Category Archives: Cream

Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients;

5 large eggs
600g fresh ripe strawberries
Juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon (about a tablespoon)
100g sugar
200ml milk
200ml double cream


The restaurant that inspired me to start making my own pizzas (Da Michele, Stezzano, Italy) also makes their own ice cream and while I’m a sucker for their vanilla (it really is divine) Elly and Anto were completely taken with the strawberry when we visited last September. I waited until strawberry season began this year to start perfecting my own strawberry recipe and I’m really happy with this one.

The most important thing with this recipe is to use the freshest strawberries you can get your hands on, it really makes a difference to the overall flavour. They should be sweet but still have that tart bite.

So once you have strawberries, give them a rinse under running water and remove the cores. Next, purée them in a blender, until smooth and pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds, you may need to do that last step twice to remove all the seeds.

Place the strawberry purée in a pan along with the lemon juice and heat the mixture gently, as the purée warms up it will begin to give off a strong strawberry smell, just before the mixture comes to the boil remove it from the heat and put it to one side to cool.

Next separate the egg yolks. The egg whites are not needed for this recipe so you can put them to one side to be used later for and egg white omelettes or meringues. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they turn a pale yellow and have a smooth consistency.

Next bring the milk to a gentle simmer and remove from the heat. While whisking the egg mixture add the warmed milk in a slow trickle – if you add it too fast there is a chance you could scramble the eggs, which is no good for making ice cream.

Now place the egg yolk mixture over a low heat and while stirring continuously, allow this to thicken into a custard. You’ll know when it’s ready when it coats the back of a spoon easily and does not just flow off. Be careful to keep the egg mixture below 76C as the eggs will scramble at that temperature. Once you are happy that the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat, mix in the strawberry purée and place in a sealed container in your fridge and allow it to cool down as much as possible (5C or less).

While you’re waiting for the custard to cool down whip the cream to soft peaks. Once the custard has cooled completely, gently fold the cream into the custard and either follow your ice cream machines instructions to freeze it or place in a sealed container in your freezer until frozen, remembering to stir it every ten to fifteen minutes to break up the ice crystals.

Once the ice cream has frozen you’re ready to serve, be aware that this is a strongly flavoured ice cream, while sweet it also has that fantastic tart bite that just makes a strawberry, it goes great with most sweet pies and if you’re a real strawberry lover is fantastic on it’s own.

Gino’s Tiramisu

Yesterday, I mentioned that Gino made tiramisu as part of his demonstration at Taste of Dublin and thanks to the wonder that is modern camera phone technology today we bring you *ahem* a guest recipe from one of the worlds best known chefs 😉

Recipe: Perfect Peach Ice-cream

Perfect Peach Ice-cream
Perfect Peach Ice-cream

Ingredients;

1 400g tin of peaches, drained
6 large egg yolks
125g golden castor sugar
400ml milk
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out

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Another Soul Food classic, peaches are plentiful in the Deep South so it’s no coincidence that they are used in so many Soul Food recipes. This is a very subtly flavoured ice-cream so can be easily over powered if you partner it with a pie, I find it at it’s best served on it’s own or with some sliced peaches.

There are 2 options regarding the fruit the first is to purée the drained peaches and the second is to purée half and chop the rest into chunks to be added when freezing. I find that adding the peaches as chunks gives a bit more texture but the fruit chunks tend to lose their flavour when they are frozen. So I tend to go with the “purée all the fruit” option, but both work well.

Next put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk them until they are creamy and smooth. Then add the milk, cream and vanilla seeds and whisk them together.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir continuously over a low heat until it thickens into custard that coats a spoon when dipped in it. You don’t want the mixture to overheat as the eggs will scramble, so if you have a suitable kitchen thermometer, use it. Ideally you want to keep the mixture between 65C to 70C this gives a margin for error as the eggs will scramble around 75C.

Once the custard has thickened remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl to allow it to cool.

Now if you have a home ice-cream maker simply add the peaches to the cooled custard, stirring them in well and follow your ice-cream machine’s instructions to freeze the ice-cream.

If you don’t have an ice-cream machine then simply stir the peaches into the mixture and pour it all into a sealable container suitable for use in your freezer and pop it in your freezer. It can take anywhere up to eight hours for the ice-cream to set fully and during this time you will need to stir it every 20-30 minutes while it’s freezing to prevent ice crystals forming.

