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