Thursday 24 July 2014

Top 10 Ice-Cream Toppings and some Low-Fat Ice Cream

When I was younger, Pizza Hut was a rare treat- and the Ice Cream Factory rarer still. The soft whip ice cream that came out as you pulled a handle, and the seemingly endless bowls of sprinkles and toppings were the stuff that dreams were made of. Well, almost. Anyway it got me thinking about ice cream and toppings, when I saw that the theme for this month's We Should Cocoa was chocolate ice cream and ice cream toppings.
I would love an ice cream maker but don't have the space - you need to put the base of the gadget in the freezer, and I have a fairly small freezer that is always packed with food. I can't even fit in a small tub of store-bought ice cream (and it was only after my boyfriend moved in that I started buying frozen chips), let alone a massive bowl from an ice cream maker. We are moving to a new house soon - well, I hope it will be soon, as the process is into it's fifth month and we are rapidly losing patience with the other people in the chain. When we move, I think we are going to buy an American-style fridge - it will dominate the kitchen which I'm not thrilled about, but I can't wait to have that much space for food. So who knows, maybe I can put an ice cream maker on my Christmas list this year.
I did make a very good low-fat 'ice cream' (in that it's not technically ice cream) which was very quick to make. I simply took a tub of Quark (virtually fat free curd cheese) and a bottle of Choc Shot. This is a liquid chocolate that you get in the hot chocolate aisle of the supermarket, but you can use it for so many other things as well as making hot chocolate. It's low in calories, dairy-free, low GI and if you are on Slimming World, I believe it's 1 syn for 1 tbsp.

All you do is mix 1-2 tbsp of Choc Shot with the Quark and put in the freezer for a couple of hours. Take out, give it a stir to break up the crystals and return to the freezer. You'll need to allow it to defrost a tiny bit when you want to eat it to get the spoon in the pot - it's a delicious chocolate ice cream alternative.

What are your favourite toppings for ice cream? I have to admit I usually eat my ice cream plain, but I wondered if I was perhaps missing out on something. So here are a few suggestions for ice cream toppings; please add any more in the comments box!
1. Sweets
For the full Pizza Hut ice cream factory experience, you can sprinkle Smarties, mini M&M, jelly tots and all sorts of other sweets over your ice cream. I once managed to find a packet of mini Reece's Pieces cups which would be fantastic on ice cream, and if you can't find them, you could chop up the regular sized cups. Sophisticated? No. Delicious? Yes.
2. Sauce
Chocolate or butterscotch sauce is the most traditional ice cream topping and as a child the one I remember most is Askeys Butterscotch Treat sauce.

3. Wafers
I never particularly liked wafers stuck into my ice cream as a child as they were quite plain, but visually they work really well - they add a bit of height to the dish and the different texture creates interest for the eye (even if they are not so interesting for the taste buds!). 
4. Fruit
I had to include at least one healthy option! Chopped strawberries, mixed berries, pomegranate seeds - anything that takes your fancy. Fruit works really well on frozen yogurt too. 
5. Sprinkles

Dr. Oetker sent me some of their newest products which are intended as cake decorations but I think they would work really well on ice cream too. New flavours available in their sprinkles collection include lemon meringue, eton mess and banoffee. You can match the flavour of your sprinkles to the ice cream or add them to something plain like vanilla.

6. Cookies
Crushed Oreos or mini Oreos are delicious as an ice cream topping and add a different texture to the smooth ice cream.
7. Chocolate chips or chocolate curls
This wouldn't work with most fruit-flavoured ice cream but on vanilla, chocolate or mint (or possibly strawberry - think white chocolate perhaps) a little sprinkling of chocolate is lovely, both decadent and quite classy at the same time. 
8. Whipped cream
I think the first time I came across whipped cream on ice cream when I lived in Germany. I was au pair to a little boy and I took him to the ice cream parlour in the village. It was 1 Deutschmark (now I'm showing my age!) per ice cream scoop so I told him he could have two; when I was charged 3DM they explained that the extra cost was for the scoop of whipped cream he had added on top - as I had said two scoops of ice cream and didn't realise there was an option for extra cream! To be honest the idea of whipped cream on top of ice cream is quite strange to me, and I never thought they really worked together. Has anyone tried this?
9. Coffee
Affogato is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over the top, served as a dessert in Italy - I think I recall seeing it on the Pizza Hut menu as well. I've never tried it as I'm not really a fan of cofffee but it would be a sophisticated way to end a meal. 
10. Coca -Cola

This is not something to put on your ice cream, but something to put your ice cream in. I loved Coke floats as a child, and still do. There's nothing like adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a tall glass of coke, watching the cola fizz up and then enjoying the creamy taste as you drink the concoction through a straw and scoop out the last of the ice cream with a spoon. I gather you can make all kinds of 'floats' but this is the classic. You could try adding a scoop of raspberry ice cream to lemonade or a scoop of cookie dough ice cream to a cream soda. I don't recommend doing what a friend of mine once did however. He told me that when he was younger he was told he could make any kind of float he wanted, so requested - if I remember correctly - a scoop of mint ice cream in a glass of Lilt. Which just sounds plain wrong.

I'm sending this to We Should Cocoa, created by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and hosted this month by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, as the theme this month is chocolate ice cream and ice cream toppings.


  1. I am definitely going to try your quark ice cream the next time I spot some in the shops. I sounds so clever and really quick and knowing how little fat there is in quark cheese I won't feel too bad if I eat more than I should!

  2. The quick quark ice cream sounds delicious. I love my ice cream maker at the moment and would definitely recommend you get one once you do move house as it's so much easier to get smooth ice cream than making it using the freezer.

  3. Quark and chocolate syrup - who would have thought! So clever :) I too use cake decorations as ice cream toppings. I love their crunch. Thank you for sharing with We Should Cocoa :)

  4. Your quirk ice-cream is such a good idea. as for lack of freezer space (and kitchen space in general), I don't have an ice-cream maker either, but there are any number of fabulous no churn ice-creams out there, so I no longer feel like I'm missing out. Home made chocolate sauce has to be one of the best toppings I reckon ;-)

    Thanks for joining in with We Should Cocoa. Looks like the link is missing though.

  5. This is such a good idea! and I have a bottle of choc shot in the cupboard,looking forward to trying it.


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