Agbalumo Ice-cream Cake

Funke Koleosho's Agbalumo Ice-cream Cake

As I always do, I constantly explore new ways to incorporate the hugely under-utilised (undiscovered) and abundant varieties of indigenous Nigerian fruits, into my every day recipes. Today, I am focusing on a popular Nigerian fruit, the African Star Apple (agbalumo in Yoruba or udara/udala in Igbo language).

Like most youths in Nigeria (and even adults), I love this fruit, especially for its sweet and tart taste. I had lots of fun eating it back in the day and still enjoy it even now, when its in season. (Please read my post on the Food Profile of Agbalumo, African star apple here).

It was a little tricky making a jam or compote from this fruit because cooking or heating it in any form made it rather tough and chewy, which I did not quite like. One of my best successes with this fruit was to marinate it in sugar syrup (or honey) and serve with ice-cream.

It also worked well in the ice-cream cake recipe which I am sharing with you today. The fruit really adds a new depth of taste and flavour to this dish that cannot be described but must be tasted to appreciate. It makes an excellent dessert. Try it. (Note: This recipe requires no cooking or baking. Making ice-cream cake simply involves the melting of some ice-cream and adding a variety of other ingredients typically fruit pieces, nuts, biscuits, etc, and re-freezing).

Agbalumo Ice-cream Cake

  • 3-4 agbalumo fruits (Peel the skin and finely chop the flesh. Carefully remove the seeds and use as part of your garnish) 
  • 1 large tub of your favourite vanilla ice-cream (ensure you get a good quality vanilla ice-cream. Chocolate or other flavour ice-creams do not work for this recipe).
  • Some crushed Oreo biscuits (make sure you remove the cream from the biscuit first. Alternatively use any of your preferred biscuits). 
  • Some crushed chin-chin (optional).
  • Some crushed roasted ground nuts/peanuts (optional).
  • Some honey or cane sugar syrup. (You can also use more healthy alternatives like maple syrup or agave nectar). 

What to do:
Marinate chopped fruit in syrup leaving seed
cluster intact.
  1. Please note, in this recipe, I have not made specific reference to quantity of ingredients, to enable you adjust them to meet your preference for sweetness, textures and flavours. 
  2. First prepare the fruit well in advance of making your ice-cream cake. In a small container, add some syrup to the chopped agbalumo. Add as much or as little syrup as you wish. The more syrup the sweeter and mellower the taste. Allow this to marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight. The longer the better. 
  3. Remove the ice-cream from the freezer and allow to stand for a short while to melt a little. When melted enough to incorporate other ingredients, transfer into a mixing bowl and add the crushed biscuits, chin-chin and peanuts (if using). Also add a good portion of the syrup marinated agbalumo. (Save some to serve with the ice-cream cake later).
  4. Mix well for an even distribution of all ingredients. 
  5. Line any available bowl, cake pan or jelly mould, with some cling film (or food grade cellophane wrap). This will facilitate easy removal of the frozen ice-cream cake. 
  6. Transfer the ice-cream mixture into the lined bowl. Gently tap the bowl on the table to level the mixture, and remove any air bubbles trapped in. 
  7. Place the bowl into the freezer and allow to freeze preferably overnight. Serve with the remaining syrup marinated agbalumo with the whole cluster of seeds.

Agbalumo Ice-cream Cake

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