Easy meringue gelato cake with chocolate sauce

This must be one of the easiest recipes I have seen for something that looks so elegant and complicated. Thanks to Nigella Lawson for this gem.
You don’t spend long making it, can do it it ahead of time and everyone thinks you’re a genius! I’ll take it!

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For the meringue gelato cake
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tbsp coffee liqueur (and/or rum)
4 oz shop-bought meringue cookies
8 oz raspberries (to serve, optional)

For the chocolate sauce
1 cup heavy cream
⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
2 tbsp coffee liqueur (and/or rum)

For the Meringue Gelato Cake:
Line a 450g / 1lb loaf tin with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later.
Whip the cream until thick but still soft.
Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of dark splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with the liqueur.
Now, using brute force, crumble the meringue cookies and fold these in, too.
Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top, then get out more clingfilm to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.

To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a board and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.

For the Chocolate Sauce:
Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the tiny bits of chocolate.
Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again to amalgamate the sauce completely. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.

Easy caramelized, coconut bananas

Anything to do with coconut, I adore and this is such a simple, exotic dessert to throw together.

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Serves 2

2 tbsp palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
2 bananas, peeled and halved lengthways, then each chunk halved again
5 fl oz coconut milk
coconut ice cream
toasted, shredded coconut, for garnish

Heat the sugar in a small frying pan. When melted, add the bananas and caramelize on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Lift them out and set aside.
Tip the coconut milk into the pan with a pinch of salt, stir into the sugar and bubble until syrupy.
Divide between two bowls, top with the caramelized bananas, then add a scoop of coconut ice cream and scatter with the toasted coconut

Easy marmalade ice cream

Before you say “ugh” to yourself (or out loud) think about this recipe. If you don’t like marmalade but like oranges then STOP and read this or better still make it!
I happen to make a killer marmalade as we have 7 Seville orange trees in our garden that bear tons of fruit. My marmalade, however, is not the clear orange type with fine-cut peel, it’s a dark amber color that I allow to boil down until almost at burning point with a very coarse peel. It is divine and I have many friends asking me for it.
Turning it into ice cream is absolutely wonderful and you will be hooked.

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1 1/4 cups marmalade (Store bought is also good if you don’t make your own)
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
2 tbsp orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl combine the marmalade, vanilla and liqueur.
Stir in the half and half and cream.
Freeze in your ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When finished, the ice cream will be very soft but ready to eat. Although the ice cream will not freeze hard, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze to firm up a little more.

Fresh basil ice cream

There is nothing nicer than ice cream made from fresh herbs and it’s delicious served with fruit, raw or cooked.
This one is divine, especially served with strawberries and such a great color too. This recipe couldn’t be much easier and makes 1 quart.

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2 cups basil leaves
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
6 egg yolks

* Green food coloring (if you would like a vibrant color like this. I don;t always use it though)
Combine the fresh basil leaves, milk, cream, sugar, lemon zest, 4 – 6 drops food coloring (or more depending on how bright green you want it) salt, and egg yolks in a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour into a 2-qt. saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and pour through a fine strainer; chill in the refrigerator.
Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.


Margarita ice cream!

In the hot summer months, what could be nicer than a Margarita for dessert!

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Serves 6
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp tequila
3 tbsp Cointreau or Triple sec
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream

Pour the lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur into a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add the cream and then softly whip until thick and smooth but not stiff.
Spoon into an airtight container to freeze overnight. This ice ream does not need softening before serving as it won’t freeze too hard due to the alcohol in it. It will melt pretty fast so don’t let it stand around at room temperature too long
Finely grate some lime zest over to serve

Tomato, basil and toasted pine nut icecream

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Another really interesting and delicious starter or dessert in a meal, especially in the hot summer months

Serves 4
1 &1/2 cups heavy cream
1 &1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup basil leaves
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine
3 egg yolks, blended
3/4 cup tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced small
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

In a large saucepan combine the cream, milk, basil, sugar and bring to a simmer on medium high heat. Retrieve the basil and stir in the cheese. Temper the yolks by adding a ladleful of the hot cream mixture to them, stirring it together until well combined and returning it to the pan.
Whisk until the cream mixture becomes thicker and coats a metal spoon then strain into large loaf pan. To expedite chilling, place a freezer pack in the loaf pan then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2-3 hours.
Process the cream mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is almost finished and still soft add the tomatoes and pine nuts. Serve immediately, as I love to, or transfer to a container and freeze until hard.

