Mad for ice cream

I seem to have a thing for ice cream at the moment and butterscotch, and I had a feeling the combination of the two could be quite wonderful. Due to the fact I have a new toy, an ice cream maker, I really had to try it out. Well, that’s my excuse anyway and for sure nobody in the family is going to complain. This is the recipe.

Butterscotch cheesecake ice cream
2 cups of double cream
9 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
3/4 tsp salt
9 tbsp water
3 tbsp Demerara sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup full fat cream cheese
Digestive biscuits
Heat the cream along with the mucsovado sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring all the time. In another pan bring the Demerara sugar and water to the boil and continue to boil till it reduces to a thick dark sauce. This takes about 5-10 minutes. Stir into the cream mixture. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs along with the vanilla until thickened and creamy. Pour the cream mixture into the eggs whisking all the time, then pour back into the pan and cook on a low heat till it thickens slightly into a custard. Whisk in the cream cheese and plunge the pan into a sink of cold water. Stir to stop a skin forming. When cooled put into the fridge for a few hours till chilled. Pour into your ice cream maker for forty minutes and then into your freezer for further freezing. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour into a container and freeze, whisking every hour for 3 hours. Serve with your digestive biscuits and maybe a scatter of salt flakes.


Make someone’s day


Card making is something I’ve gotten into recently and it’s pretty rewarding. No longer do you have to pay through your nose for a mediocre card you don’t really like. You just need to get yourself a few necessary items, a pack of blank cards and envelopes, some glue, some pretty craft papers and some fine liner pens and the world is your oyster. Just use your imagination and maybe a little help from our friend the Internet. Here’s one I made today….



I’m really going out on a limb here, it’s
pizza night, so to try something new, I’m going attempt Stromboli. Basically a rolled up pizza. The only extra work involved is…rolling it up. You should hear the protests from the children…heaven forbid Im not making pizza on pizza night. Even when I reassure them its just a different way of making pizza they don’t sound convinced. But I am trying a new tomato sauce recipe, thanks Jamie.

Pizza dough
1kg strong white flour
1 tbsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 x 7g sachets of yeast
4 tbsp olive oil
550 ml lukewarm water

Chuck it all in your kenwood chef with the dough attachment and knead for 5minutes, or knead by hand for 10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for over an hour in a warm place to rise.

Tomato sauce
Olive oil
4 cloves of garlic crushed
Bunch of fresh basil torn
3 x 400g tins of whole plum tomatoes

Heat your non stick frying pan and add 4 glugs of olive oil, and fry the garlic until it begins to colour lightly. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mush the tomatoes with a potato masher. Bring to the boil and immediately take off the heat. Sieve the ingredients and using a wooden spoon, push the flesh through, making sure to scrape the tomato off the back of the sieve. Pour back into the pan and bring to the boil . Simmer until it has reduced nicely into a tomato sauce.

To make the Stromboli
2 mozzarella balls
Red and green pepper
Cured meat


Heat the oven to 220 C. Cut the dough in half( I want to make four ). You can freeze the rest. Cut into four equal pieces. Roll out to make a 10 in pizza. Spread out your sauce and top with the cured meat, pepperoni, peppers and cheese. Roll up and place on a tray. Cut slits along for air vents and give it a paint of oil. Cook for twenty five minutes or until golden and cooked. Let it sit for five minutes and then you can slice and gobble up.

Nutella ice cream…


To be quite blunt and totally honest, the only reason I made ice cream is because I had cream that needed using up. And I happened to have an extra jar of Nutella. I hate wasting things and with four kids in the house I know they will devour some chocolate ice cream wether or not we get sunshine!

Nutella ice cream

4 large egg yolks
100g caster sugar
500ml cream
100g dark chocolate
25g cocoa powder
200g Nutella

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy(until the ribbon stage). Bring the cream to the boil and slowly add to the yolks, beating it all the time. Melt the chocolate and whisk in. Then add the cocoa. Pour the custard mixture back into the pan and cook on medium, stirring all the time till it becomes a smooth custard. Put the pot into a sink of cold water to cool, mindful not to let any water get into the mixture. Stir every minute or so until cool. Then whisk in he Nutella. Pour into a plastic container and put into the freezer. Whisk again after two hours and then leave overnight to freeze. Scoop into waffle cones and hope the sun comes out!


