Not exactly an experienced fruit buyer, my sister picked up 3 overly ripe mangoes at the supermarket for an amazing price- a bargain that left me grinning though my parents were shaking their head wondering what on earth they’d do with mangoes so soft they obviously could not eaten.
I’m terrible at decision making, but if there’s one thing that will always take me ages to decide, and I mean ages, it would definitely be choosing an ice-cream flavour at an ice-cream shop.
Because there’s never a flavour I don’t fancy!
Choosing ice-cream flavours at the supermarket is much easier, as I this is one of the few areas where I do have a clear-cut favourite. It’s a coffee ice-cream with chocolate coated almonds (Connoisseur ice cream, if anyone wants to know)- it’s amazing! The almonds are coated in a perfect layer of decadent chocolate and the ice-cream itself is beautiful and smooth with deep, rich coffee taste. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like coffee!
The first time I made ice cream was about 5 years ago, when I browsed upon the “shakey shakey ice cream’ recipe on the abckids website which looked really fun to make. The idea was basically this- mix a couple of ingredients (basically just milk and sugar), put them into a ziplock bag, and then put that bag into a bigger ziplock bag filled with ice and shake until it becomes ice cream. Fun right?
Unfortunately, the ‘ice cream’ tasted like sweetened frozen milk more than ice cream and did not freeze completely, so it ended up in the bin and that was the last time I attempted to make my own ice cream again! We actually have an ice cream maker at home (and we’ve had it for quite a long time!) but my dad is usually the one who makes ice cream. Not that we have homemade ice cream often- the last time he ever made any ice cream was at least 5 years ago!!
With the warmer weather approaching, and the many tempting ice cream recipes I’ve seen on blogs, I thought it was about time I got the ice cream machine back out for a churn. I used a simple custard based recipe from a cookbook I’ve had on my shelf for a while, added some strawberries to the mixture (it’s our favourite homemade ice cream flavour so far!). It was actually surprisingly fun to watch the mixture slowly solidifying as it touched the edges of the freezer bowl and turning into ice cream. And almost impossible to resist sticking my finger in!!
Before long, I had a tub of delicious and creamy ice cream! The texture was softer and creamier than what I remember of my dad’s non-custard based ice cream. I especially loved the fresh strawberry taste which was nothing like the fake strawberry flavoured ice creams you get at the supermarket (I don’t like strawberry ‘flavoured’ things). And needless to say, it was quite addictive- just ask my sister, she couldn’t get enough of it! Now I know what I’ll be up to this summer 😉
Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
Recipe adapted from Delicious Ice Cream
1 vanilla pod
4 large egg yolks
115g caster sugar
250g fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
300ml double cream
1. Pour the milk into a large heavy-based saucepan. Split open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds into the milk, then add the whole vanilla pod too. bring almost to boil, then remove from heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until pale and mixture leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, then slowly add the milk into the egg mixture, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Strain the mixture into the rinsed-out saucepan or a double boiler and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring all the time, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle. Remove the custard from the heat and leave to cool for at least 1 hour, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.
3. Meanwhile, puree the strawberries with a blender or by pushing them through a sieve. Stir into the custard mixture with the lemon juice.
4. Whip the cream until it holds its shape.
5. If using an ice cream machine, fold the whipped cream into the cold custard, then churn the mixture in the machine following the manufacturers instructions. Alternatively, freeze the custard in a freezer container, uncovered, for 1-2 hours, or until it begins to set around the edges. Turn the custard into a bowl and stir with a fork or beat in a food processor until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Return to the freezer and freeze for a further 2-3 hours, or until firm or required. Cover the container with a lid for storing.
* I also added a little bit of alcohol (rum) into the mixture with the strawberries because I read somewhere that alcohol makes ice cream smoother.
I’d been itching to start eating from the moment we walked out of Emperor’s Garden and so within a few hours, we stopped by Gumshara Ramen- one of the main reasons why we made this trip to the city. I’d been pestering my parents to take me here for a while, after reading the excellent reviews that all Sydney bloggers were giving this- I just had to try it!
