The theme for May’s BSFIC challenge was chocolate. I invited bloggers to be liberal with their interpretation – not only chocolate ice creams, sorbets and lollies but also chocolate ripple and chips, chocolate sauces, even encasing ice cream in chocolate à la choc ice!
True to expectations, we have some wonderfully diverse and delicious entries:-
Jo from Comfort Bites has shared her carefully honed recipe for chocolate ice cream served with hazelnuts. Although she’s only had her ice cream machine a month, she’s already made this a number of times, adjusting her recipe each time until she hit on her perfect chocolate ice cream. To achieve the best flavour, she advises using really good quality chocolate – you’ll taste the difference!
Foodycat Alicia has come up with a delicious mocha almond semifreddo, combining the BSFIC theme of chocolate with We Should Cocoa’s theme of almonds. To these, Alicia added coffee following a request from the other half for a coffee ice cream. The poor weather put paid to her plans to smoke her almonds, so instead she blanched and roasted them and added them to the mocha mixture, with thick layers of chocolate fudge sauce.
Kate from The Little Loaf helped me decide on the chocolate theme for May’s challenge and so I knew it would be one she’d enjoy herself! Her entry is a chocolate & honeycomb semifreddo and she includes a recipe for homemade honeycomb though advises that you could use ready made such as a Crunchie bar. She has used milk chocolate, vanilla and frangelico to flavour the semifreddo base and mixed the crumbled honeycomb into it before freezing. Serve in scoops or slices.
For my own entry, I made a quick and easy triple mint choc chip ice cream layering flavours from fresh mint, a homemade crème de menthe substitute and the filling within chopped after eights. The latter also provided the chocolate, of course! To my surprise, given the completely made up nature of my recipe, both in terms of ingredients and amounts, this proved to be one of the best ice creams I’ve made; The flavour of both fresh herb and peppermint flavouring comes through, and the way the after eights go chewy once they’re frozen is fantastic!
In BSFIC there’s room for showy, complex, pull-out-all-the-stops recipes and there’s room for the quick and easy ones, the ones that are simple yet delicious, the ones you make if the “hordes of ravenous Unexpected Guests wandering the country looking for victims” decide to drop in for dinner. Phil, author of As Strong As Soup, shares his wonderfully straightforward recipe for choccy philly frozen yoghurt made with Philadelphia Cadbury and yoghurt. Simples!
Laura from How To Cook Good Food has combined some lovely flavours in her white chocolate saffron & cardamom sorbet with candied walnuts and black pepper white chocolate though she wants to work further on the texture of the sorbet itself. I love her idea to balance the sweetness of white chocolate with two such exotic and fragrant spices, and who can resist home-made candied walnuts? The recipe is broken down into three, the sorbet, the candied walnuts and the black pepper white chocolate.
I love the name of Lora’s blog – Diary of a Mad Hausfrau – it well suits her eclectic life story and the varied content. Like Laura, Lora has also turned to white chocolate for her entry of white chocolate marzipan ice cream. She first makes the marzipan from scratch before making a white chocolate custard base which she churns in an ice cream machine, adding more white chocolate pieces and the marzipan. The finished ice cream sounds wonderfully intense!
Jenny from Bake is an ice cream fanatic, ever since she started making her own last year. For her BSFIC entry she has submitted a wonderfully simple Smarties ice cream, made with just 4 ingredients. I’m very pleased to see I’m not the only one taking the shortcut of using ready made custard! I’m also in love with Jenny’s bright and beautiful photographs; the styling is very appealing!
This is one for the romantics; Kathryn from London Bakes relates how she and her boyfriend met and how they used to finish almost every meal together with a bowl of ice cream. With no ice cream machine at home, Kathryn was keen to try a no-churn recipe her friend Sarah over at The Vanilla Bean Blog posted earlier in the month. She adapted the recipe into a rhubarb and white chocolate ice cream by replacing the vanilla pods with a cup of white chocolate chips. The chocolate gave a pleasant creaminess to balance the tart rhubarb.
Tiffany from Kitchen Conversations put in a lot of effort to make her raspberry-cassis ice cream sandwiches, after being given an ice cream machine by a friend. The idea was inspired by another friend who returned from a trip to New York enthusing about ice cream sandwiches. But instead of making a straightforward vanilla filling, Tiffany used raspberries and crème de cassis to make a glorious pink custard. And once it finally froze, she made chocolate cookie layers in which to sandwich it. Mmmm!
