As I was sitting here today trying to decide which recipe I wanted to end the year on, I have had a great time thinking over all of the wonderful things I have cooked over this past year. Of course I could do a rehash of my favourite recipes . . . or even a rehash of YOUR favourite recipes, but that is only showing you what I have already shown you and I didn't want to end the year in this way. Instead I wanted to end the year showing you something fantastically different. Hot Ice Cream Pudding was my choice.
This really looks quite unremarkable at first glance . . . kind of like a lumpy moonscape, looking not at all as delicious as what lies beneath that craggy uneven surface.
What lies beneath is luxurious and a bit of a sweet indulgence, the perfect thing to cap off what has been a most delicious year to say the least!
There are only three ingredients. Sugar. A quality Vanilla Ice Cream and . . . Trifle Sponges, or Lady Fingers, whichever one is more readily available to you. I cannot claim the genius behind this for I borrowed it from Nigel Slater, who also borrowed the idea from a French cook named More Brazier. It has been adapted from Nigel's book entitled Real Food.
It's quite amazing really . . . the way these three ingredients go together like magic to make this deliciously unsual dessert. First the sugar . . . add a bit of water and it gets turned into a amber coloured caramel which is used to coat a baking dish . . .
Broken trifle sponges are mashed together with the icecream and spread on top of the caramel and then the whole thing is baked in a water bath in a moderate oven for about half an hour or less. Like magic it forms a delicious dessert . . . .
Craggy and crisp on top . . . creamy and moist beneath . . . almost regal . . . an amazing transformation of simple ingredients, but then again, I think that is the most magical type of cooking of all, don't you?
To take something simple and turn it into something gloriously tasty. It just might seem a bit overly indulgent here, but do serve it warm and spooned into bowls with extra cream for pouring. At first taste you might feel a tiny bit like you have died and gone to heaven. But what a way to end the year . . . thanks Nigel.
*Hot Ice Cream Pudding*Serves 2 to 4
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Have ready a shallow baking dish and a roasting tin large enough to hold the shallow dish comfortably.
Place the sugar in a saucepan along with the water. Swirl lightly and then place over medium high heat and bring to the boil. Boil without stirring until it just begins to turn to caramel. It should be a deep caramel brown. Don't be tempted to stir it at all or it will not set up properly. Remove from the heat as soon as it is a golden amber colour and pour into the bottom of the baking dish, swirling the dish to coat the bottom. Leave to set up.
Break the ladyfinger/trifle sponges up into a bowl. Mash in the ice cream without totally crushing the sponges. It should remain chunky and lumpy. Spread in the prepared baking dish and place into the roasting tin. Fill with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until pale and crisp. The underside should still be moiost and creamy. Serve warm.
Nigels hints for success - don't be tempted to stir the caramel as it forms. It will crystalise. Don't use a cheap ice cream. Use only the best and one containing egg yolks. Come on, you know you're worth it. I used a Devon Clotted Cream Ice Cream. Yum!!
I want to thank you all so very much for your faithfulness in coming to read about my cooking adventures each day and to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year. I hope that 2017 will be very good to you all! God bless and Bon Appetit! Here's to more deliciousness in the coming year!