Thursday, May 27, 2010

Zingy, zesty gingerbread ice cream with ginger and lime syrup

This recipe is adapted from Karen Martini's column in the Sunday Life magazine in the Age a while ago. I had ripped the recipe out and it had been sitting in the kitchen for a few weeks and every time I walked past it was saying 'make me, make me'... eventually I gave in and the results were delicious!

Gingerbread Crumb ice cream with ginger lime syrup

1/2 L of vanilla bean ice cream (recipe will follow - eventually - or you can use store-bought)
1 pack Arnotts gingernut snap biscuits
150g Caster sugar
200mL Stones Green Ginger wine (who knew there was a use for this stuff!)
1tsp vanilla bean paste
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 2 limes
8cm piece of finely sliced, peeled ginger

Place your gingernut snap biscuits in a plastic bowl, and crush using the end of a rolling pin (or whatever you prefer). You could also use a food processor, which gives a good result as you end up with some very fine 'powder' as well as some coarse crumbs.

Make ice cream according to a basic vanilla bean ice cream recipe and stir the crushed biscuits through as soon as the ice cream finished churning. Place into a plastic container and freeze for an hour or until hard. If you are using store bought ice cream, simply leave out for an hour or so, stir the crumbs through, and re-freeze.

Heat the sugar, stones ginger wine and vanilla bean paste in a small saucepan over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the juice, zest and ginger slices and simmer over low heat for around 15 minutes, or until the ginger is translucent and the syrup has thickened. Allow to cool (I used a water bath in the sink).

Serve your ice cream drizzled with the ginger syrup.

I knew the ice cream would be a winner, however the ginger/lime syrup was worrying me.  I thought the ginger would be over-powering (as it often is), and this recipe sure does use a lot of it.  My fears increased when I tasted and smelt the syrup as soon as it had finished cooking.  Inhaling it felt like it burnt the inside of my nose!  Also, the taste of ginger was extremely strong - eating 1 tsp was like a kick in the face!  I actually added a tablespoon or so of water to dull it down a bit.  The zestiness and acid of the citrus flavours were great though.  My fears were allayed however, once I tasted the cooled down syrup on top of the ice cream.  The creaminess cut right through the ginger flavour and mellowed it out.  The syrup still had a great zesty gingery, citrusy kick.  The flavour was so amazing for such a simple little concoction.  I did find however the next day that the syrup had lost a lot of it's kick.  No big deal, I just made cookies and cream ice cream that night!  Super simple - process 1 pack of crushed (or blitzed) choc ripple biscuits, and stir through some home-made (or quality store-bought)  vanilla bean ice cream.   I never thought I would be able to top Conniseur brand cookie and cream ice cream with such a simple idea, but it worked.

Next challenge - the above gingerbread ice cream with real gingerbread crumbs, and cookies and cream flavour using real, dark chocolate cookies!

I have to mention the great bowls you see in the photos (yes crappy photo I know) however these are the best ice cream bowls I have ever seen!  One of my favourite wedding presents, and all the way from the UK. They are made by Alessi (link below) and are incredibly stylish, and make eating your ice cream even better!  They even have little heart shaped spoons. Thanks Heather!

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