Twitter, twitter, tweet

cormorant Although I have been blogging for some years now, I have been a bit slow to embrace some of the other new media, such as Twitter. One of the reasons, I suppose, is that it’s hard enough to cope with the volumes of email coming at me already and to try to keep this site current and interesting (on top of making ice cream, etc.). 

Still, I can’t stand the idea of everyone else out there having fun and me being left out, so I’ve decided to give it a go! We will see where it takes me. For anyone interested, I’m @ kieranmurphy. Follow me, I’ll follow you! (My brother and partner in ice cream is here, by the way.)

As part of my Spring internet housekeeping, I’ve also finally put up a Murphys Ice Cream page up on Facebook, so if you want to contact us via Facebook or become a fan, check us out here.

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Black Sesame Ice Cream

blacksesameic One of the most dramatic flavours I encountered on our Tokyo trip was black sesame ice cream. It has a nutty, roasted flavour and it tastes like no ice cream I’ve tried before. Of course, black sesame is used quite a bit in Asian cooking, but it seems very well suited to ice cream. This is not a flavour for everyone, but there are people who have tasted it in our shops over the last week who have simply raved. If you want to try it, here’s a recipe:

Murphys Black Sesame Ice Cream


  • blacksesame125g sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 230 ml cream
  • 200 ml milk
  • 40 g black sesame seeds

What to do:

  1. Put the sesame seeds in a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until they start popping and you can smell the flavour.
  2. Remove from the heat and cool.
  3. Transfer to a blender and blend it until fairly smooth.
  4. Beat sugar and egg yolks together until pale yellow.
  5. Bring the milk to a simmer.
  6. Beat the milk into the egg and sugar mixture in a slow stream. Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat.  Stir until the custard thickens (around 65C).
  7. Allow the custard to cool.
  8. Whip the cream and fold into the mix.
  9. Stir in the sesame.
  10. blacksesameic2Freeze the ice cream using a domestic ice cream machine.
  11. Otherwise, cover and place in the freezer, stirring every few hours to break up the ice crystals.

6 Servings.


1. If you have trouble finding black sesame, check your local Asian food market.

2. To pasteurise the eggs, heat the custard to 73C and keep at that temperature for three minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, though! If the custard goes any higher than 76C, the eggs will scramble. Immediately cover and place in the freezer until cool.

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Blogging in Weekend Section

 Shane Hegarty, formally of Present Tense, has a piece on blogging in today’s Irish Times Weekend section, where he lists 20 of his favourite Irish sites. Thanks for including me, Shane, and I miss your blog! 

PS. Best of luck to all the finalists at tonight’s blog awards!

Lunch in Kinsale

dsc_2202 I’m just back from Kinsale, where I was one of the speakers at a Soho Solo Ireland event.

dsc_2205I really like Kinsale. For all of the chains that have been creeping in many places, it’s still full of boutiques and interesting bites of food. We ate lunch at Cucina on Market Street, and I can certainly recommend it.

The crab tart special was very yummy and came topped with Caesar salad (photo above).

I do feel for anyone trading in that town, though. The streets are still dug up (how long has it been?), and it must be quite a challenge to keep going.

After our experience in Killarney, I know what that kind of disruption is like. Best of luck to all of them!

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Sour Grape and 20 Other Irish Flavours

I’m sure everybody knows about the Ben & Jerry Yes, Pecan Obama-homage flavour that made the rounds of the internet last year. Lately, there’s been flavour ideas for departed President Bush including some of my favourites:  Nut’n Accomplished, Abu Grape, Cluster Fudge, Iraqi Road, Chock ‘n Awe, WireTapioca, imPeachmint, and Chunky Monkey in Chief. 

That got me thinking about what ice cream flavour would best explain the current Irish predicament. Here are 20 of my ideas. I’d love to hear your own suggestions (or your favourite one of these). Maybe we can do something with them!

20 New Irish Ice Cream Flavours

1. Housing Bubblegum Burst

2. Berry Berry Pear-shaped

3. Lychee Levy

4. Half-baked Financiers

5. Lenihan Lemon Curdle

6. Newry Cream-in’ it

7. sourgrape-smCowan Fudge-in’ it

8. Bread and Watermelon

9. Sour Grape

10. Rum Raisin Write-Off

11. Repossessed Car-amel

12. Lime Your Pockets

13. Golden Melon Handshake

14. Dark, Dark Chocolate

15. Anglo Irish Apple Crumble

16. Purple Plum Patch

17. Scary Cherry Credit Crunch

18. Sticky Taxy Toffee

19. Honey, I’m Home All Day

20. Mint Thin Soup

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Now, That’s A Whiskey!

jpkilbeggan Just in case you’re wondering, the bottle JP is holding is not our strategy for keeping up our spirits during the recession. It’s Kilbeggan whiskey from Cooley, Ireland’s only independent whiskey distillery. We love it in the ice creams (it’s a great, malty, robust drinking whiskey as well), and we’re going to switch over to using it exclusively (we have been using Paddy or Jameson, however not only do we prefer the Kilbeggan, but it’s great to support an independent Irish company).

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Going Soho Solo in Kinsale

Anyone who is in business for themselves in a small office or home office, who would like an excuse to visit beautiful Kinsale, might consider a conference this Friday put on by Soho Solo Ireland.

It’s called “Reinventing Oneself in These Challenging Times,” and the keynote speaker is Lord David Putnam, the producer of Chariots of Fire, the Mission, etc. My own humble self will also be saying a few words.

It’s on at the Kinsale Yacht Club Friday, Feb 20th from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Cost is €45 for non-members and €20 for members.