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Summer Ice Block Adventures – ‘Madras’

Well that was Spring then. After one of the warmest Brisbane Winters on record and a scorching start to September, the mercury today indicates that we are in Summer mode. All of this warm weather has made me think about the Summer ahead and trying my hand at some new projects. So, throughout the coming months I’ll be writing about my adventures in ice block making.

In the US they are known as popsicles and in the UK, the delightfully old fashioned ‘iced lolly’. Ice blocks are the quintessential childhood summer treat and as adults we still think back to those long, lazy days when endless hours in the swimming pool and ice blocks from the freezer made it the best summer ever.

Of course, as grown ups we can enjoy new flavour combinations and unusual ingredients in our quest to revisit those golden summers of our youth.   Today… Madras Ice Blocks.

Madras Iceblocks - as good as they look...

Madras Iceblocks – as good as they look…

When I was looking for recipes to maximise my haul of limes, I started searching for lime and ginger combinations. Along the way I found a recipe for popsicles using ginger lime syrup and cranberry juice. I have used the name and adapted the recipe for both the syrup and the ingredients in the popsicle to make use of blood oranges that are in season at the moment. The blood orange component is sweet and warming rather than fiery and the orange element is gingery &, refreshing with the mint. A winning combo!

Blood Orange 2

Ginger Mint Syrup
I use this basic syrup as a base for many of my ice block recipes. You can of course double or even triple the recipe if you are planning a big Summer of ice block production.


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2.5 to 3cm fresh ginger, cut into chunks
  • 5 to 7 fresh mint leaves
  • Combine sugar, water and ginger in a saucepan
  • Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 -3 minutes.
  • Take off the heat, add mint leaves to syrup and set aside to cool and steep.
  • Strain into a jug or bottle, discarding mint leaves and store in the fridge.
  • The ginger can sit in the syrup until it’s finished and then grated it into a cake or dessert.
  • You can use raw sugar to make this syrup but the colour will be golden rather than clear and may make your ice blocks slightly darker.

Madras 5
  • 1 cup blood orange juice (1)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (0.5)
  • 1/2 cup water (0.5)
  • 10 cm piece of chilli (medium heat)
  • 1 cup orange juice (1)
  • 1/2 cup ginger mint syrup (recipe above) (0.5)
  • 1/2 cup water (0.5)


  1. Combine blood orange juice, sugar, water and chilli in a saucepan.
  2. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 -3 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat and set aside to cool
  4. When cool, remove chilli and pour desired amount into bottom of ice block moulds and allow to freeze for a minimum of two hours.
  5. Combine orange juice, syrup and water (no need to heat)
  6. Top up ice block moulds with orange ginger mixture and allow to freeze for a further two hours

Blood Orange Pair

– stick to the ratios (in brackets) and you can make as much or as little as you like
– don’t be tempted to add extra sugar to the blood orange. It is already sweet to start with and won’t freeze if it’s too syrupy.
– if you don’t have ice block moulds, you can make these in small plastic cups instead. If using plastic cups, use sticky tape to keep sticks in place
– ice block sticks can be bought in the craft section of hardware stores such as Bunnings for a few dollars

Last night we had a party and I offered these around towards the end of these evening. They were an unexpected surprise and a fun treat that refreshed everyone after a few too many drinks. It’s 35c today and as I write, I can feel the little beads of sweat prickling my top lip. After I took a few more photos of these today, Anthony and I demolished them!

Madras 3
6 comments… add one
  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things October 9, 2013, 5:48 am

    Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous… well done Fiona.

  • Amanda October 11, 2013, 9:29 am

    We had spring for a few days, but it went away and I had to get my uggies out again. At least with these delicious ice blocks the ginger would be warming!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! October 11, 2013, 11:43 am

      The same for us. It was blazing on Sunday then the cool change came through. 36c again today so it's going to be an up and down season. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Christina @ The Hungry Australian October 13, 2013, 9:38 pm

    I love blood oranges but have never made ice blocks with them. Yours look so pretty and festive!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! October 15, 2013, 12:48 pm

      Thanks Christina. Of course, once you start, you can't stop and the imagination runs wild.

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