Something Pink (Go Ahead Honey its Gluten Free)

It's my birthday today and there will be cake. Even though I have a list as long as my arm of foods that have probably been sending me spinning every time I greedily chomped them, there are still a few left that can be coaxed into some tiny fragrant cakes to make a girl feel like she's still got treats.

This is not a post about cake though. it is my contribution for Go Ahead Honey Its Gluten Free, hosted this month by the lovely Linda at Make life sweeter. Yes, I know its a baking event, organised by me! But you know what I've been through recently and I know you'll give me a little room to move on this one. So I'm submitting some ice cream lollies that I'll bet most children would gobble up without a second thought.

I made these a few days ago when I had that gnawing feeling of lack from having taken out all the comforting stodge. I was at the grocers happily piling my basket with every kind of fruit and vegetable I could see and salivating a little as I pictured the soups and salads, the hot stewed apple and velvety smoothies to come. I popped some thick cream and yellow butter in the basket too, just in case anyone should be alarmed at the health of my shopping.

Whilst doing all this there was a little song chuntering along in the background of my thoughts. It went something like this; 'I want some cake, I want some cake, how am I gonna make it because there's nothing I can bake?'. Even though my basket was full of delicious produce I was excited about eating, I began to feel a little tearful and forlorn. I looked across the road at the artisan bakers shop with happy folk emerging, bread and cakes lovingly wrapped in crisp tissue and felt like crumpling with the weight of my challenges.

I took a moment to rally myself with some deep breaths and a mental slap on the cheek. All I needed was some pink ice cream. Just a little something treaty to look forward to. Something a little girl would love, my little girl with her nose pressed up at the cake shop window, something to soothe her a little. I had all the ingredients I needed already and the ice-cream bowl was nestled in the freezer aching to chill and churn up something creamy and cold.

I hastened home with a lighter heart and the wind behind me, a new song tripping around like an excited three year old, 'pink ice cream, pink ice cream, with vanilla and roses and honey and egg yolks, PINK ICE CREEEEEEM!'

You don't need to churn these ice lollies if you don't have an ice cream maker, they will just be a little denser, but still delicious.

Rose Pink Ice Cream Lollies

The rosewater in this delicate ice cream is hard to detect, but leave it out and the marshmallow roundness of the flavour will change.

360ml Double Cream
4 Large Egg Yolks
2 ½ oz Palm Sugar (or enough raw honey to sweeten - about 4-5 heaped teaspoons)
300g Live Sheep's Yoghurt (or greek style yoghurt)
1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract
6 tsp Rose water
a couple of slices of peeled raw beetroot

Put the egg yolks in a large bowl with the palm sugar or honey and whiz with an electric whisk until they are pale and thick. You can do this by hand, but it will take a little longer.

Heat the cream to just below boiling point (steam will start to rise) and whisk it into the egg yolks in a thin stream. Wash out the pan and return the custard to a low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon when you lift it out. Pour into a bowl and chill until cold.

When its cold grate the beetroot and stir it into the custard and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Strain out the bits through a sieve and admire the pinkness.

Into the chilled custard stir the vanilla, rose water, and yoghurt. Taste to check it is sweet enough – a really tart yoghurt might need more sugar/honey, but it shouldn't be a really sweet ice cream. You might want to add another teaspoon of vanilla too depending on the strength of your vanilla extract.

Pour into an ice cream maker and churn till frozen. Then scoop it into lolly molds or shot glasses that you then poke a wooden lolly stick into and pop in the freezer for a few hours till solid. You can buy lolly sticks in craft shops. If you aren't churning it then just pour into the molds and freeze until a nice thick skin has formed on the top of the ice cream, then poke the stick in and continue to freeze until solid - this way the stick will stay upright.

To unmold them just run hot water around the outside and pull them out. Voila!