Take A Good Tub Of Ice Cream

Posted on: 30 November 2007 by Gareth Hargreaves

Make dessert easy by adding your own touch to a good tub of vanilla ice cream.

If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, making your own can be a bit of a slog - all that hand stirring during freezing, but there are some spectacular ice creams on the market just waiting to be personalized.

Here are some lovely ideas for topping a serving of quality ice cream, from cookery journalist Diana Henry.

Passion-Fruit & Orange Sauce

Scoop the pulp and seeds out of 4 passion-fruit and press through a sieve. Put 175ml (6fl oz) orange juice in a saucepan and add the passion-fruit juice plus 2-3 tbsp of the sieved seeds along with 55g (2oz) caster sugar. Bring gently to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 12 minutes until slightly syrupy. Take off the heat and leave the sauce to cool – as it cools, it will thicken.

Apricot & Elderflower Sauce

Cover 250g (9oz) dried apricots (the ready-to-eat type) with 600ml (20fl oz) water. Add the juice of 2 lemons and simmer very gently over a low heat for 30 minutes until the fruit has plumped up and is soft. Leave to cool, then puree with 5 tbsp elderflower cordial. Elderflower cordials come in different strengths depending on the brand, so taste to judge whether you want to add more or not.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Put 175ml (6fl oz) double cream, 100ml (3½fl oz) golden syrup, 175 (6oz) soft brown sugar and a pinch of salt into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then add 25g (1oz) chopped chocolate. Cook a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring, often, until it thickens. Add 30g (1¼oz) butter and stir to melt. Brilliant with sautéed apple slices and vanilla or nut ice cream.

Marmalade Sauce

Put 175g (6oz) marmalade into a small saucepan with 4 tbsp olden syrup, 50ml (2fl oz) organ juice and the juice of 1 lemon. Bring gently to the boil, marmalade with a wooden spoon to break it down, and serve hot or warm. Divine with a mixture of vanilla and chocolate ice creams.

Ginger Lime & Lemon Grass Syrup

Put 150ml (5fl oz) water, 125g (4½oz) caster sugar, a sugar-cube-sized knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped, the juice of 2 limes (save the zest) and 2 lemon-grass stalks, bruised and chopped, into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Boil for 7 minutes then leave the syrup to cool and infuse for a good 40 minutes. Strain, add the lime zest and keep in the refrigerator. Good with vanilla or coconut ice cream, especially along with slices of fresh cold melon, pineapple or mango.

Christmas Sauce

Put 200g (7oz) good-quality mincemeat into a saucepan and 25ml (1fl oz) orange or apple juice. Heat gently, then simmer for 10 minutes until the cranberries are soft but haven’t burst. Add a slug of port or brandy and serve warm. Good with plain vanilla or a nut ice cream.

Hot Chocolate Sauce

Melt 125g (4½oz) plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Ad 100ml (3½fl oz) golden syrup and stir until melted. Add 2 tbsp any spirit or liqueur (rum, brandy, crème de framboise or Cointreau). Good with vanilla or coffee ice cream.

Burnt Sugar Sauce

Put 350g (12oz) caster sugar into a saucepan with 250ml (9fl oz) water and 4 tbsp lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then let it boil to form a rich brown caramel. Take the pan off the heat and quickly add 250ml (9fl oz) double cream (stand well back as the caramel will spit). Stir and serve warm. Good with vanilla ice cream.

Hot Boozy Cherries

Melt 25g (1oz) unsalted butter in a frying pan and throw in about 450g (1lb) stoned cherries. Add 100g (3½oz) caster sugar and the juice of ½ lemons. Keep sautéing the cherries and moving them around until they are tender and you have thickish syrup around the cherries. Add a good slug of kirsch or grappa and spoon over ice cream. Great with chocolate sauce.

Raspberry Crush

Puree 200g (7oz) raspberries in a food processor with 30g (1¼oz) icing sugar. Sieve to remove the seeds. Roughly mash 100g (3½oz) raspberries with a fork and add to the sauce. Taste to see whether you want more sugar. Good with vanilla ice cream.

Things To Stir Into Vanilla Ice Cream

• Chocolate-coated coffee beans
• A bashed-up Crunchie bar
• A third of a jar of soft set preserves
• A few heaped spoonfuls of Christmas mincemeat
• Bashed chocolate-chip cookies
• Finely chopped preserved ginger and ginger syrup
• Smashed meringues – even with raspberries
• A bag of bashed Maltese’s
• Chopped-up panforte or nougat

Things To Do With Vanilla Ice Cream

Toasted Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich
Toast slices of panettone and while still hot, halve them and sandwich with grated plain or milk chocolate and softened vanilla ice cream. Dust icing sugar over the top and serve wrapped in greaseproof paper.

Fired Panettone With Melting Ice Cream
Fry slices of panettone in butter, sift icing sugar over the top and serve hot with warm sautéed apples or poached plums in winter, and sliced peaches or raspberries in summer, and good vanilla ice cream.

Ice Cream Stuffed Baby Brioche
Eaten in Sicily for breakfast but a good after a lazy supper. Warm baby brioches in a low oven then stuff with vanilla ice cream and raspberries. Top with toasted flaked almonds and a sifting of icing sugar.

Ice Cream Cookie Layers
Sandwich your favourite ice creams with your favourite biscuits. Put coffee, nut or orange ice cream, for example, into chocolate Hobnobs.

Berry Vanilla Cones
Buy cones and fill with vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries and the raspberry crush above.

A Roll-Call Of Sundaes

• Poached pear, toasted hazelnuts, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce
• Broken-up brownies, vanilla ice cream, raspberries and raspberry sauce
• Fresh pineapple, coconut ice cream, a slug of Malibu and ginger, lime and lemon-grass syrup
• And there are always more...just use your imagination!

A photo of the book Cook Simple.This extract is taken from Diana Henry's latest title Cook Simple, published by Mitchell Beazley, and costs £20 from all good bookshops. Alternatively you can purchase it from Amazon for only £12.

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