Cullen’s at Home: Chocolate chip cookie ice-cream sandwich @AshfordCastle

Come rain, hail or shine it’s always a good time for chocolate chip cookie ice-cream sandwich. Even better when it’s all homemade.

Come rain, hail or shine it’s always a good time for chocolate chip cookie ice-cream sandwich. Even better when it’s all homemade.

We use baking soda in this recipe, the baking soda gives makes the cookie chewy and when frozen the perfect crunch. However, if you prefer a doughier cookie, just replace the baking soda with baking powder.

If you enjoyed making this recipe, share your pictures with us, tagging @AshfordCastle.

This recipe makes 14 sandwiches.

For the chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 5g baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g salted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 350g dark chocolate (chunks, chips or buttons)

Method:

  1. Place the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar in a bowl.
  2. And the vanilla into the mixing bowl, and using the spade attachment, beat until creamy.
  3. Add the eggs and mix for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Add the sieved flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the chocolate and mix for a further 1 – 2 minutes until all is combined (Do not over mix the mixture as it will result in heavy cookies!).
  6. Weigh each cookie into 25g balls.
  7. Place the cookies on a tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure they are at least 8cm apart on the tray.
  8. Bake at 180°c for 14 minutes in the oven.
  9. Once they are cooked remove from the oven, leave to rest for 2 minutes. Then use a 7cm diameter cutter to cut the cookie into a perfect circle.

For the vanilla ice-cream

Ingredients:

  • 500g cream
  • 500g milk
  • 240g egg yolk
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods

Method:

  1. Heat the cream, milk and vanilla pods (split lengthways) in a saucepan.
  2. Combine the egg yolks and caster sugar.
  3. Pour the boiled milk/cream over the egg mixture and combine well.
  4. Pour back into a clean saucepan and cook out the mixture until it reaches 85°c.
  5. Place into an ice-cream machine and churn.
  6. Place the ice-cream into a 7cm diameter silicone mould or alternatively spread on a tray 2cm in height and cut with a 7cm cutter when frozen solid.

Assembly:

  1. Take two cookies and place the ice cream in between each cookie. Freeze for 2 hours.
  2. Once frozen dip half of the cookie in tempered milk chocolate.
  3. Store in the freezer until ready to enjoy. For the ultimate indulgence, enjoy with a glass of Irish cream liquor.

A sneaky shortcut

If you’d rather skip the baking and keep your kitchen clean, you can order premade chocolate chip cookie ice-cream sandwiches from Cullen’s on the Ashford Castle Estate as part of the Cullen’s at Home click and collect service.

Warm milk..

10 drinks for sleep tw 13816

Can’t sleep? Try one of these 10 drinks known to help you drift off into |

Fortunately, what you drink before bedtime could help you enjoy a more restful night. Your mother likely knew what she was doing when she sent you to bed with a mug of warm milk, a range of other delicious beverages could help you if you struggle to find peace at night. Here are just 10 of the drinks you can make at home to help improve your sleep.

Warm Milk

People have used this age-old remedy to help them drift into dreamland for decades, and it’s still a popular choice today, despite the fact that a New York Times article suggests there isn’t enough evidence to prove the ritual has any effect.

The reason why many mothers and scientific experts alike swear by warm milk is because milk contains significant amounts of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is also present in meals full of carbohydrates, which is one reason why many people feel sleepy after eating a big meal. Once tryptophan is consumed, it’s converted to the natural hormone melatonin in the body, which helps to regulate our natural sleep state.

Almond Milk

Taking a step away from the classic bedtime solution, almond milk could be a fantastic sleep-inducing alternative. According to studies, the presence of serotonin in the brain can help to initiate sleep. Healthy serotonin levels in our central nervous system often depend on the presence of tryptophan, which is naturally found in both cow’s milk and almond milk.

Almond milk is also particularly high in magnesium, which is another important nutrient that can improve sleep quality.

Malted Milk

Whether it’s the classic British option Horlicks, or products like Ovaltine and similar store-brand offerings, this nighttime beverage is a great sleep aid for those in favor of warm, milky drinks. Malted milk contains plenty of vitamin B, zinc, iron, phosphorous, and magnesium — a blend of minerals that’s perfect for helping you relax before bedtime.

Valerian Tea

Valerian root has been used for centuries as something of a sedative in the medical world. It’s also been used to help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote calmness in people as a natural remedy to stress.

The valerian herb is now frequently used to help treat sleep disorders, particularly for people who suffer from insomnia. Usually, it’s combined with lemon balm, hops, and other herbs known to cause drowsiness. Unfortunately, the only problem with this sleep solution is that you need to be willing to take regular naptime breaks, as valerian can become quite addictive.

Decaffeinated Green Tea

Green tea is generating a lot of interest in the modern world today thanks to its ability to promote weight loss. However, if you remove the caffeine boost from green tea, it has sleep-inducing benefits, too.

