Tag Archives: ice cream

Banana Splits – and make ’em sticky! (with home made toffee sauce)

A banana split is a lovely pudding and you can make them as simple or exotic as you like.  The essential ingredients are a banana, some vanilla ice cream and some sauce, but you could add whipped cream, other fruit such as strawberries, raspberries or peaches and there isn’t a pudding on earth that isn’t enhanced by the judicious application of chocolate sprinkles or hundred and thousands.

Better still, you can make super fast toffee or chocolate fudge sauce in a few minutes in the microwave, out of storecupboard ingredients.   You can make it in a saucepan, but why give yourself the washing up?

It has fruit in therefore it's health food


1 x jug
1 x microwave

1 x big knob of butter
2 generous tablespoons golden syrup
Cocoa (chocolate version only)

Melt the butter in the jug
Add the golden syrup and mix well
If you’re using cocoa, bung that in now as well
Place in the microwave on full power for 4 minutes
Remove and stir vigorously
If it’s starting to thicken take it out
If it’s still very runny give it another blast for 2 minutes
You can serve it immediately or
you can leave it for 10 minutes and it will thicken up still more
When the jug is empty fill it with cold water immediately to make it easier to wash up
Pour it attractively over your banana split and decorate as you see fit


Filed under Food, Recipes, Storecupboard

Shire Book of the Month: Ice Cream by Ivan Day

I chose ‘Ice Cream’ this month because, on this balmy Spring day, the images in it made me long for summer and sandals and eating ice cream outside and the remembered sorrow of dropping a Mivvi on the dusty ground.

There is something rather wonderful about ice cream.  Even though you can buy it anywhere and there are hundreds of different brands, styles and flavours available, the jingling tune of an ice cream van is a sound filled with excitement and expectation.  Even if you disapprove of eating in the street, eating a 99 dripping with syrup as you walk along on a hot day is still, somehow, a proper treat.

The Shire book of Ice Cream is a proper treat in itself.  The Introduction entices you, like a Penny Lick, into the history and manufacturing process of ice cream.  The facing photograph of a moulded ice cream swan surrounded by fruit is extraordinary, particularly when you realise that confections such as these were first seen at the end of the 17th century.  And this is where the story really begins.

Chilled sweatmeats, made by mixing snow or ice with fruit juice or dairy products, were being eaten as far back as the Romans, Persians and ancient Chinese.  The first Slush Puppies if you will.  True ices however, didn’t come about until an artificial method of freezing was discovered using chemical salts with crushed ice.  This process was first described in 1530.

Ice cream was, for a long time, only for the rich as only they had the facilities and the skilled cooks to prepare them.   It was a difficult process and very labour intensive and Ivan Day takes us through the development of the early ice cream equipment and the paraphernalia which went with it.

Ice Cream Maker 1768

As technology progressed, the book describes how manufacturing changed to bring ice cream to the masses and how ordinary people initially responded to it.  Food is so often an indicator of the prosperity and class structure of a country and something as simple as an ice cream pudding can illustrate in an instantly understandable way how society shifts and settles and how simple pleasures become available to all.

Ice Cream Maker 1930

But to understand how nothing actually changes, who do you think created  Parmesan ice cream or made ice cream to look like a cooked ham?  Did I hear you mutter ‘Heston Blumenthal’?  Wrong.  How did the invention of the wafer stop people enjoying saliva and slime with their ice cream?  Who wouldn’t want a bit of Hokey-Pokey?

Well I’m not telling you.  You’ll have to read the book.


Filed under Poetry, Literature, Music and Art, Reviews, Shire Books

Orange Ice Cream

I seem to have ended up with a glut of oranges, I can’t quite remember why, and I needed something to do with them.  Now, this is going to sound a bit crap but, despite being very fond of oranges and their products, I absolutely hate peeling them.  I hate the bits of pith up my nails and the fact that they make my fingers sore and I don’t like the sticky, sickly smell that only occurs when someone else is peeling them.  What makes a human being think it’s ok to eat an orange on the London Underground for example?

