Being a self-appointed 'Ambassador for Good Things', I've made it my business to investigate ice creameries on all of my adventures -- no matter where in the world I might be travelling. Of course, you do understand that it's all in the name of research, dear readers. For I know that you are out there in your neck of the woods, perched on the edge of your chair waiting to hear back from me with news on my delicious findings!
So, was that opening statement convincing? I sure hope so! Truth is, despite my age of 56 years and 10 months, I'm really just a kid at heart and I adore ice cream. As such, it's at the top of my 'things to taste' list in every town, city and country that Peter and I visit. ツ
In Stockholm's Gamla Stan (The Old Town) recently, I sampled the most flavoursome hasselnöt (hazelnut) gelato ever. EV-ER. Hardly surprising, as a good deal of the woodlands and nature reserves around Stockholm comprise copses of wild hazelnut trees. Indeed, it is written that stone mortars with remnants of hazelnuts and wheat have been discovered on Neolithic settlements south of the Swedish coast.
Then there was the Cornish clotted cream ice cream 'made with milk from happy, healthy Cornish cows'. This I enjoyed down by the harbour in Padstow, keeping one eye on those fiesty herring gulls I wrote about here, lest they swoop down and steal my ice cream cornet!
In the districts of Budapest, there's a cukrászda (confectioner and ice creamery) on almost every block. Since my last visit, over a decade ago, I'd been fantasising about Magyar fagyi (ice cream) -- particularly the more unusual flavours such as poppy seed, cottage cheese, and apricot rice pudding.
One of the first questions I asked of our taxi driver on the way from the airport to our apartment was: 'Where can I find the best ice cream in Budapest?' 'Oh, you'll find the very best near the Szent Istvan Bazilika,' he responded. It took me a few days to eat my way there, but the cabbie was right. GelARTo Rosa is less than 100 metres from the Basilica. And not only is the ice cream outstanding in terms of flavour and texture, but the hand-crafted, rose-shaped presentation is simply beautiful — as you'll see in my photograph below. GelARTo Rosa flavours include elderflower-strawberry, lemon-basil, lavender-white chocolate, rhubarb-green apples, pistachio, and, my absolute number ONE favourite, sweet corn or csemege kukorica ice cream. Lip-smacking delicious!
I felt it my duty to track down and taste test a suitable recipe that I could share here with you. And here it is. Enjoy! xx
SWEET CORN ICE CREAM
3 cobs fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2 cups pure cream
1 cup milk
1 cup vanilla infused caster sugar
6 free range egg yolks*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place a flexible plastic chopping board onto your bench or wooden board to capture any milk that oozes from the corn. It adds to the remarkable flavour of this ice cream. Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob, working your way from the top to the bottom.
Now place the kernels, the cob and any corn milk, into a medium sized saucepan with the cream, milk, and half a cup of the caster sugar. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, around five minutes. Remove the pan from the stove, pop a lid on it and allow the mixture to steep for an hour.
Next, remove and discard the corn cobs, then pour the cooled mixture into a blender or food processor, and puree it. Then strain it through a fine sieve and pour it back into the saucepan. Reheat until it is scalding.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining half cup of caster sugar and the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Once the cream mixture is scalding, add a ladle of it to the egg yolk and sugar mixture, whisking to prevent the mixture from scrambling.
Now add the rest of the whisked egg yolk and sugar mixture to the saucepan and whisk together. Allow the custard to scald until it thickens sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. This will take around 4-5 minutes.
Strain the custard through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large Pyrex jug or mixing bowl. Pop the bowl into the refrigerator overnight (or for several hours) to chill. Once the custard is well chilled, pour it into the into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn until the ice cream is smooth. If you don't have an ice cream machine, freeze the custard in a metal bowl until the ice cream is just firm, then beat it briefly and return to the freezer overnight.
*Love food, hate waste? Use the six egg whites to make pavlova or meringues.
Recipe adapted from Teri Lyn and Jenny at Spoon Fork Bacon.
Before stopping at GelARTo Rosa for ice cream, Peter and I managed a whirlwind tour of this vast and beautiful old Basilica, but missed out on seeing the mummified hand of King Stephen, as a wedding was booked for the afternoon of our visit and the main altar had been cordoned off. There's always next time!
Szent Istvan Bazilika/Saint Stephen's Basilica...
Tell me dear readers, do you see yourself as a self professed ambassador of anything in particular? Perhaps chocolate, champagne, cheese? What's the most unusual ice cream or gelato you've ever tasted, and where did you enjoy it?
Hello, I'm Lizzy, the writer, cook and traveller behind 'Good Things'.
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