I recall Mum arriving home with the latest from Griffin's Store - frozen cassata icecream.
Wow - to us, this was like visiting Italy. All wrapped up in corrugated cardboard straight from the freezer. The treat was somewhat shortlived but Mum's homemade icecream was pretty good anyway.
Wind the clock forward many years and a group of friends got together two or three times a year, taking turns at hosting dinner. The host prepared and served the main course; the other guests each brought a course.
The thought of icecream recalls one occasion when it was our turn to take along the dessert. I decided I would make three different flavoured icecreams, which we would serve on a little almond tulle with a wild blackberry sauce with spun sugar on top. Nice and refreshing to follow the cheese course, which followed the feral venison main course.
In those days I didn't have an icecream maker so I did it the long way, by placing ice in one container with a stainless container inside it, layering the ice with salt and then adding the custard to the inner container. I would stir every 15-20 minutes until they froze delightfully, with flavours of raspberry, pistachio nut and vanilla.
The time arrived for the dessert to be served. Glenise and I popped out to the kitchen where we had also left a pint of milk, a packet of Greggs instant pudding, a tin of three fruits and some cream. We whipped up the instant pudding and duly delivered it to the guests, while we went back to the kitchen to prepare the real dessert.
As you can imagine it created quite a few giggles and sniggers. To our complete surprise when we brought out our beautiful three flavoured icecreams in the tulle with the spun sugar the guests had devoured the instant pudding, three fruits and cream. We were tagged the instant pudding king and queen for quite some time later.
A couple of years later we all got together in Wellington. After enjoying a fabulous lunch in a cafe one of the other couples presented - you got it - a packet of instant pudding, a pint of milk, a tin of three fruits, a can opener and an egg beater with a bowl.
This recipe is for an icecream dessert that would be suitable for a special occasion.
We are going to cheat a little bit here. One of the things that we do well in Invercargill is make the best vanilla icecream in the country. I have found that if you are in a hurry when it comes to making icecream it is very simple to take our superb vanilla and add flavourings to it to create a wonderful treat.
Fresh fruits are a fabulous base and with the addition of a little citrus such as fresh lemon juice to the pureed fruits will also add an excellent flavour dimension to the final result. Rich 70 per cent bitter chocolate along with chocolate chips (white or dark) will give you a real hit when added to a good vanilla base icecream. Likewise, liqueurs are a very welcome addition, such as creme de cassis with blackcurrants, or a simple kiwifruit liqueur with kiwifruit icecream.
So this week let's make a fabulous three-flavoured icecream treat using a somewhat "cheat's" method.
For this you will need a slightly larger than 2 litre freezer-proof bowl - plastic or stainless steel will be fine.
A 2 litre tub of Deep South award-winning vanilla icecream
1 chocolate unfilled sponge
For the mango icecream - The flesh from 2 ripe mangoes pureed with the juice of 1 lime
For the chocolate icecream - 220gm cake of 70 per cent dark bitter chocolate and 200g of white chocolate buttons
For the rum and raisin - 200g of raisins soaked in 50ml of rum and a dessertspoon of castor sugar
Split the vanilla icecream into thirds and place one third into a mixing bowl. Add the mango and lemon juice and mix with the paddle on your cake mixer for 5-10 seconds until it is just nicely mixed. Add some food colouring if you prefer.
Use the same method for the chocolate and then the rum and raisin icecreams.
Line your bowl with plastic wrap and cut the unfilled sponge into strips placing them into the bowl to completely cover the surface of the bowl.
Add your chocolate icecream onto the sponge mix spreading it around to completely cover all the sponge in a nice thick layer.
Add the mango icecream and repeat, adding the rum and raisin icecream to completely fill the bowl then cover the top with the remaining unfilled sponge.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in a freezer for two hours to completely freeze.
When you are ready to serve, remove the bowl from the freezer then remove the icecream from the bowl, continuing by removing the wrap.
Decorate the outside with melted dark and white chocolate and slice into wedges for service.
Graham Hawkes operates Paddington Arms at the Queens Dr/Bainfield Rd roundabout.
- The Southland Times