Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Zaaffran, Darling Harbour

Last weekend some friends and I headed to Zaaffran in Darling Harbour Sydney for a wonderful Indian feast. I even skipped lunch to make room in my stomach for the occasion.. and skipping meals is not something I do very often because I tend to turn into a bit of a monster on an empty stomach!

Zaaffran is one of the first Indian restaurants I visited in Sydney and it is a beautifully located place to dine - the view over the twinkling harbour is undeniably pretty by night.

Let's get straight to the food though. We enjoyed the Vegetarian Banquet available for 4 or more persons at $41.90 per head. This included 2 starters, 5 mains and dessert of the chef's choice. Of course, you also get rice and basic naans.

Our starters for the evening included chaat - a plate of savoury snacks, typically served at cute roadside stalls in India.

Palak patta chana aur aloo ka chaat
Chaat of crispy english spinach leaf, potatoes and chickpeas with roasted cumin, chaat masala, mango powder, yoghurt, date-tamarind and mint toppings. What better way to enjoy spinach I say!

Aloo Makkai Tikki Chaat
Crisp potato and corn mini patties laced with yoghurt, date-tamarind and mint toppings.

Despite the menu description, out plates of chaat arrived with a wonderful beetroot dipping sauce - I just loved the Barbie like colour and it tasted as good as it looked!

And onto the main event for the evening - a fantastic spread of dishes...

Daal Tadkewali - yellow lentils cooked with green chilli, turmeric and curry leaf.
Subz Miloni - a selection of seasonal vegetables, chickpeas and potatoes in a fenugreek-flavoured, garlicky spinach sauce.
Torkari Kalwa - seasonal vegetables in a lemony coconut, onion, tomato and pumpkin sauce with 'qasoori methi'.
Baingan Ki Launj - eggplant in a sweet and tangy tomato, tamarind and jaggery sauce with fennel and nigella seeds.
Paneer Makhan Masala - indian cheese simmered in an onion-tomato masala with ginger, chilli and coriander.

And no feast would be complete without the naan.. oh glorious naan! The second naan pictured was an extra order requested by none other than me.. probably being a bit greedy, but the flavour combination was out of this world - mushroom with truffle oil. Yum!!!

No feast is complete without a little sweet to end the meal. We were served the chef's choice of 2 scoops of mango and rose ice cream. The dessert was ok, but a bit like an afterthought after the great savoury food we had enjoyed. I always think it's such as shame when restaurants are let down by their desserts... They are, after all, the last impression of the meal.

Unfortunately, there service was a little on the slow side despite the restaurant not being very busy for a Saturday night. Nonetheless, we left (rather, 'waddled') feeling very well fed indeed. It was lovely to walk alongside the harbour for a little to work a little before heading home to the satisfying slumber that ensues after a good feast! :P hehe

Level 2, 345 Harbourside Shopping Centre
Darling Harbour, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9211 8900

Zaaffran on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Sometimes life gets in the way of cooking and blogging... By day I work full-time in education. By night and by weekends I squeeze in as much cooking and blogging as I can, but it can be difficult. When I can't blog as much as I'd like to, I get withdrawal symptoms.. I get the itch, the urge.. the need to create. Does anyone else experience this, or do I need professional help?!

This week I had planned to participate in my first Daring Bakers Challenge. For August, the challenge was Baked Alaska / Ice Cream Petit Fours... either way, there was going to be delicious butter pound cake and ice cream made from scratch. I got as far as making the ice cream, but after that the week got a bit stressful.

But nevermind, I'm so glad I made this delicious vanilla ice cream! I've tried many vanilla ice cream recipes in the past, but this one takes the cake (or cone, as it were). It's soft, creamy and perfectly balanced. Definitely a good classic ice cream to have on standby in the freezer.

There are no surprises that this gem of a recipe come from David Lebovitz.. here it is for you to try out for yourself! I hope you love it as much as I do :)

Vanilla Ice Cream
The Perfect Scoop (David Lebovitz)

1 cup full cream milk
pinch salt
3/4 c caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
2 cups heavy (approx 35% fat) cream
few drops natural vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk, salt and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a pairing knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.

