Author Archives: Shelagh Caudle

Shelagh Caudle

About Shelagh Caudle

Hello! I'm Shelagh from Ice Cream Recipes.com and A Blog Of Ice Cream. My passion is homemade ice cream which I enjoy making, researching and writing about. I was raised in Yorkshire, England and brought up to believe in the value of good food - something for which I will always be grateful.

chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

I think chocolate is one of the best foods ever invented! It has taste, color and texture that make it unique but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can mix chocolate with many flavors – orange, ginger, mint, coffee and chili to name a few. Over the holidays I baked my favorite chocolate fudge cake and boy, it went down well! Here it is, minus a big chunk which my husband and son surreptitiously removed whilst I was looking for my camera!

chocolate fudge cake

Some people might think this a simple and basic recipe … and they would be right. The truth is that simple is often best – something that can get overlooked in an age where culinary expertise seems to know no bounds. All I know is that whenever my family sees me baking this cake their faces light up. So here’s the recipe for all chocolate fans who want to see smiling faces.

Chocolate Fudge Cake – Recipe

You need 2 baking tins for this recipe 8 inches (20cm) diameter. Grease with a little butter.

Fudge Ingredients:
8 ounces butter
2 ounces dark muscovado sugar
8 ounces bittersweet (dark) chocolate
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake Ingredients:
6 ounces caster sugar (superfine sugar)
6 ounces butter
3 beaten eggs
3 tablespoons golden syrup or corn syrup (golden syrup works best but not so easy to find)
1  1/2 ounces cocoa powder
1  1/2 ounces ground almonds
6 ounces self-rising flour

First, make the chocolate fudge, which will need to be chilled before you can use it.

Method: Break the chocolate into small chunks and put into a medium pan with the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla extract.

chocolate fudge ingredients in the pan

On a low heat, stir with a wooden spoon until it’s all mixed and melted. Place the pan to one side to cool for a few minutes then pour into a glass bowl to cool further.

ingredients for chocolate fudge almost melted

When cooled sufficiently, chill for about an hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F while you make the cake mix.

Method: Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and place to one side. In a separate, glass bowl beat together the sugar and butter until soft and light. Gently stir into this the eggs followed by the ground almonds and syrup. Take the sifted flour and cocoa powder and slowly fold into the mixture until you have a smooth but slightly runny consistency. Note: if your mixture is a little thick just add a teaspoon of water at a time until the mixture drops from a spoon.

Take the 2 greased baking tins and spoon the cake mixture into them equally.  Put the tins in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When you remove them, check with your fingertips to make sure the sponge is springy – that’s when you know it’s ready. Place the tins to one side for a few minutes before you turn them out.  Wait until the cake sponges have fully cooled then sandwich them together with half of the chilled chocolate fudge. (I find a spatula or palette knife makes this easy). Then spread the remaining half all over the outside of the cake. This is the part I love doing!

My family prefers a really thick layer of chocolate on the outside of the cake so I use more than half the chocolate fudge for that. Slice and serve on its own or with heavy cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Simple and sumptuous!

Looking for a more adventurous chocolate dessert recipe? Then check out the following – they certainly look and sound fabulous!
Choc Chip Cookie Fudge Sandwiches
Choc Chip Cannoli Pie
Spiced Mocha Fudge Cake

There are some amazing facts about chocolate – eg. cocoa beans were grown as far back as 1500 BC by the Olmec Indians of Mexico. Click here for more chocolate facts.

florentines with ginger for Christmas

Christmas Florentines

Winter is a time for spice! Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger all figure in my favorite winter recipes. From ice cream to cake and cookies, a little spice can really liven up a recipe and add a special “Christmas” touch.

mulled wine sorbetLet’s take ice cream first of all – I love to make mulled wine sorbet at this time of year. It is colorful, fragant and spicy and, using 3/4 pint of red wine, it is also a little ‘boozy’ which makes it a fun treat if you’re throwing a dinner party.

The recipe uses cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and I also like to add a little cranberry jelly for extra color and flavor. Take a look at the video of it fresh from my ice cream maker. It’s a surprisingly delicious sorbet and one your guests are not likely to have ever had before.