What is not to like about chocolate, almond and amaretto? Yes, Debs from The Spanish Wok combined three of my favourite ingredients to make her chocolate, almond and amaretto ice cream. I’ve never used almond milk before; I like the idea of replacing regular milk to add more almond flavour. And I like that Debs also gives instructions for those who don’t have ice cream machines, so anyone can make this. And do try her suggestion of adding amaretto to chocolate syrup and drizzling that over the ice cream before serving.
Her original plan was for a chocolate and peanut butter ice cream but an upcoming dentist appointment for Mr Kitchen Princess Diaries lead Millie to switch to chocolate ice cream with a salted caramel swirl instead. There was, so she tells us, some bickering over the recipe, which they amalgamated from several sources. And for the sauce, they used a Nigella recipe. Adding salty caramel to chocolate definitely appeals, and makes it a more grown up ice cream than chocolate on its own.
Aveen from Baking Obsessively likes ice cream with chocolate stracciatella or swirls or sauce, but doesn’t like chocolate ice cream itself. So for the challenge, she decided to make chocolate coffee ripple ice cream. First she made a delicious coffee custard base for the ice cream, then the chocolate syrup. Next, she churned her ice cream until soft, transferred the ice cream to its final tub, poured in some syrup and gently swirled it with a fork so it created ripples rather than mixed in. And of course, served it with some extra sauce drizzled over the top!
Sharon is the author of Smithycraft, a blog in which she shares crafts and recipes “from the croft” where she lives. Her challenge entry is called shards of salted chocolate ice cream and is a rich vanilla ice cream into which she’s dribbled salted melted chocolate during the churning, so that it hardens against the cold ice cream and breaks into tiny pieces. She’s even made home made ice cream cones and baskets in which to serve it!
Christina at Little Red Courgette’s post about hot summer weather makes me giggle, not least when she reveals how a trip to Asda resulted in her revealing her knickers to the neighbours! This ice cream took longer than planned – the first custard curdled and then Christina forgot to freeze the ice cream machine bowl – but eventually she was rewarded with a delicious coconut choc-chip ice cream that’s “a bit like a posh frozen Bounty”. Sounds gorgeous!
As usual, Jennie from All The Things I Eat slipped in just before the deadline (as did all the entries below)! She and the husband collaborated on her entry of a home made ice cream lollies inspired by Feast bars. In the centre is a chocolate butter ganache. Then a layer of vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce swirled into it. And on the outside is melted chocolate with chocolate cookie crumbs. The final results may not have the sleek shape of a commercial Feast but I’m considering showing up at Jennie’s door and begging for one of my own!
In a wonderfully circular reference kind of way, Ireena, author of Oh! Not Another Food Blog has taken my triple mint choc chip ice cream recipe above as inspiration for her own simple mint choc chip ice cream. She’s gone for my non-alcoholic suggestion, using peppermint extract instead of crème de menthe, and she’s switched after eights for a bar of delicious Green & Blacks dark mint chocolate. And she tells me that she took a tub along to some friends to watch Eurovision and they scarfed the lot! So happy you liked the idea, Ireena!
As one of the hosts of the long running and very popular We Should Cocoa challenge, Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog just had to find time to enter this chocolate ice cream challenge and I’m so glad she did. Her non-machine recipe for chocolate brownie ice cream features chunks of freshly made almond toffee brownie in a rich chocolate ice cream base. And just in case that hasn’t got you salivating already, she served it with a white chocolate sauce. Looks fabulous!
Taking inspiration from that 1990’s ambassador and his parties, Jacqui from There’s Proper Food In There Somewhere created an ice cream version of The Ambassador’s Balls! To her basic vanilla custard recipe she added chocolate and frangelico liqueur and then, once the ice cream was churned and frozen solid, created round scoops which she rolled in chopped hazelnuts. I don’t know about you, but I’d happily go to Jacqui’s parties, if she served me these!
Donna from Beating Limitations has just returned back to London from a trip to Texas – seems as though both cities are experiencing a bout of warm and sunny weather, perfect for ice cream! Donna made a coffee enhanced chocolate sorbet based on a River Cafe classic. I can imagine how well strong coffee and dark chocolate work together in a sorbet, with no diary to mute the robust flavours.
As always, a wonderful set of posts … thank you so much to everyone for entering.
Do look out for June’s challenge, to be posted soon; in a first for BSFIC, I have a super prize to give away to my favourite June entry!