Continuing apace with my recent themes of delicious things you can do with ice cream and things that might help you out at dinner parties, I bring you Sgroppino: an Italian ice cream cocktail. Well, my version of it, anyway. The original is usually made with lemon sorbet and limoncello, but I was sent this White Chocolate and Strawberry Meringue Ice Cream from Northern Bloc to play with and my immediate thought was that it would be great in a dessert cocktail.


These little Sgroppinos are excellent because they are both a simple dessert, and an exciting alcoholic drink. You could also go all out and start off the evening with a round of these, as an indicator of the excellence of things to come.

I actually first learned about a version of this recipe when working with the cookery school. We sometimes served it at the end of hen parties, and it always went down particularly well. This is obviously my own interpretation of the recipe and, of course, you could go further and try it with different berries or spirits.




Ingredients (per person, multiply as needed)

1 scoop of White Chocolate and Strawberry Meringue Ice Cream
2 tbsps Chambord (cassis also works well, as does vodka, or liqueur of your choice)
1 tbsp strawberry coulis (see below)
1 glass Prosecco
fresh strawberries and/or a handful of pomegranate seeds

for the strawberry coulis (or you can buy some)

125g strawberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
icing sugar
a dash of lemon juice


  1. If you are making your strawberry coulis rather than buying it, blitz the strawberries in a food processor or liquidiser with a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste, then add more sugar or lemon juice as needed. Sieve, then set aside until needed.
  2. To make the Sgroppinos, put a generous scoop of the ice cream into your chosen glass, top with your chosen liqueur and your strawberry coulis, then fill the glass with Prosecco. It will fizz up in a very satisfying way. Finish with your choice of fresh fruit.
*Disclaimer: The ice cream used in this review was kindly provided to me free of charge by Northern Bloc, but I genuinely loved it and all opinions are, as ever, my own.

Banoffee Split

Sometimes, I must admit, I get a bit caught up in making elaborate and fancy desserts. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love a cannoli, a chocolate fondant, or a slice of ricotta tart. There is definitely a time and a place for something that takes some effort to get right. But sometimes, all you want is a sweet treat that’s low on effort and preparation time. This Banoffee Split definitely fulfils those requirements.

Until I made this, I don’t think I’d had a banana split since childhood. Which seems a shame: I was definitely missing out for all those years. For this dessert, I’ve done a bit of a play on a banoffee pie, finishing off the bananas with a rum caramel, chocolate chips, chopped toasted pecans, and Northern Bloc Black Treacle Ice Cream.


The lovely folk at Northern Bloc sent me some of their products to play around with, which was exactly as great as it sounds. Let’s face it: not many people are going to complain about being sent a delivery that consists purely of tubs of ice cream. Northern Bloc pride themselves on making delicious natural ice cream that’s completely free from artificial stuff and made only from responsibly sourced ingredients. Their products are all gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, and their sorbets are also suitable for vegans, so they are great for feeding a crowd. I let my friends sample them at a vegetarian/vegan dinner party I was hosting, and everything went down very well.


The Black Treacle Ice Cream was one of my favourites from the selection of flavours I was sent. It sounds obvious to say it, but the taste of the black treacle really came through, adding a slight interesting bitterness to the overall sweet taste – more complex than caramel or honey. It was a really great ice cream to have a play with, and I think it works excellently with the bananas here.



Obviously, if you are making this for children or you would rather not have alcohol, do skip the rum from the caramel.

Ingredients (per person, multiply as needed)

2 tbsp pecan nuts
4 tbsp caramel (buy in a jar or make your own)
2 tbsp rum (I particularly like spiced rum here)
1 banana
2-3 scoops Northern Bloc Black Treacle Ice Cream
2 tbsp chocolate chips


  1. First, pop your pecans in a dry frying pan over a medium heat to toast. This should take around 5 minutes, but do shake the pan regularly and keep an eye on them, as they can burn easily. When they start to smell toasty and delicious, they are ready. Tip them onto a board and chop roughly.
  2. Meanwhile, if your caramel is cold or room temperature (i.e. if you haven’t just made it), heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave or briefly in a pan over a gentle heat so that it thins to a runny consistency. Stir in your rum.
  3. Cut your banana in half lengthways, and place it on the bowl or plate you are serving from. Top with three scoops of the ice cream, then finish by sprinkling with chocolate chips, scattering over the pecan nuts, and drizzling with the rum caramel sauce.
The ice cream used in this review was kindly provided to me free of charge by Northern Bloc, but I genuinely loved it and all opinions are, as ever, my own.