 grams fructose (or 75 grams caster sugar), plus more to taste
1 tablespoon rum or brandy
pinch of salt

Note: I had only brown cardamoms, most commonly used for savoury cooking in my house, rather than the smaller green cardamoms used for savoury and sweet. As the recipe didn’t specify, I ground the seeds from within from these enormous pods. It gave a nutty, woody flavour alongside the usual cardamom perfume; it worked really well.

Method

  • Put the cream and the ground cardamom in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes before removing from the heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes and cool completely.
  • Once the cream has cooled, blitz the bananas and fructose (or sugar) in a blender or mash together by hand. Add the cardamom-infused cream, alcohol and salt to the sweetened banana and either blitz or mash together, as appropriate. Taste to check the sweetness and add more fructose (or sugar) if necessary – the mixture should be slightly sweeter than you want the final ice cream to be, as it will taste less sweet once frozen.
  • The next step is to freeze the ice cream. I used my loan Gaggia machine, but the recipe also provides instructions for those who don’t have a machine.

The ice cream was delicious and the addition of cardamom and brandy to the banana was wonderful; it worked really well.

With thanks to the publisher for my review copy.


Published by SaltYard, Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking … Scandilicious is currently available on Amazon for £11.61 (RRP £20).

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