“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate – that’s my philosophy”
Thornton Wilder

I had peaches. I had plums. I had a firm grip on the whisk & the ice-cream scoop! Did I mention a firm resolve to make ice-cream before July flew right by? Does anyone know what’s happening to the summer months? Everyday flies by so fast that I’m having a tough time keeping up with July. Announcing July as the official National Ice Cream Month is a deliciously wicked way to make July enticing…
“Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day and I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States (1981-89)
It’s time for an Ice Cream Social!

To add to the ice cream celebration, a special blogging friend, who writes a beautiful blog by the name of Tangled Noodle, is calling for entries throughout July for an exciting ice-cream event! She’s joined hands with 2 great bloggers, Scott @ ScottySnacks, and Jennifer @ Savorthethyme to get us all together to social-ice! In her words … It’s official: eating ice cream for the entire month of July is nothing less than our civic duty… I used a recipe I had posted earlier, Strawberry Fro Yo, as the basis for this. Delicious, and not too damaging for the diet! Actually, I had a Peach Fro Yo in mind when I went to buy the peaches, but the plums begged me to buy them too. Peaches in ice-cream were stuck in my head from posts at SGCC & Chez Us that I read sometime back. I also wanted to experiment roasting some peaches before the season disappeared altogether. Think I managed to roast them in the nick of time, because it’s now time to bid adieu to peaches here. The poor plums had to share the fate! Roasting the peaches & plums filled the house with summery sweet aromas, & I got caught in my own ice-cream factory of sorts. Worked where my mind led me, adding sugar, pure vanilla extract (it has a vodka base, so helps keep frozen stuff a little soft) & almond essence to come up with this beautifully flavoured ice-cream. I’m still a long way from adding yolks to my ice creams; it’s just not happening!The fro-yo eventually became a low fat ice-cream because I added a little cream in the end … just felt the need for some luxury & creaminess. But by all means, you can skip that last bit & make it a ‘Fro Yo’. This has a great balance of flavours, sweet with tang from the peaches & yogurt … an absolutely yummy combination! I served the ice-cream topped with homemade roasted candied almonds & candied ginger slivers as the kids have discovered a new love for candied ginger. My batch of candied ginger that I made off a David Levobitz recipe ages ago is just about finishing off. I also served some ice cream with these delicious Fresh Peach & Ginger Peasant Cakes I made a few days ago. They are a twist on clafoutis, an eggless version, but mighty intriguing. It was with these enchanting cakes that the kids discovered their love for ginger! I’m going to post these peasant cakes next … and you are going to love them!!

Now, for the low fat & eggless ‘Roasted Peach & Plum Ice -Cream’!

1 cup (240g) hung curd
4-5 peaches
4-5 plums
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp almond essence
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
200 ml low fat cream (25% fat) or half & half (you can omit this if you’d like to make a frozen yogurt version)


  • Tie yogurt in a cheesecloth and let it sit in a strainer in a bowl overnight or for at least 2 hours to get 1 cup of thick hung curd (or curd cheese). This will help drain off all the whey and result in a very creamy ice cream. (Overnight is a better option).
  • Halve & pit the peaches & plums. Place in lined baking pan, sprinkle over with the brown sugar. Roast in pre-heated oven at 200C for 30 minutes, or until soft & beginning to get caramelised a bit.
  • Once cool, slip off the peels. Then blend to puree with the vanilla sugar using an immersion blender. Strain if some peels got left behind. you should get approximately 1 3/4 cups of fruit puree. A little deviation hardly matters.
  • Beat the hung curd till smooth. Add the puree & beat in to mix well. Next add the cream (if using) & almond essence & vanilla extract & blend well.(Check & adjust the sweetness if you like).
  • Freeze the mixture in a wide dish or plastic container. (The larger the surface area, quicker the freezing – since we have to pulse this mixture a couple of times), OR freeze it according to the instructions on your ice-cream machine.
  • If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, like I don’t, keep checking on the mixture every 30 minutes or so and use the stick blender to break the icicles, 4, maybe 5 times. (I use a sturdy whisk).
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much”
George Harrison

I don’t think it’s going to be easy going back to regular frosting or whipped cream again. This was my maiden attempt at making homemade mascarpone, & I cannot believe how luxurious cream can get. Bless the Italians. Panna Cotta has been on my faves as dessert for long enough; now along comes mascarpone! WOW!! I bought a local brand of mascarpone a while ago, used it with Balsamic Strawberries here, though the dessert was delicious, the mascarpone itself was very disappointing. My homemade one just ROCKED!

