Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Coffee and Turkish Delight Granita

My handbag is a wondrous thing. Anything you could possibly need, is in it.

I forgot my purse the other week and I managed to find £2.84 in the bottom of it so I could grab some lunch. Any emergency and it has you covered. A cut finger, a laddered pair of tights, chipped nail varnish, a broken nail or dry lips are no match for the contents of my handbag. Sometimes I am worried that it has developed its own kind of sentience though. Just the other day I was experiencing a bit of an ebb. My handbag produced a turkish delight bar and instant coffee sachet. It's like it knew...

I'm entering this into Kavey's Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream hot drinks inspired challenge.  You can read all about BSFIC here.  

400ml water
2 heaped tablespoons of ground coffee
40gr caster sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
Turkish delight

1, In a saucepan combine all the ingredients, save for the turkish delight and put over a medium heat.  Bring to a gentle simmer and then remove from the heat.  
2, Leave to cool completely and then strain through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of all of the coffee grounds.  
3, Transfer into a shallow, freezer proof bowl bowl or tray and pop in the freezer. 
4,You'll need to break up the ice crystals and then also periodically after that with a fork. It's really up to you as to the consistency of the granita. Some like it almost slushy and some like hard shards of ice. I hover in the middle.
5, Check the granita every half an hour after that'll break up the ice. Mine took just over two hours as my freezer is quite new and has a super fast freeze option. When you've got to to the desired consistency. 
6, Cut up the turkish delight into small chunks and stir through. It's really up to you how much you use. Serve immediately.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

We Should Cocoa: £1 Chocolate Cake

This month's We Should Cocoa is hosted by Choclette at the Chocolate Log Blog who is taking Live Below the Line as inspiration for this month's challenge.  Last month's Easter round up can be found here. You can read all about We Should Cocoa, how to enter and take a look at the previous challenges and round ups on Choclette's blog here

People, every day, struggle financially to put food on the table. Live Below the Line is a campaign that raises awareness to the fact that over a billion people around the globe live on, sometimes a lot, less than £1 per day for food.

What does a chocolate cake have to do with this? Choclette challenged us raise awareness and to try and make a chocolate cake for £1.


As someone who has had an ongoing love affair with butter, free range eggs and sugar, it wasn't easy. But in times of trouble, I know where to turn. 

Oh yes. Return of the beast.

I based my recipe on the Economical Chocolate Cake.

(and cost breakdown)
140gr self raising flour (4.2p)
30gr cocoa powder (24p)
85gr margarine (15.1p)
85gr sugar (8.4p)
150ml milk (10.4p)

Total - 62.1p

1, Preheat your oven to 180o/c and line a seven inch cake tin.
2, Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and then stir with a whisk to fully combine
3, Rub in the margarine, much like you would when making pastry, until it it fully combined and there are no lumps.
4, Stir in the sugar and then add in enough milk to give it a soft, cake batter-esque, consistency.
5, Decant into your cake tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it is completely cooked.
6, Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

The method of this cake surprised me a little but the end rest surprised me even more.  It was so good.  Even with cheap flour and margarine, it tasted brilliant. 

Hang on, but isn't that a ganache topping? Yes. And it still comes in at under a £1

100gr bar of dark chocolate
(Aldi and Sainsburys both do bars that are or are around 30p)
50ml plain tap water

1, Break the chocolate into pieces and add them into a small saucepan with the water.
2, Very gently, over a low heat, melt them together, stirring continuously.
3, Once all melted and liquify, remove from the heat and leave to cool until it has a thick spreading consistency.  When this starts to cool, it does so very quickly and goes quite solid so slap it on your cooled cake as soon as you think it will hold.  Leave to set completely (will literally only take a couple more minutes) before slicing and serving. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Rhubarb Syrup

There is an actor that I see on the TV who always plays the role of "angry, bald man'.  I feel a bit sorry for him. I secretly and very strongly believe that secretly he wants break free from this shackle and play Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake.  

I feel this way about some food too. I hate ingredients that get type cast into certain roles.  For example, if I see one more rhubarb and ginger "compote" or crumble, I will go to my happy place of seeing the angry, bald man in a tutu. 


315gr (ish) rhubarb 
170gr caster sugar
500ml water
1 vanilla pod, halved (kinda optional)


1, Cut the rhubarb into chunks and place in a medium sized saucepan. Toss in the rest of the ingredients and place over a medium heat.
2, Bring to the gentlest simmer you can manage and leave for 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is starting to break down.  Give it an occasional stir but don't mash it up too much. 
3, Pop a sieve lined with a cheesecloth or a new, clean jay cloth on top of a jug/bowl and pour the rhubarb pulpy mess through.  Leave it to strain through rather than squeezing. We want to keep it as clear as possible and squishing will make it cloudy. 
4, Cool and store in a sterilised preserving jar or bottle. 

This is good for soda water and ice for a quick drink, dousing ice cream and porridge.  It'll keep for a few days in the fridge and is a bit small batch.

But, if you want to shake that shit with vodka or gin, I am not going to stop you.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Four Years

I don't do it for the page views or the free stuff.  I don't worry about meaningless scores or web pages that rank blogs on an computer algorithm rather than quality and beauty.  I'm not rude to people for the sake of being rude to people. I don't stamp my feet when a photo doesn't get accepted to TasteGawker or whatever.  I've never cried myself to sleep over Twitter followers or Facebook likes.

It isn't nonchalance.  Not at all.

For me, it's about ice cream tacos.  

It's looking back at your first post and laughing at the horrid photo and use of too many exclamation marks.  It's about asking twitter what to do with gluts of courgettes* or too many clementines.  It's about drippy icing and seeing whether you can cram one more cake tin into an already full dishwasher.

It's about big life things.

It's cake.  It's the pickles you make for your dad and the honey ice cream that you make for your mum.  It's about self saucing puddings that are truly shocking.  It's about love for your stomach. It's about you. 

Thank You 
for the past four years of witty comments, sage advice and generally being totally sweet

Blog birthday high five! 
(Exclamation marks!!! More exclamation marks!!! More!!!!!!)