Treat me: Frozen yoghurt iceblocks

This recipe – if you can call it that – is direct from the ‘I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier’ files. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your own nutritionally sound, outrageously simple and utterly delicious popsicles/ice blocks/ice lollies/freezer pops/icy poles, I have the answer.

But first, here’s a beach scene to put you in the mood…

Worser Bay, Looking Towards Cook Strait And Seatoun, Wellington

This photo, taken last night, is meant to distract you from the fact that while my amazing homemade frozen yoghurt popsicles are genius in icy form, I have been unable to take a decent photo of them. Try as I might, they just turn out looking wrong. So if you really want to see what they look like, you’ll need to make them yourself. And, as I’m about to show you, it’s probably the easiest thing you’ll do all weekend. Here’s how.

Frozen yoghurt iceblocks
You need four things to make these frozen treats: Greek yoghurt, good jam (or a variation thereof), iceblock moulds and about two hours. My iceblock moulds are Tupperware ones and, to be frank, they are weird. The shape is good, but the supposedly clever handle thing makes them hard to hold. I’d say that was a design flaw, wouldn’t you? I’ve seen some much simpler looking ones at the supermarket for about $5 – I’m thinking of trading up.
My first attempt was made with the last spoonful of some gorgeous apricot and vanilla jam made by my lovely sister. Since then I’ve made them with some not-homemade but still good blackcurrant jelly, lemon curd, and a sprinkle of chopped nuts and chocolate. There are no limits – just stick to the quantities I’ve outlined below.
My iceblock moulds take about 60ml (roughly 1/4 of a cup) each – so these quantities are to suit. But you can scale them to fit your needs (and any leftover mixture can be frozen in a little plastic container or eaten on the spot).

1 cup/250ml full-fat Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup/60ml high quality jam (or lemon curd, or chocolate/nuts as detailed above)

Stir the yoghurt and jam together until well combined. Taste – remember that some of the sweetness will be lost in the freezing process – and swirl through a little more jam if desired. Pour into iceblock molds (this amount will fill five or six) and freeze for one to two hours.
Unmould – dipping them in just-boiled water usually helps – and enjoy.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Treat me: Rum and raisin ice cream

This week, in between re-telling the story of the nativity (“but Mum, why was the baby Jesus a boy? Can he be a girl!”), I have been reading The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate. In case you’re not familiar with this Margaret Mahy classic, it tells the story of a buttoned-down chap who is enticed away from his dull, everyday life by his sea-faring mother. It’s such a good read. Put it on your Christmas present list. I wouldn’t say the same for another book that was on high rotate here a couple of weeks ago – a flimsy yarn that saw the hapless Captain Pugwash in a standoff with a bunch of pirates over some chocolate smuggling. If your child makes a beeline for this at an op shop, point them in another direction.

Anyway, thinking about pirates and mulling over the December We Should Cocoa challenge, in which Choclette has sensibly chosen alcohol as the key ingredient, led to this ice cream. It’s not so alcohol-soaked that one scoop will send you off into paroxysms of piratical rumbustification, but I’d advise against giving it to children (even if their mothers are pirates).

Easy Rum And Raisin Ice Cream

Rum and raisin ice cream
No need for a fancy machine to make this ice cream – why, you could even make it in the galley of a galleon (as long as it had a freezer). If you’re not a fan of traditional Christmas puddings, this is a great do-ahead dessert. Freeze it in a large lined loaf tin (or even a cake tin), then serve slices with little tots of rum and chocolate sauce. If you are a fan of proper Christmas pudding – or even Christmas mince pies – then a dollop of this on top is a delectable alternative to brandy butter.

1/4 cup dark, smoky rum
1/2 cup raisins
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
500ml cream
70g dark chocolate, roughly chopped into pieces no bigger than a raisin

At least two hours before you’re ready to make the ice cream (and therefore at least eight hours before you want to eat it), put the raisins and rum in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
When you’re ready to make it, beat the egg yolks, egg and sugar until pale and thick. Use electric beaters unless you have the arms of a sailor.
Drain the rum into the egg mixture (reserving the raisins), then add the golden syrup and beat again. Pour in the cream and beat until soft peaks form. Scatter over the raisins and chocolate and fold in. Pour into a plastic container and freeze for about six hours before eating. Makes about 1.3 litres.

Have a wonderful weekend, me hearties x

Treat me: Raspberry chocolate gelato

She wore raspberry sorbet… the kind you find at the organic store

She wore raspberry sorbet… and if I let her she’d eat more and more

I’m sorry if I’ve given you a Prince-flavoured ear worm. It’s just that ever since I made this amazing raspberry and chocolate sorbet I’ve had that song (or a bad variation of it) stuck in my head. 

