Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries & Cream (no churn) Ice Cream, with Rhubarb-Strawberry Sauce and Hazelnut Biscuits (gluten free)

We all love a good home made ice cream right? Well this one has the added bonus of being no churn, which makes it incredibly quick and easy to make. But don't down-grade your expectations. Its simplicity is no reflection of inferior quality..... this is one of the creamiest and smoothest ice creams I have ever made! And it is stuffed full of the most British of summer flavours...... Strawberries!

Not just any old strawberries..... these ones are prepared when fresh, plump, bright and juicy by roasting in a hot oven, sprinkled with a little sugar (or honey) and drizzled with deep, dark Balsamic vinegar. The roasting process reduces the juice into a sweet, sticky syrup and intensifies the flavour of the strawberry way beyond the familiar. The Balsamic works its magic to enhance that intensity and depth even further.

Each pretty pink mouthful is rich, velvety and very very fruity...... with little pockets of strawberry fruit nestled within for extra texture and authenticity...... The scent of summer filling your nose and tantalising your tastebuds with every spoonful.

Strawberries used to have a really short season. I remember as a child eagerly awaiting the arrival of the beautiful red heart-shaped gems...... Trundling off to the Pick Your Own fields and stuffing as many 'freebies' into my mouth as I could enjoy before reaching the weighing scales. June seemed to be the height of their availability, but then as quick as they had arrived, they were gone again.

I sometimes think we are spoiled by the increased all-year availability of seasonal fruits..... It takes away the anticipation and excitement of the annual fruit-binge and maybe makes them a little less special. Don't get me wrong, I indulge as much as the next person, whether summer or winter, but for flavour and scent and for accessing those childhood memories, I am certain that strawberries remain at their best between May and July.

Sainsbury's are launching us into summer with their Get Summer Started campaign, and asked for recipes that would get the party going. Well summer wouldn't be summer would it, without either ice cream or British strawberries? Combine the two and you have a definitive summer pud.

Although this ice cream needs nothing to dress it up, I cannot resist an opportunity to knock-together a home-made sauce and batch of gluten free biscuits.

Marry strawberry with rhubarb and you have a sauce made with one of this year's most trendy pairings. And rightly so..... The sweetness of the red fruit mingles with the tartness of the pink and the resulting juicy tangy fruitiness contrasts against the creaminess of the ice cream, both in hue and in sweetness.

Add a splosh of (optional) special edition Strawberry Pimm's and you have a truly grown up jug of boozy deliciousness to drizzle (or pour.... or..... no no no.... what am I thinking? It would be rude to drink the sauce!)......

The hazelnut biscuits are one of my favourite bakes and add a perfectly nutty, slightly salty crunch against the soft liquifying coldness of the ice cream. They have the ability to divinely melt in the mouth too, dissolving to leave crunchy little nibbles of hazelnut that play on the tongue.

Easy to make, these biscuits are not only gluten free, but will stay fresh for a week or two in an airtight container (I challenge you to make them last that long). Although made with a handful of flours which may seem unfamiliar, if you have or can find them, they are worth combining in ratio for the perfect bake. If you can't source them, substitute as noted in the recipe below for a plain gluten free flour blend such as Doves, but make sure you absolutely keep the oat flour and hazelnuts in the recipe as stated.

You don't need to go hunting for gluten free oat flour or bother buying finely ground hazelnuts...... Just grab bags of whole hazelnuts and gluten free oats and pulse them in a blender to make your own. Quick, straight forward and much less expensive. You can see how to make oat flour in this post here.

So that's three separate amazing recipes.... all of which have the capacity to wow your tastebuds. Put them all together and you have a beautiful dessert which epitomises and celebrates the British summer through and through....... Beautiful British ingredients....... Beautiful British summer..... Right down to the Pimms!

So what are you waiting for? #GetSummerStarted!

To spread the summer love even further, I am sharing this post with the following challenges :

Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes

Tasty Tuesdays with Le Coin De Mel (on behalf of Honest Mum)

Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too

Simple & In Season with Ren Behan

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream (no churn) (makes approx 1 litre)


600g strawberries (washed, hulled and cut in half)
1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tin (397g) condensed milk
500 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Place the tin of condensed milk in the fridge to chill.
  2. Place the cut strawberries in a roasting dish and sprinkle with the sugar. Leave to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
  4. Stir the strawberries and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar before roasting in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir intermittently. The strawberries are done when the juice has begun to turn to a nice thickening syrup.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cool, stir in the maple syrup and crush the fruit roughly with the back of a fork. You should now have approximately 200 ml sticky strawberry pulp.
  6. Mix the cold strawberry pulp with the condensed milk in a large bowl and keep cold in the fridge.
  7. In a separate chilled bowl, whip the double cream and vanilla bean paste until it holds its shape in soft peaks.
  8. Stir a spoonful of the cream into the strawberry-condensed milk mixture to loosen it slightly, then gently fold in the remaining cream, trying to work quickly and maintain as much air as possible.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a suitable freezer container and freeze for several hours until firm.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Sauce


