Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Eggnog Icecream

I had to take a little breather from blogging while I did the essential Christmas madness stuff like shopping, wrapping, working, entertaining children on school holidays, etc etc.  But to finish off the festive stuff....
Ive bought an icecream maker!    I had been looking at the sleek expensive beauties in the catalogues but decided against buying one as I felt I couldn't justify it. Not to my wallet and not to my waistline!

Just when I thought my dreams of making beautiful homemade gluten free icecream had gone out the window, Aldi threw temptation in my path with a cheap little maker for a bargain price - how could I resist?  Well exactly - I couldn't so in on top of the groceries it went.  Suffice to say if it stops working after a week the outlay for the machine was so minimal that I shall not mind but so far its doing a magnificent job.

I never used to like icecream very much - until I became pregnant with my son - then the floodgates of icecream desire opened and Ive never looked back.  It is without a doubt my favourite anytime sweet treat and I don't dare keep any at home unless I fully intend to scoff the lot.  Still it IS Christmas and I have taken it upon myself to create some beautiful Christmas Icecream full of the wonderful tastes and textures of Christmas.

I drew on my fridge and pantry for inspiration.  Fruit mince (Gluten free of course), Eggnog, Custard, Cranberries, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mixed Spice - getting my drift ?  For fans of Rum & Raisin Icecream this takes it to another, more Christmassy level.  You could easily embellish the icecream with a little hint of coffee perhaps or even chocolate if absolutely necessary.

Please note:  If using an icecream maker, ensure your bowl has been in the freezer for at least 8 hours previously.

3 Tbsp Gluten Free Custard Powder
250ml Egg Nog (pre-prepared ingredients Milk, Sugar, flavouring)
200ml Thickened Cream
1/2 C Sugar ( you could easily substitute agave, or a little honey instead)
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1/2 C Gluten Free Fruit Mince (you could substitute raisins, sultanas, figs, dates)

  1. Place the Custard powder into a saucepan and add a little of the eggnog to make a paste and ensure there are no lumps of powder, then gradually add the rest of the eggnog until you have a smooth liquid.  Add Your sugar to the custard.
  2. Turn on the heat and heat slowly until the custard thickens.
  3. When the custard thickens it will be quite thick, remove from the heat and keep stirring for a further minute or two.  Then add your spices and fruit and fruit mince.
  4. Mix it well and set aside until it is cool.
  5. When the mixture is cooled, stir trough the thickened cream.
  6. If using an icecream maker, ensure your bowl has been in the freezer for at least 8 hours previously.  Turn on your maker and ensure the paddle is in and rotating then pour your mix into the bowl and leave for at least 20 minutes.  
  7. When the cycle is finished transfer the icecream to a suitable container and freeze in the freezer until the desired consistency is achieved.
Play around with different combinations of ingredients - I can't wait to try others.  This mix makes a 500ml Icecream container worth of icecream.  Im not sure mine is going to make it to Christmas Day but at least now I know how easy it is I can whip up another batch....

Merry Christmas
Enjoy xx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

While My Guitar Gently Weeps...

I know I said the last cake was the last of the year...well clearly not.

A friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in making a 60th cake for her Dad's party.  It was a pleasure to re-create an acoustic guitar for her.

There were many many challenges faced along the way with this cake - not least the insane temperatures and humidity of the past 2 weeks.  This really is such a challenge when working with both chocolate and fondant.

The Mud cakes were made and cut a week before the deadline allowing them time to freeze and sit.  I find this is really beneficial to the 'muddiness' of a cake.

The guitar was then ganached and sealed in two parts - the guitar and the handle.

I then assembled them on the presentation board joining them with chocolate ganache and applying the fondant layer.

The intense heat and humidity meant the fondant was incredibly soft to work with and a few small tears and unevenness was evident.  I just took my time and tried to think it through logically.  It was by no measn the most smooth and polished of my cakes but it turned out quite well all things considered.  If the weather had been a little more kind to us it might have been better.

I believe Jim had a great 60th and the cake was a hit.  Thanks for thinking of me Mel and I was so pleased to help out.

Another Christmas post coming soon,

L x