In volume 3 of my 'Good things to eat' series, a sweet treats special. I never used to have a sweet tooth, but seem to be developing one over the years. It's getting to the stage where I'll have tea and cake at any available opportunity, and don't like to finish a meal without dessert of some sort.
The first two of these are relatively new businesses that I think could fairly be described as labours of love. They are both making a high quality product with care, and are building loyal local fanbases through the modern mediums of farmers markets and Twitter. They deserve your support.
The third is an old stalwart, completely unfashionable but always there, and always good.
Ginger's Comfort Emporium
An ice cream van for grown-ups. That's how the website describes Ginger's Comfort Emporium, and it seems like a fair description to me. Ginger makes ice cream in unusual and rather delicious sounding flavours and sells them from the van in various locations around Manchester. I went to try some in Chorlton the other week.
This is the honey and tahini ice cream. Very dense textured, very creamy. Not overly sweet. The tahini lends it an almost savoury edge, which is nicely balanced with the sweetness from the honey. This was really quite special, so I'm keen to try some of the other flavours (Chocolate marble malt and Extra virgin olive oil with smoked sea salt are particularly tickling my fancy).
The van can be found at Chorlton and West Didsbury street markets, and I've just spotted that they'll be at the Northern Quarter street party that's taking place on the 29th April bonus bank holiday (or Royal Wedding Day for those of you with an interest). Selection packs for home delivery are also available.
I'm usually a bit indifferent when it comes to Brownies, but these are really, really good brownies. I had a sour cherry and bourbon one (with a cup of tea obviously) last weekend and was impressed. Really good quality chocolate offset by little fruity explosions of flavour. Perfect brownie texture too, crisp edges and a fudgy interior.
They are on sale in various outlets in Leeds, and also have a stall at the twice monthly farmers market.
Longley Farm Yoghurts
I hope I'm not the only one who loves these. They're thick, tart and creamy. The fruit flavours are chock full of fruit and not too sugary. My favourites are blackcurrant and rhubarb. I've been eating them for as long as I can remember and they never fail to please.
I also like the fact that they haven't got the marketing people in to 'posh up' the brand. They could easily upgrade the packaging, double the price and compete with the supermarket posh ranges and the likes of Yeo Valley. They haven't done this, and I hope they never do.
Available all over the place, especially in the North (but also in the South, I used to buy them from Morrisons in Thamesmead).