Desserts, puddings, cakes

A collection of sweet recipes for puddings, desserts, cakes, biscuits and more. Anything sweet goes in here. I have a very sweet tooth, chocolate being at the top of my list, my dessert collection has some easy cakes, chocolate mousses and many classics from both the British cuisine and Italian too.

white chocolate mousse dessertswith Panettone croutons

Stracciatella ice cream

I discovered Stracciatella ice cream when I lived in Italy, an ingenious solution of getting a quick chocolate fix within a creamy white basic ice cream. It kind of made me think I was doing well by not giving into the double chocolate ice cream that was my tempting me from the corner of my eye.

Have you ever been to Italy and come across one of their massive ice cream freezers which have a range of anything from 8 – 30+ different flavours?

ice cream Italy Bardolino

When I lived in Italy we had an ice cream freezer in the bar of the hotel and we made our own ice cream. Of course, we had an industrial machine which churned the flavours to the creamiest gelato in town. My brother in law during his school summer holidays, which last 3 months on the continent, would make the ice creams needed every morning ready for the busy afternoon trade.

And busy it was. In high season he could make anything up to 10 new flavours every day.

We had half of the freezer dedicated to creamy flavours like vanilla, fior di latte, chocolate, coffee and stracciatella and the other half dedicated to fruity flavours like strawberry, raspberry, melon, kiwi and blackberry.

Can you imagine the luxury of choosing an ice cream every day?

When my younger brothers came out on a summer holiday in the early years of my time in Italy, they were both still at school. I think my youngest brother must have been about 12 and was, at the time, a huge fan of ice cream.

My ex asked him if he wanted an ice cream to which the reply was obviously, yes please. My ex asked which flavours he would like to try and my cheeky brother replied, ‘All of them please.’ with a huge smile on his face.

Not to be beaten, one ball of each flavour was carefully and beautifully served in a large glass bowl and placed in front of him. My younger brother stared in disbelief – and glee – at the amount of ice cream that was in front of him, as my ex smiled and walked away saying to me, ‘He asked for every flavour so I gave him every flavour, I want to see if he can get through that!’ The challenge was on.

He ate the lot.

He worked his way through about 20 balls of ice cream and didn’t bat an eyelid much to my ex’s disappointment.

Stracciatella ice cream

What I love about about the Stracciatella recipe is it uses ‘Fior di Latte’ as a base. Translated that’s the ‘flower of the milk’ or better known to us as the cream of the milk, so a very simple base with the addition of choc chips.

Now I didn’t have any choc chips to hand but I did have a block of the finest dark chocolate which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but tiny slithers in the midst of the creamiest ice cream could be a perfect combination right? Like a bitter sweet explosion, one after another.

I gave it a go and am happy to report it was very well accepted!

Stracciatella ice cream recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Stracciatella ice cream
 
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A basic ice cream recipe with the addition of finely chopped dark chocolate slithers
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 litre
Ingredients
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 315 ml whole milk
  • 240g sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g dark chocolate finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the cream, milks and vanilla into a large jug and stir to combine.
  2. Refrigerate until cold.
  3. Pour into the ice cream bowl of the Smart Scoop, set to the desired setting and churn.
  4. When add ins beeps add the chocolate chips.
  5. Once finished transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze.

Love ice cream? Here are our recipes so far

Rose, pistacchio and mixed berry

Cadbury’s Creme Egg

Double chocolate and smarties

 

 

double chocolate ice creamSo the scary birthday came and went in a blink of an eye but not so fast that I didn’t put on half a stone in the process of celebrating! There was cake, dinners out and prosecco, lots of prosecco. I can truly say I smashed 50 and the hangover I had on Bank Holiday Monday was proof of the pudding.

Talking about puddings, it was high time to get my lovely Smart Scoop back in to action and with all my indulgence recently I decided to top the lot and go for a double chocolate ice cream this time. In all honesty I would have gone for a triple chocolate but I forgot to buy white chocolate chips to add! What I did find was a tube of smarties and so I added all of those, needless to say I should have kept a few back for decorating the top but what the heck, it was hot, the sun was shining properly for the first time this year and decorating my ice cream slipped my mind in all the excitement.

Sage smart scoop

I followed Heston’s chocolate ice cream recipe which comes in the book that comes with the Smart Scoop and I pimped it a bit to include a second chocolate. I like his custard mixture, the only difference is I used semi skimmed milk as someone had finished off the whole milk!

I must admit the Saturday I made my double chocolate ice cream with smarties was the perfect day as the sun was shining brightly, we were in shorts for the first time this year, all the windows were open and everyone was hot but not complaining. Thank goodness I had made the mixture the day before as all I had to do was pop it into the Smart Scoop and wait for the churning to be complete.

