For this week’s Throwback Thursday Brian Stormont looks at the dessert-favourite that generated a public outcry when Birds Eye ceased production of it in 1997. You can also make your own up-to-date version with amazing morello cherries.
If you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s, then you will lovingly recall being treated to Arctic Roll for dessert.
Vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce wrapped in a layer of sponge cake to form a roll was a fantastic treat.
You knew mum was pushing the boat out when the Arctic Roll was on the table – and it most likely happened when you had pals round or your auntie and uncle were visiting with your cousins.
Regarded as a quintessential British dessert like trifle or bread and butter pudding, Arctic Roll was actually invented by Dr Ernest Velden, from the former Czechoslovakia, in the 1950s.
Dr Velden began mass production in the 1960s and, by 1968, he had a factory in Eastbourne making the product.
By the 1980s, the dessert was so popular the number of Arctic Rolls sold every month would stretch for more than 25 miles.
Birds Eye produces it in this country and it is still popular today.
However, the company caused outrage in 1997 when they took the decision to cease production when sales dropped by more than 50%
Lyons Maid stepped in to put Arctic Roll back in the freezers in 2008, prompting Birds Eye to revive their version of the dessert and it is estimated that they were selling around three million units a year, 12 months later.
Now you can try your hand at a home-made version with this delicious recipe which uses morello cherries for added flavour.
- 900ml pack creamy vanilla ice cream
- 150g frozen morello cherries
- 3 large eggs
- 120g caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g self-raising flour
- 8tbsp morello cherry conserve
- 100g white chocolate
- 100g fresh cherries
- 70g strawberries, halved
- Take the ice cream from the freezer. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften, then mix with the frozen cherries in a bowl. Scoop on to a sheet of baking paper and shape into a cylinder 32cm long.
- Put in the freezer to firm.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line a 32cm x 22cm Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Whisk together the eggs, 100g of the sugar and the vanilla until doubled in size. Sift over the flour and gently fold through until combined. Pour into the prepared tin, then bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Put down a fresh sheet of baking paper and sprinkle over the remaining caster sugar. Tip out the sponge and peel off the original paper. Roll up the sponge lengthways, with the paper inside. Allow to cool.
- Unroll the sponge and spread with the cherry conserve. Unwrap the ice cream and lay it along one long side of the sponge. Roll up the cake around the ice cream.
- Discard the paper, wrap the roll in clingfilm and pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line another tray with baking paper. Melt the white chocolate and dip each fresh cherry to cover the base. Put on to the tray and chill until set.
- Unwrap the Arctic roll, discarding the clingfilm. Put on to a cake board with the “join” on the bottom.
- Stir 2tsp boiling water into the remaining conserve; drizzle over the cake with a spoon. Decorate with the chocolate cherries and strawberry halves to serve.