Happy Valentine’s Day! I have been meaning to share this for a few weeks, but like Gingerbread Jenn, who shared the recipe on her exquisite blog, life has been chaotic and I haven’t been able to post anywhere near as often as I’d like. But on this day of love, I am here for you with an absolutely delicious brownie style cake which is a comforting combination of all of my favourite things. Valentine or Galentine, let’s do this!
It might not look too pretty in photos but it is what’s on the inside that counts!
(Pssst! Gianduja is basically the official name for what we call Nutella) Somehow, it is October! Which may not seem the ideal time of year to share an ice cream recipe but in my opinion there is never a bad time to eat ice cream; breakfast, lunch, dinner, January, July, November. Plus there is something very autumnal about hazelnuts and chocolate. My favourite flavour of ice cream is Hazelnut, there is nothing greater on this Earth. This recipe, however, is for Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate and is pretty damn amazing too. I will be using the method minus the chocolate to make Hazelnut Gelato. This recipe is from my ice cream oracle, David Lebovitz‘s – The Perfect Scoop but I subbed the milk chocolate for dark chocolate, just a personal choice, and make sure it is good quality chocolate with a minimum of 30% cocoa solids, whatever you choose.
When I spotted this recipe of the fabulous Flick’s diamond of a blog (see what I did there?), I knew I would love this ice cream as much as she did and filed it away for when the time was right (go and check her gorgeous blog out right now!). The right time turned out to be Mother’s Day (in fact any day and any time is the right time for this ice cream). It is SO rich but in THE BEST way possible. It also does not require the use of an ice cream maker, unlike the other ice cream recipes I have shared, so it is accessible to everyone, hallelujah!
I must apologise to Flick for totally, accidentally, stealing her photograph it in a wine glass idea. When making it I just scrolled to the bottom and skimmed the recipe part of the post (having read it already months previously) and then realising I’d run out of tubs big enough, put it in a loaf tin (as I’d remembered Flick had done, genius idea). Continue reading
Some weeks call for a lot of ice cream and this week has been one of those; with a master’s deadline zooming towards me at alarming speed, an appraisal, the stress of concert tickets I wanted more than almost anything else and several nights of being unable to sleep, I am one emotional ball of “GIVE ME ICE CREAM”. I have had my ice cream maker bucket in the freezer since the sun hinted it might be summer soon, waiting to make ALL THE ICE CREAM. It didn’t quite work out that way, we’ve been so busy, but earlier this week I knew it was time. There was no contest on flavour, I’ve been on a huge mint chocolate binge recently, which is odd. I’ll forever be a praline/hazelnut dark chocolate girl but earlier in the year it was chocolate orange cravings and now we’re into the warmer months of the year it is refreshing mint chocolate’s turn to fill my every waking thought. Dark chocolate though, always.
I turned to my David Lebovitz book ‘The Perfect Scoop’ and found the recipe for his fresh mint ice cream because if I was making mint ice cream then I sure as hell was going to be using my beautiful mint plant. It turns out I needed ten more times the leaves I had available but I think the mint flavour was strong enough (although I am desperate to try it with the advised amount). Perfect scoop it was, this was the best consistency ice cream I have ever made, it scooped straight out of the freezer. I credit my new spatula with this progress in making ice cream because it is the spatula that David Lebovitz waxes lyrical about and when the recipe said ‘until it coats the back of the spatula’ and it coated the back of the spatula, I just knew it’d be the right consistency custard this time.
I’ve said it many times, despite my love of chocolate and my love of cake, I am not a lover of chocolate cake; well, chocolate sponge cake, I love gooey and rich chocolate cakes and brownies but chocolate sponge I just find strange (usually). This chocolate cake recipe though (courtesy of Nigella) is pretty delicious; it is definitely a sponge cake but much nicer than any other I’ve tasted and the icing is absolutely divine; combined they make something truly great. It is a chocolate cake that will satisfy those grown ups wanting a rich/mature chocolate cake but also the kids who want their plain chocolate cake with enough icing to cover their entire face. This is that cake, it will keep everyone happy. For these reasons I decided to make it for a birthday party I went to (as well as an enormous spiced apple cake, which I will definitely be sharing soon!):