I made my mixture the day before as it requires simmering to melt the chocolate and again to thicken the mixture ready for use. The Smart Scoop has to work doubly hard with hot mixtures so it pays to put them in the fridge to cool down and use them fridge cold for the best outcome.

double chocolate ice cream

Double chocolate ice cream with smarties
 
A double chocolate ice cream recipe that has been pimped with smarties.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Ingredients
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 90g dark chocolate
  • 90g milk chocolate
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tube of smarties
Instructions
  1. Place the cream, milk and chocolate into a heavy based saucepan, cook stirring until the mixture starts to simmer.
  2. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thick.Add the chocolate mixture slowly and whisk the two together.
  3. Return to the saucepan over a low heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon.
  4. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  5. Once chilled pour into the ice cream maker and set to desired setting to churn.
  6. On hearing the beep for the mix-ins, add the Smarties.
  7. Once the mixture is frozen transfer to a suitable container to freeze. Keeps for up to 1 week.
 

Cadbury creme egg ice cream

Hello and welcome back to the ice cream takeover here at Mari’s World.

Having kicked off with the wonderfully popular rose, pistachio and mixed berry ice cream for Mother’s Day we’ve been putting our heads together to come up with an equally appealing Easter suggestion. A Cadbury Creme Egg ice cream!

We had the most delicious ice cream yet this weekend when we had a go at making this scrumptious Easter inspired gelato. We decided that Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are possibly our favourite Easter treat and so that was our starting point.

We found a great base using egg yolks this time and they also give a wonderful light yellow colour to the cream mixture too. We found some chocolate caramel shavings that we added in as well because, why not? Our Easter ice cream was to be about indulgence. The spring has almost made it and we are stepping in to the fun season with a skip in our step and a song in our heart.

There is a bit of preparation for this ice cream which then has to cool down to room temperature or even better fridge temperature to make life easy for your ice cream maker so do bear that in mind when it comes to allowing time.

We served it up to our guests at the weekend and everyone agreed it was delicious so let’s not waste any more time and get writing the recipe.

Cadbury Creme Egg ice cream

Mari’s World catch up

Just a quick catch up on the Mari’s World household, we have had a recent Parent’s Evening and Mr Harris mentioned that both twins are doing very well indeed, exceeding in their literacy and reaching expected levels in maths. He said one of the twins is showing great potential with her writing using words that are unexpected for year 3 and in the right context too but she needed to put more effort into her handwriting which, in all fairness was very scruffy. So, we’ve been practising that and also I signed them both up to Mathletics as they are both ‘afraid’ of maths and will cry ‘I can’t do that! rather than have a go.

Dad is itching to get his caravan out of hibernation and dreams of taking us all off somewhere very soon. We heard our favourite local camping park down in Thanet has been bought by new people who have decided that dogs can come too, this is great news as we had to stop going once Baxter joined our family.

Talking of Baxter, he’s had a haircut and is looking very dapper indeed after an initial bodge job which broke my heart. I shan’t be returning there again! Fortunately a lovely local lady came to the rescue, a trained dog groomer she has trimmed him up to perfection. He is a very smart boy now and also looks as if he’s lost a few pounds too! Shame that method won’t work for me.

I seem to be on a constant steady gain since the beginning of the year which is quite depressing. I’m putting it down to age as next month I turn 50 (eek!) but more about that in another email as I am trying not to think about it. I’m still loving my new job and have clocked up 5 months now!

Things to look forward to include: My birthday at the end of April, a trip to Sorrento in Italy to watch our friends getting married and an All Inclusive holiday to Lanzarote over May half term, dad’s excited about the buffet whereas I can’t wait to see Lanzarote.

Enjoy this delicious Cadbury Creme Egg Ice cream.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cadbury's Creme Egg ice cream
 
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It's here, the best ice cream in the world. Our Easter special is Cadbury Creme Egg ice cream and it is so good you'll need to make some more.
Author:
Recipe type: ice cream
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 250 ml milk
  • 125g sugar
  • 500 ml double cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 12 mini Cadbury Creme Eggs chopped
  • 100g chocolate caramel shavings (used for cake decorations)
  • a handful of Cadbury Mini Eggs for garnish
Instructions
  1. Warm the milk, sugar, half of the cream and salt in a saucepan. Add the vanilla extract and then take off the heat allowing it to come back down to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks, add a dash of the room temperature milk mixture and whisk. Add the rest of the milk mixture and return to the saucepan.
  3. Stir the milk mixture over a medium heat until thickened. Add the remaining double cream and stir well. Place in the fridge to cool down.
  4. Once cooled pour into the ice cream maker and start to churn. When the time is signalled for add ins, pop in your chopped Cadbury Creme Eggs and the chocolate shavings.
  5. Once completed, transfer to a tub and place in the freezer until time to serve.
  6. If you are freezing by hand, place the custard in the fridge to cool then in the freezer and every 30 - 45 minutes bring the mixture out and whisk it. When almost frozen add the chopped mini eggs and stir.
  7. Garnish with shopped Cadbury Creme Eggs and Cadbury mini eggs plus a few shavings.
 

rose pistacchio and mixed berry ice cream

When we were sent the fabulous Sage Smart Scoop I decided to come up with an ice cream for every event throughout the year, for Mother’s Day I have concocted a Rose, pistachio and mixed berry ice cream.

sage appliances

For Mother’s Day I wanted to choose a delicate taste and use feminine colours, pink of course, is as girly as you can get and it appealed to ladies of all ages around my table this weekend.

