Tuesday 14 February 2012

Ice ice baby: Ambrosia Ice Cream

All right stop.  Collaborate and listen.  Ice is back with a brand new invention ~ Vanilla Ice

Amazing sun-drenched holiday in Piha last week.  Like.

All of a sudden being in my last week in Auckland before I head back down to the chilly south sans husband.  Dis-like.

My, my, how fast time flies when you're having fun.  

Just to prove how fast we are scurrying over the hill these days, my very dear friend Tuxy came back to NZ for the first time in four years since moving to the UK.  Four. Whole. Years.  But it feels like she'd only popped away for a couple of months and as we yakked away in the sunshine it felt like we were 12 year olds again gossiping about boys, wearing scrunchies, making mixed tapes, teeny-bopping to the Spice Girls and vowing to marry Leo.

Yes, we were children of the nineties.

{ambrosia ice cream: a brand new invention}

Being a child of the 90's also meant we grew up on kiddies birthday parties with delightful party nibbles such as fairy bread, cheerios with T sauce, and of course that creamy dreamy fav: ambrosia.

If you didn't grow up in New Zealand, you might not know what ambrosia is.  The concept is deceptively simple: take yoghurt, mix with whipped cream, add marshmallows, berries or other fruit and crumble in some meringue. Very much like a slightly healthier version of Eton Mess.  It's light and creamy and on a hot summer's day it's what definitely what you want, what you really really want.

And just how did I get from ambrosia to ambrosia ice cream?  Well, now this is a story all about how ambrosia got flipped-turned upside down, and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how ambrosia became Ambrosia Ice Cream.

We went on an epic road trip through the South Island over New Years (photos coming, promise!) and on the long drive from Queenstown to the Milford Sound there's a wee blip of a town called Mossburn.  We stopped for a quick bathroom break at what looked to be the main shop in Mossburn: Bracken Hall.

Bracken Hall was a quaint little cafe slash souvenir shop slash tourist information centre but being the ice-cream fiend that I am, what caught my eye was the ice cream cabinet round the corner.  And in said ice cream cabinet what I saw blew my mind.  Ambrosia Ice Cream.

How had no-one thought of making this delicious dessert into an ice cream before?  Naturally, I had to get one.  As research for the blog of course.

At Bracken Hall, instead of serving it in scoops, they whizzed it up with berries until it became like soft-serve.  Tell you what, it was an ice cream revelation.  More frozen yoghurt than ice cream but definitely creamier and less tart than classic froyo.  It was velvety smooth with bursts of tart boysenberry sauce and unexpected pops of pillowy marshmallows.

Marshmallows in ice cream? A thousand times yes.

For the rest of the trip, I couldn't stop thinking about ambrosia ice cream.  I made C stop off at Bracken Hall on the way back so I could indulge in another one.  And when I came home I spent hours researching how to recreate this ice cream sensation.  With the help of Jem's recipe for ambrosia on her blog, and trusty old David Lebovitz's Vanilla Frozen Yoghurt recipe from his book A Perfect Scoop, I came up with something very similar and just as delicious.

A creamy yoghurty base. Packed with marshmallows. And swirled through with boysenberry jelly ripple to try and replicate my beloved Jelly Tip ice cream (jelly was yummy but is still a work in progress - it's close but no cigar).  A successful brand new invention always makes one feel like the king of the world.

{via here}
I've made this twice now and still can't get over how easy but amazingly good this ice cream is. Regular ambrosia just can't touch this.

My recipe is below but for the real deal, head on down to:

On the Queenstown to Te Anau Highway  
State Highway 94
33 Devon Street 
New Zealand

Ambrosia Ice Cream with Boysenberry Ripple

Makes 1 litre

Frozen Yoghurt Ice Cream base

250ml cream
150g caster sugar
2 cups (500ml) greek style yoghurt
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup mini marshmallows or larger ones cut up (try and choose a brand that don't have too much powered sugar coating the marshmallows)

Boysenberry Jelly Ripple

425g can of boysenberries
3 Tbsp caster sugar
3 tsp gelatin

1. Boysenberry Jelly Ripple: In a microwave-save bowl add the boysenberries and all the juice (break up the berries a little with your spoon) with 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and microwave for 40 seconds on high.  Stir in gelatin and pour into a deep dish big enough to allow the boysenberry mixture to form a thin layer of jelly.  Allow to cool then place in the fridge to set.

