Tag Archives: candied peel

Torrone (nougat) ice cream

IMG_2345 I found this recipe, hidden amongst various others in the Guardian last week. (Scroll down, it’s the fifth one: frozen nougat, torrone = nougat.)

The great news is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to do it as this recipe doesn’t call for one. Rejoice! I’d long wanted to make torrone ice cream as I love ice creams with bits in it. I think this is in large part because my mother once made ice cream with lots of bits in it when I was a child, and it remains a taste I chase. (You can read more about it here in this piece I wrote for the Economist’s Intelligent Life.)

It is not the easiest ice cream to make. But I made it whilst in sole charge of a buoyant four year old and it was fine. I did move my mixer next to the stove, as I wouldn’t want to be carrying boiling sugar and honey across the kitchen.

A few notes about the recipe: I used flaked almonds (which is what David Lebovitz, whose recipe this is, probably meant by sliced almonds). Toast them first, if they’re not already. I did mine in a dry frying pan for a few minutes.IMG_2332The praline bit takes hardly any time at all: be warned.  And you can easily make this in way in advance.

I blitzed half the praline in a food processor and chopped the other half by hand. Experiment to see what you prefer.

Don’t be temped to leave out any of the ingredients, please. Each is carefully considered to compliment the others: this is a highly accomplished recipe. IMG_2339Follow the recipe carefully for the same reason. Make sure you whisk the meringue until quite, quite cold, for example, before folding the cream in.

I found it hard to fold the whipped cream into the Italian meringue (Italian meringue is when you pour a very hot sugar solution into whipped egg whites whilst simultaneously whisking) so I did my best then whisked the whole lot together gently, it didn’t suffer.

This ice cream only uses egg whites. Hurrah! Another use for all those egg whites that I accumulate.

I can’t impress upon you how good this ice cream is. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I wouldn’t, personally, have it in a cone. You really need to serve it in the plainest of dishes so that nothing distracts from the taste which is complex, sophisticated and high-pitched-singing- inducing delicious.

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Alternative Christmas ‘pudding’ ideas

Jamie’s Winter Pudding Bombe
My actual bombe

I don’t mean as a direct alternative to that dried fruit pudding English people have after Christmas dinner (which I now love, I actually made my own two years ago for the first time and make them a year in advance now). But I mean, something to eat for pudding on or around Christmas Day.

Chocolate Chestnut Rum Roulade

Every Christmas I make this amazing Chocolate Chestnut Rum Roulade. It’s an Icelandic recipe that I got from the Waitrose magazine twelve years ago. It is so good. I make it every Christmas and my eldest asked for it for her birthday this year. It’s really not that difficult, can be made ahead and put in the fridge.

Another thing I make is Jamie’s Winter Pudding Bombe. This is superb made in advance and stuck in the freezer. I do make some changes to this as the clementine he asks for just freezes solid (obviously) and I don’t find it very nice to eat. So I do his recipe but instead of the bits he asks for  I add some dark glace cherries, some candied fruits, some sour cherries soaked in marsala (I use marsala instead of vin santo throughout) and then some toasted pistachios and hazelnuts. I think you could easily customize this bit.

I also use home made vanilla ice cream because it’s tastier and cheaper.  The quantity in that recipe I’ve linked to make the perfect, perfect amount for this recipe.

Need I point out that you don’t use expensive panettone for this.

You can make it in advance, as I said, and then just turn it out when you want to serve it, and pour the chocolate over the top.

Annie Bell’s Blackout cake, as near to chocolate cake perfection as possible.

Lastly, for something that doesn’t look as festive but is really, really delicious. Annie Bell’s Brooklyn Blackout cake which is as close to chocolate cake perfection as I can take you. I guess you could make it more festive with gold leaf or something. I don’t know, up to you. It’s sensational however and once people start eating it they won’t care if it looks festive or not.

Do feel free to share your Christmas pudding alternatives.

update: mid January 2013. We just at the last of the bombe, which had been nestling in the freezer since I made it on 21st December. I thought you might like to see inside. It was still really really good.

Your own orange chocolate orange

Okay. Two chocolate recipes in a row and then I think that’s enough. I must talk about something hard core and tecchy next like SIM card entry systems (I do know about those, actually).

Hmm. I can’t work out how to rotate this. Although I guess there’s no right way up…

These are even simpler than the salted caramel chocolates because it’s all done in one stage. BUT you do really need to have made the candied orange peel before that. That’s the secret weapon.

The good news is that you eat far less chocolates if you’ve made them yourself. Promise. At least you do once the novelty has worn off.

So obviously you can do this in any sort of mould. You could even make them lolly shaped. But I just happentohave, woudln’t you know it, some orange segment moulds.

Melt some chocolate, I always use 70% cocoa but you could use more or less. Chop up some candied orange peel, really small. Then pour some chocolate into the moulds, half way, sprinkle the chopped up candied orange peel in. Top up with more melted chocolate. If you put the orange peel in first (which you can do) they will show at the top. Perfectly fine but not as pretty. That’s it. Put in fridge for half an hour. Turn out. Eat. Won’t make you quite as sick as a Terry’s chocolate orange and much better for you.

I’ve checked with the Department of Health and these are officially one of your five a day…