Nicky Cahill: Pretzels, ice cream and polenta

 The summer holidays have started and with them we hope good weather to last until children go back to school. As I child I loved spending time with my mum in the kitchen cooking. This month I am sharing some family friendly recipes – chocolate dipped pretzels for the 4th July or Ice Cream Cake – that you can make with little one’s, as well as a more grown up lemon polenta cake, which is perfect for nibbing, as you sit outside to read the paper face turned upwards towards the afternoon sunshine. 

4th July Chocolate dipped pretzels


▪ 1 bag of salted pretzels
▪ 100g dark chocolate melted
▪ Red, White and Blue Sprinkles


▪ Melt the chocolate in a pyrex jug
▪ Place the sprinkles in a deep ramkin
▪ Dip the top of the pretzels into the chocolate, carefully turn to remove any excess
▪ Dip into the sprinkles
▪ Set on a cookie sheet covered in baking paper
▪ Let them set in the fridge – approx 30mins to 1 hour
▪ Eat and Enjoy!


Ice Cream Cake Recipe


▪ 1 pound cake thinly sliced and spread with nutuella or 1 chocolate swiss roll sliced
▪ 2 litres of ice cream – I used a litre each of vanilla and raspberry ruffle
▪ 1 packet of oreos crushed
▪ 1 bag of mini marshmallows
▪ 1 cup of chocolate chips
▪ 1 cup of smarties
▪ 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sprinkles depending on how many children you have helping

There are two ways to do this, either using a clear glass bowl which will look beautiful as the layers of the ice cream cake can be seen clearly through glass. Or use baking paper to line a dish then place on a serving plate.


1. Using a freezerproof bowl layer slices of cake with ice cream and sweets, cookies and sprinkles alternatively, until you have used all your ingredients.
2. Flash freeze for up to 30 minutes – too long and it will go rock hard and be very unplesant to eat
3. Serve in slices or scoops

Lemon Polenta Cake

• 1½ cups of ground almonds
• 1 cup polenta
• 250g soft butter
• Rind of 3 lemons
• 1 cup caster sugar
• 3 free range eggs
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1½ tsp baking powder

• 1/2 cup lemon juice,
• 1/4 cup caster sugar
• ¼ cup icing sugar
• 1 tbsp honey


I made this in a bundt tin, but you can easily make it in any 8” round cake tin. I cooked it in an aga with the rack sitting on the base of the oven, and the tin on top, with the cold shelf on the second set of runners. A conventional oven needs to be heated to 180’C / gas mark 4

1. Grease and line your cake tin
2. Beat the butter, rind and sugar, until light and fluffy
3. Beat in the lemon juice
4. Combine polenta, almonds, and baking powder, and with the motor running add 1/3 to the butter mixture, alternating with the eggs until all the ingredients have been used.
5. Place the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake for about 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out cleanish, there might be a crumb or two – that is okay. Cool in its tin on a wire rack
6. Syrup – Boil, lemon juice, sugar and honey, stirring all the time until the sugar is dissolved, let it reduce by a third
7. When the cake has cooled slightly pierce holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer, spoon over the syrup and leave to cook before taking out of its tin
8. Serve with thick Greek yogurt, and some blueberries


By Nicky Cahill

If anyone has any food related questions or ideas for products they’d like Nicky to try, do get in touch.

Connect with Nicky on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Post Author: Belfast Times

Leave a Reply