Outing our household as a milk-free one has meant I have found quite a few dairy-free kindred spirits. While we’re not dairy-free (come over one morning, watch the Small Girl and I load up our toast with slabs of butter – ‘and peanut butter on the top so the butter is peeking out, please Mummy’), I do feel a certain kinship with the non-milk-loving kind. So, in a bid to please them (and, use up some leftover egg whites), I feel compelled to share this piece of dairy-free genius with you. 

Raspberry and chocolate gelato

This is inspired by a recipe using frozen cherries by Australian food stylist Caroline Velik, who makes really beautiful food. Note to self: when cherries are plentiful in the summer, freeze some. I call this gelato because it’s not icy like a sorbet, but all light and airy in your mouth, like really good gelato. You won’t believe there’s no dairy products in it, honest. Leave out the chocolate if you’re a purist, but it is quite fun. Alternatively, melt about 100g of good dark chocolate with 100ml cream and pour this over a scoop of the gelato for a real treat. You can make this in a freestanding mixer or in a bowl with electric beaters.

300g frozen raspberries

2 egg whites

1/2 cup caster sugar

100g very good dark chocolate, smashed into little bits.

Put the raspberries, sugar and chocolate into the bowl of a freestanding mixer (or a large bowl). Turn the beaters on and let the berries mush up a bit. Pour in the egg whites and turn the beaters to high speed. Continue beating, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, for five minutes, until the mixture has doubled in size and is very light and fluffy. Scrape into a two-litre plastic container with a lid and freeze for at least four hours. Makes nearly two litres – which can be eaten remarkably quickly.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The scoop on Gelissimo gelato

Graham Joe is truly living the dream. After 20-odd years in IT, he now develops gelato flavours for a living. On the Wellington waterfront, with the sea sparkling outside. You want to hate him, don’t you?

Graham (who is thoroughly lovely; you couldn’t hate him if you tried) got in touch with me a few months back, after he saw my recipe for Speculoos Spread. I’d wondered on Twitter if it would make good icecream material – and he agreed. So that’s how I found myself backstage at Gelissimo yesterday, ‘helping’ him turn the concept into gelato. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Honestly. You try spending a Sunday afternoon tasting gelato and trying to work out how many de Brood Bakkers Speculaas biscuits to crumble into the mixture. Then imagine you have to sit and eat a tub of it while you and Graham speculate about what else might be a good gelato flavour. I was so exhausted afterwards I had to lie on the sofa when I got home and try to decide whether batch one or batch two was better. (Batch two, in case you were wondering, but I might have to eat all of batch one just to be sure.)

With any luck, you’ll be able to taste it soon at Gelissimo too. Don’t worry if you live too far away, I’ll go and buy some on your behalf. That’s the sort of selfless person I am.

What culinary masterpieces did you create – or eat – over the weekend?

Treat me: Anzac Biscuit Icecream

The idea for this came to me when I was running home on Wednesday night. One minute I was counting the cars roaring through the Mount Victoria tunnel, the next I was sprinting down Moxham Ave to get home and write my idea down before I forgot it. See, running does improve your life in ways you could never have imagined. I’m not sure Tracy Anderson tells Gwyneth Paltrow to think of icecream during her personal training sessions, but she probably should…

Anzac Biscuit Icecream
This is extremely easy and fun to make, but if making the Anzac crumble seems a bridge too far (or you have some Anzac Biscuits left over from yesterday), you could just crush five or six Anzac biscuits up and stir them through the icecream mixture as detailed below.

For the Anzac crumble:
50g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup plain flour

For the icecream:
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) cream

Make the crumble first. Heat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper measuring about 30cm by 30cm.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the sugar and golden syrup. Stir well, then remove from the heat and add the oats, coconut and flour. Mix well, then tip onto the baking paper. Spread out in a thin, even layer and put in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Set aside – it will harden as it cools. When it’s cold, make the icecream.
Put the egg yolks and brown sugar in a bowl and beat (with electric beaters, unless you have forearms of steel) until pale and thick. Pour in the cream and beat until soft peaks form. Take about two-thirds of the Anzac mixture and crumble it over the top. Fold it in gently, then pour the whole mixture into a lidded plastic container. Freeze for at least four hours, until firm. Reserve the rest of the Anzac mixture to crumble over the top when you serve the icecream.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Make this icecream and it will be, I promise x