Tag Archives: ice-cream


Raw banana and hazelnut butter ice-cream in a croissant


Just landing back from a week-end in Venice, I am giving you here the quickest and easiest ice-cream recipe. It only takes two ingredients – plus the croissant into which you will nest your ice-cream balls, in true venetian style (see photo)!

Ingredients list:

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • Hazelnut butter (with ou without cocoa) , 100gr

About the two ingredients:

I buy my hazelnut and cocoa butter from Wholefoods but you can make your own or use any favourite nut butter. To make it yourself you just need a tough blender, chuck hazelnuts in with a spoonful of melted 90 percent cocoa chocolate and whizz to a paste. You might add a teaspoon of water if too sticky.

The frozen bananas are something I always keep in my freezer for smoothie making – or ice-cream as in here, or  for my rum raisin  frozen yogurt. A real good way of using up ripe bananas nobody wants to eat…

Anyway, using a blender or a thermomix, just blend both ingredients until smooth and eat straightway and gelato-cold in a crispy croissant or a soft brioche, as they do in Sicily. This is the best way to eat ice-cream! Trust an Italian to know this : It is million times better than the dry cones we usually have to make do with everywhere else…

This recipe is raw, natural and tastes hyper indulgent…

Of course there is much more to food in Venice than ice-cream but starting there is not a bad starting point…IMG_9283

Lavender ice-cream to cool off the heat!

When I was a student on holiday, I once made this lavender ice-cream for a whole summer and so I offer this recipe to the friends who used to share it! This is for Caroline, Elise, Noheed, Anne-Laure, Pauline and everybody else who remembers. And of course for my “fellow foodie friend” Tina who shared the newest batch yesterday afternoon in my garden. Lavender aroma is a truly calming and balancing food so this is much more than ice-cream…

Ingredients list:

  • Whole milk 330ml
  • Vanilla pod slit in 2
  • Golden sugar (or brown) 50g
  • Set honey 70g
  • Egg yolks 4
  • Double cream 300ml
  • Lavender sprigs 5 to 8 (with flowers!)

    lavender ice-cream spoon

First gather some fresh lavender or ask friends with gardens if they have any!

Put the milk in a pan with the honey and vanilla and bring to just below boiling temperature. Whilst watching the level, make a whisk with the sprigs of lavender and use it to shake the milk about. Leave it to simmer but still watching it intently because you don’t want any bubbles lest the milk should curdle.

Beat the yolks with the sugar.

When the milk is very hot but not boiling yet, pour it into the yolks whilst whisking or panning with a wooden spoon.

Add the cream and blend in well.

Leave it covered to infuse- with the lavender still in- for a few hours or a whole night.

With a cheese clothe and a sieve, strain the cream into a clean container, making sure you squeeze all of the fragrance out and end up with a vanilla coloured, perfectly smooth cream.

When it is cold – I keep it one night in the fridge- you can then use your ice-cream maker or any other favourite method to freeze it. I swear by mine: it was one of the best wedding present ever and it makes a velvety ice-cream in under half-hour… But my sister-in-law Anne-Laure uses a container in her freezer and it works well too.

Enjoy with biscuits or lavender muffins!

Tasting notes: The vanilla puts a lid on the more floral lavender tones so this stays subtle and doesn’t smell like cheap Eau de toilette! You can adapt this recipe to use other herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

My friend Line makes a splendid tarragon version…

Instead of labelling your container, use a sprig inside!

Strawberry no egg ice-cream

>Now, who could ever tire of ice-cream! Well, I am no big fan normally but this homemade strawberry one could give me a change of mind… Strawberries and cream in a soft, cool cup with the added bonus of Pimms… Even I can’t resist. I had a big bowl of it tonight with some fantastic butter biscuits baked by my youngest – more on this next time!

Ingredients list:
3 sprigs of mint, chopped up
Strawberries 250g
Creme fraiche 250g
Syrup made up of 100g of fructose and 1 small glass of water
1 small glass of Pims or Creme aux fraises des bois (by Giffard)

Make the syrup then let it cool while you rinse the strawberries and cut off their tails. Blend all ingredients then put in an ice-cream maker or in the freezer, depending on your favourite method. I got my ice-cream maker as a wedding present and I have used it so frequently along those long years of wedded bliss that I would recommend the whole thing (marriage and all) wholeheartedly – worth keeping as well in case of divorce.

Perfect after a splash in the really cool new V&A paddling pool ! Go to the cafe for a nice cake and tea ; then catch up on your tanning in the lovely inner garden and let the kids splash about.

Summer in London has its up sides.
Re-reading the whole Adrian Mole series in conjunction with the children and laughing out loud at all the jokes certainly is another one! I had forgotten how funny the Secret Diary was. I first read it aged 18 and WHY did I not read the sequels I can hardly understand… No time to lose! Thanks for delayed planes and boring train journeys, we might actually go through the whole lot by the end of summer!!!

My version of a Mozzarella ice-cream


Ingredients list:
Egg yolks 4
Whole milk 300ml
Organic Mozzarella 2 whole

Beat the egg yolks with 1 spoonful of arrowroot and a pinch of salt.
Boil the milk, turn off the gas at boiling point and slowly pour into the egg mix while beating with a wooden spoon. Then fold the chunks of mozzarella into the hot mixture until melted. I like a bit of “chewyness” so I diced biggish chunks and did not wait till it melted all.

Pour the mixture in a jug and leave to cool. If you have an ice-cream maker, the rest is easy! If not, put into the freezer and take out a few times to beat with a whip until it is set and creamy. Serve soft and not too set on a bed of rocket salad and a drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar- only the best will do…

This is a very subtle and unusual combination of flavours but it works and makes a stunning starter to a chic dinner party. I served it to the family with the previously blogged about risotto and we all enjoyed the experience even if this is not quite proper family fare and I am stretching my blog core subject here!