Tag Archives: vanilla ice cream

Ice cream cake

Very yummy ice cream cake

When I used to go to Italy, up to Salsomaggiore Terme, provincia di Parma, where my father is from, we used to go to Pasticceria Tosi on Sunday to buy little cakes and pastries (a very common tradition in Italy). In the fridge/freezer display there would always be ice cream cakes.

They seemed impossibly luxurious and I can still see myself looking in at them.

When I saw this recipe by Bill Granger in the August edition of Waitrose magazine, I knew I had to try it (unfortunately I can’t find a link to it on the Waitrose site). He calls it tiramisu ice cream cake. Of course, being Italian, I cannot call it this.

I adapted it quite a bit, halving the proportions, adding more sponge fingers, less chocolate and taking out the Kahlua that Granger asks for (I haven’t got any in my cupboard and I’m not going to spend ¬£17 on a bottle of it to keep in said cupboard, but if you have some, do use it, maybe half and half marsala or all Kahlua, up to you). I know this recipe may seem imprecise, but the beauty of it is that you can add more or less of something you like/don’t like.

This is what I did:

65ml espresso/strong black coffee
30ml marsala (or use sherry)
Nearly a whole packet of sponge fingers (about 170g)
Some vanilla ice cream, I used about half of one batch of this home made stuff
About 50g of grated dark chocolate

I lined a small loaf tin (about 6″ x 4″) with some parchment paper. Then I started layering up the dessert.

Mix the coffee and marsala together in a small dish. Individually dip the sponge fingers into it. Don’t linger or they will fall apart. Lay the fingers down on the base of the dish, break some up if they don’t fit but end up with a base of soaked sponge fingers.

Now layer with vanilla ice cream, then grated chocolate. Grating chocolate is possibly one of my least favourite jobs EVER, as the chocolate ends up going everywhere and sticking to the grater. So I didn’t use loads, you can use more if you like. I probably should have used my grater attachment on my food processor, but I don’t like to use it for what I consider small jobs..

Then  just keep going. Dip the sponge fingers in the mixture, ice cream, grated chocolate. Until you run out of space. I ended up with a layer of sponge fingers as I like them, Granger says to end up with a sprinkling of chocolate.

Cover with cling film and put in the freezer. Take out for about 30 mins before you need it and keep it in the fridge. It slices beautifully and my eldest loved it (although I need to point out that it DOES HAVE ALCOHOL IN IT and it is ILLEGAL TO GIVE ALCOHOL TO A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE). I gave my youngest a separate bit with no booze in it.

Afterwards it struck me that if you preferred you could layer these up individually in little ramekins or some lovely little glasses and freeze them individually.

If making for a large party, double the recipe above and use a big old square tin. Granger recommends 26″ square but use your common sense. No reason you couldn’t make this in a loaf tin like I did just a bigger one.

Light ‘n’ fluffy vanilla ice cream

Never underestimate how hard it is to be a food photographer.

There are two people I discuss ice cream making with. My father and my friend Lucy. Recently Lucy told me about an unassuming little recipe she had come across for vanilla ice cream that was different to the way we usually made ice cream: instead of the custard method (which uses just the yolks of the egg), it used the whole egg. This was of particular interest to me as I make lots of ice cream and my freezer is overflowing with egg whites. There are only so many madeleines I can make.

This vanilla ice cream recipe is also great because it’s quick, easy and makes a lovely light vanilla ice cream that scoops straight from the freezer and children, in particular, seem to love. I would probably go with my more luxe version if the ice cream were being served at a really posh dinner party, atop, say, some exquisite piece of patisserie.

I’ve adapted the recipe slightly (lowered the sugar from 100g to 80g and slightly changed how you make it).

4 eggs, separated
80g icing sugar
teaspoon of vanilla essence
300ml double cream

Get three large bowls. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into a bowl each. Put the cream into the third bowl.

Add the vanilla essence to egg yolks. Do it NOW or you will forget and without it, you have Fior di Latte ice cream, not vanilla. Add the sugar to the egg yolks too.

Take an electric hand held whisk. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then the cream until it holds itself properly, like a well trained ballerina. Finally the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla essence.

Now gently fold the cream into the egg yolk mixture and finally the egg whites. Put in ice cream maker. If yours is very small, you may have to do this in two batches. I have a Magimix and I put it all in, it comes right up to the top but it reduces as it’s being made.

You can of course have this on its own. Make tiramisu with it, it goes great with a fruit salad. Or fold in some chocolate coated popping candy for something a bit Heston.