Love Ice Cream’s Christmas Gifts for Cooks

Did you know there are only 60 sleeps till Christmas?  This year I’ve decided to embrace Christmas and to keep it simple.  It’ll be food, friends and family…Oh what a wise old King am I tee tee!  

In terms of gifts, I’ll be keeping those simple too.  I’m thinking of lots of presents that involve eating and food, so an afternoon tea with a good friend and taking the kids out on trips rather than getting more and more stuff that we really don’t have room for unless we permanently move into storage unit.  

Keeping it simple also means staying in, getting hygge and enjoying a spot of internet Christmas shopping.   Check out Loveicecream’s best cookbooks on the virtual high street.  You (or your giftee) can never have too many cookbooks, they make a fine present.

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I was bought this lovely cookbook called Eivissa (Ibiza) earlier this year having been on holiday to said beautiful island.  The images and flavours are gorgeous.  This book is totally recommended to warm up a cold winter’s day and it will bring dreams of summer again (just sit close to your fire for maximum effect!).  Click here to see more

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Gather by Gill Meller is just beautifully put together.  As the title suggests it’s a lot about using ingredients that you can find for example in the garden, on the sea-shore, orchard and from the farm.  The recipes are fairly simple but tasty, for example the Blue cheese with honey, thyme, dates, fried onions and seeds is delish.  Photography is also very tasty!  Gill we will also try your Yoghurt and Cardamom Sorbet ASAP.  Click here to purchase or see more

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Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is packed with all the classics you need for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious recipes for edible gifts, party food and new ways to love those leftovers.  You gotta love Sir Jamie!  For more info click here

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Simple by Diana Henry is all about effortless food and big flavours.  The book has some nice photography and no-nonsense recipes.  This one comes highly recommended by Lucy in our team, she loves it! Click here to buy

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And finally a classic for any busy home kitchen!  The Silver Spoon Cookery Book was the first English edition of the bestselling Italian cookbook of the last fifty years, Il cucchiaio d’argento. With over 2,000 recipes, its simple style and authenticity has made it the definitive, bestselling book on Italian cooking, for both gourmets and beginners.  More info

Well that’s all folks.  Happy shopping dear friends and may we be the first to wish you a very Happy Christmas x

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Happy Halloween!

boy with pumpkins

Happy Halloween! I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for Halloween over the last few years. It was never something we celebrated growing up in the 80s in Kent. My childhood memories of Halloween or Trick or Treat don’t involve dressing up or sweets! Rather, they are a vague recollection of my Mum being a bit irritated by older children and teenagers knocking at our door with eggs and flour to throw on the path if they didn’t get any sweets. We didn’t give out sweets or even open the door as I remember, and they didn’t all make a mess but the next morning on the way to school we’d see the odd patch of flour. So, it was hardly something my sister or I looked forward to. We never dressed up or went Trick or Treating. We watched American movies and were a bit confused about the dressing up in non spooky outfits but that was  about it. 

Fast forward to my early 20s and I can’t remember being home when anyone called. Fast forward again to being married and we did have knocks at our door but this time they were younger children from our street, dressed up as cute skeletons and witches, with their nice parents hovering in the background reminding them to say ‘Thank you’ and only take one sweet. I found sweets, put them in a bowl and actually enjoyed the night. Pregnant with my first son I remember being told his due date was 23 October and thinking, ‘A bit close to Halloween, it will be all pumpkins and skeletons, not sure I want him to be late and arrive on 31st…’ As it happened he arrived on 27 October, so close but not actually Halloween!

The children in our street got bigger, they started to come Trick or Treating on their own but were still polite and fun. My boys got bigger, a second one had joined the first, this one just missing a Christmas Birthday. They wanted to dress up and so they did and we went off down our street and the children who had stood at our door with their parents now opened the door to my boys and I reminded my own little skeleton and vampire to say thank you and only take one sweet. Circle of Life rather than Day of the Dead.

Then my sister went to live in the States and we visited her and my brother in law at half term and saw crazy and amazing Halloween things like the Pumpkin Patch in Dallas Arboretum. The word patch doesn’t do it justice, more like extravaganza, think of over 10,00 pumpkins and a Cinderella type carriage surrounded by pumpkins, cottages made of pumpkins and you are still only half way there. They have residential streets with life size Halloween decorations on front lawns that would be over the top in any shopping mall here. 

