Monday, 25 February 2013

Damson Gin Ice Cream

I am Lady of the Leftovers. Baronness of the By-Product. Countess of Casserolling. Duchess of the dodgy looking bag of carrots in the back of the fridge.

Butternut squash seeds? I'll spice and toast them.

Scraps of pastry? Blatantly going to be re-rolled into cheese straws.

Potato peelings? Tossed in olive oil and baked into crisps.

My stock pot bubbleth over.

Bread to breadcrumbs. Wrinkly apple to crumble.

The leftover damsons from my Christmas Damson Gin are within my realm and they shall too be given a royal send off.

Into my mouth.

Makes around 1pint of ice cream


Damson Purée
325gr whole gin soaked damsons
40gr sugar
Couple of splashes of water

Ice Cream Base
2 egg yolks
50gr caster sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour
1/2tsp vanilla extract
150ml semi skimmed milk
200ml double cream


1, Make the damson purée first by adding the damsons and sugar into a medium sized saucepan and simmering with a splash of water. Smoosh the damsons down with the back of a wooden spoon.
2, You need to simmer this until the damsons have broken down completely and have formed a light jam like consistency. Dependent on your damsons, you might have to add in more water.
3, Pass the cooked damsons through a sieve. I had around 115gr of thick purée at this point. Leave this to go completely cold.
4, Make the custard base of the ice cream by beating the eggs, sugar, corn flour and vanilla extract together in a large heatproof bowl.

5, Bring the milk and 150ml of the double cream to just below simmering point and pour slowly onto the beaten egg etc using a whisk to combine.
6, Pour back into the saucepan and set over a low heat. Stir continuously until the custard has thickened and you get a nice thick covering on the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow to boil as this will give you lumps.
7, Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour in the rest of the double cream and stir through the cold fruit purée. Let this go completely cold before churning in an ice cream machine.
8, Spoon the churned ice cream into freezer proof container and freeze. Serve plain or with a splash of damson gin and chocolate covered cocoa nibs.

I'm entering this into Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, a monthly frosty treat challenge from Kavey of Kavey Eats. To celebrate one year of the challenge, all previous categories have been opened up. My damson gin ice cream fits the categories of custard based, fruit and booze!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Q & A (a day)

I've been struggling with inspiration recently. A kind of writer's block of sorts. I sometimes try and give you a little more than "I had some apples, so I made a pie".

Someone told me that I should keep a journal or diary as it will help boost my creativity levels. I'm not big on sharing my deepest darkest with paper so went for an alternative.

This little 5 year journal poses you questions every day. Some are light and airy (What colours are you wearing? 7th April ) to the more profound (If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be? May 18th). It's also a handy size, measuring in at 11cm x 16cm x 3cm (w x h x d) so is perfect for slipping in your handbag.

I think 10th April will be an easy to fill entry.

Do you keep a journal or a diary? Does it help your creativity or is it a good outlet for the stresses of everyday life?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Jasmine Green Tea Macarons

Valentine's Day can be a bit brash sometimes. That's ok.

Walking into a card shop is a barrage of red and bears holding hearts. Barry White has infiltrated adverts. Blogs are full of red, pink and heart shaped sprinkles. Celebrating love in any way is always a winner.

I didn't have the heart (sorry...) to break out the red food colouring for these. I love how delicate they look, how light and how pure. Like love. Uncomplicated love.

Macaron Recipe from Annie Eats

Ganache Recipe


200gr white chocolate
180ml double cream
1 jasmine green tea bag emptied out (around 1tbsp of loose tea)


1, Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie and set to one side.
2, In a small pan, stir 120ml of the cream with the tea and stir over a medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and strain the cream through a fine sieve into the still warm melted chocolate.
3, Add in the rest of the cream and stir gently to combine. When smooth, cover and leave in a cool place (fridge on a hot day, open window on a cool day) until it becomes softly set. Using a silicone spatula, beat the ganache until it lightens in colour, it should be the texture of peanut butter and perfect for piping or spreading.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

We Should Cocoa: Rhubarb, Ginger & Whiskey Hand Pies

This month's We Should Cocoa ginger challenge is hosted by Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes. Last month's low/no sugar round up for We Should Cocoa's healthy start to the year can be found here on Choclette's blog. Don't forget to check out Choclette and Chele's blogs.
Have you seen the influx in childhood favourites and classics made adult? You know the ones.

Want to know a secret? I feel let down if they don't contains disturbing amount of chili or alcohol. I'm talking filthy boozy ice creams and cauliflower cheese with mountains of Cajun seasoning. Because, if they didn't have heat or an alcoholic content, then they'd just be vamped up and perfectly child safe.

These small hand sized pies are flakey and buttery. With a semi sweet rhubarb and defined whiskey taste. Simply replace the whiskey with a splash of water if you're not down with it. 

Rhubarb Filling

280gr fresh rhubarb
25ml (1 UK measure) whiskey
1 chunk of ginger in syrup, grated finely
3tbsp ginger syrup from the jar or honey


170gr plain flour
1tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
120gr cold butter, cut into chunks
60ml ice cold water (plus extra)

Other ingredients

Nutella for the filling (optional)
1 egg yolk mixed with 1tbsp ice cold water and a small pinch of salt (egg wash)
Icing sugar (for serving)


1, Make the rhubarb filling first. Preheat oven to 200o/c and cut the rhubarb into bite sized chunks and place in an oven proof dish.
2, Add the whiskey, grated ginger and ginger syrup/honey and stir until everything is evenly combined.
3, Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and beginning to caramelise. 
4, Gently stir and set this aside and leave to cool completely before using. You will need to strain the syrup off too, just let it sit in a sieve over a bowl for a couple of minutes.

5, Make the pastry by sifting the flour into a large bowl with the salt. Toss in the butter and using your fingertips, rub it into the flour until you have a shaggy and lumpy consistency. This will make the pastry light and flaky.

6, Using a butter knife, add in the cold water, a tablespoon at a time and using a cutting motion, bring the pastry together. You want a soft but not sticky dough.
7, Preheat your oven to 190o/c and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Roll out your dough to around 3mm thick. Stamp out 12 rounds, approximately 7.5cm in diameter. You might have some dough left over.

8, Divide the cooled rhubarb between the pastry discs, heaping it to one side. Top with a little Nutella if using. Dampen the edges around the filling with a little egg wash and fold the unfilled side over the top to form a semi circle. Crimp the edges with a fork, brush with the egg wash and place on the prepared baking sheets.

9, Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
10, Dust with icing sugar before serving.