Construction in Killarney, Part 2

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Today we met with the town engineer in Killarney, and he gave us a bit of good news and bad news. The bad news is that the “set down area” proposed for outside our shop (map here) will now be a loading zone, so we will have lorries parked just outside our front door most of the time.

The good news is that it would seem like we will be able to have a couple of tables outside once the construction is done (before next March, we hope!). So if customers don’t mind the lorries, they will be able to enjoy an ice cream or coffee at a street-side table…

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Walking the Ice Cream Dog

Ivan on Beach There certainly are times that I feel blessed living in Dingle, and this weekend has been one of them.

Ivan in seaThe past few days have been sunny and warm – unusually so for October.

Since things are quieter in the shops this time of year, I took the opportunity to take some time for myself and go for several walks – one of them the length of Ventry strand.

Ivan, our old English sheepdog came along, although he was lagging by the end. He is not a puppy anymore!

He is so connected to the ice cream shop. In our first years, he would lie most days draped across the front door as my brother and myself worked away inside. Customers had to stumble over him to gain access. I’m sure anyone who was in to us in the early days would remember him!

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Playing with Slides

I have been playing with slideshows, which I think could a great addition to a food blog such as mine, especially for recipes or tips and tricks, instead of a video.

The above was created in slide.com. It sure is a pain, though, to figure out how to make it work with WordPress. (It's quite easy with other blogging programs...)

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Plebiscite on Dingle / An Daingean

Dingle Ballot

Here in Dingle/An Daingean/Daingean Ui Chuis, we have received our ballots for the plebiscite regarding the name change.

Two interesting points:

  1. It’s hardly a secret ballot, since you have to sign and put your address as well as having it witnessed. That doesn’t seem to make sense in terms of the rules of referenda which refer to secrecy… 
  2. There has been much made in the press about the Irish vs. the English name, but there is another big factor – there are few Dingle people that I know who consider “An Daingean” to be the correct Irish name – it’s “Daingean Ui Chuis”. So the “yes” camp includes the unlikely pairing of Irish language purists and anglophiles…

I always feel happy for referenda – it’s power to the people and true democracy at work. However, I don’t believe the plebiscite is binding so it will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

The deadline for the ballot is October 19th, and whatever happens, Dingle/An Daingean/Daingean Ui Chuis will be happy for all the publicity …

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Fudge in Black and White

Black and White Fudge With Wiebke our baker out on maternity leave, I decided to vary things up slightly for the Dingle shop. I’ve always been a big fan of fudge, so I decided to try a combination fudge with dark and white chocolate. It came out very well, and here’s a recipe if you want to try it!

You will need a thermometer. The temperatures are very important!

Kieran’s Fudge Recipe

Ingredients:

1000 gmFudge caster sugar

500 ml cream

120 gm 70% chocolate

120 gm white chocolate

80 gm butter

What to Do 

  1. Take half the sugar, half the cream and half the butter and combine with the dark chocolate in a good, thick-bottomed pan (it shouldn’t be too small, or it’s more likely it will burn).
  2. Melt over low heat, stirring until chocolate and sugar are dissolved.
  3. Cease stirring, increase the heat, and bring the temperature to 115C.
  4. Place the pan in a cold water bath to stop the cooking process (you can use your sink, half-filled with water).
  5. Cool until 80C. Beat with wooden spoon until fudge lightens in colour and becomes more solid.
  6. Pour into baking tray and cool until the fudge sets.
  7. Repeat with the other half of the ingredients and the white chocolate.
  8. Cut and serve.

(Note: I put in some of the Valrhona craquantes into the white chocolate fudge just before pouring it into the pan and gave it a quick stir. The chocolate melted, and that’s what gives it the marbled effect…)

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New Packaging Preview

Chocolate Tub 

We’ve just signed off on proofs for our new packaging, and we’re very excited! Many thanks to Kevin at Sexton Design for his great work…

The changes aren’t huge, but they are important. We’ve added nutritional information, which was well over-due, as well as photos of the ingredients of our four best selling flavours. Hopefully we’ll have the new tubs by Christmas…

Meringues

Meringue with Raspberry Sorbet I wrote here about ice cream cakes, and I’ve been playing with a meringue base for them. We have excess egg whites from making our ice cream, so it makes sense. Besides, it would make the ice cream cakes gluten-free.

Meringues are not hard to make, and they are a great treat. Whether on their own or as a nest for another dessert (as in with the raspberry sorbet in the photo above), they are a real crowd-pleaser. I like them with a little hint of lemon.

Murphys Meringues Recipe

Ingredients:

4 large egg whites

300gm (1.5 cup) sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tablespoon lemon juice

What to Do

  1. MeringuePreheat the oven to 140C.
  2. Butter a large baking sheet.
  3. Beat the egg whites (if using an electric mixer, do this at medium speed rather than high speed, which will take a bit longer but give the meringues more strength) until fairly stiff.
  4. Beat in the sugar in a slow stream, and then add the vanilla and lemon, mixing all the time.
  5. Beat until very stiff and shiny.
  6. Using two spoons, place on the baking sheet. It should make 10 large meringues, so divide accordingly.
  7. You can shape them as you wish!
  8. Bake for 45 minutes.
  9. Cool on wire racks.

Note: If you want to make nests, the easiest way is with a piping bag. Start in the centre, work out in a tight spiral, then build up the sides… 

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