2 sticks of rhubarb (washed. trimmed and cut into 2 cm lengths)
200g strawberries (washed hulled and cut in half)
60g caster sugar (or honey if you prefer)
100 ml water
2 to 3 tablespoons Strawberry Pimms (or another favourite tipple) (optional)


  1. Place the fruit, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring.
  2. Allow to simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the fruit is very soft and the liquid has reduced into a thick sauce.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool. 
  4. Blend the liquid using a stick blender (or free-standing equivalent) until you have a smooth puree.
  5. Add the Pimms if you are using and transfer into a jug/jar. Place in the fridge to keep fresh.

Hazelnut Biscuits (gluten free)


35g brown rice flour/rice flour
35g sorghum flour
40g potato starch flour
25g tapioca flour
25g gluten free oat flour
50g finely ground hazelnuts
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
110g unsalted butter - room temperature
50g icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Note : If you are unable to source sorghum, potato starch, tapioca and rice flours separately, substitute with same quantity (135g) plain gluten free flour blend. Do not substitute either the oat flour or the hazelnuts.


  1. Weigh and mix the flours in a bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
  2. Add and stir in the hazelnuts and salt.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla paste in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or firm spatula until the mixture comes together as a fully-blended dough.
  5. Shape the dough into a sausage - round or triangular (about 4 cm in diameter), wrap in baking paper or clingfilm and refrigerate for about an hour to allow to firm-up.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. 
  7. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper.
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into slices about ½ to 1 cm thick.
  9. Place the discs on the baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are beginning to darken.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking trays, before placing on wire racks to go completely cold.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated


  1. What a post! It is stunning visually, your descriptions scream "I love food" and the ice cream, sauce and biscuits themselves are so tempting! Can I come for lunch?

    1. Thank you Mel. That's really kind of you to say..... It's always lovely to receive positive feedback.
      Lunch is good by me!!

  2. Oh my word you are such a clever lady. I love your photos too!!!

  3. Absolute perfection! And using my favourite fruit too :)

    1. Thanks Laura. Good strawberries are pretty divine I agree!

  4. I am a bit meh about ice cream but these flavours with a sauce and bikkies sound just a perfect summer dessert - love your outdoor photos. And I love the no churn ice cream - it is the only one that has worked for me. I notice there is no raising agent in the biscuits - it seems unusual so I was wondering if you tried with bicarb and decided against it or did you just prefer them not to rise.

    1. Thank you Johanna. It's so goo to be able to finally get outside over here and use the natural light for photography! The winter seemed very long this year.....
      As for there being no raising agent in the biscuits, i have some recollection that when I developed the recipe a couple of years ago, I loosely had in my head some glutenous biscuits that I used to make as a child which didn't use any and were more 'shortbread' like. Hence I never bothered trying to add any and they didn't seem to need it!

  5. What a marvellous ode to strawberries! Such a lovely post and that ice cream sounds and looks stunning. On my list for sure!

    1. Thanks Dom. It's on my list of 'eat again' for sure too! I think it was the fastest disappearing ice cream I have ever made!!!! Good job really...... because the freezer's just conking out and we need to empty it as quickly as possible to get it fixed. Expect plenty of 'no waste' recipes to start appearing!

  6. Looks gorgeous and finally we have some appropriate weather to enjoy it!

  7. Not only this looks wonderful, it must be sooo good!! Wonderful with balsamic x

    1. Thank you Alida. It is one of the nicest ice creams I have made.

  8. Yum, yum and more yum! Absolutely wonderful. Love the biscuit addition. Thanks for linking with #CookBlogShare

    1. Thanks Lucy. I could quite happily eat a tin full of the biscuits, but the ice ream is divine too!

  9. Your pictures are mouthwatering as ever Kate. I made this ice-cream a couple of years ago and remember it tasting quite intensely of strawberries and possibly one of the best ice-creams I've made.

    1. Thank you Choclette. I have to agree it is one of the best I have made too..... The flavours were incredible and is disappeared faster than any other I have made too, which says everything!

  10. Such a lovely post, thank you for sending your recipes across to Simple and in Season - pinned and the round up is now live.


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