Actually it doesn't need to be ice cream weather to enjoy a visit to Hadley's Parlour in Lavenham. We went on rather a chilly day but enjoyed tasting a selection of the handmade icecreams that really do offer satisfying, smooth and creamy flavours using locally sourced Fen Farm milk and cream, Elmsett Game Farm eggs, Maldon sea salt and Pump Street chocolate, to name a few. You can get very good coffee and mini cakes as well, if you are greedy like me.
We met Henry at the Urban food Fest where his business partner Rob made delicious ice cream and froyo rolls right in front of us. This fast and furious ice cream involves a process which originated in Thailand; cream or yoghurt with various favourings and additional ingredients (meringue...fruit...) is put on a -30 degree plate and everything is mixed together very fast. After approximately two minutes the initial milk or yogurt freezes and is ready to be scraped off the cold plate into rolls. Quick Bite food magazine have already interviewed Henry and Rob and this is what they said. 'When we were back-packing around Thailand at the tender age of 20, we discovered a new way of making ice cream. ‘Stir fried Ice cream’ is the official terminology for it, and because we hadn’t ever seen it in the UK before, we decided to create Pan-n-Ice and bring it back.' Thanks guys!
Stephany Hardingham, from Alder Tree Ice Cream has created a delicious Christmas Pudding Ice Cream. Made at Alder Carr Farm in Creeting St Mary the artisan-made dessert is a treat for the grown ups, who will enjoy the taste sensation of Christmas pudding without the heaviness of the traditional pudding. The cinnamon infused ice cream also has a good dash of brandy - perfect on top of your mince pies!
Goodbye cupcakes, biscuits are back. The cupcake is on the decline and we think the next baking trend will be biscuits, not cookies, but good old butter based, crisp biscuits. Bring on the bourbons!
Icecream is also on the up and together with the biscuit we guess the ice-cream sandwich could be the new dessert craze.
Tea will be trending, not just the current resurgence of the vintage cuppa but in cocktails and as iced teas. Think rooibos, jasmine, hibiscus and green tea in your cocktails. This is our Fresh Red with Mint. Rooibis espresso, apple juice, mint and squeeze of lemon.
Vermouth has been neglected despite being an essential component of the current trend of cocktail making. It is a great aperitif in its own right and you will see the real vermouth action in Spain where it is poured straight from the barrel to the glass. Look out for this Italian vermouth bianco made by chemist Mauro Vergano. It is made from a base of Cortese and Moscato grapes, steeped in citrus and herbs. Subtle aromas of orange blossom over a base of herbs. Delicious! Justin and Jurga Sharpe have it on the menu at Pea Porridge restaurant in Bury St Edmundsl
If 2013 was the year of Quinoa then 2014 will be the year of Buckwheat. Usually referred to as a cereal grain, buckwheat is a superfood and actually a type of fruit. A relative of the rhubarb plant, buckwheat has a mild nutty flavour and a slightly softer texture than other grains. Well known uses for buckwheat are the flour (great for pancakes), soba noodles and kasha. Kasha are the whole buckwheat kernel; you can find them roasted or unroasted at most health food stores. The buckwheat plant's flowers are also used to make a dark, rich honey. Originally from China, the main producer today is Japan, where people eat soba noodles on New Year's Eve as a symbol of longevity. Buckwheat is high in magnesium, good for healthy muscles. One cup of soba noodles has about half the calories of a cup of regular pasta. Buckwheat also contains the antioxidant rutin, known to help lower cholesterol and strengthen small blood vessels. Buckwheat is also a gluten-free food, which makes it a perfect substitute for those who have trouble digesting wheat. The fascination with Asian food will also continue into 2014 with rice playing a big part in the return of the carbs.
Will goat be the new kid in town? We think so. With the increase in goat dairy produce it only makes sense to eat the goat meat itself. A staple in the Caribbean with curried goat being a Suffolkfoodie favourite, we always have some goat meat in the deep freeze. Kid goat is actually very versatile and has a great subtle flavour. Slow roast shoulder or leg grilled over a charcoal fire served Greek style with lemon and herbs, yum
Home brewing could prove to be popular next year How about a Great British Brew Off? Not beer or wine, but VINEGAR. Yes, you heard it. Vinegar is easy to make and we will be starting a brew soon here at Suffolkfoodie HQ. Many years ago a friend with a wine shop kept a barrel for the bottle ends and left overs and brewed wonderful vinegar. We fancy this hand thrown vinaigrier. Drinking vinegars, or shrubs as they were known in the 17th Century are becoming trendy and light vinegar chasers ( yuk?) and savoury cocktails are going to trend soon. Chicken Tikka Martini anyone?
Clucking good chicken restaurants have been appearing throughout 2013 and they will continue to develop out of London. Chicken is still an economical meat and we have also been predicting eggs as a trend for the past year. Scotch eggs are back on the bars in many guises. How about devilled and curried eggs next? New cuts of meat will appear. In 2013 we saw a move towards the American cuts such as the flat iron steak (shoulder blade, known as Butler's Steak in good old Blighty.) Expect the Pork Porterhouse and Ribeye Chops. Out with the lamb shank and in with the lamb short ribs and lamb brisket. Pictured is The Tramshed chicken.
Finally, the last prediction is Wine Bars... Wine bars that really know about the wine and are happy to share their knowledge. Wine bars that are cosy and unpretenious and don't make you feel that you need to swirl, sniff and spit to enjoy a good glass of wine. Our favourite in London is Sager and Wilde. Looking for one in East Anglia please?
In the Independent at the weekend - ' How realistic is the 'good life' dream? Can the seemingly insatiable public appetite for fancy foodstuffs offer hope to a legion of disillusioned city slickers seeking a way out of the rat race? And how many trendy niche food-stuffs can one economy sustain? Given global financial pressures and the sheer number of artisan products already on market, the luxury-food industry could be in real danger of eating itself...
Too late for my hand-fried crisps with hot sauce idea then?
I have always wanted an ice cream maker but I thought they were far too expensive for me at about £250 plus, but I had a look at Lakeland, the 'home of creative kitchenware' where I saw a Cuisinart one for £69.99 and decided to buy it. You just have to freeze the bowl overnight but that didn't seem too difficult to me. Thirty minutes later you have a litre of the most fab ice cream. They say 'it's noisy' - but I say 'don't stand in the kitchen then...' I have made two lots - mulberry, and rum and raisin, and I am going to have to put it away now because if I don't I'm going to need to buy their Fat Trapper as well.