There was a 30-second flash of sunshine yesterday, so I decided to make ice-cream.  The recipe I use calls for four egg yolks, which leaves four egg whites with which to make meringues.  Hurrah!  I have an ice cream maker which does all the churning for me.  If you don’t have one, you need to semi-freeze the ice cream, take it out, whip it again, then return it to the freezer.

Also remember, you could use lemons for a lovely tangy alternative.  Or indeed mangoes.


1 x lemon squeezer or juice extractor
1 x medium bowl
1 x grater with a fine-grating side
1 x electric mixer or a wooden spoon and a firm hand
1 x small saucepan
1 x medium saucepan
1 x heatproof bowl to go on the top of it
1 x freezerproof container with a lid

4 large oranges
4 egg yolks
4oz / 120g castor sugar
½ pint / 10floz / 300ml single cream
¼ pint /  5floz / 150ml double cream – lightly whipped
2oz dark chocolate drops or grated chocolate (optional)

Squeeze every drop of juice out of the oranges and put to one side
Finely grate the zest of the oranges
Put the grated zest into a heat proof bowl with the egg yolks and sugar
Beat thoroughly until slightly lighter in colour
Heat the single cream in the small saucepan until almost boiling
Stir the single cream into the egg yolk and orange zest
Place this bowl of a medium pan of simmering water
Stir until thickened, then remove from the heat
Add the orange juice, stir well, then set aside in the fridge to cool
When cold, fold the whipped double cream into the mixture
If you have an ice cream maker, put the mixture in it with the chocolate drops and let it do its work
If you don’t, pour the mixture into the freezer-proof container & put the lid on
Place in the freezer until it resembles slush
Take it out and beat it again – add the chocolate if you’re using it
Return it to the freezer with the lid on again and leave until frozen.

Remember that with home-made ice cream, you need to take it out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before you intend to use it or you will need a pneumatic drill to get it out of the tub.


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Recipes

Super Quick Banoffee Ice Cream

Ice cream is a firm favourite in our house and can be a great way of using up slightly over-ripe fruit, or taking advantage of a special offer at the shops.  Personally, I’m quite happy to eat a black banana, but many people are not and this is a great way to use them up.  Yet again, this is made from storecupboard ingredients.

Remember that home-made ice cream will freeze much harder then shop bought, so take it out of the freezer a little before you plan to eat it, to let it soften.

If you are fond of ice-cream, I do recommend you think about buying an ice cream maker.  You can get a perfectly decent one for about £30, which has a gel-filled bowl which you keep in the freezer and a separate motor driven paddle which fits on the top.  The recipe below could be on the table in just over half an hour – very handy for feeding an unexpected guest.

1 x ice cream maker * see below if you don’t have one
1 x stick blender
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x medium bowl – microwaveable
1 x scraper
1 x freezer-proof container with a lid

1 397g tin of sweetened condensed milk
3 large ripe bananas
1oz / 30g butter
1 heaped tblspn dark brown sugar
2 tblspn golden syrup
2 tblspn double cream (optional)

Puree the bananas
Whisk in the condensed milk and consign to the ice cream maker until it has turned into ice cream
Scoop it out into the lidded contained and put in the freezer.

You can of course leave it here and tuck in with gusto (or a wafer, whichever) but I like a rich vein of toffee in mine.  So…
Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a bowl and microwave for about 1 ½ minutes.  It should be bubbling furiously.
Leave to cool, stirring occasionally.  If you add cream at this point, it gives it a more fudge like consistency
Take the ice cream out of the freezer and pour the toffee on the top
Swirl the toffee through the ice cream with a fork to create a ripple effect
Put the lid back on and return the tub to the freezer until your tummy gets the better of you

* If you don’t have an ice cream maker:
Pour the banana and condensed milk mixture into the lidded container, put the lid on firmly and put in the freezer.  Leave for an hour then take it out and give it a good whisk.  Repeat the process about every 30 minutes until it has frozen properly.


Forget the toffee and whisk in ¼ pint of Baileys Irish Cream with the bananas and condensed milk for a slightly more grown-up variation.

Stir through some chocolate drops and pour into lolly moulds for a healthy treat


Filed under Food, Recipes, Storecupboard