Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dessert: Lolly Shop Tasting Plate Part 1: Strawberry Sherbet, Apple Pie Caramels and Musk Lolly Icecream (with recipe!)

Whee! Onto the finale! So is part one of two posts, because there is a lot going on here.
Having dreamt about this (literally) putting it together always was going to be a challenge. Some of it was great, some of it not-so-much.

To recap, this was the dessert from my Old Fashioned Lolly Shop dinner. (That's lolly as in "Sweet" for the British here, or "candy" for any Americans. They are called lollies here - you know bags of sweet things kids like? Not chocolate but the other sugary stuff.

We had: (Heston Blumenthal dishes indicated with an asterisk (*)
Pre dinner drink
  • Mini Brandy Alexander. (Okay largely because they are my favourite cocktail.. but they are kind of spiced-chocolate flavour, so suitably on-theme!)



  • Roast venison with chocolate sauce and beetroot puree
  • Glazed Carrots*
  • Potato Rosti

Lolly Shop Tasting Plate:

  • Strawberry sherbet and liquorice*
  • Apple Pie Caramels*
  • Musk Lolly Ice-cream
  • Vanilla-Malteser Ice-cream balls
  • Rosewater Marshmallows*
  • Hot Chocolate*

Today I’m covering the first three dishes 

Strawberry sherbet and liquorice

This dish was simple to prepare and fun. In fact, the most difficult thing was finding the freeze dried raspberries! In the end I settled for strawberries, though I was tempted by the mango and peach options I found.

This dish has a grand total of four ingredients. Plus liquorice to serve.
Take your ingredients, blend them. (I used the herb chopper attachment on my food processor). It’s a kind of pretty pale pink colour.
I put it in a ziplock bag and left it to serve later. (It keeps fine, so I prepared it the weekend before.)

Apple pie caramels

Given all the various items I was doing I skipped the edible wrapper – not to mention not wanting to shell out for all those petri dishes.  The idea behind these is they should have an apple pie underlying flavour. I was intrigued, and so onto the list they went.
Making these caramels was interesting, and includes some unusual (for caramels anyway) ingredients.
 Like.. yeast.

So anyway, we're making caramel. I've done this before, making salted caramel icecream, hard caramels, caramel sauce, millionaire shortbread, etc. This isn't terribly different.
You take the apple juice, sugar, liquid glucose, butter, cream of tartar and salt in a pan.

 And heat it up.

 Then keep heating away until...

...it hits this magic temp and changes colour. (And just like the other times, this invovles a lot of whisking heavy molten sugar. Treat it like lava !)

Ok, so we've hit the magic 154 degrees, and so we add in the cream, to which we've added the yeast.

 Then you sieve the caramel to ensure you didn't have any lumpy sugar bits.
And then it just sits on the bench until cool. That's pretty much it, apart from the cutting into squares bit.

Musk Lolly Icecream

So onto the final recipe for today - musk lolly icecream. I love musk lollies. If anything, I'm fonder of them now than I was a kid. Eating them makes me feel immediately better, bringing on waves of nostalgia great enough to wash away the most mundane of adult days. I was surprised in discussions with a work colleague that these are not a widely known lolly, mostly being an Australian thing. But then, this dessert is based on my memories of lollies as a kid. I think Heston would approve ;)

So. Remember that dream I had? Musk lolly icecream was front and centre. So it had to be made.  Call this one "Heston inspired".

As a base I used the basic recipe from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Which I thoroughly recommend. (After all, it has that great Salted Caramel Icecream recipe). Jeni's icecreams use a little cream cheese in them to help them serve easier. I'm not sure it's needed in this, but I added it so have included it here.

2 cups of full cream milk
1.25 cups whipping cream (not the stuff with thickeners, just the regular pouring type)
50 g cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 packet of musk lollies (about 200g)

So easy, it's kind of embarrassing how well it turned out.

Heat your milk and cream.

Open your musk sticks. I bought extras, as I wasn't sure how many I would need. I am pretty sure I only used the single pack. I could only get cheap generic brand ones. (Shrug).
Put the musk sticks into the heated to just boiling milk and cream.
Heat them until they are melted.
The odd thing I didn't expect that worked oh-so-well? Musk sticks are basically sugar held together with gelatine and flavouring.

So the end result is pretty thick without help.
Measure out your salt and cream cheese, and mix them together with a fork.
Add some heated pink cream mixture to smooth it out... until you get rid of the lumps.
And stir through your cream mixture.
Chill to cool. It will be the texture of strawberry pudding. Kind of gooey.
Pop it into your icecream maker...
And be blown away by how easy that was.
Finished icecream. Smooth, with a lovely musk-lolly scent and flavour!

Things I learned:

  • Be braver. My friends are kind, and and will gleefully go along for a food adventure ride. Not everything needs to work out for it to be worth doing.
  • Making caramel is a worthwhile skill. Once you get the knack you can make it in a range of versions without fear.
  • I can create my own recipes! Fancy that!

Guest verdicts:

Strawberry sherbet and liquorice
Not everyone is a fan of liquorice, but the sherbet was excellent. I'm tempted to try making it in other flavours for future dinner parties. Peach sherbet anyone? A great element for this dish.

Apple pie caramel
This is a apparently a very nuanced recipe. This is a nice way of saying most people, myself included, couldn't taste the apple and just enjoyed them as caramels. My super-tasting husband could not only taste the apple, but picked (sight unseen) that I used green apple juice. Mostly, I'm not sure they were worth the effort and I kind of wished I'd gone with an earlier plan to make home made cobblers. (Anyone else remember them? Kind of like generic Fantales with harder, chewier caramel?)

Musk Lolly Ice-cream
Guests varied. If you like musk lollies, they were a hit. If not, it was just meh. I thought it was delicious, with excellent soft ice-cream, sweet and just the right amount of flavour. Pretty much exactly like I dreamed they'd taste!

Next post: my quick coverage of Vanilla-Malteser Ice-cream balls, then two more Heston dishes - rosewater Marshmallows and Hot Chocolate!


  1. And the gelatine would prevent ice crystals forming in the icecream, keeping it scoopable! Genius! I've as yet only found one egg-free ice-cream that I've thought worth making a second time (that, judging by alterations I've made to the recipe, relies, surprisingly, on fruit fibre to prevent crystallisation/ preserve scoopability)

  2. Fantastic stuff! I don' think we can get musk lollies here in the UK, or maybe we know them by a different name.

    I'm no a liquorice fan either, but the sherbet looks excellent, will have to give it a try sometime. Our co-conspiritor Andy did the caramels plus edible wrappers for Christmas, he says they were a fantastic success too.

    Brilliant write up and fantastic photos as always.

  3. How could a whole Western country have no musk sticks?! That's unpossible!

    I would love that musk stick icecream. On the whole, you make making icecream seem fairly easy and very desirable. (Damn you! *shakes fist*)

    I can't believe how easy sherbet is to make!

    And I think your photographic explanations are improving as you go along. Even a kitchen idiot like me can understand what you're doing. Mostly...

  4. So the musk ice cream, it has become a staple in our house and amongst our friends who like musk sticks it is frozen love. Nothing beats it in a waffle cone on a hot summer night. But now, a smart cookie amongst our friends took a leap of faith and made the exact same thing using the banana lollies we get her in Australia. So if you like those banana lollies you can get an amazing summer treat by substituting them for the musk in the above recipe!.Have at it!