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At a time when everyone is going on a diet, I am almost embarrassed to admit I love ice-cream. I don’t particularly like cakes or dessert, but give me an ice cream and you’ll see a happy person. Same as my hero in Her Christmas Cruise and in Christmas Papa.
The best ice cream I ever tasted left an indelible memory in my mind. We were in Rome, in front of the Fountain of Trevi—you know the famous fountain where you toss a coin to guarantee a return to Rome.
I was hot, and thirsty, and I caught a glance of the cart displaying scrumptious ice creams. I bought a cone of gelato, as they call the ice cream. Oh my God, delicious, incredibly delicious. It had strawberries, chocolate, and vanilla or whip cream, stuffed with dried fruit.
I asked for the name of that heavenly ice cream. They called it cassata Siciliana or cassata Napolitana, depending whether the vendor was from Southern or Northern Italy.
Two days later, our cruise ship stopped in Sorrento. One of the waiters recommended a gelateria on the main piazza. “If you like ice cream, you can taste their cassata Siciliana,” he told me, bringing his bunched fingers to his lips and sending a kiss. “The best ice cream in the world.”
I didn’t need more convincing and led my husband straight to the gelato store. We each order a cone of cassata. My husband chocked at the price, $15 per cone. “Outrageous,” he said.
But the store owner explained in broken English that his store was Pope Benedict’s favorite gelateria. The pope stopped here once to have a cone of cassata. Later, the owner built a St. Peter Basilica, made of cassata and presented it to the pope. Of course, the picture was in the Italian newspapers and the owner showed us a copy on the wall with the pope receiving his pious ice cream. “So you capito perque cassata special?” the man added.
“Si, capito, I understand why this cassata is so expensive.” Not that it brightened my husband’s mood at the offensive price.
On the ship, the maître d’ gave me a recipe. The problem is that ice cream is loaded with calories and I am doing a terrible effort to watch what I eat and stay away from ‘dangerous’ food. I modified the recipe and used non-fat ice cream.
1-A pint of chocolate ice cream containing dark chocolate chips.
2-A pint of strawberry ice cream with frozen bits of strawberries.
3- A pint of mango ice cream with frozen bits of mangoes.
4- A box of non-fat whip cream.
5- A pack of cut dried fruits, pineapple, papaya, raisin, coconut.
***The boxes of ice cream should be allowed to soften out of the refrigerator for a half hour before using.***
1-In an easy to open mold, spread the softened chocolate ice cream evenly. Put in the freezer for two hours to let it harden.
2-Now spread the softened strawberry ice cream evenly. Put in the freezer for two hours to let it harden.
3-Empty the bag of dry fruits in the box of whip cream and mix well, then spread on the hardened ice cream in the mold. Leave in the freezer overnight.
4-Spread the softened mango ice cream evenly. Put in the freezer for two hours to let it harden.
**You can use mint chocolate instead of chocolate ice cream. And pistachio ice cream instead of mango.
Take the mold out of the freezer half an hour before serving. Hold over a warm stove to loosen the ice cream from the bottom and be able to overturn the mold on a plate. Enjoy.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.