2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scarping the bottom with a heat resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, them remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

I served the ice cream in these lovely mini waffle cones from The Essential Ingredient in Rozelle, Sydney. To give you an idea of the size of these itty-bitty cones, I've photographed them sitting in shot glasses. To scoop ice cream for mini cones, I use a melon baller heated in a cup of hot water.

*** Giveaways Reminder ***
Before I sign off for today, I wanted to remind you about the 2 giveaways I have running at the moment... Have you entered?!!!

The Bakers Delight Giveaway closes on September 8. You could win one of nine $5 Bakers Delight vouchers! For more details, click here.

My 100th post and 1st blog-birthday giveaway closes on September 15. You could win a great cupcake cookbook! Anyone can enter, so for more details, click here.

Ladybird x

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Ga Ga over Agar Agar

As some of you may have gathered from reading my blog, I am vegetarian. A lacto-ovo vegetarian to be precise (this means I eat eggs and dairy products too). Why? I just choose not to, that's all... As a vegetarian I avoid gelatine because it's animal based. It is derived from the collagen inside animals' skin, bones and cartilage. I don't mean to gross anyone out, but I think it's important to know our food, right(?)

Unfortunately, this means there are a lot of foods that are out of reach for me... jelly lollies (like frogs and snakes) panna cotta, some cheesecakes, and pretty much anything with jelly. I know I could live without these sort of treats (my jeans would probably thank me for it)... but I do like a challenge, and it got me thinking about how to create these sorts of foods without gelatine.

Then, very recently, I heard about Agar Agar - a non-animal alternative to gelatine.. Could it be true?! So I started doing some online research, and here's what I found out...

What is it?
Agar agar is a seaweed based vegetarian/vegan substitute to gelatine. It comes from red seaweed, and is rich in iodine and trace minerals.

What does it look like?
Agar agar is available in the forms of bars, strings and powder. It is white in colour.

What does it taste/feel like?
Some say it is tasteless, while others say it is slightly sweet. There are flavoured varieties available, so obviously they will taste different altogether. From what I've read, it gives a texture a bit stiffer and bouncier than gelatine.

How do you use it?
Agar agar is said to have much stronger setting properties than gelatine. Unlike desserts using gelatine that need time to set in the fridge for several hours, agar agar can set at room temperature in as little as an hour. So it makes sense that agar agar is a popular setting agent in tropical climates of South East Asian countries.
  • Powdered agar agar can be substituted for the same quantity of powdered gelatine in a recipe.
  • For every teaspoon of agar agar powder, you should substitute a tablespoon of agar agar flakes.
  • For a firm jelly you require approximately 2 teaspoons of powder or 2 tablespoons of flakes per 1 pint / 600ml of liquid.
  • Generally, agar agar needs to be soaked for between 15-20 minutes before use, and then needs to simmer for a couple of minutes to dissolve.
  • Depending on the acidity of the ingredients being used, more agar agar may be required. E.g. dishes including citrus fruits often need a bit more.
Where do you buy it?
Agar agar is available from health food stores and Asian grocery shops. It is inexpensive - I paid $1.60 for a 25 gram packet.

Want to know more?
Check out:
The Food Coach

My task
The most important part of all! In the coming days I'll be roadtesting Agar Agar as a gelatine substitute in a recipe, so stayed tuned...  Fingers crossed for a beautiful, jiggly dish without too much compromise on flavour or texture!

But before then, I'm keen to hear from you, my dear readers... Have you ever used/tried Agar Agar? If so, how was it?

Ladybird x

Monday, 23 August 2010

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake

One of my foodie dreams (of which there are many) is to one day visit a raspberry farm and pick and eat my own berries. Oooh how I long to pluck those beautiful, swollen, ripe jewels straight from the cane. Little capsules of flavour, just waiting to explode in my mouth. One day, my pretties. One day...