I have a great memory of a kind hearted Dallas gentleman, in a purple velvet jacket, rhinestone belt and cowboy boots at two in the afternoon greeting our boys the day before Halloween and asking them if they were coming back for Halloween. When they said, with obvious disappointment ‘No’, and explained they were flying home the next day he asked if they had time to wait a moment, went back inside his house and came back with bags of candy the size of small pillows for them both. The just take one sweet rule didn’t seem apply here.  So Halloween, far from being scary or mean has in my experience become marked by kindness and fun. I do think that there is probably slightly too much fake spider web and plastic tat, as my Mum would call it, for sale now in our supermarkets but you know what, you don’t have to buy any of it. You can just dress up and have fun meeting your neighbours.

If you need a spooky dessert this week then why not have a go at making these spooky Halloween Ice Cream Eyes. They are easy to make but eat them quickly or they become ice cream puddles! A top tip is to make them one at a time, scoop your ice cream, add the red streaks of icing and sweets and then pop the eyeballs back in the freezer until you want to eat them. I tried to make six in one go and the first lot had begun to melt by the time I was finishing off the last lot! You could also ditch the sweets for rings of kiwi fruit and blueberries if you want a healthier option.

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All Change

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Summer 2016 has been a pretty good, don’t you think? We’ve had our fair share of dross over the last few years but this year, we’ve managed many trips to the coast, plenty of long days outside in the countryside where we live and we’ve even discussed camping! (I hovered countless times over the ‘buy now’ button for one of Decathlons air tents, but remembered how I do like a firm mattress, on a bed, inside a room, with a solid door) It has been a long summer, filled with mad capped adventures, holidays I’ll never forget and of course the thing that warmer days were made for, Ice Cream. 

I start to dread the transition from Summer to Autumn, sometime around mid to late August. This is usually because I am still waiting for actual Summer to start, on account of the consistent stair rod rain and ‘unseasonably low’ (pfft!) temperatures, seen since June. However, this is 2016. Year of the seasons! Behold! a fresh, breezy and colourful Autumn, where we’ll hygge ourselves up and our homes, then Autumn will segue neatly into a cold, crisp, snowy winter, with scenes fit for any Christmas card* Oh the joy!

For now though, Autumn is here. The sun is low, the nights are chillier and the slow cooker is back out of the box. I imagine that frozen desserts are far from your mind but the Love Ice Creams team are here to try and convince you otherwise. We have got plans, people. Lots of seasonal, icy plans. Recipes such as Fig and Honey Ice Cream, Wild Plum Ice Cream, Damson Sorbet and Blackberry Sorbet. Make sure you stay tuned for more of our inspiring recipes!

*disclaimer: I am a very poor weather forecaster and I bear no responsibility for those making weather dependent investments as a result of my comments

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Thinking of buying an Ice Cream maker?

It is possible to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. You can make our no churn recipes and you can make the churn recipes if you are prepared to freeze your mixture and get it out of the freezer every couple of hours to give it a good stir and break up any ice crystals that have formed. However, an ice cream maker makes the whole process quicker, simpler and probably gives you better results in terms of texture. As the ice cream maker churns it both freezes your mixture and adds air to it. There are a range of ice cream makers on the market ranging from around £20 up to around £200. We have a good selection in our shop. The difference in price is because the less expensive machines have bowls which need to be frozen in a freezer before you can use them whilst the more expensive machines have built in compressors which means there is no need to pre freeze the bowl.

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Blackberry Season

beautiful blackberries

One of the finest fruits in my mind, not only do they taste like they are doing you some good, they are super yummy and on top of all that they are free and available by the Tupperware box load.

I love free!! I don’t however love the thorns in my fingers when picking them and falling down ditches is a risk if you’re determined to get that big one up there.  But the odd bit of blood shed and bruises are worth it.

Today I have made blackberry (and blood!) sorbet. The colour is so deep, rich and intense and the taste is earthy and purple! It tastes so, so good, I can’t wait to share the recipe with you. Adding the egg whites also makes this sorbet go further which is always good with something so delicious.

blackberry sorbet
Beautiful Blackberry Sorbet
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Rating: 5
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A beautiful vibrant and tasty sorbet
Recipe Notes

Use fresh or frozen blackberries for this recipe.  Adding the egg whites gives a lovely texture.

