No fuss Strawberry Ice Cream

 

Bit of a delay since my last post due to wi-fi connectivity issues which I won’t go into as it was a traumatic time! If you haven’t experienced it believe me, in a house with 2 adult children, bar the entire house going on fire, having no wi-fi is guaranteed to cause a few epic melt-downs and stress levels to go sky-high. We still had food, electricity, a roof over our head, even a TV,  but no wi-fi ….you get my drift! Anyway if you are feeling a bit sad to see Summer come to an end and stressed having to get organised again with meals / school lunches / uniforms etc cheer yourself up with this week’s recipe for the most fabulous strawberry ice cream. No need for any fancy ice cream machine here to make this delicious ice cream with a wonderful fresh strawberry flavour. Serve it on a cone or with some fresh strawberries. Yum!

(This is a recipe from Rachel Allen’s book Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends.)

Makes approx. 2 litres. (Serves approx. 12 people)

Ingredients

250g (9oz)fresh strawberries
Juice of 1 lemon
250g (9oz) caster sugar
200ml(7floz) water
4 large egg whites (roughly 100g or 4oz of egg whites)
a pinch of cream of tartar (Bextartar)
300ml (10 ½ fl oz cream, whipped which should come to about 500ml or 17 ½ fl oz whipped cream)

 

How to make it!

  • Purée the strawberries with the lemon juice in a blender or food processor.
  • Push the purée through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  • Place the sugar and water in a saucepan, and heat slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Boil fiercely for 5 minutes, until it thickens and the last drops off a spoon dipped into it form a kind of thread.
  • Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff.
  • Still whisking, gradually pour in the hot syrup in a thin stream and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool, glossy and stiff (about 4/5 minutes).
  • Fold in the strawberry purée and the whipped cream, though not completely so as to give it a nice marbled effect.
  • Freeze overnight.
  • The ice cream can be scooped / served straight from the freezer.

 

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Divine chocolate mousse cake

chocolate mousse cake 3

A slightly later than usual blog post this week which almost didn’t happen as I have just gone back to work after a wonderful year off.  This has upset my routine (just a little!) and trying to get this dish made and photographed after a day’s work has given me a few headaches. (Think it’s a bit too soon to ask for time off during the day to take my food pics!) However, I just had to share this absolutely divine chocolate recipe with you  – just the delicious chocolatey smells coming out of your oven when it is cooking will have you and anyone else in your house drooling and waiting impatiently to dig in when it comes out. Dark, moist, delicate, pure chocolate heaven. It is unbelievably light as there is no flour in it so gluten-free as well. I normally wouldn’t recommend sharing this under any circumstances but given the weekend that is in it share it with someone very special if you must but only if you absolutely have to! So go on and indulge yourself – a glass of something bubbly with it and life won’t get much better.

The recipe is really really simple –  equal quantities i.e. 150g of dark chocolate, butter and sugar and 3 eggs. That’s it!

Serves 6 (or one big serving!)

Ingredients

  • 150g dark chocolate (60/70% cocoa solids)
  • 150g softened unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 160° C / 325°F or Gas 3.

  • Grease a 20cm / 8in springform cake tin (an ordinary cake tin will work as well once it is well greased) and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Leave to cool.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, then fold in the melted chocolate.
  • In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks.
  • Stir 2 large spoonfuls into the chocolate mixture to loosen it slightly and then gently fold in the remainder.
  • Put the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until a crust has formed on top and there is no ‘wobble’ in the middle.
  • The cake will rise up dramatically during the cooking but will sink once you take it out of the oven. It will also crack and this is perfectly normal.
  • Leave to cool on a wife rack, and remove from the tin.
  • Serve the cake dusted lightly with icing sugar and cream, ice-cream, raspberries and / or chocolate sauce.

 

Pancakes


Pancakes 3

I absolutely love pancakes and this recipe is one that I have been using for many years now and produces lovely thin pancakes more like crêpes. (See previous post on mini pancakes for smaller thicker ones). There is no sugar added to this batter so they can be used for sweet or savoury fillings. If there is anything ever to ‘dislike’ about Pancake Tuesday it is having to stand over the hob making a load of them! This can be a bit of an endurance test (even more so after a day’s work!) as in my house this means making at least 20 pancakes, allowing 5 for each person. Having learnt the hard way I now make the batter the night before and if I have time I make some of the pancakes then as well to prevent things getting ugly because pancakes are being eaten quicker than I can make them! It also means that I can get to enjoy some myself (not totally unreasonable I don’t think!). Serve them with the traditional sugar/honey or golden syrup with lemon wedges, chocolate spread, jam, strawberries and chocolate sauce. The possibilities are endless. Yum! Continue reading