Earl Grey Ice Cream with Chickpea Sweets

Yesterday was my birthday and to celebrate, the man and I originally intended to visit Roka. At the last minute though, we decided to face up to the fact – we really can’t afford to fork out £150 for a meal right now. Of course, we could have done it ‘on the cheap’ but then I’m an all or nothing kind of woman so I decided – we would feast, but we would feast at home. I would cook my own birthday meal. Some people might despair at the thought of spending part of their birthday in the kitchen but, in case you hadn’t noticed, I like to cook.

I decided to go with an Iranian theme to the meal. Persia in Peckham is my favourite cook book at the moment and its author, Sally Butcher runs the shop – Persepolis, just down the road. When I reviewed the shop last year, she e-mailed me and invited me down for some tea and a chat. I needed some ingredients so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take her up on the offer.

Sally is just as friendly and funny as she comes across in her book (which she kindly signed for me). She also enthusiastically answered my questions about her recipes and gave me a few tips on getting the best from the exotic ingredients. I’ve decided to tell you about the dessert first as it was just so incredibly delicious and I’m really not even a dessert person.

I must admit I actually stuffed it up the first time. In the recipe, Sally warns that if you let the eggy creamy mixture get too hot while thickening, it will scramble. She is absolutely right. I suggest not wandering off with a glass of wine for a chat at this point. Also, because this method doesn’t use an ice cream maker, I was left with a few ice crystals but it was great nonetheless. You could try taking it out of the freezer and whisking it up more often and then re-freezing if you can be bothered.

You may all be earl grey ice cream veterans but I’m pretty sure this was my first time. I drink it, I’ve smoked duck with it but I’ve never ice creamed it. Loved it. I also cannot imagine any better accompaniment than these chickpea sweets. Sally does provide a recipe for them in the book but I had to draw the line somewhere and just bought them from her shop instead (they are widely available in Iranian shops apparently). Like most Iranian sweets, they are fairly dry but this works perfectly with the ice cream. Made from Iranian chickpea flour (using roasted chickpeas, not raw ones as with gram flour), they are delicately scented with saffron, pistachio and cardamom and just melt in the mouth. I think I may be addicted.

A sprinkle of chopped pistachios on top and it was a refreshing yet indulgent way to end the meal. I’ll write about the stuffed, barbecued lamb soon. For now I shall just tell you that after the meal (ourselves stuffed and contented), we curled up on the sofa – astounded to find the film Persepolis was on the telly. A fitting end to a truly gluttonous birthday, it really was like my own little Persia in Peckham.

P.S – anyone mentions anything about the absence of rounded corners on the pictures and there will be trouble…you know who you are. I’m just over it, k?! Alright, and I can’t be bothered any more. Oh yes, and Food Stories is getting a new look – I’ve had the painters and decorators in and the brand spanking new site will be up at the beginning of May – sans rounded corners and cowboy html. Times, they are a changin…

Earl Grey Ice Cream with Chickpea Shortbread/Sweets (from Persia in Peckham by Sally Butcher)

Ice Cream
150ml strong earl grey tea (I used 2 teabags)
150ml each full fat milk and single cream
1 strip lemon peel
3 egg yolks
110g caster sugar
150ml whipping cream

– put the tea, single cream and milk into a pan with the lemon peel and bring to a simmer.
– whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they thicken and pale.
– remove the milk mixture from the heat (discard the lemon peel), then whisk it into the egg mix.
– put the whole lot back onto a gentle heat until it thickens. On no account should you let this boil, otherwise the eggs with scramble. Set it aside to cool with a dampened circle of greaseproof paper on the top, to stop a skin forming.
– when cool, pour into a freezer-proof container – cover it and freeze until half frozen. At this point, scoop it into a bowl, then whisk up the whipping cream and fold it into the ice cream. Put it back into the freezer until it is of ice cream consistency.

Chickpea Shortbread/Sweets
(this recipe doesn’t have the saffron like the shop bought ones – I’m guessing the main difference will be the colour).
50g caster sugar
110g Iranian chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
50g unsalted butter
Crushed nibbed pistachios

– Sift the dry ingredients together on a flat, clean surface, then work in the butter with the tips of your fingers.
– When the mixture starts holding together, roll it into little chickpea shapes (or make into whatever shape you fancy) and put them on a sheet of grease-proof paper on a baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes at gas 2/150C and allow to cool. Sprinkle with the crushed pistachio.

Category: Biscuits, Desserts, Ice Cream, Peckham, Sweets 27 comments »

27 Responses to “Earl Grey Ice Cream with Chickpea Sweets”

  1. Helen Yuet Ling Pang

    Happy Birthday again! What a wonderful way to celebrate, with home-made ice cream. Yum & better than Roka!

    Helen Yuet Ling Pangs last blog post..Chilli Cool (Sichuan) – London, England (7/10)

  2. Fat Les

    Helen, I’ve never commented on your site. No better time than now! Sod Roka, happy belated and many happy returns!

    Fat Less last blog post..What I’m snacking on #3

  3. Charmaine

    Too clever! There’s no room in my freezer to freeze my ice cream maker canister, so I might have to give this a try. Ah, earl grey ice cream, such a divine flavour! Happy birthday again :D

    Charmaines last blog post..East side love

  4. Mel @ bouchonfor2.com

    That sounds absolutely divine. I just bought an ice cream maker and have been trying new recipes so thanks for sharing this one!