It was still slightly early (I think), and so the food court isn’t too full. Between the four of us, we only ordered two bowls of ramen, saving our stomachs for other food (we also ordered a pad thai from another shop but I forgot to take a picture!). After a short wait, both our bowls of ramen arrive, and I eagerly wait to dig into the thick flavoursome soup. Unfortunately, this excitement is followed by a slight disappointment as we realise that there is barely any steam coming out of the bowls. My first sip confirms this- the soup is warm. Perhaps slighlty warmer than ‘warm’ but definitely not steaming hot, the way I like all my noodles to be. The soup itself is pretty good- it’s tasty and definitely unlike any other ramen soup I’ve ever tasted, although it wasn’t as good as I’d expected it to be.
Garlic tonkatsu Ramen $10.50
We enjoy the garlic tonkatsu ramen better than the other one, perhaps because of our love for garlic and the fact that the soup is slightly more flavoursome than the other one. Again, it is nowhere near as hot as we’d like it to be, which we find to be the mainthing we have against it. The soup is very very thick, which I don’t mind too much (after all, that’s what’s so special about it!) but which my parents don’t really like. Leaving, with very sticky mouths, we head over to Dixon Street food court for part two of our lunch.
We somehow manage to forget to bring water along, which is why our mouths are stick sticky from the ramen broth. Which is why the sight of sugar cane juice being sold beings much delight (well, to me and my sister anyway…..we love sugarcane juice!) A large cup of freshly squeezed sugar cane juice was the perfect accompaniment to our food. This one had a little squeeze of lime juice in it too, giving it a little something, although I prefer just sugar cane juice…..
I’d stopped here for lunch once with my friends after wandering around trying to find somewhere to eat. Walking down into this food court, we could immediately smell Asian food- the disctinctive smell of wok. It’s awfully stuffy in here though, but I guess it’s bearable when you’re eating good food! Last time, I’d had a pad thai for $5 (the price was really what lured us)but never really had a chance to savour it because we were running late. It wasn’t the best I’d ever had but for $5 it wasn’t bad and had a really good ‘breath of wok’. This time however, we noticed that the price had increased to $6, which was still pretty good for a pad thai (but it doesn’t sound as good as $5 =])
The dish arrives and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like this last time- the noodles are awfully thin. Although pad thai noodles are usually thin, they’re not this thin- it really doesn’t taste right! The pile of sloppy noodles don’t look or taste too bad, but are lacking a bit of flavour and the breath of wok wasn’t really as good as last time. Nevertheless, it’s pretty good value and it isn’t too bad although we did wish that we had ordered the hige sizzling dishes that everyone else in the foodcourt had ordered…..
We pass The Fudge Shop, and it brings back memories of how I used to just stand there, watching the people make fudge. I couldn’t quite remember what fudge tasted like (I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever had it once, and it was here too!) and decide to buy a slice.
After a couple of minutes of indecision, I settle for a slice of the choc chip fudge. It was soft, super sweet and so delicious! It wasn’t cheap though, with the slice costing around $4.50- but I ate it super slowly, and it ended up taking me a week to finish it. I’ll definitely have to try making fudge one day……
I’d been wanting to come here ever since reading about the 32cm on these blogs. It wasn’t exactly the easiest place to find, and even when we found it, they told us that they only served the ice cream at 2:00pm. We came back here later because I wanted the ice cream so badly =]
We order a chocolate and strawberry ice cream ($2.70) and are delighted when we get it- it was so tall and pretty! Sharing it between the four of us (although the majority of it got eaten by my sister) made it way too easy to finish. We found the best way to eat it was to slurp off one layer of ice cream at a time- it comes off really easily, and makes it really easy to share!
Dehydrated, and tired after walking around for quite a while, we decided for one last stop before going home- market city food court. First we order a drink, this time, a three colour drink, which is unlike any other three colour drink I’ve had- it’s got a lot of coconut milk! But it’s delicious all the same. Despite the inviting smells of sizzling dishes (which did not smell as good as the ones in the food court before) and varaious other good food, we settle one yet another pad thai (our third one this day!)
….and a pad see ew which I forgot to take a picture of (how forgetful can I get!) This pad thai was definitely the best so far. Although the colour wasn’t as intense as the others had been, the taste was better- a good combination of the tangy pad thai flavour mixed with just the right amount of sweetness was enough to satisfy our stomachs for the trip back home =]
Eating World Food Court
Shop 209, 25-29 Dixon Street
The Fudge Shop
Shop 267, Harbourside
Darling Harbour, 2000 NSW
Smile Korea Mart
630 George Street, Sydney