I made the mascarpone for my dad’s birthday cake. Actually I had tiramisu on my mind, but it’s just too hot to pipe & make ladies fingers. So I decided to make a simple sponge, saturate it with a strong coffee syrup, & use the mascarpone as topping. Then I googled, & saw Susan’s TWD Tiramisu @ SGCC. Ooooooh, was I in coffee heaven or what? With that idea in mind, I stopped by at Vera’s Baking Obsession, which is my ready reckoner of sorts now, and went through each cake recipe. Her chocolate genoise seemed like my answer. Yes, the idea was forming in my mind. The only ingredient deviation from Vera’s genoise recipe is that I used clarified butter/ghee instead of heating the 4 tbsps of butter & taking 3 tbsps once it was clarified. A simple shortcut as I have ghee at home. The crumb of the genoise was light, tender & moist, & the coffee syrup made it perfect! Sandwiched with a cream as luxurious & indulgent as homemade mascarpone, the cake was perfect. Just right – not exceedingly sweet, light, yet luxurious! I made the mascarpone 2 days in advance, the genoise a day in advance, & refrigerated both.
The daughter licked her plate clean. You couldn’t tell there had been cake on it. I suppose that’s her way of saying it was absolutely delicious as she is one of few words. Teens??? The son, on the other hand, is more generous with his words, & came to tell me that it was like a cake out of the pastry shop, only better! My dad, who’s birthday it was for, loved it of course. Hub, again a man of few words (& those few not minced at all), said it was better than a patisserie cake!! YAY!!
I think my mascarpone behaved a little differently from Vera’s instructions because of the fat content of cream. I used a 25% fat content & her recipe asks for a 36%. The cream also took almost 25 minutes to heat through, but never touched 190F on the candy thermometer. So I added the lime juice when the cream began bubbling slowly. Once made & cooled etc, the mascarpone looked a little dry, but mixing it in with cream & sugar made it luxuriously beautiful!

as adapted from Baking Obsession
Makes about 12 oz
600ml low fat cream (25 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering.
  • Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
  • Add the lime juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir.
  • Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.

As adapted from this recipe @ Baking Obsession
3 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 large eggs (I used 5 as the eggs were smallish)
2/3 cup fine granulated vanilla sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line, grease & flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa together three times; reserve.
  • Bring some water to a boil in a large pan/griddle & reduce to simmer. Place eggs & sugar in a large bowl, whisk constantly over the simmering water, heat the eggs to lukewarm (about 105F). Remove the bowl from the pan; leave the skillet on the stove but turn off the heat. With an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture at high speed until it has cooled, tripled in volume, and resembles softly whipped cream, about 5 minutes in a heavy-duty mixer or longer with a less powerful mixer.
  • Meanwhile, set the bowl of clarified butter/ghee and vanilla in the skillet of hot water, with the burner off, to keep it warm.
  • Sift about one-third of the flour and cocoa over the whipped eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture-quickly but gently-until combined. Fold in half the remaining flour and cocoa, then fold in the rest. Remove the warm butter mixture from the skillet. Scoop about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the butter and fold together until completely combined. Use the large rubber spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the remaining batter. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and tilt to level.
  • Bake until the cake beginning to shrink slightly around the edges and the top springs back when pressed with your finger, about 40-45 minutes. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack.
  • To unmold, run a small knife or spatula around the inner edges of the pan. Invert it onto a rack and remove the parchment liner. Turn the cake right side up. The génoise can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

12oz Mascarpone Cream (recipe above)
200ml low fat cream (25% fat)
1 tsp coffee powder (increase or omit as desired)
2-3 tbsps ground vanilla sugar, or regular sugar (according to taste)

  • Beat mascarpone cheese with a wooden spoon till smooth. Fold in the rest of the ingredients & mix with the spoon till smooth.

