Too cool for school (and an award)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Actually, it really hasn’t been too cool, in fact the opposite has been true. But, we have been getting back into the school routine. It seems that MC Senior is handling the return better than I have (I am just not a morning person! Waah).

To beat the heat, we’ve been having some icy after-school treats. Our favourite so far has been a watemelon sorbet. My first ever sorbet attempt didn’t quite go to plan, but I found some extremely helpful advice from this post by Julia at Melanger. She highlights an interesting technique – using an egg to judge the correct amount of sugar syrup and fruit puree needed to make a successful sorbet.
(I made a cup of watermelon puree and a cup of sugar syrup, then adjusted the amounts according to the technique).

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten that I’d made sorbet and the container sat hidden in the too-full freezer for a few days. By the time we found it, it was frozen solid, but it tasted sensational and we polished it off. We liked it straight up, and also served over frozen melon balls (found in the freezer) and lemonade, garnished with some lemon balm blossoms. (Inspired by an idea here). The herbs really worked and added an extra zing to the already refreshing dessert. (Mum and dad also had some with vodka – ooh yeah!).

Spurred on by the sorbet accomplishment, I then turned my hand to icey-poles (ice-blocks). We had a blueberry surplus, and a tub of yoghurt on hand, so I modified a recipe found ; here. I am always a bit wary of ice-cream recipes that say to “pour it straight into a container then freeze.” Sure enough, the texture of this ice-cream is quite icy/shardy but only if you bite into it. If licked, the texture is actually surprisingly creamy  - so eat it the right way and you’re fine ☺

I made extra blueberry sauce which went very well with the yoghurt on top of a stack of pikelets.

And by the way, I’ve been handed this award by Sheba over at Fork, Boots and a Palette. She writes about food, painting and various other interesting snippets about her life in Goa. Thank you so much Sheba! I will pass it along soon, once I pay off the sleep-debt.

Blueberry Yoghurt Ice Blocks

First make the bluberry sauce/puree
350g blueberries (I think there were about 2 full cups – can’t quite remember the cup measures)
50g sugar (about 2 slightly heaped tablespoons – adjust to taste)

Stir the sugar into the berries and leave for ten minutes or so, then simmer gently over low heat for about 10 minutes until the berries release their juices. Push through a sieve and set aside to cool (I refrigerated it until it was cold before using).

To make the ice-blocks
I cup blueberry puree
250g yoghurt (about 1 cup) – I used thick greek yoghurt (better if cold)
2 tbsp honey
90 g cream (about half cup)

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Stir the honey, yoghurt and blueberry puree together, then fold in the cream until well combined. Pour into ice-block moulds and freeze until solid. We made 4 ? ice-blocks with a bit left over (about 1 cup).

Eat within a day or two of making.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Shaz, some beautifully tasty ways to keep cool. We bought a whole watermelon this week and have been contentedly eating it. Sadly we only have a small amount left or I'd try that recipe! :D

sarah said...

Okay that melon ball/lemonade/watermelon sorbet concoction looks amazing! Vodka would be a fabulous addition :)

Btw, well deserved award!

Hungry Dog said...

I like the looks of everything you posted here, but especially that watermelon sorbet. It almost transports me to a warm beach vacation mentality... :)

3 hungry tummies said...

Haven't you been getting hot days over day? Melbourne was burning for the last few days :(
The sorbet with vodka sounds very nice :)

grace said...

i want some of your blueberry concoctions apace! i love the color of your popsicles, and for that matter, of the sauce as well! i wonder what else you might find in that freezer... :)

Marcellina said...

Ooooooh! Would love that iceblock! It's absolutely scorching here in the North. Your photo's are fantastic!

Ellie said...

These are all so great for the current heat in Sydney! Congrats on another well deserved award!

Lisa Michelle said...

I love this, shaz. Love how you took once recipe (the sorbet), decided to make more frozen goodies (the frozen bluebery yogurt) and then drenched those yummy hotcakes in the left over blueberry syrup. Your family must have been in heaven. I just made a pomegranate frozen yogurt, and it is yummy, but I'd love to try the blueberry!

Trissa said...

That frozen blueberry yogurt block looks delicious! Very healthy took Shaz! I am glad that blueberries are still affordable in Sydney at the moment. I must take advantage of it and try this recipe while I can!

shaz said...

Thanks very much everyone!

Lorraine- I just picked up another watermelon today, tossing up between sorbeting it and eating it straight

sarah - might try another fruit next time, maybe pineapple and rum!

Hungry Dog - it definitely made us think of vacations

3 hungry tummies - it's been too hot but pelting down with rain at the moment

grace - the freezer is like a tardu, who knows what else will emerge.

Marcellina - it has been hot hasn't it, more so up your way!

Ellie - thanks again

Lisa - pomegranate frozen yoghurt sounds awesome :)

Trissa - yes, I had a half kilo tub which I had to use up quick :)