Oh the things that didn’t go wrong!


I can’t believe it, no disaster in the kitchen, my large cakes turned out. Big sigh of relief. I think everyone’s fear when bringing food to a party, is to be that full plate at the end of the evening that nobody has eaten. I needn’t have worried about that. I was concerned the cake would be dry as it had to stay in the oven for so long to cook the middle, being larger than the cake I normally bake. But being such a moist recipe it was just right. I’m so delighted I could burst, why does making cakes make me so happy?

Large red velvet cake

1 1/2 cups softened butter
4 1/2 cups caster sugar
9 eggs(or 8 large)
45 ml red food colouring
4 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 165 C. Grease and flour two 25 cm round cake tins. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in well after each one. In another bowl mix together the red colour and cocoa and beat into the butter mixture. Add the flour alternately with the buttermilk mixing well. Add the vanilla and salt. Mix. In another bowl mix the bicarbonate with the vinegar gently stir into the mixture. Divide into tins and bake for at least one hour to one hour fifteen minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into middle of the cake. Cool on rack.

White chocolate icing

750 g cream cheese at room temp
560 g white chocolate
375g butter softened
First of all make sure your cheese is at room temp or when you add the cooled chocolate it will turn the chocolate back to a solid too fast. Melt the chocolate slowly. Allow to cool to luke warm. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese. Gradually beat in the melted chocolate and softened butter. Beat until it is the consistency of whipped cream.


To assemble

Carefully slice the cakes into two. Lay one piece onto cake stand. Spread your icing over evenly. Add your next layer and ice and so on until you have all four in place. Spread a thin layer of the icing all over the cake to seal in all the crumbs. Then coat it with a thick layer of icing. I then made a comb with thick plastic cutting a saw shape into the edge. You could probably use cardboard. First of all I used the flat edge to even the edges then carefully pulled the comb all the way around to give the textured effect. On the top, starting in the middle pull the comb around until it meets when you started. Ta da!

Oh the things that could go wrong!


I’m writing this, midway through baking what I hope will be a large red velvet cake. It’s to bring to a party, thus why it’s large. I have a recipe for a 20 cm tin stacked 3 high, I like the recipe as its turned out pretty good before, but I am winging it this time. One because I’m using a 25 cm tin and two cause I’m halving the recipe again so that hopefully I’ll get two large cakes instead of three small ones. But now I’m half way through I think I should have used the 30 cm tin instead. Oh well, in writing this I hope you’ll understand that I’m learning and I’m not so good at the winging it thing. And surely you don’t want to just hear about my successes in the kitchen. I know I’m setting myself up for disaster but I’m slightly hopeful, I mean the ingredients alone would be a waste. It’s just that I’m not sure if you can just make a cake like that bigger, should I have changed the temperature for example or how long is it going to take to cook. Right now my first batch is in the oven and I’m scared to look…but I will keep you posted on how things go and if, just if, it does turn out, I will give you the recipe.


Today I should have done the cleaning, well at least some of it. But after getting a real bargain yesterday, a set of twenty four old books for ten euros, I had to reorganise my bookcase. It is my pride and joy, as I love books, so time just ticked away. Mainly because, whilst sorting out my cookbooks, I got slightly distracted reading recipes. Something in which I can quite easily lose myself. Thus I came across a recipe for Viennese sandwiches. Yum, I have to try them, and yes I did manage to squeeze in some cleaning in the end!

Chocolate Viennese sandwiches
225 g self raising flour
90g cocoa
30 g corn flour
225 g butter softened
90 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate buttercream
100 g butter softened
140g icing sugar
2 tbsp drinking chocolate powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease two trays. Beat together the butter and icing sugar. Sift the flour cocoa and corn flour together. Slowly add to the butter along with the vanilla and mix as you go to form a soft dough. Shape into small balls (about the size of a large marble) and press down with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes, but not till hard. Cool on rack.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter till light and creamy, add the other ingredients and beat till smooth. Layer between two biscuits and dust with a little icing sugar.