Just recently, I had the pleasure of spending quality time with like-minded foodies during a Haagen-Dazs-invite, Tennis Canada game. I had a chance to meet the famous Billy Jean King and watched the equally famous Serena Williams win a match. How awesome.
Of course talk turned to food and, although the weather was warm, we discussed upcoming fall ideas and holiday entertaining.
My favourite is a Sicilian cassata - layers of ricotta cheese, ice cream, flavours and candied fruit, sandwiched in between pound cake. With a drizzle of good port, this is a true heavenly dessert. Ice cream's a wonderful starting point for a number of delicious treats — from drinks, even cold soups!
Here's a selection of recipes courtesy of Haagen-Dazs to get you in the holiday mood.
For additional entertaining ideas and recipes, visit Haagendazs.com
Raspberry Sorbet Chocolate Bonbons
Imagine floating one of these delightful bonbons in a cup of espresso? Or perhaps a snifter of brandy.
- Raspberry sorbet
- 3 Tbsp. (45ml) red wine (such as pinot noir)
- 2 tsp. (10ml) port wine
- 2/3 cup (150ml) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line a tray that fits in freezer with plastic wrap, or set a wire rack on tray.
With a 2-tablespoon size scoop (cookie scoop), form sorbet into 8 firm balls, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place scoops on prepared tray and return to freezer for 1 hour or until completely frozen.
Chocolate Coating: Place wine and port into a 1-cup (250ml) glass measuring cup or small bowl. Heat in microwave on HIGH 30 to 45 seconds, allowing to simmer about 10 seconds. Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Mixture will be thin. Cool, stirring several times, until about the consistency of honey.
To coat bonbons: Immerse one ball of sorbet at a time into chocolate. With a fork, lift bonbon, allowing excess chocolate to drip back into bowl. Immediately return bonbon to tray. Work quickly to coat remaining balls. Return to freezer until coating is set. Serve within 2 hours or place bonbons in an airtight container for longer storage.
Makes 8 bonbons.
Cardamom Doughnuts with Orange Compote
Warm with the heady scent of cardamoms, these doughnuts are perfect as a snack, or the star of a dinner party.
- 2-1/4 cups (560ml) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. (10ml) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. (2ml) salt
- 1/2 cup (125ml) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) sugar
- 1 tsp. (5ml) cardamom
- 1 tsp. (5ml) cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
- 6 Tbsp. (90ml) melted butter
- 1 tsp. (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. (5ml) coconut extract
- 2 cups (500ml) canola oil (for frying)
- Vanilla frozen yogurt
Cardamom Powdered Sugar
- 2 cups (500ml) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. (10ml) cardamom
- Pinch of salt
Orange Honey Compote
- 1 orange
- 1/2 cup (125ml) orange juice
- 1/4 cup (60ml) honey
- Pinch of salt
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugars, and spices in a bowl and whisk. In a separate bowl, combine milk, cream, melted butter, eggs, and extracts and blend. Add milk mixture to flour mixture until dough comes together (more flour should be added if dough is too wet). Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 to 40 minutes.
Place dough on floured surface and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour 2-1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Cut out round circles and set aside. Re-roll scraps of dough to 1/2-inch thick and cut circles. Poke a hole in centre of each donut. Set aside.
Blend together ingredients for Cardamom Powdered Sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
Orange Honey Compote: Peel and segment orange, set aside. Heat orange juice, honey and salt. Reduce by half until liquid is thick and bubbly. Turn off and let cool. When liquid is cooled, add to orange segments. Set aside.
Fill a deep heavy pot with oil and turn on to high heat until oil reaches 350F (180C). Line a baking pan with paper towels and set aside. Fry 3 to 4 doughnuts at a time. Turn doughnuts until brown on each side. When brown, transfer doughnuts to lined baking pan. Let cool.
Dust doughnuts with cardamom powdered sugar mixture. To serve, place one donut on a plate with one scoop of frozen yogurt, then top with a spoonful of orange honey compote.
Makes 12 donuts.
This drink will have you hankering for a trip to a tropical paradise.
- 1/2 cup (125ml) cold seltzer water
- 2 pineapple coconut ice cream
- 2 Tbsp. (30ml) frozen limeade concentrate
- 2 Tbsp. (30ml) dark rum
- Fresh lime, pineapple, and a maraschino cherry for garnish
Combine seltzer, ice cream, limeade, and rum in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Divide between two glasses. Thread slices of fruit on a stir stick and place in glass. Serve immediately.
Strawberry Ice Cream Meringue Bars
This is a great make-ahead desert.
- 1/2 cup (125ml) sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup (125ml) granulated sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp. (1ml) almond extract
- 2 pints strawberry ice cream
- 1/3 cup (75ml) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whirl almonds and 2 Tbsp. (30ml) of sugar in a food processor until almonds are finely ground. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and almond extract until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) plus 2 Tbsp. (30ml) sugar until stiff peaks form, and sugar is dissolved. Using a flexible spatula, fold in almond mixture. Spread meringue on prepared pan into a rectangle approximately 8 x 11 x 1/2-inch thick. Smooth and square edges.
Bake in a 200F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until meringue is a light ivory colour and slightly crisp. Turn off oven; leave meringue in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool completely.
To soften ice cream, place containers in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. Scoop ice cream onto baked meringue. Spread into an even layer. Return to freezer.
Put chocolate chips into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Heat in microwave oven 2 minutes, or just until chips begin to soften. Knead bag to completely melt chips. Snip about 1/8-inch off a bottom corner of bag. Drizzle chocolate onto ice cream in a zig-zag pattern. Cover with double layers of plastic wrap and return to freezer until completely re-frozen, 4 hours or overnight. To serve, Cut into approximately 2 x 3-inch bars. can be made up to 3 days ahead.
Makes 12 to 16 servings.
Note: try different ice cream flavours including dulce de lece, coffee and chocolate!