I enjoy trawling the net for recipes, sifting through endless information that I can use as inspiration in my food making experiments. So you can imagine my joy when I found Caroline’s food blog a few days ago. Her mango ice cream was a recipe I knew I was fated to make especially since my mum had just supplied me with a basket full of mangoes.

In case you hadn’t guessed by now; I love mangoes and with the onset of the rains signaling the end of the reign of mangoes for this season I couldn’t have chosen a better way to commemorate this fruit. This would be the first time I have ever attempted to make this kind of dessert and I was nervous and excited.

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The recipe was simple enough and it took no time at all to put it all together.

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I don’t own an ice cream maker so I had to churn the ice cream by hand periodically before letting it set in the freezer. It may sound laborious but trust me, you don’t know hard labour until you have to fend off a six foot sweet tooth. Yes, my ever willing food sampler of a husband was more than feverish with anticipation at the prospect of sampling this homemade treat; come to think of it, so was my gelato-loving friend who lived next door ๐Ÿ™‚
Caroline had indicated that the ice cream worked well when it followed a curry based meal and since I had some left over coconut milk, I decided to make a curry for lunch.

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Before serving up the dessert, I prepared a chilli syrup which would be topping. I had never had chilli and ice cream before so I was keen to try it.

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When I took the first spoonful, the burst of flavour took me by surprise. The cold sweet full bodied mango flavour with a subliminal tangy hint of lime married well with the chewy slivers of ruby red chilli which provided a warm heat. The coconut milk gave this treat a lovely velveteen texture and the syrup finished it off with a glassy sheen. All these elements combined made for a very refreshing, pretty-looking dessert.

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After hubby had polished off the last spoonful, he declared rather theatrically (think Shakespeare play) that he would never look at ice cream the same way again.
And so I thought to myself, “Well then, if this could bring out the Shakespeare in him, I’d better uncover another dessert gem to make and fast!”
And so commences my dessert making chronicles.
TIP OF THE DAY: When a recipe calls for the use of a specific type of sugar you may substitute it for another type. However ensure that they have similar qualities such as texture and colour. For instance, I substituted icing sugar for caster sugar in this recipe but I used more icing sugar because it is not typically as sweet as cast sugar.
June 2, 2012
By popular demand, mostly by hubby, I have an encore of this delight-some dessert. This time though I have made the dairy version by incorporating lashings of cream as well as coconut milk. The topping is a double treat with chilli syrup and desiccated coconut.

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When Easter Sunday came round, I knew I had to prepare something nice for lunch not only because it was Easter but it also happened to be my mum’s birthday.
A rice based meal would have been very predictable and not to mention tedious; grilled chicken – been there, done that over and over. So after much deliberation with hubby and with Food Network providing bits of inspiration, I settled for a “meat platter” type meal. Of course this was music to hubby’s carnivorous taste buds.
The menu was partly inspired by Sunny Anderson of the Food Network’s “Cooking For Real” and some of my ideas. It consisted of Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Pan grilled Minute Steak on a bed of Mango Salsa, Spicy Meatballs, Potato Mash and a pallet cleansing cucumber and carrot salad all washed down with Sunny Anderson’s refreshing Mean Green Cucumber Juice.

It was sort of an ode to the Afro-Carribean diet with a twist.

I started by marinating the chicken over night, the only ingredient I left out of Sunny’s recipe was the fennel seed and I alternated dry ginger for fresh ginger (which I thought gave the marinade more of a kick). Following her recipe, I baked the chicken for 20 minutes skin-side down, and then made a glaze with some of the left over marinade and then finished it off for another 25 minutes in he oven at a higher temperature. My friend Uzo has a slightly different take on Jerk chicken. Check it out at Uzo’s Food Lab

Glazed Chicken


To make the cucumber juice, I used two large English Cucumbers; available at my local Spar grocery store. I recommend the English Cucumbers over the locally grown ones because the local ones have seeds. It was very easy to make and the result was simply refreshing and delicious.

Cucumber peel in blender and grated flesh prepped and ready for the simple syrup before blitzing


Blitzing cucumber peel and cooked flesh before sieving and chilling


Making the mango salsa was a breeze and I made it extra spicy so that the chopped fresh peppers would counter balance the sweetness of the chopped mango flesh. I also threw in some chopped red onion, chopped spring onions, chopped parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper and some lime juice. The salsa was accompanied with a simple pan seared minute steak which I drizzled with lime juice and set aside to rest.

The potato mash I made slight chunky to add some texture to the dish. I was fairly liberal with the butter and cream and with a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper it was ready in no time. It was the last dish I prepared so that it arrived at the table nice and hot.
The cucumber and carrot salad consisted of cucumber and carrot shavings and halved cherry tomatoes; it doesn’t get easier than that.
The meatballs were made from the classic meatball recipe which you will find in my “Anatomy of Feast” post and my “Back in the Saddle” post.
The dish came together nicely and each part complimented the other well. Not a single plate came back to the kitchen with any food on it. My mum was flattered that I made a special meal on her special day and my husband was pleased with the prominent helping of protein on his plate; all in all a winning menu.

Potato Mash, Caribbean Chicken, Meat balls, Minute Steak and Mango Salsa, Cucumber and Carrot Salad and Mean Green Cucumber Juice.

For me, tucking into the meal transported me to a sunny beach side resort………

TIP OF THE DAY: To make sure that your meals arrive at the table nice and hot or at least warm, put the serving dish/plate in a hot oven minutes before you plate up. NOTE: Ensure that the dishware is oven safe. ๐Ÿ™‚