instant cherry gelato

20170102_185627How easy is this?  It’s also low carb – no added sugar – and totally delicious. This quantity serves about 4. Or just me when I feel like icecream.

  • 350g frozen black cherries
  • 250ml double cream

Put the double cream and frozen cherries into a bowl and use a stick blender to blend the two ingredients together until the mixture looks like ice cream. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth – having visible bits of cherry makes it more interesting.  You can either eat this straight away, or store it in the freezer, but if you store it then take it out and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes before eating.  It is lovely served with dark chocolate sauce (melt dark chocolate with cream – easy).

Advertisements

Cranachan

For Burns night (25th January), a traditional Scottish pudding made a bit lighter by the addition of half-fat crème fraîche. We ate it all before I could take pictures. This quantity makes 6 portions.

  • 75g porridge oats
  • 35g flaked almonds
  • 300ml double cream
  • 150g half-fat crème fraîche
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whisky
  • 3 tablespoons clear honey
  • 350g frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • handful fresh raspberries (optional)

Take the raspberries out of the freezer at least 2 hours before you’re going to use them – they need to defrost at room temperature.  Put the oats and almonds in a large non-stick frying pan and dry-fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Watch it like a hawk, and keep stirring the oats and almonds so they toast to a golden brown colour. If you take your eyes off the pan for a minute you’re guaranteed to come back to a pan full of blackened almonds! Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour the double cream and crème fraîche into a large bowl and add the vanilla extract, whisky and honey. Whip to the soft peak stage – don’t over-do it, as the cream will stiffen further when mixed with the oats. Set six glass tumblers on a tray (you could use ramekins, but if you use glasses you’ll be able to see the lovely layers). Put a spoonful of the whipped cream mixture in the base of each glass. Sprinkle on some of the oats and almonds and about half the defrosted raspberries on top. Repeat the layers once more. If you’ve got fresh raspberries, put a thin layer of the oat/almond mixture over the top layer of defrosted raspberries and put the fresh raspberries on the top of that.  The oat/almond mixture can be made well in advance, and you can whip the cream mixture ahead of time as well, but the cranachan needs to be served as soon as it’s assembled.

lemonade scones

I’ve always been rubbish at making scones – until I discovered this recipe!

  • 325 g self raising flour
  • 170ml lemonade (I used the full sugar version – might try the diet version to see what happens)
  • 170ml double cream
  • small pinch salt

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees for a fan oven or 220 degrees for a normal oven. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Mix the cream and lemonade in a jug, then fold it gently into the the flour.  It will make quite a wet dough but the less you mix it, the better. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll it out to about 2.5cm thick, and cut it into squares with a knife, or use a sharp cutter to cut into rounds. It should make about 12 scones2014-06-07 16.32.17.  Put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.  You could brush them with milk or eggwash if you want to be fancy. When they’re cool enough to handle, split them and spread with clotted cream and jam.

Irish cream liqueur

  • 400g tin of condensed milk
  • 250ml long life UHT single cream (or 200ml full fat UHT milk and 50g sterilised cream, whisked together)
  • 250ml Irish whiskey
  • 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee powder or granules
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate syrup
  • 2 teaspoons caramel syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until mixed. Don’t whizz too much or you’ll end up with alcoholic whipped cream. Put in sterilised bottles and drink within a week – keep in the fridge.

NOTES ON UHT CREAM
Long life or UHT single cream is becoming increasingly difficult to find – Spar shops or Makro are two places that regularly stock it. Don’t be tempted to use cream substitutes like Elmlea, you will regret it. You could use fresh cream but it will only last a couple of days before going off. This year (2016) we tried it with 200ml full fat UHT milk and 50g of Carnation sterilised cream (the stuff in tins that my Nana Margot used to put on tinned peaches as a treat).  It worked OK, I think, but it was quite difficult to get the cream to disperse in the milk.  Whisking the cream and  milk together before putting anything else in seems to be the best method.

The instant coffee powder or granules should be good quality, strong-tasting stuff – espresso type. We’ve not tried this with the new whole bean instant powders like Millicano. I suspect they might be a bit gritty.

Dark chocolate syrup – the best you can find, with a high cocoa content. If not, you can make your own chocolate syrup by heating a spoonful of golden syrup and mixing a spoonful of cocoa into it, but this won’t stay in suspension as well as the ready-made chocolate syrup and you might have to shake your bottles of liqueur before serving to avoid a chocolatey sediment.

Caramel syrup – if you fancy experimenting you could use maple syrup, or a flavoured syrup for coffee such as hazelnut or gingerbread. Monin syrups are perhaps the best known; they seem to be in all the high street coffee chains like Costa. And I used to work for Monin when I was a student many moons ago, so I do feel an odd sense of loyalty to them!