For this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog has chosen strawberries as the ingredient to be used along with chocolate. To me the taste of freshly-picked strawberries means summer's really here and so I had to make something truly summery. And what’s more summery than an ice cream? Well, actually this ice is made with yogurt rather than cream. Sadly that doesn’t mean it’s really low in fat.
You could make your own custard for this recipe and that would be excellent – Delia (I said that name in hushed tones, of course) is my usual reference point for custard. On the other hand, if you choose to use shop-bought custard, then I won’t tell anybody. It’s best to avoid the reduced fat custard for this recipe, though.
The amount given here is about the maximum that my little ice-cream maker can handle without having a panic attack, but the ice is quite rich so you don’t need a lot for a serving. You can make this without an ice-cream maker by part freezing the mixture, removing it from the freezer and beating it before freezing again but you’ll need to do that several times to make this particular ice smooth.
I always want something to nibble with a summer ice – it just doesn’t feel complete otherwise. Langues de chat are suitably melting and moreish. They’re also very easy and quick to make, particularly if you have a stand mixer. I'm not sure that the world really needs another recipe for langues de chat since they’re so well known, but this is the version that works for me. Although vanilla is the traditional flavouring, you can always vary it; orange flower water can work well with fruit, for instance.
Strawberry and White Chocolate Ice
125 g strawberries (if you have a few wild strawberries to add to the mix then all the better)
2 tbsp icing sugar
50 ml agave nectar (you could just use a sugar syrup if this is unbearably trendy)
200 ml custard
100 g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces or grated
250 ml Greek yogurt (10% fat is best for this recipe)
Whiz the strawberries with the icing sugar in a blender or processor until smooth. Stir in the agave nectar. Place in the fridge to chill.
If you’re making your own custard simply stir in the chocolate at the end after you take it off the heat and allow the chocolate to melt. If you’re using ready-made custard, then heat it very gently (in a bowl over simmering water, for instance) and stir in the chocolate. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted completely, take off the heat and chill in the fridge.
When the chocolate custard and strawberry syrup are thoroughly chilled, mix them together with the yogurt and pour into the ice-cream maker. Churn according to the machine’s instructions or the usual way you freeze ice creams.
If the ice has been in the freezer long enough to freeze very thoroughly then don’t forget to take it out a little while before you want to serve it to allow some softening to take place.
Langues de Chat
60 g unsalted butter, softened
60 g icing sugar, sifted
¾ tsp vanilla paste or extract
2 egg whites
60 g flour, sifted (I used extra-fine sponge flour, but it’s not essential)
This amount should make somewhere between 20 and 30, depending on how big you decide to make them.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Prepare one large or two smaller baking sheets by lining with non-stick paper or silicone sheets.
Cream the butter and sugar together very thoroughly. Beat in the vanilla paste or extract. Loosen the egg whites by beating them briefly with a fork. Pour the egg whites gradually into the butter and sugar mix while continuing to beat. When the egg whites are fully combined, fold in the flour.
Put the mixture into a piping bag with a small nozzle (less than 1 cm, ideally), or just cut the end off one of those really useful disposable piping bags. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving room for them to flatten and spread. I try to make mine around 5 cm long, but I don’t think you should be too precise or fussy when piping langues de chat – they’re more interesting if they look a bit random.
Bake in the oven for around 7 minutes, but keep a careful eye on them after 5. They should be brown around the edges but still pale in the centre. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.