Thanks, thanks, thanks!

Murphys Ice Cream Tubs I wrote here about Superquinn dropping us and asked for our customers to contact their local shop if they wanted us back and let their feelings be known. We also put a little bit about it on our website. Well, the good news is that we have been asked back into five of their stores, and hopefully will be on the shelves by the middle of November.

We are delighted not only to regain the lost business, but also because we have always felt it is one of the best fits for our brand outside of the small gournet shops.

I believe a huge part of this was due to the many customers who contacted them. We are so grateful to all of you who did…

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Let Them Eat (Ice Cream) Cake

Ice Cream Cake We’ve been making ice cream cakes on and off for the past few years, mostly for birthdays. They are something that we have never marketed, but rather something spread by word of mouth.

This year, however, we’ve been taking them a little more seriously, and have tried to have them in stock most of the time in the Killarney shop for people to eat by the slice. For the past month we’ve had them in the Dingle shop as well. People absolutely adore them.

Eating Ice Cream CakeThey are deceptively simple and extremely tasty. I wanted to photograph the slice on the right, and I ended up eating a good part of it before I took a decent photograph. Then I ate the rest…

We’re still trying to work out the best flavour combinations and the best decorations.

However, we are going to try to get some into a few shops around the country by Christmas, so stay tuned if it’s your kind of thing…

P.S. We can make them gluten-free!

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New Member of the Family

New baby with Conor Congratulations to my brother and to my sister-in-law, who gave birth this afternoon to a healthy baby girl! We are delighted to have a new member of the family, and my nephew Conor was most thrilled of all…

New Baby and Sean 

 New baby with Wiebke, Conor

For anyone who wants more, here’s a couple of links to video on Youtube:

Conor and baby


Playing with Nougat

Nougat on knife Since we only use the egg yolks for the ice cream, we’ve been looking at ways of using left-over egg whites. Cian, one of our Dingle shop team suggested nougat, so I’ve been working on a recipe and techniques to see if we could come up with something tasty.

Nougat wideCalled “torrone” in Italy and “turron” in Spain, this dessert is most likely of Arab origin although some people claim it came from Crete. However, given the almonds and honey in it, I would say that it has Arabian roots.

In any case, I’ve been playing with different recipes over the last couple of days, and I have some edible rice paper ordered, which should make it look more professional. I’ll post the recipe as soon as I have it figured out, but in the mean time, these trial runs are going into some really tasty ice cream for the shops!

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No End to the Excitement

Conor Cast On top of everything converging on this busy time in the world of ice cream, Conor, my brother’s son, suffered a compound fracture of the arm, just above the elbow. He jumped over a rose bush, landed on a soccer ball, and met the waiting concrete below. The poor fellow spent the night in traction, had an operation in the morning, but is now recovering well. We’ve been feeding him ice cream. It’s great medicine!

Too Much Chocolate?

Death by chocolate Being an incorrigable chocoholic, it’s hard for me to ever admit that there is such a thing as too much chocolate (especially since one of my favourite things that we serve in the shop is the Warning! Dangerous Chocolate – shown above). It’s chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings and a bit of cream drowned in chocolate.

However, last night I ate at a very respected restaurant in South Kerry, and while the meal was fabulous, the dessert definitely left me wanting. It was a bitter chocolate tart with hazelnut ice cream.

Now I’m a big fan of bitter chocolate tarts (see here), but I think there is a general misconception about chocolate – that darker is always better. In other words, an 85% cocoa-content chocolate will be better than a 50%. However, it doesn’t really work that way.

Sachertorte w vanilla ice cream

Most dark tasting chocolate is around 70%, and that’s because once you go beyond that, the flavour of the chocolate recedes, and you are left with just the bitterness.

I would always serve very dark chocolate cake with cream or vanilla ice cream or raspberry sorbet, etc., just to balance the bitterness and to bring out the flavour. Either something creamy or something fresh on the palate.

In the case of the dessert in question, the hazelnut ice cream was far too dense (it actually fell apart on the plate) and not creamy at all. I was just left with the bitterness of the chocolate with the addition of a nutty flavour but without any balance.

The tart itself was good, but it was the first dessert in a long time I did not finish. I guess it was a case of too much chocolate…

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A Few New Flavours

Four Flavours We’re always tinkering with new flavours here, and above are four that the production team recently sent into the shops. (I apologise about the quality of the photo – it’s such a let-down to return to my old camera after the incident with the Leica).

During this busy time, I’ve been in the Dingle shop almost constantly rather than tinkering with the ice cream, which is really what I like to do best. However, JP, Neil and Christophe have been more than able to come up with some interesting flavours.

1. The first on the left is a carrot, celery, and orange sorbet. The celery gives it a nice fresh taste.

2. The second is slow-cooked raspberry ice cream using the fruit from Sweetbank farm. We’ve done this flavour before, but it’s been refined.

3. The third is really sublime if you like nuts – milk chocolate with almond, caramelised hazelnuts and Irish whiskey (Neil’s creation).

4. The last is the Valrhona chocolate craquantes in a vanilla base.


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RIP Leica Camera

Bulls Head In the midst of all the summer madness, we’ve had a sad development at Ice cream Ireland. My brother-in-law, visiting from Germany, accidentally threw my Leica digital camera into the sea. I am very sad, and my food photos will definitely suffer. It seems the model is sold out and it will be October until the next generation comes out. I’m back to the old Minolta until I can figure out a replacement…

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