Many cake recipes at this time of year also include spices.

Traditional English Christmas cake such as my mother bakes every year is a great example and this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake by Tonya Gilchrist is another. Both call for cinnamon and nutmeg.

My favorite spice is actually ginger. I love ginger in everything! There are many basic recipes that you can take and ‘gingerize’.

I did it recently with a cookrecipe for pumpkin spice cakeie recipe. Well, they’re not cookies exactly – I’m talking about Florentines (you might call them chewy cookies). I gingerized my basic Florentine recipe, adding both chopped, candied ginger and a little ground ginger which I found blended beautifully with the chopped orange peel, candied cherries, almonds and walnuts. The added delight of Florentines is that they are covered on one side with chocolate. I like to make both white and dark chocolate Florentines, but you can always follow your own preference.

 

 

How To Make Christmas Florentines (makes 12 large or 18 small Florentines)

Ingredients for the Florentine mix:
4 ounces caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 ounces butter
1 ounce candied ginger (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 ounce orange peel (chopped)
2 ounces flaked almonds
2 ounces walnuts (chopped)
1 ounce candied cherries (chopped)

For the chocolate decoration:
4 ounces of your favorite chocolate
My choice = 2 ounces white chocolate and 2 ounces dark chocolate

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Beat the sugar and the butter together really well in a bowl and stir in all the other ingredients. Make sure they are well blended.

Christmas florentine mix

Shape the mixture into single heaped teaspoons (or tablespoons if you want bigger Florentines) and place onto the baking trays. Remember to leave a big enough gap between the Florentine dough balls so that they can spread as they bake. Flatten each one gently with the back of your mixing spoon and bake in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven briefly to flatten and round them into the size and thickness you want – use a wet spoon or fork for this as they will be very sticky at this point.

Florentines shaped in between baking

Bake for a further 5 minutes then remove the trays and leave on one side to cool. When the Florentines have cooled and hardened, turn them over and cover one side of each with your chosen, melted chocolate. Leave to cool. When the chocolate has hardened they’re ready to eat.

Dark choc and white choc florentines

Ideal as a special Christmas holiday treat with a hot mug of freshly brewed coffee. Oh, yes please!

chocolate scones fresh from the oven

Chocolate Scones

I like mixing old and new ideas when it comes to recipes, and today’s recipe is definitely in that vein. One of the most popular home-baked treats during my childhood in Yorkshire, England was a scone.  Served freshly baked and warm, I would take a scone, cut it in two and spread butter and strawberry jam on each half. Simply delicious!

It seems, however, that not everyone has experienced the delights of a good scone – an American friend had no idea what I was talking about recently when I waxed lyrical about  the subject! So let me share with you a few scone facts AND my delicious chocolate and walnut scone recipe.

chocolate scones fresh from the ovenScones originated in Scotland but over the years have become a ‘staple’ food served in tea rooms and restaurants all over the UK. With humble origins as a basic oat cake, the scone is now something quite different. Today scones come in all kinds of variations with different flours being used and different extras such as sultanas, cherries, nuts or cheese.  For more about scones read the Wikipedia scone page.

The scone recipe I would like to share with you today uses some basic traditional ingredients but also has a modern twist – the addition of chocolate. For the same reason that choc chip ice cream became popular, I think scones with chocolate are an undiscovered treasure.

How To Make Chocolate Scones (makes 9 scones)

5 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 tablespoon caster sugar (superfine sugar)
8 ounces self-rising flour + a  little spare for rolling out the dough
5 fluid ounces whole milk
1 1/2 ounces chocolate chips
1 ounce chopped walnuts


Put the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Do this gently until you get what looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Mix into this the sugar and then the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Stir in the milk, making sure all the flour is mixed in well until you get a soft dough.

Spread the bit of flour onto a suitable clean work surface and roll out the dough. Aim for a size of about  6 inches by 6 inches and with a thickness of about 3/4 inch.

Cut the dough with a sharp knife into 9 squares and place onto a greased baking tray. Make sure the scones are spaced well apart.

Brush the top of the scones with a little milk which will help them brown in the oven.