Note: To skin and seed tomatoes, bring a small pan of water to a boil, cut an ”x” on the stem end then drop into the pan. Wait thirty seconds until the skin starts to peel away at the “x” then drop into an ice bath for another 30 seconds. Seed the tomatoes by squeezing out the seeds and giving a quick rinse. Blot the tomato flesh dry before dicing.

Curry ice cream wth mango and pistachio!

You’re thinking, “She’s mad!” Well, she might be, but it’s worth it.I adore making ice cream and with my little Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker, this is so easy and so different! You’ll be hooked if you like curry. Let me know what you think.


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Serves 8
1 cup dried mango, cut into small dice
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp dark rum
1/2 cup chopped pistachios

In a small mixing bowl, combine the dried mangoes and boiling water. Set aside to rehydrate for about 30 minutes, or until the mango pieces are soft and plump. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar, curry, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, salt and cayenne. Heat until wisps of steam start to rise from the surface of the milk, then remove from the heat and let stand to cool off and allow the flavors to blend.
Once the mangoes are rehydrated and the milk is cooled to room temperature, set up your ice cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir the cream and rum into the cooled, spiced milk then pour the mixture into the bowl of the ice cream maker.
Prepare as per the directions of your ice cream maker, adding the rehydrated mangoes and chopped pistachios once the mixture is almost completely frozen (it should be roughly the texture of a very thick milkshake)
Transfer the finished ice cream to a freezer-safe container and chill for 3 hours or more to allow the ice cream to harden to a scoopable texture




Mary Berry’s easy frozen chocolate torte



Mary Berry, for those who haven’t heard of her, is the British queen of baking and her recipes are usually very easy and foolproof. Here is a terrific one that you can make in advance, freeze and keep for a long time, although you won’t want to!

Serves 10

For the mousse
14 oz dark chocolate, 70% or more.
4 oz superfine sugar (caster sugar)
6 tbsp water
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp brandy
20 fl oz heavy cream

To decorate
Powdered sugar (icing sugar)
12 large strawberries, sliced
Extra cream to pour over the servings

Lightly grease an 8 inch loose-bottomed cake tin and line with cling film.
Break the chocolate into sections and drop into a food processor. Process for 1 minute or until just a few pieces remain in the otherwise powdery chocolate.  Alternatively, you could finely grate the chocolate.
Place the sugar and water into a small pan and heat gently over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Increase the heat and boil briskly for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture becomes a light syrup.
Set the food processor running and pour the hot syrup through the funnel onto the chocolate – it should melt, but add a dash of boiling water if the chocolate hasn’t completely melted.
Drop the egg yolks into the melted chocolate and process for a few seconds before adding the brandy. If you are not using a food processor, beat the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until lightly thickened.
Fold in the chocolate mixture and then spoon it into the prepared tin, leveling the top with the back of a spoon.
Cover with cling film and transfer to the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours or until it has frozen.
To serve, remove the torte from the freezer, release it from the tin and transfer to a nice cake plate.
Leave to soften for about 10 to 15 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar.
Decorate with fresh strawberries and serve with some cream on the side.




A frozen“Wild Turkey” cocktail for the Holidays

This is from a fellow blogger “View from a Great Island.”  If you want to “taste” the Holidays and feel really special while you figure out the menu, recipes etc, make yourself one of these. It will make your toes curl!!

Serves 2 – 4 (or in our house, 1!)

1 pint container Haagen-Daz butter pecan ice cream
1 oz Wild Turkey 101, or a little more, at your discretion
1 oz Amaretto Liqueur, or a little more

Caramel Sauce

1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter

Make the caramel sauce by mixing the sugar, cream, butter and salt in a saucepan and heating to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour into a jar and let cool. If the sauce thickens too much after cooling, microwave it for a few seconds

For the cocktail; blend the ice cream, the Wild Turkey and the Amaretto in a blender until smooth.
Serve in fancy glasses with a drizzle of the caramel sauce.

If you would like to make this ahead, put the whole blender container back in the freezer after blending and then give it a quick re-blend right before serving

Fig, port wine and pistachio ice cream

One word. Spectacular!!

2lbs fresh figs (about 20)
1/2 cup port wine, plus 3 tbsp
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium non reactive saucepan with 1/2 cup port wine and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan.

Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes until the figs are tender.
Remove the lid, add the sugar and continue to cook until it reaches a jam-like consistency.
Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Blend together with the cream, lemon juice and pistachios and 3 more tbsp of port wine.
Chill in the fridge and then put in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions