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Today I’m sharing this recipe for homemade hot chocolate ice cream sauce because my sister Izzy tweeted how much she wanted a bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce (and we’ve been eating it this week), and because it’s rather scrummy.
We’ve tried a number of different ways of making chocolate sauce for ice cream, so this is probably a combination of a number of those, but for now in our house it will be known at Mr Rigg’s chocolate sauce, because he makes it. The other night I was tasked with making it whilst Mr Rigg washed up, so I got a lesson on how it’s made and decided to document it to share with you all too.
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sauce
First, take 50g of milk chocolate and break it into a saucepan.
Next, add 50g of dark chocolate (at least 70%) and add it to the milk chocolate. We used Green & Black’s organic chocolate.
Add a knob of butter to the pan (there is no specific weight measurement for this, sorry, we just to it by eye – it’s probably golf ball sized) and put it over a gentle heat.
So here it is, I’ve finally reached the final instalment of our June trip to the Dordogne. If you’ve just arrived and would like to read from the beginning, click here for all the posts and just work from part 1 onwards.
It wouldn’t have been right if we didn’t start our last day in the Dordogne with a visit to a market, after all we had been to a market every single day so far. In our sights was the market at Riberac, and we weren’t disappointed. It was large and bustling, full of food producers and artists, as well as cheap T-shirts and bargain items.
There were a lot of English people here, I even spotted a hessian shopping bag from our local grocery in Manchester where I shop every week – now that was odd. We came across our friendly gite owner Louise selling her goat’s cheese, not that I seem to have taken a picture of her stall.
Look at those mushrooms – and every mushroom stall in the Dordogne seemed to be decorated with ferns.
I am struggling. Earlier this year we did a meat-free month (which I know, I don’t think I ever finished blogging about), which was a choice we made to stop over-indulging on meat and remember what we love about vegetables. We chose to do that.
Due to some health issues, I have recently been told I have a sensitivity to dairy (among a long list of other items). So, for a month I am cutting dairy out completely – or almost completely. It has been a week, and I am struggling. I love to torment myself by watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with all the gooey cheese that goes with most things.
By some miracle I resisted a pot of burrata in the mozzarella section at Waitrose yesterday – AND it was discounted! That is a sign that I am truly unwell, or more positively committed to spending a month dairy free to see if I feel better at the end of it. I’ve had a good moan at my husband, so I thought I’d moan to all you lovely lot of grace my blog.
It really is terribly challenging – no milk, no yoghurt, no cheese, no chocolate (although I have found a delicious alternative that has no dairy called raw chocolate and the brand I’ve found is scrummy – but I’ve temporarily run out). I utterly love all things dairy and I try to buy the best quality of all these items – organic milk (or even occasionally organic unpasturised from the farmer’s market), organic yoghurt, artisan cheeses, organic chocolate.
Today as part of our holiday at home, Mr Rigg, Buddy and I drove up into Lancashire for a day of walking and eating. It was a fantastic sunny day (which is was a welcome surprise!) and we started with a long walk from Hurst Green. We followed a Tolkien-inspired trail which can be downloaded here.
It was a lovely walk, which took us through lush fields of cows, past the turrets and observatory of Stoneyhurst College, down into damp woods with mossy streams, past fields of sweetcorn and rushing rivers.
There were lots of cute calves like these ones…
And this sweet one!
Buddy – who it seems has never seen a stream before – slowly built up enough confidence to paddle.
This walk takes you through a landscape that it said to have inspired Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books and you can definitely seem glimpses as you pass through this countryside. I am a huge fan of the books so it was exciting to do this walk!
After our long hot walk we rewarded ourselves with lunch at The Three Fishes – one of Nigel Howarth’s country pub’s.
We have eaten at The Highwayman Inn up near Kirkby Lonsdale which we really enjoyed – I had a ploughman’s platter with scrumptious piccalilli - so it was easy to decide where to eat on our day out. Plus there is a huge emphasis on local and seasonal food.
We sat at a table outside so that Buddy could sit with us. I drank a cool chocolate milkshake and Mr Rigg a pint of ale whilst we waited for our food. Chocolate milkshake takes me back to my childhood and I still love ordering it now.
To start Mr Rigg had Three Fishes Fish Soup, Wicked Mayonnaise, Butlers Tasty Lancashire Cheese, and Garlic Croutons.
The soup was rich and fishy with a good kick of spice, the Lancashire cheese was crumbled and served in a tiny terracotta pot, and the ‘wicked mayonnaise’ was blushed red with flecks of fresh chilli.
I chose a dish from their seasonal menu which was a Salad of Cracked Wheat, Sweet & Sour Bank’s Tomatoes, Broad Beans, Garden Peas and a Yoghurt & Cucumber Dressing.
I wish I could eat this salad everyday for lunch – it was so delicious. The salad of cracked wheat, broad beans and garden peas was studded with fresh herbs and red onion, and topped with cherry tomatoes that had been cooked just until bursting. Then drizzled round the edge was this cooling dressing of yoghurt and cucumber.
Mr Rigg’s main was from the seasonal menu – Gazegill Farm Organic Sandy Oxford Black Pork Faggots, Girolle Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potato, Broad Beans and Garden Peas.
Neither of us had tried faggots before but Mr Rigg enjoyed them and the tiny morsel that I tried was delicious, but probably an acquired taste – very different in texture and flavour to something similar in shape like a meatball or burger. Mr Rigg said it was coarser and a stronger flavour like that of liver. It’s always nice to try something a bit different.
And for my main I pigged out with an Elmwood Platter of Local Seafood which included: Port of Lancaster Beech & Juniper Smoked Salmon, Lancaster Smoked Kipper, Hot Smoked Trout, Potted Morecambe Bay Shrimps, Smoked Mackerel Pâté, Picked Cucumber, Beetroot Relish, Horseradish Cream, and Homemade Bread.
The smoked salmon with speckled with tiny capers and shreds of red onion, the potted shrimp fragrant and warm, the smoked trout went deliciously with the sweet earthy beetroot relish, and the pickled cucumber cut through all those flavours of fish.
The smoked mackerel pâté was light like a mousse, a tiny mouthful on a toasted circle of bread, topped with micro herbs.
I have never tried kippers before, and although it is a very strong flavour and perhaps not something I would order on its own, as part of a platter like this it was delicious.
We had initially planned to stop eating here…but I was too tempted by Raspberry Jelly with Vanilla Ice Cream…
…and Mr Rigg easily gave into the lure of homemade Milk Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow Ice Cream with chocolate sauce. Not a good shot of the ice cream, Mr Rigg was very protective after I nabbed the first mouthful which got me in a lot of trouble…
Both were absolutely delicious.
Our lunch was finished off with a glimpse of Nigel Haworth himself who arrived at the pub just before we left. If you’re in Lancashire, do make sure you stop at one of Nigel’s country pubs – we can certainly recommend the food from both The Three Fishes and The Highwayman!
I’m not one for putting photos of myself on here, but I love this picture of Buddy and I out on our walk…
These are the last of the berries from my garden: blackcurrants, raspberries and loganberries. Although there are a few loganberries still ripening, the raspberries and blackcurrants are all but finished.
We’re heading off to Yorkshire this weekend to visit Mr Rigg’s family and be joined by my parents. A restful few days awaits and someone else to do the cooking – and very good cooking it is.
I will pop this small bowlful of berries into the freezer, and cook with them over the coming weeks (at least that’s the plan!).
Whilst picking the berries I was dreaming up different ideas of what I could do with them, and my favourite idea so far is a sort of late summer berry crumble or pie.
I have spotted blackberries turning deep purple in the hedgerows, so think supplemented with a few of these a crumble or pie would be lovely. Plus we have a tub of homemade clotted cream ice cream to finish.
Is anyone else starting to feel that summer is waning and autumn is approaching? Maybe it’s just the warm, wet and windy weather we have had recently in our part of England that has awakened a longing for stews and pies.
Have a lovely weekend and I hope to be back afresh next week to catch up on all that I’ve promised to post – this week has been unnaturally busy and I’ve barely had a chance to breathe.
That’s what I’m asking myself this morning. And no, that’s not a typo, I really do have a kilo of clotted cream. Why, you ask? Well, last night the company I work for held a stakeholder meeting in a local community and as part of dinner we served them delicious mini chocolate cakes with strawberries and a dollop of clotted cream.
With open community meetings you never know how many people are going to turn up, even if you tell people they must RSVP. So we usually end up with some leftovers which are divided up amongst the team. I came home with two ice cream tubs full of fresh strawberries…and a kilo of clotted cream.
I’ve truly never seen so much clotted cream in one tub – it makes your heart stop just to look at it! Sadly it’s not the deep golden yellow coloured cream of my childhood holidays in Devon, with that gorgeous crust that forms (my favourite part). But none-the-less it’s clotted cream and I need to dream up how to use it.
Ice cream is my leading idea at the moment. Primarily because it means Mr Rigg and I don’t have to get through a kilo of clotted cream before it goes off! And also because I’d like a new challenge and haven’t made ice cream before.
Perhaps I might make raspberry and clotted cream ice cream – billed as a ‘sophisticated version of raspberry ripple’. Or maybe I’ll just make a simple clotted cream ice cream to go with lemon and saffron cake which evokes childhood memories of saffron buns eaten in Devon on my granny’s terrace.
