Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sweet Things For My Sweet Hearts

Today I am going to share with you the recipes for the first 2 ice creams that I have made in my new toy - the ice cream maker, that Papa Bear gave me for Christmas!
So far, I have made banoffee pie ice cream, and the ice cream that is pictured above, cherry cheesecake.
We don't usually eat dessert (in our home, it is called "afters", because it comes AFTER the main course. That is unique to us, I think, and not a cultural thing!) And at the weekend, we do like to enjoy our "afters" as a special treat. As I wanted to use up the cream that I'd bought for the banoffee pie ice cream which we had on Saturday, I decided to make more ice cream during the week to keep in the freezer for the coming weekend. Otherwise it would not have been fresh enough to use.
The banoffee pie ice cream is lovely, very velvety and extremely banana-ey! It is so simple to make. It is an English recipe, hence the measurements in mls instead of the far easier American cup system. For four very generous servings, you need ...

2 ripe bananas
200 mls heavy cream
100 mls milk
50 g sugar
1/2 packet McVitie's Chocolate Caramel Digestives, crushed into small(ish) chunks.

1. Peel the 2 bananas, and mash until completely smooth (like stage 1 baby food!).
2. Add the 200 mls cream, and the 100 mls milk, and stir in (no need to whip the cream first).
3. Now add the sugar, and mix well, until the mixture has the appearance of thick custard.
4. Switch on your ice cream maker and churn the ice cream according to the maker's instructions (with ours, you must switch it on before you add the mixture).
5. When the ice cream is about half frozen (thick enough to eat, but not thick enough to put in a cone), add the crushed Digestives, slowly, through the chute in the ice cream maker.
This took approximnately 20 minutes to churn to frozen in our Kenwood Gelato ice cream maker. It was lovely, but next time I make it, I shall add a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. I also crushed the Digestives a bit too small (mine were more like breadcrumbs) so that you did not really get the benefit of the chocolate and caramel. But it was still very delicious!

For the cherry cheesecake ice cream pictured above, which also serves four, you will need ...

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup canned or fresh cherries (drained if canned)

1. Mix together the 1 cup cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 8 oz cream cheese, the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence and the 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a large bowl. You may need to beat it quite fiercely to get the lumps out, and I found this easier to do with a fork.
2. When the mixture is smooth, add the 1/2 cup cherries. Fold in until well distributed, trying not to break the cherries up too much.
3. Switch on your ice cream maker, and add the mixture according to the maker's instructions. This froze REALLY fast in our machine - about 10 minutes!
And ohhhhh was it divine! We only had a tiny taste each (Cubby Bear was not here, so he still has it to look forward to - lucky bear!) but it was absolutely beautiful! The cream cheese makes it taste really luscious, and the lemon juice adds a nice tang to it too. It was such a pretty colour - a delicate rose pink! I will definitely be making this again, and will also use the cream cheese base, to make all sorts of other cheesecake ice creams - for example, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries - even just lemon on its own! Yum! I can't wait until the weekend now!