Although the enthusiasm for making and sharing ice cream has waned somewhat during the winter, several of you still joined me in celebrating a year of BSFIC by choosing one (or more) of the previous 12 themes of the challenge.
Ozzy from Light/ Bites shared a refreshing Blood Orange Slushy, taking inspiration from April’s theme of sorbets, granitas, shaved ice desserts, slushies and spooms. Combining orange zest, pureed flesh, some grated ginger, half a vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom and Demerara sugar, he created a mix that he turned into a sorbet the old-fashioned way – removing it from the freezer at intervals to break up the chunks. As the finished result wasn’t as solid as he’d intended, he called it a slushie and served it with pieces of chocolate brownie.
FoodyCat Alicia also used seasonal citrus, this time Seville oranges, in her Seville Orange Ice Cream, enjoyed as part of a celebratory wedding anniversary meal and served in lovely homemade brandy snaps. Although she was happy with the flavour of her ice cream, she felt the texture wasn’t quite right so has provided two versions of the recipe, one as she made it and an adjusted one she reckons will work better. Best of all, she met three of the past themes – June’s fruit, July’s condensed milk and December’s booze!
Claire from Under The Blue Gum Tree really went to town, recreating a dessert from The Restaurant at St Paul’s in London but adding her own twists too. Her Honey Ice Cream and Gingerbread Sandwich looks absolutely stunning! She sandwiched a custard-based honey ice cream between two layers of gingerbread cake and topped the whole lot off with a decadent ginger-spiked dark chocolate ganache. I have to say it really does look both professional and utterly delicious and a real crowd-pleaser.
Michael from Me, My Food & I made a tasty Espresso and Baileys Ice Cream which fit into both the condensed milk and booze themes of July and December. His original influence was a Nigella recipe which he adapted according to the ingredients he could find. An obliging friend sourced the instant espresso powder, Baileys was substituted for the original coffee liqueur and Michael finished off the presentation by scattering crushed coffee biscuits over the top. Decadent, quick and easy!
I love the styling that Hannah from Corner Cottage Bakery has created for the photos of her Damson Gin Ice Cream. As the queen of leftovers, she was determined to make good use of the alcohol-soaked damsons that were a side product of her damson gin production. She pureed the boozy fruit and mixed it into a rich custard base, meeting three previous challenge themes – custard-bases, fruit and booze from February, June and December. I love the pretty pink colour – it looks delicious!
Having been sent an enormous sample box of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, I was determined to include these in a simple but colourful ice cream. I took the lazy option and used the no-churn recipe I discovered for July’s condensed milk theme (for which I made a honeycomb ice cream slice). To my surprise, the jelly bean makers themselves commented on my Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Ice Cream post – apparently every time they’ve experimented with incorporating the product into an ice cream the beans have gone rock hard. That mine retained some chew confounded them – I posit that commercial ice creams have to be frozen to lower temperatures than those made in a domestic freezer.
Chloë is the author of Gannet and Parrot, one of the more unusual blog names I’ve come across! Deciding that vanilla ice cream was too boring, she suddenly remembered the spiced lassi in her fridge and wondered what it might be like frozen. An Iced Spiced Lassi froyo, if you will. Her idea fit best into the spices theme from September 2012. Although she felt the texture of her first attempt wasn’t right – too powdery and not the right balance between sweet and tart – she loved the flavours of the spicy yoghurt and condensed milk. The toasted cumin, fresh and crystallised ginger, green chilli all came through clearly. I hope she’ll give the idea another go, as it sounds like it has great potential to me.
Julia from Something Missing loves making ice cream but was becoming frustrated with all the leftover egg whites she didn’t know how to use. Luckily, a chance viewing of a food show on telly gave her the inspiration to make an amazing Chocolate and Hazelnut Egg White Ice Cream. The technique involves folding Italian meringue into whipped cream and is a no churn ice recipe. It took a little effort but Julia was very happy with the results. Another way of using egg whites is to made yourself some spoom – essentially a sorbet mixed with Italian meringue!
When Monica of Smarter Fitter came to visit us recently, she was full of excitement about a Holy Mole Weekend of cooking she was planning – a feast of all things Mexican including tamales, mole sauce, black beans, salsa and for dessert, rich chocolate brownies. Thinking about ice cream that would reflect the theme and go well with chocolate, I suggested something along the lines of the avocado ice cream I made last summer. Monica opted for an Avocado Ice Cream recipe by ice cream guru David Lebovitz, liking the inclusion of sour cream and lime, which balanced beautifully with her Mexican flavours. And of course, her recipe fit June’s fruit theme perfectly!
Thank you to all the intrepid winter ice cream makers who joined me for this challenge. Look out for the April challenge, coming very soon.