Although fresh raspberries are available in shops here, they are rather expensive. Lucky for me it's possible to buy quality frozen raspberries that are a fraction of the price, and are great for creating delicious sweets at home. This lovely cheesecake is one of my favourite ways to use raspberries. White chocolate and raspberry - a marriage made in heaven. This recipe is an oldie, but a goodie :)

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake
Adapted recipe from Good Taste magazine - July 2005

melted butter, to grease
250g plain sweet biscuits (I used Digestive biscuits)
100g hazelnut meal
150g unsalted butter
3 x 250g packets cream cheese, at room temperature
140g (2/3c) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 eggs
180g good quality white chocolate (I used Plaidstow), finely chopped but with some bigger chunks too - they really are a joy to come across whilst eating this cake
150g frozen raspberries
icing sugar, to dust

1. Brush a 20cm (base measurement) round springform pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Cut out a round piece of baking paper and line the bottom of the pan. Lightly brush the paper with a little melted butter.

2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and  blitz until finely crushed. Add the hazelnut meal and melted butter and process until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and use a straight-sided glass to spread and press mixture firmly over base and side of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

3. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large spoon, fold in the chocolate and then the raspberries.

4. Pour mixture into the biscuit base and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour, or until just set in the centre. Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar for 2 hours, or until cooled completely. This will prevent the cake from cracking. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for a few hours to chill. Before serving, dust with icing sugar.

Nice and simple, huh?! You're sure to win compliments when you make this for your family and friends.. You'll be blushing like a little raspberry in the sunshine :)

Ladybird x

Friday, 20 August 2010

No Croutons Required: Carrots

Did your mother ever tell you that if you ate your carrots, you'd be able to see in the dark? Mine did. As a child I gobbled up carrots in the pursuit of superhero-like night vision.. until a boy in my class told me my skin would turn orange if I ate too many! Out of fearing of turning into an umpa lumpa, I abandoned carrots altogether for a while. I decided I'd rather not have night vision after all!

I still like carrots though - raw or cooked. They are just so good for you!

So today when I discovered No Croutons Required, I was excited for a number of reasons. First, it's a vegetarian food blogging challenge so it's a bit different to other challenges out there. Secondly, this month's theme selected by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes is... 'Carrots'!

So how does it work I hear you ask? No Croutons Required is a monthly soup and salad challenge hosted alternately by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa's Kitchen. Each month a theme is announced, and bloggers around the world are invited to submit a vegetarian soup or salad recipe fitting the theme. To read more about this food blogging event, click here.

This is my first entry to No Croutons Required, and in fact my first challenge entry of any type as a food blogger. So even though I have only known about this challenge for a few hours, I simply had to get on board :)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Rockabilly Cupcakes

(noun) Pronunciation:/ˈrɒkəbɪli/
a type of popular music, originating in the south-eastern US in the 1950s, combining elements of rock and roll and country music
Origin: 1950s. Blend of Rock and Roll and Hillbilly.

This was the Oxford dictionary entry I referred to when a dear colleague of mine asked me to do a 21st birthday cupcake job for her. I really had no idea what rockabilly was, but I was certainly honoured to be asked to create cupcakes for such a milestone occasion in someone's life and it was lovely to know I put a smile on the birthday boy's face :)

So what sort of imagery is appropriate if we're talking about rockabilly? Think Betty Page and Johnny Cash. Think pinup girls in red lips and vintage bathing suits, dashing rockers in suits with greased hair... Think nautical stars, cherries, dice, and LOTS of red and black. The more I researched, the more I grew to like the edgy-vintage feel of all things Rockabilly!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Rum & Raisin Ice Cream

I love having visitors from overseas... There is great excitment in heading to the airport to collect family/friends whom you haven't seen for a long time, and all that chat and catching up on lost time is something to look forward to and cherish.
There's also the duty-free alcohol. Oh yeah...

Thanks to my very kind and generous brother-in-law 'R', my linen cupboard now looks like quite the alcoholic's stash, and now includes some beeeautiful Barbados rum. As soon as I lay eyes on it, I knew it had to be made - Rum and Raisin Ice Cream.

