I have a slight problem with New Year's, which is that it occurs at the wrong time of year. Honestly, how on Earth are we supposed to adhere to resolutions of lofty exercise ambitions and healthier eating regimens when we're smack-bang in the middle of ice cream season? That's just silly...
To be fair, ice cream season never really ends and so not only is that a relatively moot point, but we're pretty well practiced in making excuses to justify rousing the churn for a little un pur plaisir anyway. Where the real problem lies is that all the conventional iced options having already been explored, and so the search is now on for something a little bit new, and a little bit different. Ergo this week's key ingredients weren't quite what you'd expect:
Having dabbled in the delights of Miss Jeni and her splendid ice creams before I'm still a little unsure of where I stand on her 'no eggs' approach, but there is no denying that the science behind it is sound and, most importantly, her combination suggestions tick all the boxes for appearing different, interesting and undeniably fun.
So with experimentation high on the agenda, first up was beet ice cream with mascarpone, orange zest and poppy seeds, and while the earthiness of the beets was somewhat lost to the refreshingly smooth orange, the poppy seeds added a delightful bite, and the near-iridescent rouge of the Beta vulgaris was overwhelmingly glorious.
Beet, mascarpone, orange, poppy
This rather glamorous treat was then followed the even more unusual celery ice cream and I've got to say, 'hello, ladies!'. This stellar combination was surprisingly good, and while I expected the celery flavour to get somewhat lost with the addition of the candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins, it came through with aplomb, and remained exceptionally refreshing in a different and exciting kind of way.
Celery, ginger, raisin