‘Ice cream? In December?’ I hear you cry. Surely that’s a summer-time treat? Well, not if you follow my easy and quick recipes and combine your favourite festive desserts with creamy ice cream. This is a great way to use up puddings that are going stale, or to serve up a dessert with a difference at a dinner party.
First, the basic procedure:
- Take some vanilla ice cream out of the freezer and leave to soften right up.
- Prepare your Christmas dessert by chopping it up into small pieces.
- Put the dessert and the ice cream in a blender. Ratio of ice cream to dessert is entirely up to you. If you prefer a chunkier consistency, whizz lightly – alternatively blend until smooth.
- Return to the freezer and freeze until set (two to three hours)
Now, the desserts you can use:
- Cheesecake: Whizz your leftover cheesecake together with ice cream, or just add some biscuit base and some tinned fruit (mandarins are lovely).
- Christmas log: Chocolate cake and ice cream – what a perfect combination!
- Christmas pudding: This has a strong flavour, so I usually add plenty of ice cream to balance the tastes.
- Fruit strudel: Add plenty of fruit, and some of the pastry.
- Mince pies: I prefer to use the tops, cut up into small bits, and then the scooped-out mincemeat (too much pastry overpowers the icecream)
I enjoy traditional cookery following recipes to the letter, but now and again it’s fun to just let go and experiment. You can try the idea out with different flavours of ice cream, and with added sauces and fruits and chunks of biscuit and cake and pastry. If you’d like to add an African twist, and eat like my characters in Burning Embers, try desserts containing coconut and mango and baked bananas.
Tip: This is a great desert to make with children, if you want to get them involved with helping you in the kitchen this Christmas.