Nutrition Facts
Beautiful Blackberry Sorbet
Amount Per Serving (100g)
Calories 139 Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.01g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.04g
Sodium 28mg 1%
Potassium 156mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 29g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ingredients
Units:
Servings
People(change to adjust quanities)
Prep Time
10Minutes
Churn Time
5Minutes
Ingredients
Units:
Servings
People(change to adjust quanities)
Prep Time
10Minutes
Churn Time
5Minutes
Nutrition Facts
Beautiful Blackberry Sorbet
Amount Per Serving (100g)
Calories 139 Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.01g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.04g
Sodium 28mg 1%
Potassium 156mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 29g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Method
  1. Wash the berries. In a blender whizz the water, blackberries and lemon juice until well blended. Seive into a saucepan.
  2. Add the sugar to the blackberry and lemon juice in the pan and heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar then boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Chill until really cool.
  4. Begin to churn your mixture in the ice cream maker. Whilst doing this, whisk your egg whites to stiff peaks.
  5. Add in your egg whites once the blackberry sorbet has started to thicken. Continue to churn for another 10 minutes or until you have a lovely smooth mixture.
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Inspired by this super fruit why not make a Blackberry Coulis to boost your vitamin c, antioxidant and happiness levels.  You can whip this up in under ten minutes and it’s going to make your ice cream taste even better.  The humble bramble wins again!

blackberry coulis and ice cream
Blackberry Coulis
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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This blackberry coulis is a terrific sauce. It's so rich and velvety you will love it I'm sure.
Recipe Notes

You can use fresh or frozen blackberries to make this blackberry coulis or sauce.  You can also try blackcurrants and raspberries for other coulis flavours.  

Nutrition Facts
Blackberry Coulis
Amount Per Serving
Calories 113 Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.01g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.02g
Sodium 0.4mg 0%
Potassium 61mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 27g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ingredients
Units:
Servings
People(change to adjust quanities)
Prep Time
5 Minutes
Churn Time
5Minutes
Ingredients
Units:
Servings
People(change to adjust quanities)
Prep Time
5 Minutes
Churn Time
5Minutes
Nutrition Facts
Blackberry Coulis
Amount Per Serving
Calories 113 Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.01g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.02g
Sodium 0.4mg 0%
Potassium 61mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 27g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Method
  1. Wash the fruit. Add the blackberries, granulated sugar and water to a saucepan and simmer down until nice and syrupy.
  2. Take it off the heat, push through a metal seive and chill. Swirl through your ice cream gently to make a ripple effect or use as a sauce and pour on top of your favourite ice cream.
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Blackberry coulis needs a delicious Vanilla ice cream to go with it, so why not try Love Ice Cream’s gorgeous recipe.

Vanilla Ice Cream
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Here it is, a simple recipe for vanilla ice cream, beautiful on its own, or a great base for ripples, sauces and toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Ice Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 46%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 183mg 61%
Sodium 41mg 2%
Potassium 139mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Sugars 26g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 6%
Calcium 12%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ingredients
Units:
Servings
people(change to adjust quanities)
Prep Time
Churn Time
Ingredients
Units:
Servings
people(change to adjust quanities)
Prep Time
Churn Time
Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Ice Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 46%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 183mg 61%
Sodium 41mg 2%
Potassium 139mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Sugars 26g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 6%
Calcium 12%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Method
  1. In a saucepan heat the milk and cream over a low heat, stirring until just boiling.
  2. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla essence and leave for around half an hour to infuse.
  3. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a large jug. Pour the milk and cream over the egg and sugar and whisk until combined.
  4. Return this mixture to your saucepan and heat over a low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Pour into a jug and leave to cool. If you like you can speed up the cooling by putting your jug into a bowl of cold water and ice. If you try to churn your mixture before it is cool it will not freeze in your ice cream maker.
  6. Once cool, pour into your ice cream maker and churn for around 30 minutes or until firm enough to scoop.
  7. Serve or transfer into a freezer proof container and freeze for later.

Happy eating folks, love Sally x

 

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