Bake in the oven, preheated to 425°F (220°C) for about 10-12 minutes until you see they are golden brown.

Serve whilst still warm with a side dish of butter, your favourite jam and a pot of rich thick cream to spread onto the scone halves.

Tip: A scone makes for a great daytime snack. Filling and tasty – but more than one might put you off your evening meal!

flowers made with ice cream

Say It With Flowers

flowers made with ice cream

I love flowers and I love good food, so today let’s bring them together for some great culinary fun!

If you look back in history there is plenty of evidence to show that people used flowers in cooking to a much greater extent than they do today. Medieval recipes often included flowers, particularly in salads and desserts.  From cowslips to daisies, snowdrops to violets, they were all used. Read more about medieval flowers.

Moving back to the present day’s ‘palate’ for food, it is possible to integrate flowers in many recipes either as an ingredient or as a theme – from ice cream to cup cakes and cookies!

Ice cream & flowers
Flowers and ice cream make for a great match. Using flowers as an ice cream ingredient is nothing unusual; in fact one of my favorite ice cream flavors is violet ice cream. Elderflower, lavender, rose petal and orange flower are also becoming more widely used in ice cream making. Fun with ice cream and flowers doesn’t end there though! How about an ice cream sculpture of flowers?

This bouquet of ice cream roses was not that difficult to make – just drag your ice cream scoop across the top of a tub of ice cream to get a wonderful curl effect!

flower cupcakesCupcakes & flowers
Fashions in food will always come and go, but I find cupcakes to be a ‘perennial’ (pardon the pun!) favorite amongst my friends and family.

More than anything, cupcakes are a great ‘fun food’ because they offer so much scope for creativity; you can vary the color, flavor and theme almost as much as with ice cream. Here are 2 recipes for cupcakes with a flower theme:
Holiday Treats – Flower Cupcakes
Desserts – Hello Flower! Cupcakes

 

quilled flower cake and cookies

Cakes and flowers
If you want something a little more elaborate then this flower cake and cookies recipe is a must to try!

Once you have finished in the kitchen and prepared your chosen flower themed dessert, you might just want to take time out to appreciate the real thing. Of course, real flowers are best appreciated growing in the garden or a city park, but the next best thing is to have freshly cut flowers. Here’s a great article on how to cut, arrange and preserve fresh flowers.

So here we are now into October – what are the flowers associated with this month? I didn’t know until I started writing this post! According to Wikipedia they are marigold, hops and calendula. Now there’s “food for thought” for even more unusual recipes perhaps!

sticky blueberry and lemon cake

Sticky Blueberry And Lemon Cake

Blueberries are one of my all time favorite foods. Juicy, sweet and colorful, the blueberry is a delicious fruit that lends itself to many culinary uses. I serve blueberries almost every day for my family. They’re great sprinkled on top of granola for breakfast, and a handful of blueberries thrown into a fresh fruit salad after lunch never goes amiss. I love to experiment by combining blueberries with other flavors when I’m cooking; and I have two particular recipe favorites that do just that, which I’m going to share with you today.

The first recipe is for blueberry ice cream — one of the best fresh fruit based ice cream flavors I’ve ever tasted. In my recipe, I use a scored vanilla pod infused into hot milk which makes a wonderful vanilla custard base. The combination of aromatic vanilla and the sweet blueberries is simply sumptuous, and the ice cream has a wonderful chunky texture. If you’re interested in whipping up your own batch, be sure to visit my blog for the recipe.

The second recipe is for sticky blueberry and lemon cake. Here I team up fresh blueberries with the contrasting, strong but refreshing flavor of fresh lemons. The sticky lemon topping adds a great, extra little kick. When the cake is ready to serve, you don’t actually see any icing on it. That’s the part I like about it — when you take a bite, you first smell the lemon, then savor a soft, sticky texture and then the blueberries come into the frame. Simply delicious!

sticky blueberry and lemon cake

Sticky Blueberry & Lemon Cake (Serves 10 to 12)

Cake Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 lemon
8 ounces (225g) butter + a little extra for greasing the baking tin
8 ounces (225g) golden caster sugar *
8 ounces (225g) self-rising flour
8 ounces (225g) fresh blueberries (washed and dried)
* Granulated sugar is okay if you whiz it in a blender for about 15 seconds to grind it down. Makes it easier to dissolve.

