Raspberry Ice-cream

Ice-cream ice-cream we all scream for ice-cream!

Ingredients

200 g              sugar
375 g              frozen raspberries
1 tsp               lemon juice
250 ml            cream
250 ml            milk

Method

  • Remove the raspberries from freezer and allow to become slightly soft
  • Then puree the raspberries and strain through a sieve – you can leave the seeds if you want a textured ice cream
  • Combine the sugar, lemon juice and fruit in a mixing bowl
  • Stir in the cream and milk
  • Start your ice cream maker and pour the mixture in
  • Churn for 20-40 minutes or until desired consistency
  • Remove and place in the freezer for a couple of hours or over night preferably.

Shortbread Twirls

Biscuits at any time of the day are welcome!

Ingredients

White shortbread

120g                plain flour
80g                  unsalted butter
1                      egg yolk
1 pinch           salt
50g                  icing sugar

Chocolate shortbread

80g                  plain flour
40g                  cocoa powder
80g                  unsalted butter
1                      egg yolk
1                      pinch salt
50g                  icing sugar

Method

  • Prepare the white and chocolate shortbread dough’s separately
  • In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar, egg yolk, creamed butter and a pinch of salt
  • Add the flour (or flour and cocoa powder for the chocolate shortbread dough) to the butter mixture and rub together using your fingertips until it becomes sandy in texture
  • Then mix and press together. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it.
  • Knead with the palms of your hands until it is well blended, more vigorously for the last few seconds.
  • Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Making the swirl

  • Roll out each piece of dough separately into a 3mm thick sheet

NB: It is important the pastry is rolled out evenly.

  • Place the chocolate dough on top of the white short bread dough that has been egg washed, so the dough stick together
  • Roll up the dough tightly
  • Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour
  • Trim the ends off and then slice discs from the roll
  • Place the slices on a non-stick tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at180°C for about 10 minutes (light brown in colour)

Irish Stew

Food good for the soul, any day of the week!

Ingredients

2 medium onions, sliced
50 g butter
2 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 kg best end of lamb neck, cut into large pieces
7 carrots, chopped lengthways into 2-inch pieces
6 baby onions, peeled and halved
2 tbsp pearl barley
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)
12 medium potatoes
1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped
Olive oil, for frying
Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Place a large heavy based saucepan over a medium to high heat
  • Add a dash of oil and the butter and allow the butter to foam
  • Add the onions and fry until translucent, then add the thyme, bay leave and then remove from the pan
  • Add another dahs of oil and brown the lamb on a high heat
  • Once all the lamb is browned, add back the onions, the add the carrots, baby onion halves and pearl barley
  • Pour in the Chicken Stock so that it almost covers the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and add the Bouquet garni
  • Cover and cook on a low heat for 2 hours, being careful not to boil
  • Place the potatoes on top of the stew, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the meat is falling beautifully off the bones and the potatoes are fork tender.

 

Churros & Chocolate Sauce

I have no idea what else could beat this recipe…for now! 

Ingredients

Chocolate sauce
200 g 55% chocolate, broken into pieces
100 ml cream
100 ml milk
3 tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract

Churros

1 cup water
2 ½ tbsp white sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup flour

3 eggs

Vegetable oil for frying

½ cup caster sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

Chocolate sauce

  • Put all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat
  • Gently melt everything together, stirring occasionally until you have a smooth shiny sauce
  • Keep warm on a low heat.

Churros

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, salt and the measured vegetable oil
  • Bring to a boil and remove off heat
  • Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball
  • Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating in quickly and vigorously
  • Heat the oil for frying in deep-fryer or a deep saucepan to 190°C
  • Place the dough mixture into a piping bag
  • Pipe strips of dough into hot oil
  • Fry until golden, then drain on paper towel
  • Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bow
  • Roll the drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture

Chocolate & Almond Biscotti

What a great combination, Almond, chocolate & orange.

Ingredients 

230g                plain flour
60 g                 cocoa powder
½ tsp              baking powder
260 g               caster sugar
4                      large eggs, beaten
240 g               almond nuts, chopped
100 g              cranberries, chopped
1                      orange, finely zested

Method 

  • Pre-heat your oven to 140°C
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper
  • Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar together in a mixing bowl
  • Stir in the beaten eggs, a little at a time, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next
  • Continue until you have a firm dough; it may not be necessary to add all of the egg.

NB: The dough shouldn’t be at all sticky.

  • Add the almonds and the cranberries to the biscotti dough with the orange zest and combine using your hands
  • Turn the biscotti dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently, then divide in half
  • Roll each piece of dough into a long log, about 4cm in diameter
  • Place both logs on your lined baking tray, spacing them at least 5cm apart as the mixture will spread a bit
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave the logs to cool on the tray for 10 minutes to allow the dough to firm up slightly, then transfer to a board
  • Cut the logs, on the diagonal, into 2-3cm thick slices
  • Place the slices, cut side up, on the baking tray
  • Return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the biscotti are dry through to the centre, turning them over halfway through
  • Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely

Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

One way to eat your vegetables! ha ha

Ingredients

For the cake:
2 cups plain flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large cooked beetroots, finely grated
1 ¼ cups hot water

For the frosting:
½ cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
¾ cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt

Method

To make the cake

  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and dust the sides with flour, tapping out any excess.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter has been worked into the flour (it will seem dry and crumbly).
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix in slightly, then mix in the beets.
  • Add the hot water while mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the batter is thick and fluffy.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, spread to level the batter and tap the pans on the counter to knock out any large air pockets.
  • Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in their pans for 30 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting

  • For the frosting, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Continue to whisk this over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then whisk in the cream.
  • Continue to whisk until the mixture returns to a simmer (gentle bubbles) and whisk  for an additional minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Cool the mixture (it will look like a thick fudge sauce) to room temperature, then chill for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally while chilling.
  • This will set the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
  • To assemble, peel the parchment from a cake layer and place it on a plate or platter.
  • Spread an even layer of frosting over the top of the cake and place the second cake layer on top.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake, spreading until desired effect
  • Chill the cake to set, but pull the cake from the fridge an hour before slicing and serving.

