Picture the scene, it’s a hot summers day, not necessarily the clear-skied scorching kind – I’m talking about our typical English, warm but slightly muggy sort. You’re walking around getting all hot and sweaty and what you really fancy isn’t an ice cold drink or summer salad, it’s an ice cream!
So apparently national ice cream month has just been and gone… according to the fickle world of the Internet. Don’y worry, you may have just missed it but it’s definitely an excuse to talk about one of my favorite deserts. There are so many flavors to choose from, sweet and savory. Ice cream is a fantastic invention that is constantly evolving and it gives each and every one of us a chance to be as creative or as classic as we wish.
But it’s not all about the shop bought or traditional tastes; why not experiment at home with your own crazy creations? It’s a lot easier than you might think and you don’t necessarily need an ice cream maker! A top tip recipe would be to simply mash up some bananas and freeze them – Voila! A simple healthy treat for all the family to enjoy at no fuss and very little cost, granted it’s not exactly ice cream but I think it fits the bill.
I love talking to people about their favorite foods and swapping recipes, it’s a great way to find new things and gain inspiration. Her’es a particular flavour that came up recently and caught my attention… Amaretto – Yum! You can add what you want to any basic ice cream recipe, but this one had a few extra ingredients; a vanilla pod, crumbled amaretto biscuits, chocolate chips and amaretto liquor – This one’s probably best left for the adults!
Now as tempting as that sounds, I think we need something a little more naughty to tingle those taste buds so its time to get those creative juices flowing…
If your making your own ice cream without an ice cream maker I’ve been told that using a metal dish helps speed up the process, keeping everything that much cooler – which definitely helps when using alcohol as that can take some time to freeze. So give it a try and give Come Dine With Me a run for their money!
I’ve rounded up my top 10 picks of intriguing and delicious ice creams to get you in the mood for summer:
Rocky Road – vanilla, chocolate, hazelnuts and melt in your mouth marsh mellows!
Tomato and basil – tangy strained cherry tomatoes and sweet basil, perhaps an alternative to cold summer soup?
Bacon – well what can I say… bacon flavoring and chunks of smoked bacon – interesting!
Lavender – fresh lavender and honey. Floral!
Parsnip – strained parsnip and black pepper, a thought-provoking sweet yet savory experience!
Strawberry cheesecake – fresh strawberries, crushed meringue and short bread biscuits, the tennis may be over but the strawberry is still in fashion.
Honeycomb – vanilla, honey and crunchy honeycomb.
Tutti Frutti – assorted candied fruit with vanilla ice cream, reminds me of rainbows!
Cherry – Fudge – morello cherries, almond liquor and fudge pieces. Oh so sweet!
Mint Choc-chip – classic mint flavored ice cream with chocolate chips, re-fresh-ing!
Some of the savory flavours are a bit too Hestonesque for my sweet tooth so I’ll tell you my all time favorite twist on a classic: vanilla bean ice cream with a shot of Kahlua and a side of espresso. The caffeine hit and ice cream combo make that perfect after dinner treat! I’m definitely going to be experimenting in the kitchen and I think you should too! I’m thinking coconut, chocolate and marshmallow right now… Enjoy!