Booze meets Ben & Jerry’s. What’s not to love?
Time to bring out those pants with the elastic waistband.
Ice cream cakes are awesome, especially if you’re not much of a cook. You can make them for desserts or parties and they cost a fraction of store-bought cakes. All you need is a tub of ice cream (whatever size and flavour) whipped cream, food colouring, sandwich-sized zip-lock bags (if you want to try piping) and a serving platter which will fit into the freezer. Kids love it and most dads will even go back for seconds!
To prepare the “cake”, take the tub of ice cream out of the freezer and have your platter ready. Put some warm water in the sink and place the ice cream tub in the water for 20-30 seconds at a time, lid off. You want the edges of the ice cream to melt slightly so it will slide out of the tub when you flip it. If you try to flip it and it stays put, it will need more time in the water. You might need to help it out with a spatula or knife.
To flip it, place the platter on top of the tub where the lid would sit. When the edges have melted slightly, the ice cream will slide out. Try not to get the platter or cake wet as this will turn to ice. The edges might look a little messy, but don’t worry, the cream covers it. If it’s really bad smooth the edges but don’t be too fussy. Quickly place it back into the freezer to harden before decorating. This can be done when the ice cream is hard enough to sustain it’s shape and texture while it’s out of the freezer.
While this is happening, whip up a large bowl of cream, separate it into several smaller bowls and add a different food color to each. The more colors the more applications, so it can be as complicated or simple as you like. Mix the colour in well and set the cream aside until it’s time to decorate. Either leave it in the bowls if you want to flick the cream on or load it into individual zip lock bags if you want to pipe it.
If your unsure of your ability to pipe cream or just prefer not to, get a spatula, flick the cream onto the middle of the cake and gently smooth it toward the edges. Don’t aim for a super smooth finish because ice cream and cream are a difficult combination to work with.
You will need to apply the cream rapidly before your cake melts. You can apply a single colour or several, depending on what you want and how creative you want to be. This is also when you add other condiments like, smarties, hundreds and thousands or even try a drizzle of melted Nutella! YUM! The results can be quite stunning when it’s done with a bit of flair.
If you do want to try piping, snip a small hole in the bottom of the cream bag and test it to the side of the cake. This gives you a feel of how it flows. When you are ready, squeeze the bag and pipe the cream onto the cake. Make whatever design you like or apply it randomly. Lines are fairly easy so pipe cream around the edges of the cake and work your way toward the center.
Tip: If you see the ice cream beginning to melt as you apply the cream, replace it back into the freezer before adding the next colour. This can be done as many times as required.
When you are finished decorating, place your decorated ice cream cake back into the freezer and wait for the cream to freeze. It will have an unusual texture, but compliment the ice cream. This indicates that it’s ready to serve and enjoy. If you have some left, place it back into the freezer before it melts and you can enjoy it another day.
Image via punchbowl.com
If you’re looking for an excuse to use your latest kitchen accessories, then making your own ice cream should be at the top of the list.
Our recipe adapted from David Lebovitz is low in fat, and features delicious shavings of calming lavender on a bed of homemade cocoa whipped to perfection. For best results, chill the ice cream overnight and it will be ready the next morning!
2 cups half and half
3 tbsp cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lavender buds
- Heat the half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, add the lavender buds, then remove and let it steep for an extra 15-20 minutes.
- Chop the bittersweet chocolate and set aside.
- Strain the lavender from the first mixture, and heat again in the saucepan over medium heat. Just as it begins to simmer, add the bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder. Cook until the mixture is smooth, then set aside.
- In a different saucepan, heat the whole milk. While it’s simmering, whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl, and add 3/4 of the sugar.
- Just before the milk begins to simmer, temper the milk into the egg mixture. Slowly transfer the rest of the mixture with the milk. Whisk until the cream begins to thicken.
- Strain into a bowl, then combine the half and half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla together. Let it cool down to room temperature, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, serve it right away with some lavender topping – yum!
Image and Recipe via The Wholesome Pursuit (adapted from David Lebovitz)
Rather than going for dinner and drinks on your next date, why not choose some of Sydney’s finest desserts instead?
We are a city known for our sweet-tooth which never stops, so take advantage of this and indulge with your next date! Try just some of our favourite places to enjoy a few sweets.
Level 3 Westfield Sydney – Cnr of Pitt St Mall & Market St
Taste some of Ladurée’s iconic macarons, and complete your meal with a delicious coffee or signature hot chocolate. We recommend you try the salted caramel and pistachio which are must-haves at the original Ladurée in Paris.
