2 ways to celebrate a belated birthday [+ ginger ice cream tartlets]

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I’ve been neglecting to celebrate a very important birthday.

Over the holidays, it occurred to me it’s been a while since I marked the occasion of Stonesoup’s birthday.

A quick scan of the Stonesoup archives proves the point. There’s been no mention of my blog’s birthday since 2007.

I’ve been a bad blog mother. There’s lots to catch up on.

happy [belated] birthday Stonesoup!

On the 28th December Stonesoup turned the grand old age of 6.

Looking back on my first post, there has been a lot of changes over the last 6 years.

I’ve learned to take photographs of my creations and have entered the world of video blogging. The recipes on Stonesoup now contain both metric and imperial measurements.

And (one of my favourite developments) I’ve started including a list of variations with each recipe to help people with different dietary requirements and just for fun.

But a lot of things are still the same.

I still consider ice cream my favourite dessert. I still LOVE veggies. I still spend a good part of my waking hours thinking about food.

Back to the Birthday blog… To make up for lost time I have two celebrations on the menu…

celebration #1: ginger ice cream tartlets

It all began with ice cream, so it only seems fitting that a Summer baby like Stonesoup should celebrate another year with something frozen.

But rather than just dish up ice cream into boring old scoops, we’re dressing it up. Serving little tartlets with a crunchy ginger crust.

celebration #2: a $5 trial brithday sale

VCS square logoSign up to the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School and trial your first 2 months for the bargain price of ONLY $5/month. You can cancel at any time.

To learn more about this great offer go to:

Hurry! The $5 Trial Birthday Sale ends Tuesday 17th January 2012 7pm EST.

ginger ice cream tartlets

ginger ice cream tartlets
serves 6

I wish I’d thought of serving ice cream in tart or tartlet form myself. But credit where credit is due. We have my favourite food scribe, Nigel Slater to thank for the inspiration.

4 ginger cookies
1/3 cup lemon juice
200g (7oz) icing (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons grated ginger
300mL (1 1/4 cups) whipping cream

1. Bash cookies until you have coarse crumbs – either in the food processor or using a plastic bag and a rolling pin.

2. Divide crumbs between 6 holes of a muffin tin lined with papers. Use a teaspoon to level out the bases.

3. Combine lemon juice, sugar and ginger in a small bowl.

4. Whip cream until you have soft peaks, add the lemon juice mixture and continue to whip for another minute or so to thicken up a little.

5. Divide ice cream mixture between the prepared cases. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

6. To serve, you may need a knife to help dig out the tartlets from the muffin tin.

dairy-free / vegan – try making banana & ginger ‘ice cream’ instead. Peel and chop 3-4 bananas and freeze. Then prepare the biscuit bases and chill them too. When you’re ready to serve, whizz the frozen banana in a food processor with a splash of water until smooth and ice creamy. Whisk in ginger and divide between tartlet cases.

crunchy base – combine cookie crumbs with a few tablespoons of melted butter before lining the tartlet cases

large tart – if you’d prefer a large tart, you’ll need 300g (10oz) cookies combined with 100g (3.5oz) melted butter. Use this to line a 28cm (11in) tartlet pan with a removable base. Chill while you make the ice cream. Double the ice cream ingredients, spread in the shell and freeze for at least 8 hours.

lemon tartlets – skip the ginger and add in the finely grated zest of a lemon.

gluten-free – replace the cookies with ground nuts – almonds or hazelnuts are good. Or use gluten-free cookies.


video version of the recipe


best of Stonesoup 2011

Rather than dedicate a whole post to the best Stonesoup articles and recipes from the last year, I’ve updated my START HERE section. I’m super excited about the new ‘snazzy’ archives for you to browse through.

now reading

I’ve been slack in updating my ‘now reading’ page where I track my goal to read 52 books each year. When I checked in early December I was short by 8 books but luckily over the holidays I’ve had plenty of time to make my 52 books for the second year in a row.

All set to do it again this year.

Jules x

ps. This is the first special trial at The Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School since June last year. When it closes, it won’t be available again until October at the earliest. Go to:


  • Yummmmmmmmeeeeeee!! I am officially distracted now and it ‘s not even noon on Monday. These lil gems have found their way to the top of my To Do List!! Happy Birthday and thanks for Stone Soup – me too, just posted this new vid to my FB page.

  • I always have trouble getting the “whipping cream” to whip. Do you have any trouble shooting tips? (When I try to whip the cream, it always remains in liquid form.) Which kind specifically do you use?

  • I did a soup with ginger the other day and I ended up throwing it away because I’ve exaggerated in the ginger quantities and it was just impossible to eat because it was so strong. In this dessert the amount of ginger looks huge, or is in not too strong because it’s mixed cream and sugar? Thank you!

  • Barry & Alison
    Thanks for helping to spread the word. Really appreciate it!

    Your cream needs to have 35% milk fat in order to whip. It needs enough fat molecules to hold the air. It also helps if the cream is cold. Hope that helps.


  • Ines,
    I don’t think I’ve ever had too much ginger ;) The cream and sugar definitely temper the flavour. And when things are frozen it tends to change how we perceive different flavours. So that mutes the ginger a little as well.

    The 2 tablespoons in the recipe is correct… I could even increase it to 3.. But if you’re ginger sensitive it might be better for you to start with 1

    Thanks for asking the question!

  • Ines,
    I don’t think I’ve ever had too much ginger ;) The cream and sugar definitely temper the flavour. And when things are frozen it tends to change how we perceive different flavours. So that mutes the ginger a little as well.

    The 2 tablespoons in the recipe is correct… I could even increase it to 3.. But if you’re ginger sensitive it might be better for you to start with 1

    Thanks for asking the question!

  • Hi Jules

    I just wanted to drop you a note and say thank you. I purchased your book “And the Love is Free” and made your cheesecake and pavlova. Everything turned out fab (my first pav ever – my guests loved everything!). Its a great book and thank you very much for sharing your recipes with us. I’m also loving your veggie recipes as well.


  • thanks peter!

    thanks for getting in touch
    so glad you’re enjoying And the Love is Free… I made pavlova on the weekend… it’s such a great recipe :)

  • Hi Jules,

    Imade these last night and had them today. They are nice. I used to lemon variation and think they would be lovely in the heat of summer, of WHICH THERE WAS NONE TODAY.


    Huz wants me to do the original ginger ones next time – and there will be a next time – lovely taste, creamy and smooth.

    Hi from Canberra. =)

  • happy birthday stone soup – love the new archives Jules – lots of fun to read through – and quite different to the usual indexes. The ice cream cakes also sound great. Coconut cream might also work well in vegan version. Wish I could read as much as you – but am very slow on reading books right now

  • Thanks Johanna!
    I actually cheat a little with my reading.. I listed to audio books when I’m running or driving… highly recommend audible.com

    I’m hearing you about the lack of summer… lovely to hear from someone from canberra. And very glad to hear there will be a next time :)

  • I love the how your ginger cookies look. I’m wondering if you have the recipe for it or where you got them. I can’t wait to try these. Tartlet look absolutely delicious!!

  • Oh i will surprise my hubby with that! I will cook like a dozens with candle light dinner in our anniversary next month. Love the ginger ice cream!

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