I could even save a little clotted cream to eat as it is, with strawberries and rose petals in a dainty sandwich.
We arrived in Naples on Friday lunchtime with bellies rumbling having eaten a couple of sorry chocolate-flecked brioche for breakfast.
After dumping our bags at our B&B – Donna Regina – set in the heart of the Centro Storico we headed out in search of lunch.
Only a short distance onto Via Del Tribunali there were lunch options all around us. Fantastic street food, incredible smells, people bustling about, scooters whizzing past.
In the end we chose a small shop front that seemed popular with the locals, a large queue outside who occasionally were invited behind the counter and swallowed up by darkness as they disappeared into the depths of the building. We could only guess that there were seats hidden away.
Behind the plastic counter top was a small selection of freshly cooked items. One of these items was pizza – pizza al forno, and this is what we choose. The pizzas were folded into a piece of paper and handed over to us for 1 euro each!
These delicious pizzas were spread with a thin layer of fresh tomato sauce and one small piece of mozzarella in their centre. The edges were singed black from the wood-fired oven they had recently been baked in, the gritty burnt taste I came to understand is vital to the flavour of a true Neapolitan pizza.
We made it as far as a bench on a small, grubby piazza before we tucked into these tasty pizzas. Throughout out holiday we saw people eating these kinds of street pizzas, folded in paper, during their lunch breaks. Even smart Italian women in their suits and high heels were seen tucking into them.
As we sat licking tomato sauce from our fingers on the small piazza, we spotted a gelato shop on the corner.
Here we order two ice creams – for me a ‘cioccolata’ (chocolate) and for N a ‘limone sorbetta’ (lemon sorbet). Both were homemade and incredibly tasty. My chocolate ice cream was a deep, dark chocolate flavour – the best ice cream we had all holiday.
On the way back to our B&B we stopped at a small cafe – Bar Tico – and had a cold Peroni (for N) and a small cup of lemon granita eaten with a spoon. These became our signature drinks for the holiday – photos of lemon granitas to come.
The B&B that we had booked into was run by a family of artists on the 4th floor of an ancient building. Reached through an unassuming wooden door off Via Luigi Settembrini and up many stairs made from large grey stone, inside it was tranquil and charming.
Our bedroom overlooked the street below, and despite the scaffolding on the building opposite was quiet and cool, sheltered from the strong Italian sun.
At dinner time we headed back out onto the warm, sticky streets and settled at a local pizzeria for another dose of good Italian pizzas.
N ordered a ‘Napoli’ pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies and oregano.
Mine by called ‘Pizza Re’ and was topped with small chunks of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, some other kind of cheese, and once cooked finished with rocket and olive oil.
Whilst eating our pizzas we watched them busily making pizzas – deftly spreading out lumps of dough into pizza bases in no time at all, adding the various toppings and sliding them into the wood-fired oven.
For our first afternoon in Naples, we had eaten incredibly well already, and couldn’t wait for the rest of our food adventures.
N and I got back from our week in Italy last night, having had a truly wonderful holiday in Naples and on the Amalfi Coast. I have religiously kept a food diary of all the food we consumed and can’t wait to share the high’s and lo’s with you all.
I have also got over 400 photos (I know!) to go through so there will be a couple of installments over the next week or more, so please check back.
Here’s a sneak peek in the meantime of some of the delicious food we found and ate on our travels in Italy…
Yesterday at work we celebrated our 11th Birthday – why 11th, you ask? Well, we forgot last year that the business had turned 10, so we’re celebrating now. Also, my dear colleague Paul is leaving us and heading back to his native Australia.
So we celebrated with a very English afternoon tea in a meadow, believe it or not in the city. We had a tented camp, bunting hanging from the trees, live music, and lots of good friends. There were scones and jam, make-it-yourself knicker-bocker-glories, and baskets of tiny sandwiches.
My colleague and I were responsible for the baskets of sandwiches, and had spent all morning making them. We made three varieties: egg mayonnaise with lots of chives on a white Polish rye bread; smoked salmon with a tangy lemon cream cheese on a deep campagrain bread; and (my absolute favourite, and my own invention) my take on cheese and pickle, a Welsh blue brie with sweet onion chutney on a fragrant seeded bread.
So here’s a quick round-up of our lovely afternoon:
…How to make your knicker-bocker-glory…
…A table groaning under the weight of jam, cream and Jane’s utterly perfect scones (recipe coming soon!)…
…The wheelbarrow of drinks on ice…
…Soft white egg and chive sandwiches with pretty cocktail flags…
…and the band creating a lovely atmosphere…