2. Frozen Yoghurt Ice Cream base: Whip cream, vanilla and caster sugar until soft peaks form (be careful not to over mix!)  Fold in greek yoghurt and place the mix in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3.  Once the yoghurt ice cream base has chilled out in the fridge for an hour, pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.  If you don't have an ice cream maker, David Lebovitz has great instructions on how to make ice cream without a machine here.  Basically, pour your chilled base into a baking dish, or any freezer proof container and put in the freezer.  After 45 minutes, check on it and when it's starting to freeze at the edges, take it out of the freezer and really give it a good beating to churn it all up.  Use a stick blender, if you have one.  The idea is to break up the ice crystals as small as possible to get a smooth ice cream rather than a block of ice.  Keep checking and beating it every 30 minutes until it's frozen (takes around 2-3 hours).

4. In the last minute of churning, add marshmallows and let the ice cream maker mix the marshmallows through (or mix in by hand).  As you transfer the base into an air-tight freezer-proof storage container, put in a layer of yoghurt ice cream base, then a thin layer of jelly, then ice cream, then jelly and so forth.  This way gives you a much better swirl effect than stirring it through.  (NB: an air-tight container is key, otherwise the ice cream can go icy).  Store in the freezer, and take out 5-10 minutes before serving.  Best on a hot sunny day while reminiscing with old friends.


  1. Hilarious and yummy, I love this post! The way you worked in all the song lyrics of the 90s had me in stitches. And I will definitely be making this ice cream one day soon!

  2. Lovely lovely post! OMG ambrosia ice cream... why has this not entered my life until now? Yours looks AMAZING. Will definitely be making. Love the shout out for Mossburn too!

  3. Ness: the meal costs less than $30 pp and we had 12 ppl!!! A steal at less than the price of a western main dish.

  4. Gorgeous! This looks fantastic and I love the idea of ambrosia ice cream. I definitely have to try it. And boo hoo for being away from your hubby. I certainly know a lot about that.

  5. Oh my goodness this sounds amazing! In fact boysenberry ripple is one of my favourite ice cream flavours (I love the fruity and the creamy contrast). It looks amazing! :D

  6. Good grief, I am fresh out of cream or I would just have to go make that right now!

    What sort of camera are you using?

  7. OMG, beyond yum.
    I am pintersting this now, and will have to make it sometime soon


  8. I love/enjoy girl bonding...its the best. This ice cream is so new for, sure to try looks yum, waiting for sun to come in action :)

  9. Love it. So New Zealand, so summer.

  10. Christina @ Gninword On: Hehe thanks so much! I was hoping someone would get the references and not just think I'm weird...was sooo much fun to write. Had the Prince of Bel Air song in my head for DAYS though...

    Jemma: Naw thanks Jemma! I couldn't believe I had never heard of it before either! Where has it been all my life?! Apparantly in Mossburn! Have looked for it at the supermarket in Dunners but alas no luck. Will just have to stick to making it :)

    Dina: Thanks lovely!

    bebecheung: You are so naughty!!! We were supposed to pay you back for the CNY dinner! Thank you so much my gorgeous, super generous, amazing supermum cuz xox

    Lora: Aw Lora, it makes me feel so much better hearing bout stories about other couples who have gone through the long distance thing. It must be AMAZING living in the same city now no? And you guys were in different time zones too - don't know how you did it! xox

    Lorraine @ NQN: I'm still perfecting the boysenberry jelly ripple part but omg when it's done right it is sooooo good! Thanks for your lovely comment xox

    Lilibeth: Hehe go on you should so make it - I'm totally addicted to the stuff! I have a Canon 450D and use a Canon 50mm f1.8 EF lens. They are my treasures :)

    Jagiri: LOVE pinterest!!! Thanks for pinning lovely!! xox

    Ananda Rajasheka: So jealous you guys are going into summer up on your side of the planet! Enjoy it! I will have to live vicariously through your posts xox

    Christina: Ambrosia is just so kiwi huh? Can't beat good old kiwi tucker no? :)

  11. So excited to stumble across this, got an icecream maker for my birthday & this looks by far the choicest recipe I have found. I'm also a kiwi kid who grew up in the nineties so you made me giggle with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air line. My whole family go & stay at our beach house in Waihi a lot & my Mum & Aunts & Uncles all do dinners & me & my cousins are in charge of desserts, normally I make brownie but think I will have to try & impress everyone with this next time :)

  12. I definitely have to try it. And boo hoo for being away from your hubby. I certainly know a lot about that.

  13. This ice cream is so new for, sure to try looks yum, waiting for sun to come in action



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