1 chocolate genoise sponge (recipe above)
1 portion of Mocha Mascarpone Cream (recipe above)
Coffee syrup
Dark chocolate shavings, flakes & coffee beans etc to garnish
To assemble:

  • Make a strong coffee syrup with 1/4 cup of hot water, 2-3 tsps sugar & 2 tsps coffee powder. Cool.
  • Cut the genoise into 2 horizontal layers.
  • Place one layer on the cake platter. Brush well with the coffee syrup. Sandwich with a little less than half the mocha mascarpone.
  • Top with the second layer, & brush that well with the coffee syrup.
  • Frost the top & sides of the cake with the remaining mascarpone. Grate dark chocolate over the top, edge with coffee beans, & sift cocoa over the edges.
  • Chill for 3-4 hours.

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“Scenes of strawberries, across crisp farmland.”
Michael Easton

Here’s a bake I made to bid strawberries adieu, calling an end to the strawberry season in our part of the world. I wanted it to be a special farewell, something different. It’s a dessert I made out of a little baking book I have on my shelf, with the last batch of strawberries of the season. The original recipe was ‘Chocolate Meringue Cream Slice’, from a Sue Ross authored cookbook, ‘Cream Cakes & Gateaux’. The book is a tiny, little, unassuming one, but has a clutch of some pretty fabulous recipes. I adapted this intriguing recipe to accommodate my last batch of luscious strawberries. The recipe has appealed to me every time I’ve turned the pages of this book. Though a little fiddly to make, it’s an interesting departure from regular cakes. The original one, sans strawberries, leaves plenty of room to get creative, & can be paired with an array of seasonal fruits. I think it can well be made into a tiramisu of sorts also, with mascarpone & some coffee flavouring! It’s turned out to be an unusual dessert … unusual for me, at least, because it’s a first for me with a meringue topped cake. It’s a bit delicate to handle; needed TLC while transferring it to the platter, & some more care while topping the ‘cream & strawberries layer’ with the top layer. Otherwise a pretty, light & delicate bake! We loved it!

as adapted fromCream Cakes & Gateaux’ by Sue Ross, pg 36
100gms butter
250gms Castor sugar, divide into 2
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
75gms plain flour
2 tsps baking powder (yes it is 2)
pinch of salt
2 1/2 tbsps cocoa
90ml milk
100gms flaked almonds
200ml light cream (I used 25% fat Amul cream)
3-4 tbsps powdered sugar
250gms strawberries, save 6 for garnishing & chop rest

  • Grease & line a 20 X 30cm Swiss roll tin.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt & cocoa together & keep aside.
  • Beat the butter & 1/2 cup sugar till light & fluffy. Add egg yolks & vanilla extract & beat again.
  • Add the flour mix to the above with the milk & stir together well. Spread out thinly in prepared pan.
  • With clean beaters, beat the whites till stiff. Gradually add the other 1/2 cup sugar & whisk till blended in. Spread on top of the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with slivered almonds, & bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely in pan.
  • Handle with care, GENTLY, as it is fragile. Turn out very carefully onto a wire rack, & peel off paper. (I marked it into 2 with a knife before doing this).
  • Slide one half onto a serving platter, chocolate side up.
  • Whip the cream with sugar till firm & holds peaks. Spread the cake with whipped cream & chopped strawberries. Top with the remaining cake layer, chocolate side down.
  • Garnish with whipped cream, halved strawberries & sprigs of mint. (or melt dark chocolate in a baggie, & drizzle in zig-zags over the top, as in the original recipe).
  • Chill until served.

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