Fresh Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream

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.

Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream

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.

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Cinnamon Ice Cream

When my copy of ‘The Perfect Scoop’ arrived I quickly set about to book marking all the ice creams that I wanted to make, as soon as possible, as in the ‘A-list’ of flavours in the book. 25 post it notes later, I decided to stop, for now, at the ice cream section and tackle the sorbets, sherberts and granitas at a later date. This book will make me fat or I’m going to spend the next 12 months making new ice cream flavours weekly and going for many runs. This flavour, cinnamon, was pretty high on my list of flavours to try as James and I both really love cinnamon. It is essential to use cinnamon sticks as opposed to ground cinnamon as you get so much more of a depth of flavour and all the intricacies that good cinnamon has to offer. It is like no ice cream I’ve tasted before. The flavour was so deep that it had James guessing what other ingredients I’d added, was there honey? vanilla? Nope, just good old cinnamon sticks with a traditional custard ice cream base. It is ice cream to die for.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

On the subject of ice cream, I have been listening to the audiobook of ‘Abby Clements’ – Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop‘. I’m only half way through but I am absolutely loving it. I highly recommend it to any fans of foodie chick lit.

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Quick & Easy Sour Cream Stracciatella Ice Cream

Halving the recipe for the Chocolate Cheesecake Bars I made last weekend meant that I was left with almost a full pot of extra thick cream and over two thirds of a pot of sour cream. Having in the past made Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake and being struck by what a fantastic combination chocolate and sour cream is (I usually don’t like chocolate cake but it was delicious!), I wondered how I could incorporate the bar of dark chocolate I had left and the leftover creams into something yummy. Then I had a light bulb moment, due to having made Stracciatella Gelato  a week or so ago and FALLING IN LOVE with it. I researched a few sour cream ice cream recipes and cobbled one together with the ingredients I had and voilà, a quick sour cream stracciatella recipe was born.

Quick Sour Cream Stracciatella

This is a great recipe because unlike the other Stracciatella recipe, it doesn’t require you to make a custard; within 5 minutes your ice cream can be churning and ready in about half an hour!

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Stracciatella Gelato

I’m not sure how to explain the deliciousness of this ice cream. I read the recipe/post about it on Love and Olive Oil and thought ‘Sure, that’ll be tasty’ but despite the outpouring of praise in the post I wasn’t quite prepared for how scrumptious it really was. There aren’t words to describe the creaminess, how good the vanilla tasted, the delicate sweetness or how the dark chocolate shone through. However, there are words to describe how thankful I am that cherries are in season. Dark chocolate and cherry is a timeless combination and I’m talking about real, fresh, juicy cherries; I’m not a fan of synthetic/cherry flavoured things, chocolate or not. It is funny because I don’t normally like fruit with my ice cream, I usually prefer them separately, even if eaten one after the other. Here though, I couldn’t imagine not having cherries with this gorgeous ice cream. Thank goodness I have a big bag of cherries and more stracciatella in the freezer, otherwise I’m not sure how I’d go on. A great comfort in life is knowing that out there somewhere, there is stracciatella and cherries in the world. This ice cream is so much more than just chocolate chip vanilla ice cream, trust me on this.

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Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

I’ve always loved ice cream, it is my favourite dessert but I really can’t get enough of it recently. I don’t know what has happened to my will power but the supermarket has had to keep their hazelnut gelato stocked up, that’s for sure. I’ve also become addicted to making sundae’s for James, I think I just like creating all the layers with cake (banana muffins), berries and ice cream; that was until we ran out of ice cream and I decided I would attempt chocolate ice cream for the first time.

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