Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

Even though it’s only August, it’s already getting cooler and the days are getting shorter here in the UK… but as if that would stop me from making more ice cream! I love ice cream in all seasons, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with more autumnal and winter flavours (mmm mince pie perhaps?). But for now, summer’s not quite over yet, so I’m taking advantage of the remaining sunshine and beautiful fresh fruits.

Raspberry ripple is a classic British flavour which wonderfully showcases the sweet and tangy berries. I love the balance between the velvety dairy ice cream and the fresh berry coulis – this ice cream also looks amazing with its lovely scarlet-purple swirls, and is sure to impress friends and family.

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Inspiration

London was going through an unbearable heatwave, so we decided to escape our furnace of a flat and head down to Bournemouth for a day. Turns out the rest of south-west England had the same idea, as the beaches were completely packed! It was such a lovely day, lounging under the sun and going for a paddle in the sea.

It might’ve been the heat, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I had one of the tastiest ice creams ever from a small beach-side hut. This scoop of raspberry ripple meringue had light ribbons of raspberry through it, with crunchy pieces of meringue swirled in as well.

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Creation

I’ve made raspberry ripple ice cream a few times now, and most recently I decided to make a version with not only raspberries, but also blackberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. This gave the coulis a deeper purple colour and a tangier flavour (so I probably should’ve added more sugar).

Summer berry coulis

  • 250 g mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. On a medium heat, gently cook the berries with the sugar and lemon juice. 
  2. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash any stubborn berries. 
  3. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture has reached a jam-like consistency. 
  4. Let the mixture cool, then blitz in a blender until smooth. 
  5. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds. 
  6. The remaining coulis can now be used to swirl through ice cream, yogurts, oatmeal or as a topping for other desserts – enjoy!

The ice cream turned out really well, and it looks gorgeous too! It’s so delicious served on its own, or with a handful of fresh berries on the side.

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Tea & Biscuits Ice Cream

Tea is basically the lifeblood of the British people and since moving to the UK in 2012, I’ve adopted this national beverage as part of my regular diet as well. There’s something so comforting about a big mug of English breakfast tea, especially during the cold winter months (and the cold summer days in London, recently!). Yorkshire Tea is my personal favourite, and I enjoy my tea with a splash of milk and no sugar.

That being said, I’ve loved milk tea long before coming to England – in Hong Kong, milk tea is also a staple in cha chaan tengs (a typical fast food restaurant that serves a fusion of Chinese/Western cuisine – I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about them). Hong Kong-style milk tea is has a distinctively smooth and deep tea flavour and it’s so delicious whether served hot or over ice. It’s made using black tea, evaporated milk and sugar, but what makes the tea so incredibly smooth is that the tea leaves are strained using a sack-cloth back (kind of like a silk stocking, which is why it’s sometimes called ‘pantyhose’ tea!).

This ice cream recipe celebrates both versions of the humble milk tea, and I hope I’ve done it justice!

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Inspiration

Via Tokyo (Shop 1A-1B, G/F, Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay)

Via Tokyo is one of Hong Kong’s most popular dessert cafes, serving a range of Japanese desserts and in particular, the most indulgent soft serves. Their classic flavours include Matcha (this in itself is worth a separate post), Hokkaido milk and Hojicha, but for awhile they had an amazing Royal Milk Tea flavour, which inspired me to create this recipe!

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Creation

To take my milk tea flavoured ice cream to the next level, I decided to add some texture by crumbling one of my favourite biscuits into the mix – chocolate digestives! Not proud to admit that I devoured many packs of these biccies whilst at university (seriously, the chocolate caramel version is crack to me).

I used my usual custard base, but steeped several tea bags’ worth of Yorkshire Tea in the milk & cream mixture for an hour before adding the egg yolks and remaining sugar. To achieve the silky smooth texture, I passed the ice cream mix through a sieve a couple of times before churning it in the machine.

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I’m so happy with how this ice cream turned out in the end – there’s a lovely tea flavour, it’s not too sweet and the bits of chocolate biscuit make this dessert so addictive!

Let me know what your favourite tea and biscuit combination is in the comments below – unless you’re more of a coffee person… 😛 Thanks for making it all the way down this fairly long post – hope you liked it!

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Strawberry Quartet – Four Delicious Ways to Enjoy Strawberries this Summer

Summer is in full swing here in London, so I thought I would share four (or technically three) ways to prepare my favourite fruit of the season – strawberries! I served these together, but you can also have them separately, or paired with other desserts.

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(From top, going clockwise) – roasted strawberries, marinated strawberries, strawberry ice cream and a fresh strawberry

1. Fresh strawberries

Okay, okay this is a bit of a cheat as there’s not much preparation to do – but sometimes fresh fruit should just be enjoyed as it is, with nothing else added.

That being said, here are three tasty ways to prepare this beautiful fruit.

2. Roasted strawberries

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Roasting the strawberries gives the fruit a more concentrated, sweeter flavour. The berries end up with a gooey and syrupy texture, meaning they’re best paired with something else (e.g. ice cream, oatmeal, bircher muesli, toast), rather than eaten on their own (though I wouldn’t stop you!).