Rum and raisin also happens to be Mr Ladybird's all time favourite ice cream flavour, and he has long requested a home made version of the icy treat. Being the wonderful (and ever modest!) wife that I am, I at last got around to it. And with such lovely rum on hand, there was no better time...

Monday, 16 August 2010

RSPCA Cupcake Day

One of my first ever blog posts was 2009 RSPCA Cupcake Day. A year on, I am more passionate than ever about using baking to raise money for worthy causes such as The Heart Foundation and MS Australia. However, if there is one day that I go all out for charity, it's RSPCA Cupcake Day which was today!

Thank goodness it was held on a Monday, because it takes a longgg time to bake, ice and decorate over 100 cupcakes from scratch. It's times like this you crave the capacities of a big kitchen! Nevermind.. my little kitchen managed to cater the job.

Besides, I got to wear my RSPCA Cupcake Day Shirt that I ordered last week and picked up from the post office this morning (just in the nick of time!)

I kept the flavours relatively simple due to the quantity (over 100 in total!) Here's just some of what was on offer for benevolent buyers:

Vanilla with vanilla bean buttercream
Vanilla with white chocolate and vanilla bean ganache
Chocolate with chocolate ganache and strawberries
Lemon with lemon buttercream
Carrot with cream cheese
Chocolate with salted caramel

Cupcakes were decoated with butterflies, dragonflies, pawprints, dog bones for an animal themed spread. However, my  favourite decoration of all was the little fondant carrots I made, finished with a tiny sprig of dill to complete the effect.

The fastest cupcake to sell out was the chocolate with salted caramel icing - Dang! they tasted fine, even if I do say so myself! I've never really liked caramel.. but with a little bit of fleur de sel, caramel is taken to a whole new level! It's sophisticated and grown up, and pairs beautifully with a moist chocolate cake like this one.

Lucky for me, my office has quite a sweet tooth and people get behind a good cause when they see it. As a result, I raised $360 for the RSPCA :) My most successful 'Cupcakes for Charity' event yet!

Thank you to everyone who supported RSPCA Cupcake Day today... across the country animals are barking, meowing, quacking and goodness knows what else in appreciation of your generosity!


Ladybird x

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Celebrating Diary of a Ladybird's 1st birthday & the 100th post!

It's giveaway time!

Very quietly and discretely, on August 8th, this little blog of mine turned one. Awww... To top it off, this just happens to be my 100th post!

On such an occasion, it is only appropriate that I say thank you to all of you, my wonderful readers. When I first started this little blog I thought, Who's going to read it? Is anyone interested in what I'm blogging about? Then slowly but surely, my readership grew and I started receiving more and more hits and comments. And not visits and comments from friends and family who pity me, but people whom I've never met in my life! So thank you for interest in Diary of a Ladybird; for your encouraging words; for your own blogs that bring a smile to my face; and, for the sense of community that I have found in the blogging network. You are all amazing!

To celebrate Diary of a Ladybird's first birthday and the milestone of my 100th post, I am giving away a copy of 200 Cupcakes by Joanna Farrow.

This is a great little book with loads of beautiful and inspiring cupcake recipes. This book laughs boldly in the face of anyone who dares call cupcakes boring! There are great everyday cupcake recipes, as well as cupcakes for children, adults, special occasions and savoury cupcakes too. I have been using this book a lot recently, including my recent Red Velvet Cupcakes post.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is become a follower of my blog.
If you're unsure how to do this, click here.

It doesn't matter whether you're based in Australia, the US, Malaysia or... anywhere! You could win :) If you are already a follower, you will automatically be entered into the draw to win.

The winner will be randomly selected on Sunday, September 19 at 10pm AEST.

*** This giveaway has been drawn. Congratulations to Jen of Truffled Pink! ***

Thank you for reading my 100th post. I look forward to bringing you hundreds more to delight your senses :)

Good luck!