 

Potato Gratin

Comfort food at its best! Happiness it is! 

Ingredients

1 kg                 potatoes, peeled & sliced on a mandolin (leaving them in water)
200ml             milk
200ml             cream
1                      bay leaf
1                      garlic clove, peeled & smashed
200g                Parmesan cheese
Sea salt & fresh black pepper
Olive oil

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to 200’C
  • Place a sauce pan on a medium heat
  • Add the milk, cream, bay & garlic in the pan
  • Heat until simmering
  • Set aside to cool
  • Lightly grease a deep gratin dish
  • Scatter 1/3 of the cheese over the bottom of the baking dish
  • Place the sliced potatoes over the cheese to form a layer
  • Season with sea salt & pepper
  • Continue layering
  • Strain the milk & cream infusion
  • Pour over the potatoes
  • The mixture should come up two thirds up the side of the baking dish
  • Gently press the potatoes down
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cheese
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown
  • A sharp knife should slide through with ease
  • Leave to cool slightly before serving

 

Swiss Cheese Fondu

My ultimate cheese haven for indulgence!

Ingredients
1                       garlic clove
3 tbsp              corn-starch
3 tbsp              Kirsch
300 ml            dry white wine
300 g               Gruyere cheese, grated
300 g               Vacherin cheese, grated

To serve

Silver onions
Gherkins
Chilli powder
Paprika.

A crusty bread loaf, cut into chunks – plain white or brown

 

Method

  • Take a clove of garlic, peel it, halve it and rub the cut faces around the inside of the pot you are going to use

NB: The actual name (French) for this pot is a Caquelon – Cack-er-lon

  • Your choice as to whether or not to leave the remnant garlic halves in the pot (I do!).
  • Create a slurry of corn-starch (Maizena) and Kirsch (or a brandy or eau de vie or grappa made from cherries) in a mixing bowl
  • Pour in the wine, and heat up the Caquelon or the pot you are using.
  • When the wine is almost bubbling, then lower the temperature and stir in the slurry (this helps keep the cheeses from separating).
  • Add in all of the Gruyere cheese
  • Stir continually until melted

NB: Some add in some lemon juice here, to help cut through the fat

  • Then add in Vacherin cheese, and stir continuously, while it melts in
  • On the table, have a tea light/ gas burner/ petro jelly burner under a stand, and transfer the Caquelon/ pot to stand over it – the fondue should really not be bubbling furiously, just the odd gentle burp or two
  • Have on the table bowls of bread chunks silver onions, gherkins, chilli powder and paprika

NB: The chunks are best if they have a bit of crust on them

  • Use long-handled forks to spear a bread chunk (the crust helps them stay on the fork) and then (gently) swirl around in the fondue.
  • Lift out, dip (if you want) in the paprika or chilli powder and eat
  • Let drips of cheese drop onto the pickles on your plate

NB: When the fondue gets down to the bottom of the Caquelon/ pot, you can then break an egg into it, stir vigorously and have a lovely cheesy scrambled egg with the remnants

NB: You can also have a bowl of Kirsch on the table and dip the bread into that before dipping your bread into the Caquelon/ pot

Milk Tart Fruits Tarts

Make a large one of several small one if you wish!

Sweet pastry

Ingredients

60g                 unsalted butter – softened
40g                 icing sugar – sieved
1                      egg yolk
125g                plain flour
1 tbsp             water

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and egg yolk and then add the creamed butter to give a smooth appearance.
  • Add the flour to the butter mixture and rub together using your fingertips until it becomes sandy in texture.
  • Add the water, then mix and press together.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it.       Knead with the palms of your hands until it is well blended, more vigorously for the last few seconds.
  • Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.

Milk tart filling

Ingredients

950ml            milk
2 tbsp             corn-flour
225g               sugar
3                      eggs
2 tbsp             flour
1                      vanilla pod, cut length ways and deseeded
1 tbsp             butter
1 tsp               cinnamon

Method 

  • In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and infuse with the vanilla pod.
  • Beat the eggs and add the sugar, flour and corn-flour.
  • Combine well.
  • Pour the boiling milk into the egg mixture and whisk constantly.
  • Return to stove and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.
  • Add the butter.
  • Remove the vanilla pod and pour into the cooked shell.
  • Decorate with a sprinkle of cinnamon & fresh fruit.

 

Chocolate Brownies

A childhood favourite that still never escapes you! 

Ingredients
375 g              Butter
375 g              Dark Chocolate
6                      large eggs
1 tbsp             Vanilla extract
500 g              Castor Sugar
225 g              Flour
300 g              almonds, roughly chopped

Method

  • Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler until smooth
  • In a separate bowl mix together eggs, vanilla and sugar
  • Mix together chocolate mix with egg mixture and then add in flour and pecan nuts
  • Bake at 160C for +-35min