Genius Recipe ~ Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine ... or much time or effort or having to mash the stuff as it freezes!

By Suzy Bowler

Food & drink

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3 mins

Genius Recipes

It seems recently that the words “genius recipe” are applied to many different dishes some of which are very good indeed but for me the thing that really makes a recipe “genius” is flexibility. If you understand the principles; the why and how a recipe works, you can add to it, vary it and create brilliant dishes of your very own.

In these pages I give more than 100 great ice creams using one simple “genius” recipe together with another 35 or so recipes and instructions for ancillaries and inclusions such as how to make caramel, a fail-proof meringue recipe and lots of delicious syrups and sauces. I give lots of serving and presentation suggestions and also go into detail as to why and how this method works so well and ways you can confidently vary it to make your own unique ice creams.

Intro, Info and the Genius Recipe

The following may be a chefs’ secret, if so – sorry, everyone!

I do not wish it to be thought that I in any way pooh pooh the ice cream machine; in my time I have found it to be a boon and I do like boons. I once dropped a huge and fabulous strawberry cheesecake, still in its pan, which luckily hit the floor right side up. The filling shot into the air and returned to the base perfectly uncontaminated but in completely the wrong order. Obviously I couldn’t serve it like that so I scraped the whole lot into a handy ice cream machine and shortly afterwards received a delicious and very sale-able strawberry cheesecake ice cream. However …

I have been a chef for ages, over 30 years, the most recent half of them cooking on the lovely little Caribbean island of Tortola. Naturally in all that hot sunshine iced desserts are much in demand and I managed, indeed more than managed to come up with the goods without using an ice cream machine. I haven’t been messing with ice and salt ether!
What I have been doing is adapting, tweaking and varying one embarrassingly simple recipe to make numerous delicious and even impressive (at least to me!) ice creams and ice cream dishes. Basic though the method is, many of these ices have been best sellers in high class restaurants and are in no way a compromise.

Having seen how many homemade ice cream books there are on the market, often involving complicated methods and expensive ice cream machines, I felt it would be a shame not to pass on this undemanding but excellent recipe.

Very, Very Easy Ice Creams

The ice creams in this first chapter are made by simply adding a conserve, preserve, syrup, sauce, honey or other sweet gooey thing to the basic recipe plus, of course, a few variations. The sugary addition will make the ice cream luscious.

Slightly More Complicated

And the complication is … adding flavour to the cream before whipping. There is not much work involved but you do need to think ahead.


If you do nothing but add fresh fruit to the basic recipe you will get a very firm ice cream with crunchy fruit in it – quite refreshing but hardly luscious. As you know for lushness you need something sugary. This being the case I suggest here several ways to more deliciously incorporate fruit into the ice cream.

Nuts, Seeds and a Couple of Herbs

You will see that several of these recipes contain alcohol. This is because nuts are not by nature juicy and alcohol not only enhances their flavour; it also improves the ice cream’s texture.


Although I say in these recipes to melt the chocolate, cocoa and condensed milk together “until smooth” I don’t necessarily mean it! I used to make Chocolate Mousse marbled with Cream and Brandy which was always been quite a good seller. For some reason the chocolate never melts smoothly in that particular recipe. After a while, in the interests of honesty, I started calling it “Chocolate Mousse marbled with Cream and Brandy – with inexplicable but delicious little lumps of chocolate in it”. It then became A Really Good Seller. It is rare to meet a person who isn’t delighted to find a lump of chocolate um … well, anywhere really. So if the mixture doesn’t melt completely smoothly and you have lumps of chocolate in your ice cream – rejoice!

Having said that here is some important information …

Specifically Alcoholic Ice Creams

Alcohol is often a good idea in ice cream, and not only for the obvious reason.

A little of an appropriate beverage (perhaps not brown ale, for instance) can really enhance an ice cream but too much and it will never freeze – you’ll have to drink it. Heart-breaking!
As I have already said elsewhere ideally add 50ml/3 tablespoons of spirit or liqueur per 500ml/2 cups cream. Wine is not strong enough to use neat and must be substantially reduced to a syrup before adding to the recipe and although it does make a reasonable ice cream it does seem a bit rude to the wine. For a better way to make wine syrup see the chapter on Sauces and Syrups.

Cakes, Biscuits, Meringues & Similar

Adding inclusions can be both a great opportunity for creativity and a useful way to use up bits and pieces without being seen to do so.

Savoury, Interesting & Peculiar

Cheese ice cream, black pepper, popping candy, caramelised bacon and other unusual ideas.

Sauces, Syrups, Coulis & Curds

A sauce is an excellent way to dress up an ice cream. Of course, chocolate sauce immediately springs to mind but there are others you know.

Inclusions & Complimentary Stuff

Here are various recipes to help create, augment and serve the ice creams.

Sexy Ideas & Presentations

Ice creams can be served in all sorts of ice cream enhancing and amusing ways, some of which are already mentioned above in previous chapters. The easiest way to make ice cream attractive (as if it needs help!) is to serve in pretty shapes or containers but here are some other ideas that might be of use.



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