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Monday, 21 November 2011

Gingerbread Ice Cream and Flaky French Fingers

This year I decided I would make up a list of all these recipes I wanted to try for Christmas. I don't normally make things in particular for this holiday season, but for some reason this year I'm really getting into the spirit just a tad bit more and I'm pretty keen to extend my cooking repertoire into the wonderful and fabulously rich domain of Christmas cooking! Initially when the idea of cooking a crap load of things this Xmas, I really was hoping I might be able to cook a full traditional Xmas dinner, but neither my family nor I are here for Xmas this year (boo hoo!!)....but who knows, might make an early one just for fun ;).

Actually, initially I was just gonna make the Xmas cake and stop there....but my imagination got the better of me =P. Plus all these other recipes kept popping up as i did a bit of research....and i got heaps excited...

Not the best pic, but it will do =P This was when the ice cream was freshly churned and clearly not set yet....

So one of the first two ones i wanted to try out was a Gingerbread Ice Cream and these Flaky French Finger biscuits. The ice cream i got really excited about because I absolutely love gingerbread and devour it in seconds, just after its come out of the oven. So the prospect of putting those flavours into a dessert that is more suited to our climate down here in Oz is just mindblowing =P. The biscuits I found in Margaret Fulton's Christmas cookbook as I was searching for her Christmas Cake recipe - there are actually HEAPS of things I wanna make from her book (practically the whole book =P) but I thought I might compile of list of recipes from from different sources just to mix things up a bit.

I chose the ice cream first because its actually quite easy to make, and since I literally have no time to make anything these days, I fortunately found a spare moment to mix it all up and cram it into my good ol' Cuisineart.

Sooo the recipe I tried was actually quite nice....only problem was that it tasted more like nutmeg rather than ginger. I sorta should have expected that since there was no ginger to be seen in the recipe =P. So I'm actually gonna try this one again and substitute the nutmeg with ginger. But it still tastes pretty nice! It actually tastes like a Sri Lankan dessert pudding called Wattalapan, which I'm not particularly partial to just because of its texture. But yea, the ice cream itself turned out pretty nice, love the consistency and it froze reaaaally really well. David Leibovitz also has a recipe for this ice cream, but I'm sorta averted to making ice creams with heaps of egg yolks, just because I haven't had that much success with it....OK OK so I've only tried like one (Salted Caramel) =P and that sorta didn't freeze well at all.....but I guess I should try another recipe before I totally write off the idea hahaha. 

The finger biscuits are really addictive! I was expecting something pastry like only because the word 'flaky' appears in the title, but like I said, still heaps nice (gosh, getting harder and harder to please these days aren't I =P)! They really are just shortbread which is always nice, and something I find hard to stop eating once I've started =P. The sugar coating on top just takes this shortbread one notch higher on the yum-scale! And they went so well with the ice cream!! When I make my next batch of gingerbread ice cream I wanna make these again! Only problem with these are that the edges got pretty burnt as I tried to caramelise the sugar on top.

Gingerbread Ice Cream Recipe
Adapted from Serving Ice Cream

1 cup milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I'd use ginger instead!)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (you could also substitute the ginger in here instead)
2 cups whipping cream

1. Whisk milk and sugar together to completely dissolve the sugar. 

2. Stir in molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. 

3. Add heavy whipping cream and blend well. 

4. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn for about 25-30 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions.

Flaky French Fingers 
From Christmas by Margaret Fulton

2 1/2 cups plain flour
250g butter
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup caster sugar (I also experimented by using brown sugar on half of the fingers)

1. Sift flour into a bowl and rub softened butter into it until it resembles fine breadcrumbs

2. Add the vinegar to the water and sprinkle it over the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing mixture with a fork. Continue to add water mixture until dough is moist enough to hold together

3. Divide the dough into 2 balls, cover in cling-warp and chill for 20 minutes.

4. Pre-heat oven to 230C. Roll out dough onto lightly floured surface to 6mm thickness. Cut the dough into oblong shapes (the recipe suggests 7.5 x 2.5cm - i just cut them to my liking =P).

5. Pour the sugar onto baking paper and press the top of each biscuit on, so the sugar clings to it (i just poured the sugar on top, so they ended up having quite alot of sugar on them - just how i like it ahhah)

6. Transfer, sugar side up, to a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelised. Roll and cook the remaining dough in the same way.

7. Cool completely on wire rack and store in air-tight container.

Margaret also recommends eating these with Christmas desserts, like the gingerbread ice cream, or with a cup of tea. You can also sandwich them together with buttercream (beat 185g butter until light and creamy, then beat in 1/2 cup icing sugar, 1 egg yolk and vanilla essence to taste, until smooth, light and creamy.)

Enjoy =) xx


  1. Been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I think you've read my mind. Just this weekend I was thinking how Aussie Christmas-y gingerbread ice cream would be. Will definately have a go at your recipe! And if I can say anything - have another go at the yolk ice cream, my first one bombed to but each one after that has been amazing. Good luck!

  2. Its so nice to hear from a reader! Thanks heaps =). Yeah give it a go, see what you think of the taste. Will definately try yolk ice creams now I have more time on my hands, hopefuly all will go well! Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Oh my word everything looks soo delicious! I'm obsessed with ice cream, I really want some right now!


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