For an elegant variation, add some crystallised rose petals (dip unsprayed pink rose petals in a little beaten egg white and caster sugar and leave to dry on a cake rack overnight).
Scatter these over when serving or fold a few into the ice cream (do this after churning or before the final freeze).
From this secure base military control becomes possible. By the early 8th century northwest Africa is firmly in Arab hands.
In 711 an Arab general takes the next expansionist step.
At the height of Fatimid power, in the early 11th century, Cairo is the capital of an empire which includes Sicily, the western part of the Arabian peninsula (with the holy places of Mecca and Medina) and the Mediterranean coast up to Syria.
The Arab conquest of Egypt and North Africa begins with the arrival of an army in640 in front of the Byzantine fortified town of Babylon (in the area which is now Old Cairo).
It is called Al Kahira ('the victorious'), known in its western form as Cairo.
In the following year, 970, the Fatimids establish in Cairo the university mosque of Al Azhar which has remained ever since a centre of Islamic learning.
At the end of that time a surprising treaty is signed.
The Greeks of Alexandria agree to leave peacefully; the Arabs give them a year in which to do so. One of the richest of Byzantine provinces has been lost to the Arabs without a fight.
Known as the Almoravids, they are fired by a new zeal for Islam, the result of a pilgrimage to Mecca by their chieftain in 1040.