Thursday, 22 May 2014

Dairy Free Malted Milk Ice Cream

The sun made an appearance earlier this week and for a brief fleeting moment it felt like summer had arrived and so I dug out my sandals and started eating copious amounts of ice cream (not that I really need the sun to shine to start tucking into ice cream!). The sun has now done a runner and the sandal wearing has been put on hold...the ice cream eating however continues! And after finishing off my beyond delicious Easter egg chocolate sorbet I needed to stock the freezer back up with something as equally yummy. Luckily at this moment I spotted that Kavey over at Kavey Eats has another round of Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream on the go. This month the theme is Hot Drink inspired frozen treats. Now it just also happens that last week while having a mega Master Chef catch up session I had seen a dish containing a rather delectable looking malted milk ice cream. And although I have never been a massive Horlicks drinker I am a bit of a fan of a malted milk (a.k.a moo cow) biscuit.

And so I set out to make a dairy free malted milk ice cream of my very own. Now this isn't as easy as it may sound as you can't simply mix some Horlicks powder with a dairy free milk alternative as the drinks powder contains dairy. So I had to get a little more creative and used malt extract along with a little cocoa powder to make this ice cream resulting in more of an Ovaltine-inspired concoction. I have to say I was rather pleased with the comfortingly malty end result....and now I have a great excuse to eat ice cream just before bedtime!!!


500 ml almond milk
4 tablespoons malt extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
75 g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of corn flour

Place the almond milk, malt extract and cocoa powder into a saucepan, place over a medium heat and gradually bring the mixture up to the boil.

In the meantime mix together the sugar, egg yolks and corn flour in a heat proof jug.

Once the milk mixture has begun to bubble remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then pour about a quarter of the mixture into the jug with the egg mixture beating thoroughly until a smooth mixture is formed. Then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, place over a medium heat and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken, then remove from the heat.

Pour the ice cream into a freezer proof container, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin from forming and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled down transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker...or if like me you don't own such fancy kitchen equipment transfer the container to the freezer. Remove the ice cream from the freezer every couple of hours and blitz with a hand blender to break down any ice crystals that might form and you end up with a scoopable end product. Repeat this three or four times and then leave in the freezer until you require a pre-bedtime ice cream treat.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Vegan and gluten free asparagus tart

It’s Spring and it is asparagus season. Those little stems of green joy are one of the wonders of the seasonal  vegetable calendar that I wait for with eager anticipation as icy and grey winter days turn to less icy (but often still pretty grey) spring days. After indulging in multiple bunches of fresh Kentish (a.k.a the homeland) asparagus last week I was perusing the internet for a little inspiration on how best to use the excessive quantity I had to consume. Usually I am more than happy just to gently steam the stems before seasoning with liberal quantities of salt and pepper and plunging the tips into vast vats of melted butter. But then I came across this divine looking dish over at The First Mess, and so I gave it a go (with a few little alterations as detailed below). The original recipe was described as a pizza, but my base was less doughy and more thin and crispy with a closer resemblance to pastry so I am going to describe this dish as more of a tart. But either way it is a great way to utilise some delicious spring veg and it is gluten free and vegan friendly. So whether you go for the original recipe or have a go at mine hopefully the results will be asparagus loaded and springingly fresh!


200g millet (soaked overnight in water)
80ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Glug olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
Bunch fresh oregano and thyme, shredded
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
150ml coconut milk

1 large flat mushroom
5 asparagus stems, slice in half length ways
Large handful of curly kale
Fresh oregano

(A few generous shaving of parmesan if you want to go for a non-vegan option)

Serves 2

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

Place the drained millet, water, olive oil and salt and pepper into a food blender and whizz until a smooth batter is formed.

Take a 18 x 25 cm baking tray, pour on a glug of vegetable oil and place in the oven to allow the oil to heat up. Once heated remove the tray from the oven and pour over the batter, smoothing out with a spatula so that the mixture covers the tray. Return to the oven for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture has solidified and turned golden in colour. 

Using a spatula carefully flip the base over and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the reverse side of the base is also golden in colour. At this point remove the base from the oven and place to one side and lower the oven temperature to 200°C.

Heat a large pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions and allow too soften and caramelize gently. Once the onion is softened add the garlic and herbs and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the vinegar, and once it has been absorbed by the mixture add the coconut milk. Stir together thoroughly, increase the heat a little and let the mixture gently bubble until it has reduced and thickened slightly. 

Once thickened transfer the coconut mixture to the food processor (or use a stick blender) and whizz until a smooth paste is formed. Then spread the paste over the tart base so that it is evenly covered. 

Place the vegetables on top of the coconut cream (you can use any combination you like here but I added kale and mushrooms to my asparagus). Sprinkle over the fresh herbs, and if you are happy to have a non-vegan version of this dish top with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Place the tart in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling then remove, serve and enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from the vegan and gluten free pizza recipe over at The First Mess.