Rooh Afza syrup

One of my ingredients is rose water, it is used a lot in Indian cuisine so that’s where I started my research and came across this product called Rooh Afza. A syrup used to make drinks and add to desserts, it also adds that lovely shot of pink. I found edible rose petals which look so pretty on top of the serving but I didn’t use them in the ice cream. What I did add to the mix was a handful of mixed berries!

The last ingredient to mention is pistachio, I bought a bag of them, shelled them, crushed them and added some to the ice cream mix and kept some back to sprinkle across the top.

rose pistacchio and mixed berry ice cream

Rose, pistachio and mixed berry ice cream

5.0 from 3 reviews
Rose, pistachio and mixed berry ice cream | Mother's Day
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A rose, pistachio and mixed berry ice cream which has a wonderful pink colour and a delicate taste that has been likened to Turkish delight.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: British - Asian influence
Serves: 1 litre
Ingredients
  • 150g frozen mixed berries
  • 180g sugar
  • 100g crushed pistachios + extra for decor
  • 200 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 200ml double cream
  • 70ml Rooh Afza bottled rose flavored syrup
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • Sprinkle fresh organic rose petals and crushed nuts to decorate.
Instructions
  1. Combine the frozen mixed berries and the sugar in a bowl and leave in the fridge to chill
  2. Simmer the cream, the berry mixture, the sugar and the coarsely crushed nuts for about 12 minutes. Once completed, place in the fridge to chill, this can take at least half a day.
  3. When ready to make the ice cream, add the cream mixture to the ice cream maker, add the Rooh Afza and rose water, set to churn to the hardness desired.
  4. Once done, turn into the serving dish and freeze for at least 6-8 hours.
  5. Take out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving and sprinkle the top with edible rose petals and crushed pistachio nuts.
  6. Serve with dry biscuits and mixed berries.
rose, pistachio and mixed berry ice cream

My Sage Smart Scoop observations so far

The first thing to tell you is, it is a heavy piece of equipment and one that will need to find its place and stay there as you won’t want to be lugging this bad boy about too much. It comes with a message to say that it must always be kept upright and this is to do with the internal mechanisms. Therefore, I have found a spot that is not in the way where the Smart Scoop can sit on the side and is close to a plug for when I want to use it.

It is very simple to use and has different settings for sorbets, frozen yoghurts and ice cream with different degrees of hardness.

The container that holds the ingredients and acts as a mixer is easy to get in and out, it is also simple to clean in hot soapy water, there is a plastic see through lid that sits on top which has an opening if you wish to add an ingredient for the last churning cycle.

Our first ice cream was an Orio cookie vanilla mixture, taken out of the book that accompanies the machine, it was easy to use and gave us all the confidence we needed to move on to more exciting tastes.

Next up is our Easter Egg flavour – watch this space!

white chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons

White chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons and a cranberry & orange coulis

One of my favourite Italian foodie Christmas traditions is Panettone, I really can’t tell you how delicious it is in words. Suffice to say that once you cut into it and taste a bit you’ll be right back for some more. Panettone is like a soft bread mixture that is flavoured with fruit; it’s a cross between a bun and a brioche. It is also the major ingredient for my easy white chocolate mousse recipe.

I have been sent a Panettone by the Italian company Crosta & Mollica, along with some other products like the Pandoro – New Year’s Eve speciality and a couple of their jams. I was asked to come up with a recipe on how else Panettone could be eaten.

easy white chocolate mousse

 

It was whilst I was chatting with my son Tommy that I mentioned this project and he shared one of his favourite recipes that he makes this time of year at Hotel Eghel for their guests, a white chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons.

He sold it to me and so I started researching the best way to make my fabulous dessert. It was a huge success and very easy and quick to make. Perfect if you have people round and want to impress them plus you can make it in advance as it needs a couple of hours in the fridge before serving.

Buon appetito!

White chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons and cranberry & orange coulis
 
Prep time
Total time
 
An easy white chocolate mousse with panettone croutons and served with a cranberry and orange coulis.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • White chocolate mousse
  • 1 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 300g double cream
  • Panettone sliced and diced
  • Cranberry & orange coulis
  • 300g cranberries
  • 500ml orange juice
  • 60g sugar
  • I added a tbsp of Crosta & Mollica's fig jam
Instructions
  1. Break the white chocolate into cubes and melt in a pot over a saucepan of boiling water OR in the microwave but only in 30 second bursts as white chocolate will burn if over heated.
  2. Add the milk and combine well, leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place the cubes of panettone on a baking tray and put in an oven at 160C for five minutes at a time checking until they crisp up and become crunchy.
  4. Beat half of the cream until soft peaks form.
  5. Once the chocolate has cooled add the other half of double cream and combine well.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture to the beaten cream and fold in well.
  7. Place all the coulis ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer and continue until all of the cranberries are broken down.
  9. Puree and cool.
  10. To Serve:
  11. Place some croutons at the bottom of a glass, soak with a tbsp of coulis.
  12. Add a dollop of white chocolate mousse on top.
  13. Scatter more croutons and drizzle with coulis.
  14. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
Disclosure: I was sent the Crosta & Mollica products for the purpose of this post.