The older I get, the more I realize that tastes do indeed change with age. Tomatoes were something I couldn't stand when I was a teen; now I will happily consume a punnet of red cherry toms as a snack. Goat cheese, olives, avocado - all things that now are must-haves for me, but which I once couldn't stand to be near.
My palate has also moved away from sweets toward a preference for savory. With a choice between a hunk of cheese and a piece of candy, the cheese would win nine out of ten times.
But I still occasionally get cravings for sweets and when I do, there are usually only two things that can ease the yearning: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and good chocolate. Oh, and Culver's frozen custard. But that's not a sweet, right? It's an essential calcium fix!
Now our good friends the Blyths, like us, have adventurous palates. We've all lived in Japan. We've all traveled extensively. And we all have enjoyed the food wherever we go. So when we get together, we usually do something fun with food - anything from salsa tastings to Thanksgiving-themed pizza to the oddest combinations we can find. Last week, since we were getting together over Easter, the theme was set for a good old-fashioned candy binge. There was a spiral ham and some marvellous cheese, but the highlight of the table was dishes piled high with malted robin's eggs, candy floss, marshmallows, and more.... which is how we learned just how much our tastes had changed. It didn't take very long for us to all feel the effects of so much sugar (although I did reason that alternating with chunks of cheese was an excellent method of cutting the effects).
But we still had my contribution for the evening.
I have mentioned before the wonderful Christmas gift from my mother, My Cuisinart ice cream maker is a dream. Within 20 minutes, I have soft-serve ice cream and it makes just the right amount for a small household. So without further ado, I give you...
Chocolate Creme Egg Ice Cream
3 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbs agave nectar
4 tsp flour
4 oz milk chocolate chips
8 oz mini Creme Eggs, chopped up
1 tsp vanilla extract
Over a low heat, combine 2 cups cream, the cocoa, sugar, agave and salt. Add the chocolate chips and half of the mini eggs. Continue stirring over a low to medium heat, taking care not to let the mixture scorch. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from the heat.
Mix a little of the remaining cream with the flour. Add this, along with the rest of the cream and the vanilla to the melted chocolate mix and stir well.
Put into a freezer bag and leave to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours, resisting the urge to drink it down now!
Once it has cooled, pour into your Cuisinart ice cream maker and run the machine for about 20 minutes. Pour in the rest of the chopped mini eggs and run for one or two more minutes so that they are nicely mixed in.
Now you have nice soft-serve ice cream, but I like to put mine in a Rubbermaid (BPA-free) container and leave in the freezer for another few hours to firm up a bit more.
The resulting ice cream is thick, rich, and oh so chocolatey!
Sadly, hubby and I spent much of Sunday recovering from the after-effects of our candy binge - once the sugar high had worn off, we were little better than extras from The Walking Dead. From now on, I'll enjoy my sweet stuff in moderation... and ice cream.