Ingredients

  • 200 g strawberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F.
  2. Cut the strawberries into halves or quarters (if large).
  3. Mix all the ingredients together.
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning them halfway.

3. Marinated strawberries

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This is a delicious recipe that heightens the sweetness of the strawberries, while keeping them extremely fresh. I love the extra zing! that the mint and lemon zest provides to the fruit. Again, like the roasted strawberries, these are a great topping for other desserts or breakfasts.

Ingredients

  • 200 g strawberries
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar (you could use a natural liquid sweetener, if you prefer)
  • 5 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1/4 lemon

Directions

  1. Cut the strawberries into quarters.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and cover with cling film.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, and longer for a more syrupy result.

4. Strawberry ice cream

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Despite being such a simple flavour, strawberry ice cream is one of the hardest ice creams to get right. Often, it can end up with small ice crystals because strawberries are over 90% water! Therefore, you have to start with the highest quality strawberries which are super sweet (rather than pale and watery) to make this ice cream.

Some recipes say to cook the strawberries first before mixing it with the ice cream base (e.g. David Lebovitz’s Roasted Strawberry & Miso Ice Cream), but I wanted to retain the naturally fresh flavour of strawberries, so I chose to puree the fruit before combining it with my usual custard base.

My ice cream has a light, fragrant note of strawberries, but unfortunately the berries I used weren’t as ripe and sweet as they should’ve been. Thankfully, there were no crunchy ice crystals!

This is a lovely ice cream to enjoy on its own, or with another dessert. I love the combination of strawberries, white chocolate and matcha, so I paired this ice cream with some homemade matcha blondies (recipe to come).

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This has been a pretty long post – so I’m glad you’ve made it down here! Let me know what your favourite way of eating strawberries this summer.

Dark Chocolate Sorbet – Part 2

Creation

After tasting two wonderful dark chocolate sorbets from La Gelatiera and Udderlicious (see Part 1 of this post for more details), I had to give my own recipe a go – and you can too!

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This frozen dessert is so simple and quick to make – most of the ‘cooking’ time is churning the sorbet and chilling it in the freezer. Honestly, the most challenging part of this recipe was resisting the temptation to drink the warm chocolatey mixture before it cooled and went into the ice cream machine!

The simple base of this recipe only has four ingredients – water, sugar, cocoa powder and dark chocolate. I also added vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt to elevate the flavours.

If you’re interested – I used David Lebovitz’s recipe, published on Food52, and made a few of my own tweaks to it.

My sorbet turned out surprisingly well, with a deep chocolate flavour and a rich texture. I think I’ll try a different brand of chocolate next time, and sieve the mixture before churning it to get a smoother result.

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There are so many possibilities from a simple base like this – you could add:

  • Nuts – hazelnuts or pistachios would work well;
  • Spices – perhaps cinnamon or chilli; or
  • Fruit – orange extract or raspberry coulis pair nicely with dark chocolate!

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The possibilities are endless – let me know your ideas in the comments!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Sorbet – Part 1

Inspiration

Not going to lie, I was a bit sceptical when I heard about this dairy-free dessert. I couldn’t imagine how a sorbet could have the rich texture of an ice cream!

Essentially, sorbet has a base of water / fruit and sugar; whereas ice cream has a base of milk, cream or a combination of both. Given the obvious difference between these ingredients – I was pleasantly surprised when I tried these dark chocolate sorbets from two great spots in London recently.

1. La Gelatiera (Stratford) – Extra dark chocolate with Calabrian chilli

IMG_8237I visited La Gelatiera’s lovely cafe in East Village with my sister and boyfriend after our 10K race at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The race was great fun, though exhausting, so seeing the signs pointing to GELATO drew me in instantly. I needed an energy boost and this sorbet did just that!

This was a velvety and luxurious dark chocolate sorbet which had the same richness as an ice cream. I was impressed by the deep flavour of the chocolate, and really liked the kick of chilli at the end of each bite (or lick). As a bonus, it’s also vegan.

The only issue I had with this was that I felt it left a slight residue on my tongue afterwards, but it could just have been the particular batch, as I’ve not had this issue with any of their other flavours in the past!

2. Udderlicious (Covent Garden) – Dark chocolate and sea salt

img_8294.jpgAs a complete coincidence, I also had this delicious duo of sorbets after a 10K race (the British 10K around Central London!). I feel like the run completely justifies having dessert before lunchtime!

I had a dark chocolate and sea salt sorbet and also a peach and raspberry daiquiri sorbet. Two contrasting flavours – the chocolate was very creamy while the peach and raspberry was light and fresh – but both were fantastic.

I’d highly recommend a trip to Udderlicious if you haven’t been before as they have some of the most delicious flavours London has ever seen (I really like their matcha & chocolate chip ice cream too).

I was so impressed by these two experiences that I had to give it a go myself – you won’t believe how easy it is to make as well!

Check out Part 2 of this post to see how my own dark chocolate sorbet turned out…!