I’m not a huge sweet fan, and will almost always choose something savoury instead, however sometimes only sweet will hit the spot. This coconut ice is really quick and easy to make, although I needs to set in the fridge for a few hours, preferably overnight. I make mine in my food mixer because I’m lazy but it can be easily mixed using a bowl and wooden spoon.
This recipe will give you a nice coconut-y coconut ice, just the way I like it.
Beat together the icing sugar and condensed milk until you have a smooth paste.
Add the coconut and mix well.
If you're making two-toned coconut ice, spread half the mixture onto your tray, levelling it off to approximately 1cm in thickness then beat the food colouring into the remainder until you have a nice even colour.***
Spread the coloured mix on top of the plain one, again at around 1cm thickness and smooth down the top.
Leave in the fridge overnight then cut into squares. You have my permission to eat any uneven edges you need to cut off.
* I find red colouring gives a nicer pink than pink colouring
** I use a 20cm square silicone cake mould, so I don't bother greasing it. The mix doesn't quite fit across of the bottom of my mould, but it's firm enough to hold its shape.
*** If you're not adding colour to your coconut ice, spread all the mixture onto your tray, keeping the thickness at around 2cm.
It’s was my brother-in-law’s birthday last weekend, so I baked him some cakes:
Piña Colada cupcakes – by special request. I even put little umbrellas in them.
I also made jelly and custard cupcakes. These are always a great hit with the little ones (and big ones too!)
The Piña Colada ones were from Love Cupcakes, my hands down favourite cupcake book. The jelly and custard ones are also based on a recipe in the book but I’ve tweaked it so many times it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original. Here’s my recipe for them:
Jelly & Custard Cupcakes
An homage to that old favourite childhood pudding - jelly and custard...in cupcake form.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees c and line a muffin/cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
Put the butter, caster sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs and mix to combine (don't worry if it looks a little curdled at this stage, adding the flour will sort that out).
Add the flour and baking powder and beat again until combined.
Add the milk and beat again.
Divide the mixture evenly between your cupcake cases, bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, and turn out on a wire rack to cool.
Once cupcakes have cooled, using an apple corer or knife, removed a section of cake from the centre, taking care not to go straight through to the cupcake case. Fill the space with raspberry jam and pop the piece of cake you removed back in.
To make the frosting:
Beat the butter and vanilla until pale and fluffy
Add the icing sugar and beat, slowly at first, until the mixture comes together. Add the custard powder and beat again to incorporate
At this point, you will probably find the frosting to be a little too thick. Add milk, one tablespoonful at a time, until it reaches your desired piping constituency.
Add the frosting to the cupcakes using either a piping nozzle of your choice or spread on with a palette knife.
I use a very heaped tbsp sized measuring spoon to measure the mixture into the cupcake cases. This will give around 16 cupcakes.
I find squeezy seedless jam ideal for these cupcakes.
I prefer about 4 very heaped tablespoons of custard powder in my frosting, as I like it to be quite custardy.
I like to use large nozzles, as they allow me to cover the cake quickly and easily (cake decorating is not a skill I possess!).
This year, spring has been a long time coming, so I decided to use the leftovers from Sunday dinner to make a nice hearty casserole.
With this one, the pork can easily be swapped with venison or beef. If your meat hasn’t been pre-roasted, don’t worry, just cook for an extra 30-45 minutes then add the chestnuts and cook for a further 30 minutes.
If you are using an oven-proof pan, pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees c.
Heat the oil in a large pan or casserole and cook the onions with half a teaspoon of sugar until they start to caramelise.
Add the halved mushrooms and keep cooking until they also start to brown.
Now add the pork, garlic, rosemary, and juniper and give a good stir to combine the ingredients.
Pop the stock cube into the pot, along with the wine and quarter of a cup of water. Stir again.
Add the chestnuts, put the lid on the pot and cook in the oven for half an hour or so.
If you feel you want to add some gravy (I did), do that just before serving.
Serve with mash and green beans (or peas if you forget to pick up some green beans!)
Make sure you use chestnuts, not water chestnuts. I once went to a local restaurant where the 'partridge with chestnuts' came with water chestnuts - not a very pleasant culinary experience.
Two of my favourite things are the stunningly beautiful city of Seville and the cute little marmalade sandwich nibbling bear, Paddington. To celebrate my upcoming trip, Paddington’s first foray onto the silver screen, and the relaunch of my site, I’m going to share an extra recipe this week.
Gorgeously bitter Seville oranges are only available in January and February, so this is the ideal time to stock up on marmalade for the rest of the year. The recipe is very easy – only 4 ingredients if you include the water.
Scrub the oranges, then juice them. Keep juice in a separate container.
Slice the pith and peel to your desired thickness. Once all the peel has been sliced, put in a large container, cover with the juice and 2.5l of water, and leave overnight.
Add all the orange peel, juice and water mixture to the largest pan you own (or can beg, borrow or steal - I'm lucky enough to have a maslin pan which is obviously perfect for marmalade making). Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours until the peel has softened and the mixture reduced by around one third.
Add the sugar and lemon juice, bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the mixture going at a rapid boil for another 20 minutes or so until it reaches setting point. This can be tested by putting some on a cold plate, and cooing for a couple of minutes - the marmalade should have some stability and sort of "wrinkle up" when you nudge it.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes then pour into warm sterilised jars. This recipe should yield around 2 litres of marmalade and keep until the oranges are available again next year.
If you wish, once the marmalade is completely cold (I left mine until the following day), use kitchen roll to dry off any condensation on the inside of the lids.
If you are unable to get Seville oranges, any bitter oranges will do.