Ladybird x

Friday, 13 August 2010

Mandala Nepalese Restaurant, Randwick

Although I eat South Asian cuisine on a regular basis, for me, Nepalese cuisine is largely unchartered territory. I have tried it a couple of times before and enjoyed it, however there aren't many Nepalese eateries around, so it isn't really on my dining radar when I'm feeling peckish.

The world of South Asian cuisine tends to be dominated by Indian food and Nepalese food doesn't feature a great deal. Don't get me wrong - I love Indian food, but Nepalese food is worth a mention as well. Dining at Mandala Nepalese Restaurant has got me thinking about Nepalese food. To describe it to you, I'd say that it has a lot of the same spice elements that Indian cuisine has, but overall I'd have to say it's milder and delicate on the palate. The flavours are more subtle, but I feel that the way in which the dishes are cooked showcases the ingredients' natural flavours and textures.

While perusing the menu I learnt that Mandala means 'circle' in Sanskrit and relates to the circle of life.. I enjoy reading pieces of information like this when I'm dining out somewhere new - it makes it an educational food experience! Yes, I am a nerd - and I'm proud of it! :D

For entree, we enjoyed Vegetarian Momos ($8.95) - Nepalese style dumplings with tasty vegetables served with a roasted tomato dipping sauce. I could eat these little bad boys every day and never tire of them!

We deliberated long and hard over mains, but just couldn't decide on two dishes for mains, so we chose three...

Tamara Ra Badi ($15.95)
Black beans with bamboo shoots and potatoes, flavoured with lemon and fenugreek.

Simi Ra Mushroom ($16.95)
Green beans and mushrooms with delicate spices

Bhanta ($8.95)
Grilled eggplant tossed in coriander and a dash of chilli

We enjoyed our three dishes with rice and fresh Rotis ($2.50) and Paratha ($3.50). Sometimes simple can be the most satisfying :)

All in all, an enjoyable dinner. The service was friendly in this quiet, Randwick-based restaurant, and I really enjoyed looking at the wall hangings, prayer flags and other items adorning the walls. They added a Nepalese feel and gave diners a small glimpse into Nepal's rich culture.

Mandala Nepalese Restaurant
121 Avoca St, Randwick NSW
Ph: (02) 9326 6887

Mandala on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Bakers Delight Cape Seed Giveaway

Admittedly, I am pretty fussy when it comes to bread. I am quite health conscious in my selection and, of course, it has to taste good! I have always been a fan of the Cape Seed loaf and rolls at Bakers Delight, however, until very recently I had no idea it was so healthy! As it turns out.. Cape Seed bread is packed with vitamins and minerals, which makes me feel extra good about my choice in bread :)


Loads of goodness goes into this bread, including over nine grains and seeds go into Bakers Delight's Cape Seed loaf... soy and linseed, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, rye, barley, oats and mung beans, just to name a few. Full of vitamins and minerals it includes iron, protein, vitamin E, antioxidants and omega-3. Another great thing about Cape Seed bread is that it's has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it will keep you full longer and provide longer lasting energy (no risk of sugar crashing here!).

One of my favourite ways to enjoy Cape Seed bread is as part of a quick, weekday breakfast - sliced, toasted and topped with banana (and alongside coffee of course!) Or, for something a bit fancier, I might also add some low fat ricotta and a little honey.

Thanks to Bakers Delight, you have the chance to win 1 of 9 vouchers to the value of $5 for you to use at any Bakers Delight bakery in Australia. To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post and tell me your 'mini recipe' for how you would use Cape Seed bread. Be as creative as you like! Entries close at midnight AEST on September 8, 2010.

Good luck!

Ladybird x

Monday, 9 August 2010

Chocolate & Nutella Macarons

I think it's fair to say that 95% of the world's population likes nutella, so how could nutella filled chocolate  macarons not be delicious?! If you feel the way that I do about nutella, you will understand my reluctance to keep it in the pantry cupboard. Why? Because it simply doesn't last. Nutella on warm bread, nutella on crepes, nutella on a teaspoon, nutella on a dessert spoon, nutella on a finger and then, suddenly, it's all gone!