280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
Try an authentic taste of Italian Gelato in the heart of Sydney, which is easy to access by both car, public transport, and even by foot. The service is extremely welcoming, and offers a prime view of Crown Street and other restaurants nearby. The Belgian chocolate is a must-have if you have a huge sweet-tooth.
Randwick, Surry Hills, Crows Nest, Darlinghurst
Named after a traditional Hungarian pastry which is filled with nuts and chocolate, and often sold as street-snacks comes this charming bakery which is available at 4 different locations. If you’re a newcomer, try the Kurtosh with Nutella chocolate and a cup of coffee.
N2 Extreme Gelato
43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney
A new and innovative way to enjoy your treat, especially if you’re into the science behind each scoop of gelato! All options are made by Gelato Scientists in white laboratory coats (seriously though), and use liquid nitrogen for those signature smooth textures.
Image via Sydney Food Lovers
You had us at dulce de leche. Now imagine dulce de leche ice cream – does it get any more indulgent? Try this recipe from beautiful new cookbook Argentinian Street Food.
Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes. Refrigeration time: 3–6 hours
Makes 1 Litre
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon dextrose
5 g (1⁄8 oz) ice-cream stabiliser (optional)
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) milk
350 g (12 oz) dulce de leche
1. Combine the sugar, dextrose and stabiliser, if using. heat the milk in a saucepan to just below boiling and add the dry ingredients in a steady stream, whisking to prevent lumps forming. Put the dulce de leche in a heatproof bowl, pour over the hot milk mixture and mix with a hand blender until well combined. Transfer to a container.Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3–6 hours.
2. Churn in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. serve immediately or store in the freezer.
Recipes and images from Argentinian Street Food by Gaston Stivelmaher & Enrique Zanoni, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $ 29.99, photographed by Akiko Ida
Since Gelato Messina’s inception in Sydney’s Darlinghurst in 2002, there has been one clear goal: to set the benchmark for gelato in Australia. To do that, the team at Gelato Messina does not compromise on quality and their product is made fresh on the premises daily, offering a diverse range of over 40 flavours.
From the meticulous roasting and endless grind of pistachios, to the baking of their own apple pies and brownies, absolutely everything is made lovingly in house by a little team of mad professors. By using real ingredients, they achieve full bodied texture and flavour in all their recipes, earning them a loyal following (and huge lines out the door every night!).
Now, with the release of their first cookbook, owner Nick Palumbo is sharing his famous gelato recipes and methods with home cooks. SHESAID chatted with Nick about his tips for making perfect gelato at home, how to judge a good gelato and his favourite gelato flavours of all time.
What are your best tips for making gelato at home?
You need to ensure that you have a double boiler as heating milk in a pan is not a good idea as it can catch and burn.
Also, can’t stress enough how important it is to chill down your mix as quickly as possible to avoid bacterial growth. Best to use an ice bath and then place the mix in the freezer to chill down the mix to 4C.
Before churning, best to place the gelato mix in the freezer for 30 min to chill it to under 4 C and at the same time, turn on the ice cream machine 15 minutes before you put the mix in. this will ensure you cut the churn time so that you get a better quality gelato with less chance of large ice crystals forming.
Your salted caramel and white chocolate gelato is your most popular gelato – what makes it so good?
It has to be the offset between the sweetness of the caramel with the added salt crystals.
How do you judge a good gelato?
Taste and then texture. It should not be grainy but velvety. Structure is also important, it should not be sloppy and should not be hard and chalky.
Finally, temperature perception on the pallet. It should not give you too cold a sensation.
What are your all-time favourite gelato flavours?
It has to be tiramisu because it combines all the good stuff: egg yolk, vanilla bean, Marsala wine, coffee, savoiardi biscuits and cocoa
Second, a straight forward, extremely dark spiced chocolate gelato.
And in summer, mango sorbet and coconut pandan combo.
What are your favourite gelato shops around the world?
Berthillon in Paris.
What ingredients are you looking forward to cooking with this summer?
Blood plums, white nectarines and apricots…I just wish they were available all year round!
What do you cook for yourself when the shop closes?
Pasta, then pasta and then when in doubt, pasta.
My favourite at the moment is pasta with pistachio. I came across this dish when I went to Bronte in Sicily to buy pistachios for our pistachio gelato. The owners of the pistachio plantation made it for me – here’s the recipe:
Sauté onions and anchovies in olive oil, then blend your pistachios to a course paste, fold through and then smash it with Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil.
Gelato Messina, by Nick Palumbo. Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.95