We've been suffering with a "Heat Wave" here in the UK over the past week. The temperatures have been downright almost unbearable. I am not a person that copes well with heat, especially when you combine it with high humidity. It just saps all of my energy and I don't feel like doing much of anything at all. On top of that we have had a really poor telephone connection these past couple of weeks and really bad internet connection all this week, which meant about two days ago it stopped working pretty much completely, only allowing us to get online for about 2 minutes at a time. Just long enough to tease you. Very frustrating to say the least. Happy to say an engineer was here for most of this morning and we are now back to snuff, telephone and internet. The upshot of this is I was able to finish a commissioned piece of artwork, a new cook-booklet (Just Desserts) and I made no less than three different ice creams to tempt you with! Yes when the temperatures rise, I want ice cream! I never seem to crave it any other time of year . . . but during the dog days of summer, ice cream is my friend. My ice cream maker never gets used near enough. Probably because it's one of those type that you have to freeze the churning bowl first. Half the time I never have room enough in the freezer to use it. This week I made room. This first ice cream is Rocky Road. Not Rocky Road as it is known in North America, but Rocky Road as it is known over here in the UK, a delicious square made from chocolate, marshmallows, biscuit bits, cherries etc. (If you click on that link it will take you to my rocky road recipe) This delicious chocolate ice cream incorporates all of those flavours. I have to say chocolate ice cream is not my favourites, but this went down a real treat! Probably because it has been so flippin' hot! *Rocky Road Ice Cream* Makes 4 to 6 servings Printable Recipe Where do I start, marshmallow, chocolate, coconut, candied cherries and peanuts. What's not to like! 450ml of double cream (2 cups) 450ml of milk (2 cups) 250g of bittersweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (70% cacao, 8 ounces or 1/2 pound) 4 large free range egg yolks 100g sugar (1 cup) 30g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (1/4 cup) 40g roasted peanuts (1/4 cup) 45g candied cherries (1/4 cup a handful of mini marshmallows (about 1/4 cup) 2 TBS shredded coconut Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour in half of the hot cream. Stir until it is melted and combined. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and cocoa together in a medium bowl, until pale and creamy. Gradually pour in the remaining hot cream and the chocolate mixture, whisking to combine well together. Return the custard to the saucepan and simmer over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool, about 30 minutes. Pour the custard mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions as per your machine, until almost frozen. Add the peanuts, cherries, marshmallows and coconut. Churn for a further 3 minutes. Transfer to a freezer container, cover with baking paper and freeze until you are ready to serve. Next I made coconut ice cream. I do love the flavour of coconut. Mounds bars are one of my favourite chocolate bars. If you drizzle chocolate sauce on this delicious coconut ice cream . . . well, it be just like a Mounds Bar! It's a very simple recipe which doesn't involve making a custard. *Coconut Ice Cream* Serves 4 Printable Recipe If you love the flavour of coconut, this delicious ice cream is for you. It uses coconut milk and palm sugar for a real depth coconut taste! Coconut Palm sugar can be purchased via Amazon, or at health food shops. 100g of granulated sugar ( 1/2 cup) 100g of grated Palm sugar (1/2 cup) 180ml of water (3/4 cup) 400ml of coconut milk (1 1/3 cups) 225ml of heavy cream (1 cup) shredded coconut or coconut curls to garnish (toasted) Combine the sugar, palm sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to the boil. Remove and stir in the coconut milk and cream. Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers directions for your particular machine. Transfer to a freezer container, cover with cling film and freeze until you are ready to serve it. I have to say that one of my all time favourite desserts has always been Rice Pudding. So when I found this recipe for a Rice Pudding Ice Cream, years and years ago in our local newspaper I had to clip it out and save it. I can't believe it took me this long to make it! This was my absolute favourite of the three ice creams. Do make the chocolate sauce. It's just wonderful! *Rice Pudding Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce* Serves 4 Printable Recipe One of your favourite pudding flavours in a delicious ice cream. Don't skip the chocolate sauce! It's great! 450ml of milk ( 2 cups) 150g of short grain or pudding rice (3/4 cup) 1 vanilla pod, slit open lengthwise 50g of sultana raisins (a generous 1/4 cup) pinch salt the finely grated zest of one orange the finely grated zest and juice of one lemon 2 TBS honey For the sauce: 250g of bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped (8 ounces) 374ml of milk (1 1/2cups) 2 scant tsp of corn flour (cornstarch) 50g of sugar (1/2 cup) Combine the milk, rice, vanilla pod, and raisins in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat. Stir in the salt. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and discard the vanilla pod. (I rinse these off, dry them really well and stick them in my sugar canister.) Let cool, stirring it from time to time. Stir in the orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice and honey. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers instructions. To prepare the sauce the sauce, combine the chocolate and half of the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to the boil. Dissolve the corn flour in the remaining milk and whisk this into the hot mixture along with the sugar. Stir constantly over low heat until smooth and thickened. Keep warm. Spoon the frozen ice cream into serving dishes and drizzle with hot chocolate sauce to serve. I hate to be a party pooper, but they say the heat wave will come to an end tomorrow, and I for one am welcoming the prospect of being able to sleep without feeling too uncomfortable!