The idea behind these macarons came from meeting a lovely French girl named Sandra. Sandra is a friend of a friend and has since moved overseas with her partner. However, in the relatively little time that she and I spent together, she opened my mind about French cuisine and became somewhat of a reference point for all things French. An avid baker and home cook as well, Sandra would tell me fantastic stories about food and wine in France, and wonderful recipe ideas. She taught me how to say 'macaron' properly. She informed me that no one in France really buys Moët Chandon because it is considered to be a rather inferior product in France. Most importantly, however, she told me of the Nutella Cookbook. A cookbook filled with hundreds of recipes using the delicious chocolate hazelnut spread - sweet and savoury. Nutella spaghetti.. Nutella Cake... The list goes on. I was speechless. I was in nutella dreamland. It was time for Nutella to feature once again in my pantry.

Alas the cookbook she referred to is in French, and with my Francophone friend now living on the other side of the world, my quest to source a version in English continues.. Until then, I will have to be a bit creative. Not that sandwiching macarons with nutella is outlandishly creative, but it is wickedly decadent :)

Chocolate Macarons
Adapted recipe from The AWW Macaroons & Biscuits

3 aged egg whites (I left mine out overnight in a bowl covered with clingwrap)
1/4 c (55g) caster sugar
1 c (160g) icing sugar
1/4 c (25g) cocoa powder
1 c (120g) ground almonds
2 tsp cocoa powder, extra
Nutella, for the filling

1. Grease heavy oven trays and line with baking paper.
2. In a food processor combine the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder and pulse briefly in a few 2 second bursts. Then sift the mixture twice and set aside.
2. Beat eggwhites in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form, starting slow then gradually building to full speed. Add caster sugar a little at a time, beat until sugar dissolves.
4. Fold in the almond meal, sugar and cocoa mixture in two batches.
5. Spoon mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain tip. Pipe 4cm rounds about 2cm apart onto the trays.
6. Tap trays once on bench firmly to remove bubbles and so the macarons spread slightly.
7. Dust macarons with extra cocoa powder through a sieve; stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150 degree celsius.
8. Bake macarons between 15-17 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely on trays.
9. Sandwich the macarons with the nutella, and be transported to nutella heaven!

Tell me readers, what is your favourite way to eat nutella?

Ladybird x

Friday, 6 August 2010

Lemon Gelato

It's official - gelato is the most difficult thing to photograph. Ever!

I was reading an online article during the week in which a photographer described the challenges of his work, particularly when it comes to capturing shots of children or animals. Ridiculously, I scoffed.. "Clearly he has never tried to photograph gelato!"

The previous day I had pre-scooped and frozen the gelato, hollowed out and cleaned a lemon and set up my scene to photograph this lemon gelato. Despite being organised, it was nothing short of frantic chaos. You see, gelato melts incredibly quickly. Once you've served it, it's Go! Go! GO! It was worth it though. I managed to get some shots of gelato (as opposed to chilled lemon soup) hehe...

There are two main reasons why gelato melts so quickly. First, gelato typically has a low fat content than regular ice cream and secondly, its semi-frozen consistency. I really enjoy gelato, particulary after dinner because it is so light yet so flavoursome.

I adore all things lemony, and I especially love the refreshing and zingy hit of lemon gelato. I'm getting a bit sick of the cold weather here in Sydney, so perhaps a summery gelato will help bring on summer (?). A bit like a home cook's rain dance, only for warm weather! haha..

Lemon Gelato
Makes approximately 1L

1 cup water
220g caster sugar
1/3 lemon zest
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup double cream

1. Place the water, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan.
2. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
4. Whisk together the lemon mixture and cream in a large jug.
5. Churn in an ice cream machine following the manufacturer's instructions, before transferring to a container then freezing. Mine was a little runny after churning, but was ok once frozen.

Note: If you don't have an ice cream machine, never fear. To read advice from David Lebovitz (in my home, referred to as 'The Ice Cream Guru') about how to make ice cream without a machine, click here.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone :) If the weather is warm in Sydney, perhaps it will be the gelato that brings it on! Let's wait and see...

Ladybird x
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