No-churn ice cream

IceCreamTileThis is quick and easy to make. It goes very well with fresh fruit, and I think it would taste good in an affogato (a scoop of ice cream with a measure of espresso coffee), but I haven’t tried this yet. Above it’s served with a chocolate beetroot muffin. The ingredients below are based on what I had available at the time. I have also made it without the double cream. However, I think that it is improved by the addition of the cream.

  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 375g mascarpone (1 1/2 250g tubs)
  • Vanilla (essence or seeds from a pod, use as instructed)

Using an electric whisk, whip the cream until it is thick. Add the mascarpone, the condensed milk and the vanilla flavouring until it is thick and creamy. Spoon into a plastic container (with lid) and freeze for at least six hours. Use as any other ice cream.

Cardamom rice pudding

This can be easily made in a microwave, which means you won’t have to scrape all the burnt bits off the cooking dish afterwards – enough for 4:Cardamom_Rice_Pudding

  • Seeds from 30 green cardamom pods finely ground
  • 70g pudding rice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pint milk

Mix all the ingredients together in a microwaveable (lidded) dish.

Bring to the boil (this took about 6 minutes at 900W).

Stir, and cook for about an an hour at 150W – stirring at 20 minute intervals.

Pour into a plastic storage container, allow to cool, and keep in the fridge before serving.

I served this with strawberries and orange segments, seasoned with black pepper.

Valentines Day treat?


According to Waitrose they are selling “Special Edition Devilish Chocolate Fiorelli Dessert … available until 4 March. For each pack sold, 10p will go to the charity Have A Heart“.

Waitrose has introduced a Special Devilish Chocolate Fiorelli, just in time for the most romantic day of the year. Dark pasta shells, made with 100% pure unsweetened cocoa and a creamy chocolate filling, go perfectly with strawberries for an impressively unique pud.

Personally, I wouldn’t feel very romantic if presented with this at the end of a meal. But what do you think? Can you think of better ways to serve them?

Summer fruit and apple compote


Now that Lidl have added strawberries to its mixed frozen soft fruit (although it does now contain cherries which is some form of compensation), I have discovered an alternative (and inexpensive source of good summer fruit at Sainsburys). Sainsburys is currently selling two 500g bags of ‘Summer Fruits‘ for £4. The ingredients are: “Raspberry (25%), Blackberry (25%), Blackcurrant (25%), Redcurrant (25%)” – so no strawberries there!

I made a fruit compote using a 500g bag of Summer Fruits and 5 small cox apples (pealed, cored and sliced):

Microwave the apples on ‘high’, with a tablespoon of water, for 4 minutes. Mix the cooked apples with the frozen fruit, and when defrosted, microwave on ‘high’ for 4 minutes. Stir and microwave on ‘high’ for a further 1.5  minutes. Leave to cool.

Can be stored in the fridge for at least a week. Excellent served with Greek yogurt and granola.



We ate this on Burns Night (25 January) along with blinis, sour cream and smoked salmon; and haggis, neeps and tatties. Makes 2 very large portions:

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp whisky
  • 250g raspberries (fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries)
  • 3 tbsp porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar (sieved)
  • 100ml double cream (whipped)
  • 300ml Greek yogurt

Dissolve the honey in the whisky and mix with the raspberries.

Mix together the oats, the ground almonds and the sugar in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat, so that the oats and the almonds are ‘toasted’ and the sugar begins to caramelise. Allow to cool.

Fold the yogurt into the whipped cream.

Assemble the cranachan in two glasses: a layer of raspberries, followed by a layer of cream/yogurt, followed by a sprinkling of the oat/almond/sugar mixture. Repeat as necessary, ending with a sprinkling of the oat/almond/sugar mixture. Refrigerate if not consuming immediately.

Microwaved cardamon rice pudding


This will serve 3 or 4 people. I increased the normal amount of rice (60g) by 20g to produce a very solid rice pudding which can be served cold, turned out from large individual ramekin dishes (which if filled to the top, yielding 3 portions):

  • 1 pint milk (568ml – to be precise!)
  • Seeds from 12 green cardamom pods (ground using a pestle and mortar)
  • 80g pudding rice (or risotto rice)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Put all the ingredients into a microwavable casserole dish with a lid. Stir and cover, and microwave at 750W until the milk starts to boil (about 7 minutes). Remove from the microwave, stir, cover and bring back to the boil (at 750W). Then immediately turn down to ‘defrost’ and cook for 1 hour. The result should be a creamy glutinous mass.

Line the bases of three ramekin dishes with discs of baking parchment. Fill each dish with rice pudding and level off the tops. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. The rice can easily be turned out of the ramekin moulds, by running a knife around the edge of the dish, turning upside down and removing the baking parchment.

I served mine with defrosted berries from Lidl’s frozen Black Forest Fruits, which – although they now contain strawberries – are still quite good as they now also contain some rather tasty cherries.