If you’ve ever put some melted ice-cream back into the freezer you will know exactly why you don’t want the ice crystals forming, basically it makes it frozen flavoured custard rather than ice-cream, but that said an ice-cream maker does not have to be expensive. We pickedup one in a Lidl offer a few years back for around €30 and I saw this similar one available from Amazon. So why not treat yourself, summer is almost here and this does make the process of ice-cream making far easier 😉

Recipe: Speedy Mashed Spuds

Some Cheesy Mashed Spuds
Elly's favourite Mashed Spuds, Cheesy

Ingredients;

200g peeled potatoes per person
A knob of butter
A splash of milk or cream
Salt

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This method for making mash is based on my Dad’s method. After my Mum got ill and subsequently passed away in 2007, he had to learn a lot about cooking in a fairly short period of time as Mum had always cooked for him.

Being a man that loves his spuds he quickly learnt that the smaller you chop the potatoes the faster they cook (to a point) and not wanting to wait for long when he got in from work in the evening he experimented until he came up with the optimal size.

He would usually peel and chop the potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes before going to work in the morning or over his lunch hour and leave them in a saucepan covered with water until he arrived home in the evening. I usually let mine sit for half an hour to an hour, before draining the water and covering them again with cold water, and adding a large pinch of salt.

Get the saucepan onto the cooker at the highest heat. Put the lid on the pan and when the water starts to boil bring the heat down so that the water is at a good simmer.

After about 5 minutes test the potatoes with a skewer or tooth pick. Do this by pushing it into a few different potato cubes, the skewer should slide through relatively easily with the same resistance all the way, if this is the case they’re done, if you find it goes in part way and then needs more force, they will need some more time. But always test a few as some can take little longer than others.

Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the heat and drain the water off. Take some kitchen roll and cover the drained drained potatoes with 2-3 sheets of this and leave them to stand for 4-5 minutes. This helps to remove some of the moisture from the potatoes making for better mash.

Finally, remove the kitchen paper, add a knob of butter, a splash of milk or cream and mash the potatoes until smooth, this is not an exact science so you may need to add a little more milk or cream to get them smooth. Taste them and season with salt as required and your ready to serve.

I have been known to add fresh chopped chives or spring onions (when I have them) at the mashing stage (Elly likes to add grated cheddar) for extra flavour.

Recipe: The Best Bacon and Cabbage

Bacon and Cabbage with Onion and Parsley Sauce served with Mashed Potato
Bacon and Cabbage with Onion and Parsley Sauce

Ingredients;

Approx 700g Bacon Loin
2 small pinches ground cloves
Handful brown sugar

1/2 head of white cabbage, finely sliced
1 teaspoon goose fat (or duck fat or butter)

Small white onion, finely diced
Handful fresh parsley, very finely chopped
2 heaped teaspoons plain flour
Knob of butter
Tablespoon cream

Serves 2

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OK, let’s be honest, this is not a quick recipe, but it is totally worth it, especially if you’re trying to impress someone!

Start by placing your bacon loin in a large saucepan and filling it with cold water until the bacon is covered. Get this on the heat and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, keep the pot covered and leave it at strong simmer for about an hour, ensuring that the water always covers the bacon.

After an hour, place the bacon loin in a baking tray and sprinkle on the ground cloves and sugar, mainly over the fat, but also on the meat as well. Reserve a mug full of the cooking water.

Heat your oven to 200 C and bake the loin for 45 mins.

While the bacon is in the oven, begin to prep the cabbage and sauce ingredients. These both take less than 20 mins to cook, so you don’t want to be starting too early.

Add your diced onion to a small frying pan with the butter and cook on a medium heat for about 5-10 mins, to soften, but not colour the onion. Next add the flour and stir until it vanishes. Begin to pour in the reserved cooking water about a tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly.

You want the sauce to be slightly thick, not too runny. Keep adding the reserved water as needed, stirring regulary. Adjust your heat so that it is just barely simmering. Right before serving, add the parsley and cream and stir well. Add salt and pepper if needed (taste it and see!)

With about 10 mins of cooking time left on the bacon, melt the goose fat in a large frying pan and add the cabbage. Give this a few mins on full heat, then reduce to about 3/4 heat. Keep stirring it regulary, it should brown, but not burn. Once it has taken on a good bit of colour, add some the reserved cooking water and keep stirring. The cabbage should absorb the liquids and keep taking on colour.

Rest the bacon for 5 mins before carving and serve with the cabbage and sauce (and mashed potatoes if you like).