Sticky Topping Ingredients
:
2 lemons
4 ounces (125g) golden caster sugar *

You will need an 8-inch round or square cake pan, greased with a little butter.

Instructions:

blueberry lemon cake ingredientsStep 1 – Prepare the eggs and lemon:

a) Beat the eggs in a bowl and place to one side.
b) Grate the lemon rind finely and place to one side.
c) Juice the lemon and place the juice to one side.

Step 2 – In a bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until soft and fluffy.

Step 3 – Slowly beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mix. I usually add a little of the flour whilst doing this to stop the mixture from curdling.

Step 4 – Beat in the lemon rind, then slowly fold in the rest of the flour, adding the lemon juice as you do so until the consistency of the cake mix drops from a spoon.

fold blueberries into cake mixStep 5 – Take 3/4 of the blueberries and fold them gently into the cake mix.

Step 6 – Pour the mix into the greased cake pan and scatter the last 1/4 of blueberries on the top.

Step 7 – Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, (it should be firm to the touch).

Step 8 – Just before the cake has finished baking, prepare the sticky topping by mixing together the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Ensure the sugar has dissolved.

pour lemon sugar mix over cakeStep 9 – The moment you take the cake out of the oven, use a skewer to prick it all over, then pour the sugar and lemon mix over it with a spoon.

Step 10 – Leave the cake to cool. When cold, remove it from the cake pan and cut into slices ready to serve.

 

 

French ice cream sundae treat

Ice Cream Sundae: Route 66 To France

View of the Grand Canyon

Last month was National Ice Cream Month and I hope most of you got the opportunity to enjoy a special ice cream celebration. I certainly did, as did my friend June. Why would that be interesting? Well, we were both on holiday, thousands of miles apart, in very different countries — I was in France, whilst June was driving Route 66 taking in Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Phoenix and the Grand Canyon.

Typical village in the Vendee, FranceWhen we got back from holiday, we met up for a coffee and June gave me a photograph of a particularly good ice cream sundae she had enjoyed in Phoenix. I laughed and showed her one of my favorite photographs taken in France — an ice cream sundae! What’s more, we had both chosen the same combination — chocolate and vanilla!

Here is June’s chocolate and vanilla ice cream sundae, which she enjoyed in Phoenix. It was locally made ice cream served in a homemade almond tulip cookie cup with a sprig of fresh mint.

Ice cream treat on Route 66
Served at the famous La Posada Hotel on Route 66 (Winslow Arizona), June told me that many famous people had stayed there — from Bob Hope to John Wayne — even Albert Einstein and President Truman. “There’s another ice cream connection!” I declared. June looked at me a little surprised. Having researched and written about U.S. Presidents and ice cream, I knew that President Truman was amongst those who was an ice cream fan.

Having looked at June’s ice cream photograph, I insisted that my French ice cream sundae was equally delicious. Served in a small seaside restaurant in the region of France known as Vendée, it was locally made ice cream supplied by what the French call an artisan glacier (master ice cream maker). Lashings of chocolate sauce and chantilly (sugared whipped cream) meant that it required serving in a rather tall ice cream glass!

French ice cream sundae treat
When it comes to ice cream sundaes, it’s hard to beat the combination of chocolate and vanilla, but what I find interesting — as these photographs show — is that you can present an ice cream sundae in such different ways.

In Phoenix it was a simple, no-nonsense two scoops of delicious ice cream with that extra “homemade” touch of a cookie cup.

In France, they took the artistic approach and made you dive into a stack of swirled, whipped cream before reaching the ice cream tucked away in the bottom of the glass. That to me is one of the secrets of the enduring popularity of ice cream — its versatility! Take a look at this ice cream sundae gallery to get an idea of what’s possible.

Go one step further and make a batch of your own chocolate or vanilla ice cream to create a special homemade sundae!

Here are my own tried and tested recipes: Chocolate Ice Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream.

You don’t have to be in far flung places to enjoy a great ice cream treat!