Chocolate Porter (Or Stout) Ice Cream & A Giveaway

milk chocolate porter (or stout) beer ice cream with porter caramel sauce

It was only a few years ago, while managing a country pub, that I started to like beer; before then I had found the taste too bitter. But maybe something to do with the fact that I was serving many pints of it a day and taking care of the casks in the cellar changed my mind, and I grew to appreciate the bitterness. I have not however managed to grow to like drinking stout or porter, it is just too strong for me; but, pair it with chocolate and add to to ice cream (or cake) then it is a whole different story. Used in this way the deep, rich flavour complements and accentuates the chocolate and adds a malty flavour without overpowering. It is in short, utterly delicious.

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Balsamic Roasted Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream & July 2016 Degustabox Review

Balsamic roasted cherry and chocolate chunk ice cream

It feels like an age since I last posted, and I was planning on putting this post up last week but life (and my seven month old niece who I was babysitting for the week – how does anyone get anything done while looking after a baby?!) got in the way so it’s taken me an awfully long time to get this done! I’m also going to Bloodstock festival (heavy metal) tomorrow so will be away until next week; I’m hoping for a warm, sunny weekend but doubt I’m going to get it so I’ve got my (black, naturally) wellies packed just in case; I say packed, but currently I just have piles of stuff to take dotted around the house and haven’t actually packed anything yet…I am not very prepared! (more…)

Chocolate & Vanilla Gold Sprinkles Cake

Chocolate & vanilla gold sprinkles cake - velvety American white cake dyed turquoise with fudgy chocolate buttercream & a cascade of gold sprinkles

It’s been a while since I last made a layer cake, I didn’t even make one for my birthday (I had ice cream instead), the reason for this is that they are so big and there is mostly just the two of us to eat it. Therefore I will take advantage of any occasion where there is a gathering of people large enough to make one; a couple of weeks ago there was just such an occasion – a barbecue for a friends birthday so of course I made a cake. (more…)

White Chocolate Allspice Ice Cream

White chocolate allspice ice cream - rich, creamy white chocolate ice cream with a hint of warm allspice

Something amazing has happened this past week – Britain has actually had some Summer! As in actual hot, sunny days and clear blue skies rather than torrential rain and gloom… This has meant that I’ve been having to get up early to walk Ringo before it gets too hot to move and the pavement burns his little paws, and all I’ve wanted to eat is ice cream and watermelon, but I’m certainly not going to complain about some much needed sunshine! The heat has also been a good excuse (not that I’ve ever needed one) to put my ice cream maker to good use and this white chocolate allspice ice cream is one of my recent creations. (more…)

Black Forest Meringue Nests (Chocolate Cherry Meringues)

Black forest meringue nests - chocolate swirl meringues with quark whipped cream, cherry compote & chocolate shavings

The other day I attempted to squeeze the bowl for my ice cream maker into the freezer, which resulted in me having to re-arrange the entire freezer and remove several items in order to fit it in (there may be an overabundance of cake in there…); that in turn led to me making these black forest meringue nests as I took out a tub of egg whites (which I always seem to have several of in there) and a packet of frozen cherries to make room for the bowl. The logical conclusion was meringues with cherry compote, at which point it seemed wrong not to add chocolate and some quark whipped cream to make sort of black forest mini pavlovas. (more…)

Syrupy Lemon, Olive Oil & Semolina Cakes

Mini syrup drenched lemon, olive oil and semolina cakes

I made these little lemon, olive oil & semolina cakes for a picnic last week; they are great for picnics as they are very quick to whip up, and because they aren’t iced they can be transported in their tins or a tub easily if need be. The combination of lemon zest and semolina flour give the cakes a lovely sunny yellow colour, and the drenching of syrup provides a strong kick of lemon flavour and keeps them deliciously moist and soft. (more…)

Crispy Coconut King Prawn & Sweetcorn, Avocado & Feta Salsa Appetizer Spoons

Crispy coconut king prawn and sweetcorn, avocado and feta salsa appetizer spoons

Heinz have recently launched their new [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise which is free from added colours, flavourings and artificial thickeners as well as being made with free range eggs, and is available in standard and light varieties. To celebrate the launch Heinz have created the [Seriously] Good Taste Challenge competition; the challenge is to create a dish that is served on a single spoon. The dish can be savoury or sweet, the only rules are that it must use Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise as an ingredient and be served as a single spoon serving – a ‘tasty mouthful’ as they put it. (more…)

A Last Minute Picnic

A last minute picnic with Higgidy

The British Summer has been fairly elusive so far; May gave us a taste of warm, sunny weather, but then the entirety of June was a complete washout and so far July hasn’t been much better; fingers crossed for August… The less than perfect weather doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a picnic though, but it is definitely safer to take advantage of those rare times when it isn’t raining and go for a spontaneous one rather than planning in advance. You could even have an indoor picnic; there is something quite fun and rebellious about eating your food on a blanket on the floor rather than at the table; or you could have a bed picnic! (watch out for crumbs). (more…)

Strawberry Lime Jam & Easy Basic Scones

Fresh and zingy tasting strawberry lime jam and recipe for quick, easy basic scones

It may feel wasteful using beautiful, juicy Summer fruits to make jam rather than just eating them as they are; but come Autumn and Winter, you will thank yourself for having preserved a little piece of Summer. Making your own jam may seem like a daunting task, and true, there is boiling sugar involved, but it is actually quite a simple process involving very few ingredients, and once you get the hang of it you can create all kinds of delicious flavour combinations. (more…)

Dresden Sugar Cake & Bake To Impress Review & Giveaway

Dresden sugar cake - an enriched yeast coffee cake with a crisp, buttery sugar topping

I’ve got a bit of a thing for recipe books, I don’t buy them very often but I do love them and will happily spend hours looking through them in search of inspiration; so when I was offered a copy of Bake To Impress by Christian Hümbs to review of course I accepted. Christian Hümbs is a German patissier who is a judge on the German Bake-Off, has worked at a host of Michelin starred restaurants and hotels and was awarded German Patissier of the year in 2014; Bake To Impress is his first book. (more…)

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