Green tea contains the amino acid known as theanine, which has been proven to help reduce stress and promote more restful sleeping patterns. While the high caffeine levels of regular green tea cancel out those benefits when you’re starting your morning, decaffeinated options can be perfect for bedtime.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea, like warm milk, is another more traditional option in the world of natural sleeping solutions. Experts have recommended the use of chamomile for years as an aid for those who suffer from insomnia. Often, this tea is very calming and soothing — as well as being caffeine-free.

Sometimes, people will pair their chamomile tea with other natural remedies, such as magnesium supplements, to help enhance the effects.

Herbal Tea with Lemon Balm

The last of our tea-based suggestions is just about any caffeine-free herbal tea. When mixed with lemon balm, herbal teas can make a perfect sleep aid for anyone seeking a natural way to drift off. Lemon balm, which is also known as balm mint in some areas, is a fantastic option for busting stress, fighting off insomnia, and promoting healthy sleep.

To make the best herbal tea, start by washing about 10 lemon balm leaves and adding them to your teapot with boiling water. Let the lot steep for about five minutes before adding a spoonful of honey and drinking it while it’s hot.

Pure Coconut Water

Coconut water might be a surprising addition to this list, as it’s often used as an energy-boosting beverage — or at least advertised as such. However, the truth is that coconut water is brimming with ingredients that can help you sleep better, such as magnesium and potassium, which help to relax muscles. This drink is also full of vitamin B, which is known for helping to reduce stress levels.

Banana Smoothies

Another fruit-based sleep-assisting option is a banana smoothie, which can be made quite easily before bedtime and is fantastic for promoting healthy sleep patterns. All you need is to blend a small banana with some almond butter and milk for a delicious smoothie. Not only will this healthy beverage help you fight off midnight snack cravings, but it also contains plenty of magnesium and potassium to promote muscle relaxation.

Tart Cherry Juice

Finally, a small study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2010 found that drinking about 16 ounces of tart cherry juice during the day could result in a significant decrease in insomnia. The study was later duplicated and produced similar results.

Part of the reasoning behind this effect is that cherries are full of melatonin — an antioxidant that’s been known to regulate sleep cycles.

Sweet Dreams

While none of the drinks listed above are guaranteed to knock you out in seconds, they do possess some great natural qualities that can help you wind down and switch off after a long day. Combined with other sleeping advice, these drinks might be just the remedy you need to fight off insomnia.

Neven Maguire’s mum Vera’s Seafood Chowder

By Neven Maguire

Celebrity Chef

This is a very filling soup that is actually a recipe of my mum’s that we have been making on and off in the restaurant for years. Use the very best quality fish and shellfish for the best flavour

Ingredients

  • 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tblsp butter, softened
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1/2 small leek, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) fish stock (page 254)
  • 100 g (4oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into cubes
  • 100 g (4oz) smoked coley fillet, cut into cubes
  • 100 g (4oz) cooked mussel meat
  • 100 g (4oz) cooked peeled prawns
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tblsp parsley oil (page 250), to garnish
  • fresh micro salad, to garnish
  • makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
  • 250 g (9oz) white fish trimmings and/or bones (such as lemon sole, brill or plaice bones)
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 175 ml (6fl oz) dry white wine
  • 100 g (4oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) rapeseed oil
  • sea salt

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, tip in the potatoes, onion, carrot and leek and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
  • Gradually pour the wine into the pan and allow it to bubble down, stirring continuously. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon and coley and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mussel meat, prawns and cream and simmer for another 2–3 minutes, until warmed through. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each one with the parsley oil and micro salad.

Method

  • Rinse the fish bones and trimmings of any blood, which would make the stock look cloudy and taste bitter. Place into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot with the leeks, carrots, fennel and parsley.
  • Pour in the white wine, then add 2.4 litres (4 pints) cold water to cover the fish and vegetables. Place on a high heat and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, skimming as necessary.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the fish trimmings and the vegetables. Cool and store in a plastic covered jug in the fridge and use as required.

Method

  • Pick the leaves from the parsley and place in a mini blender, discarding the stalks. Add the rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and blend for 5 minutes, until completely smooth.
  • Pass the parsley mixture through a fine sieve into a jug and then transfer to a squeezy bottle. Use as required.

Notes

Neven’s tips: This soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Just be careful when reheating not to allow it to come to the boil or the fish will lose its texture. Splash out on a rosé Champagne, rosé Cava or a ripe Chardonnay from Macon in Burgundy.

This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.

Odlums Granny’s Apple Cake

What you need:

  • 225g/8oz Odlums Self Raising Flour
  • 175g/6oz Butter or Margarine
  • 175g/6oz Shamrock Golden Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 level teaspoon Goodall’s Cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 Apples (peeled & cored)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Grease and base line a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
  2. Beat butter/margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Stir in the sieved flour and cinnamon, if used.
  4. Roughly chop 2½ apples and stir into the mixture, then transfer to the prepared loaf tin.
  5. Slice the remaining half apple into thin circles and arrange on top of mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes approx. Allow to stand in tin for about 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire tray to cool.
  7. To finish, dust with sieved icing sugar. Enjoy!

Granny’s Apple Cake