The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 08.01.05


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

"I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream." ~ Heywood Campbell Brown (1888-1939)

If there were ever a time for ice cream it would be right now. These sticky weeks have prompted many trips to the store for frozen treats and the tab is adding up. Premium ice cream costs a fortune, as do those convenient frosty items on a stick.

This week we celebrate homemade frozen desserts that also allow readers opportunity to stick their heads in and out of the freezer for quick respite from the heat and humidity.

The origins of ice cream go way back to the 4th century BC when the Roman Emperor Nero ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined it with fruit toppings.

In the 13th century, Marco Polo learned of the Chinese method of creating ice and milk mixtures and brought it back to Europe.

Over time, people created recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices. It became a fashionable treat in Italy and France, and finally made its way to the United States and Canada.

The following recipe produces a small quantity of good ice cream without the need for an ice cream machine.

Berry Blender Ice Cream

1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 large egg
1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cut frozen strawberries into chunks the size of ice cubes.

Combine cream and eggs in blender or food processor fitted with metal blade and blend for 6 seconds. Drop in frozen Strawberries, a chunk at a time. Blend until smooth, turning on and off and scraping side of container as needed. Stir in lemon juice.

Spoon into serving dishes.

This next recipe couldn't be easier to produce and impress with. It uses a store-bought plain cheesecake as its primary ingredient and really is a treat that raises the frozen dessert bar to new heights.

Macadamia Cheesecake Pie on a Stick

1 (8-inch) cheesecake
1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (other nuts such as pistachio, almonds or peanuts may be substituted)
8 wooden craft sticks (popsicle)

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Cut the cheesecake into 8 equal wedges. Make a 1/4-inch horizontal slit in the center back of the crust of each slice of cheesecake with the tip of a knife. Insert a wooden craft stick through the slit, halfway into each slice. Place the slices on the baking sheet; cover, and freeze overnight.

In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and spoon over the frozen cheesecake slices, coating completely and allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into the saucepan. Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts over the top of each slice then return the slices to the baking sheet; freeze for 1 hour, or until the chocolate and cheesecake are frozen.