    I’m glad I found your blog :) You gave me something new to follow. I look forward to future posts!

    Mel @ bouchonfor2.coms last blog post..New Feature: Dining Around

  5. Wendy

    Read the title and thought – weird.
    Read the post and thought – ooooh, yum.
    Happy Birthday!

    Wendys last blog post..Chilli Bean Soup with Quesadillas

  6. TheBoyDoneFood

    happy birthday, sweets look amazing. kept meaning to visit the shop when I lived down the road – must pop down soon!

    TheBoyDoneFoods last blog post..Cream of the crop

  7. Lizzie

    That looks lovely. I had earl grey ice cream at Hibiscus and I loved it, although I’m not fond of the tea. I must give this a go, especially as I’m a 15 min walk from Persepolis!

    Lizzies last blog post..Sake Tasting at Tsuru Sushi

  8. Dan

    Aha – we have the recipe! I love Earl Grey flavoured ‘anything’ (except in Tea form strangely enough!). I’m going to have a crack at the ice-cream, and I’ll also be purchasing the recipe book. Thanks so much for bringing the fantastic sounding shop, book to my attention, and providing this recipe into the bargain.

    Dans last blog post..Tayyabs- The best (and cheapest) Indian food in London?

  9. gen.u.ine.ness

    happy birthday!!! cooking on your birthday is not the worst thing especially when you have a bunch of good friends to celebrate with. At the end of the day its the company that counts.

    p/s why are the corners to the pictures sharp?

    gen.u.ine.nesss last blog post..Ristorante Semplice – Review

  10. Y

    So many things to say..! Firstly, Happy Birthday! The ice cream sounds delicious. I usually steer clear away from recipes that don’t require the mixture to be churned, thinking the end result would not be a patch on the real deal, but this one certainly looks the part. And those chickpea sweets sound great! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Are you going to share the rest of the birthday menu with us? :)

  11. Johanna

    happy birthday – I wouldn’t mind cooking on my birthday if it produces such innovative and delish fare

    Johannas last blog post..A Nutroast Tribute

  12. Mark

    This sounds really cool, the sweets look great and so does the ice cream, yum.

    Marks last blog post..An Awesome Salad for a Beer

  13. Helen

    Thanks everyone! Thanks for all the birthday wishes.

    Kian – Ha ha ha. I have decided to do away with the rounded corners because a) everyone takes the mick b) I can’t be bothered and c) when I put the new site design up I won’t be having them so I thought I might as well just get rid now. You can see I’ve also done away with all the advertising too.

    Y – Yes I am. I cooked a really great lamb recipe. It would really be a crime not to share it. I am so happy with it!!

  14. joey

    Belated birthday greetings! :) That looks lovely…I love me a cup of Earl Grey!

    joeys last blog post..Salt-kissed Buttermilk Cake

  15. Nicisme

    Glad you had a wonderful birthday!
    The ice cream looks really good and I do love pistachios!

    Nicismes last blog post..Chocolate Eggs

  16. James

    Happy un-birthday!

    That’s always the trouble when you cook something better at home than you can eat out……

    Earl Grey ice cream is one thing, but Russian Caravan sorbet? That’s something else!

    Jamess last blog post..Roast cauliflower in Cotswold Way ale sauce

  17. Kerri

    Happy birthday! I can think of no better way to spend my birthday than in the kitchen.

    Looking forward to the lamb recipe.

    Kerris last blog post..Steak with Horseradish Crushed Potatoes

  18. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    Happy Birthday Helen! I am excited to see the unveiling of your new site! This ice cream looks wonderful, and the chickpea sweets to accompany it look amazing! I am glad you had a great birthday!

    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queens last blog post..Finest Foodies Friday – April 10, 2008

  19. Bellini Valli

    I love anything with the name tea and cream in it:D

    Bellini Vallis last blog post..Chinese Chicken Salad for the Barefoot Bloggers

  20. Lisa

    What a gorgeous birthday treat! I just love the chickpea sweets to top it all off. Happy belated birthday.

    Lisas last blog post..Beetroot Rasam

  21. OysterCulture

    Wow, this sounds so good – the Earl Grey chick pea combo sounds incredible. Happy belated birthday.

    OysterCultures last blog post..William of Orange, his carrots and a brilliant Dutch marketing ploy

  22. Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Such a posh dessert! Very fitting for you Helen you lovely lady ;)

    Christie @ Fig & Cherrys last blog post..Salmon wasabi leaf canapes w/ sauce

  23. Niamh

    Ooooh! Another fab dish, Helen! Divine…

    Niamhs last blog post..Easter Sunday Lunch

  24. Allen

    Happy belated birthday! I am intrigued by the earl grey ice cream — looks wonderful.

    Allens last blog post..Mexican Lentejas Con Fruta (Lentils w/Fruit)

  25. Jeanne

    I’ve also never had Earl Grey ice cream – sounds intriguing though. Happy birthday, once again, and lookign forward to the blog makeover!

    Jeannes last blog post..Nectarine & ginger tarte tatin

  26. jhill

    this great.. i don’t know how to talk to thanks for your info in this site.. i just ask to u “Thanks”

    jhills last blog post..Barbecue recipes

  27. Tweets that mention Earl Grey Ice Cream with Chickpea Sweets — Food Stories -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sally Butcher. Sally Butcher said: http://helengraves.co.uk/2009/04/earl-grey-ice-cream-with-chickpea-sweets/ Just (v. belatedly) discovered this. Thanks @FoodStories! […]

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