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Coconut Nutella squares

12 Mar

coconut-nutella-squares

I practically never buy Nutella – it’s not a good fit with my “processed-food-avoiding, cook-from-scratch” approach to feeding my family.

So having reluctantly agreed to buy a jar for the pancake breakfast following a special sleepover, I was keen to use up the rest before the girls started thinking of Nutella as a store-cupboard staple.

These coconut Nutella squares from the Hungry Mum website were just the ticket. Unfortunately, they were such a big hit with everyone, I can see myself buying Nutella specially in order to make them again.

Or I could have a go at making homemade Nutella…;-) Continue reading

Eggnog ice cream

29 Dec

Eggnog ice cream

Given that eggnog has always tasted like rum-laced melted ice cream to me, I’m surprised it took me so long to hit on the idea of eggnog ice cream.

I made a batch a couple of days before Christmas as an alternative dessert for people who don’t like Christmas pudding.

It turns out I don’t know those kind of people… My guests like their Christmas pudding topped with both brandy butter and a goodly scoop of eggnog ice cream.

The pudding and ice cream combo is such a winner, that I think we’ll forgo the brandy butter altogether next year.

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Lemon meringue pie

24 Nov

Lemon meringue pie

Next on my belated list of Great British Bake-off signature bakes is a classic lemon meringue pie.

Where I grew up, most restaurants (at least the kind my family ate in), had at least three types of pie on offer.

Apple, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin, raisin, bumbleberry, saskatoon, rhubarb, pecan, peach… I’d happily order any of them, but if lemon meringue pie was on the menu, they wouldn’t get a look in.

After reviewing several recipes, I settled on this one from The Great British Book of Baking, which was published to accompany the first series of the Great British Bake-Off.

Sweet shortcrust pastry, a tangy lemon filling you could stand a fork in, and pillowy French meringue – it looked and tasted like the lemon meringue pie of my childhood. Works for me.

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Blueberry cheesecake pots

9 Nov

Blueberry cheesecake pots

Much to my girls’ disappointment, I’m not much of a dessert person. While I’ll occasionally make a batch of ice cream or throw together an apple crumble, it’s generally fruit, yogurt, fruit-and-yogurt, or maybe a biscuit on the dessert menu around here – none of which generate much enthusiasm.

So it was a pleasant surprise to see their excitement when I produced these little blueberry cheesecake pots the other day – which are essentially fruit, yogurt, and a biscuit. The power of presentation – and added sugar and fat of course…;-)

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Mango ice cream

16 Oct

Mango ice cream
I’ve had a large tin of mango pulp taking up precious space in the pantry cupboard for ages now. It’s been so long, I can no longer remember my reason for purchasing it. I’m thinking maybe cocktails…?

The other day, it occurred to me that it would lend itself nicely to making mango ice cream. To my surprise, none of the recipes I found used tinned mango, so I decided to go it alone.

I kept things simple – just mango pulp, double cream, lime juice, salt and Malibu liqueur (another thing that’s been taking up valuable shelf space for the last ten years.)

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Chocolate babka

25 Sep

chocolate-babka

The moment I saw those Great British Bake-off contestants tackling chocolate bread, I knew I’d be making chocolate babka.

I first heard of chocolate babka in that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and Elaine fail to buy one for a dinner party, but have never made – or eaten – any type of babka until now.

It turns out that making babka is a time-consuming, fiddly labour of love. Part way through the bread-braiding process, I thought “this is the first and last chocolate babka I’m going to make.”

And then I tasted that pillowy sweet dough laced with swirls and knots of chocolate and nuggets of toasted pecan. If I hadn’t been stupified by deliciousness, I could have happily started making another one immediately…;-)

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Sticky ginger cake with lemon icing

27 Aug

Sticky ginger cake with lemon icing

This lovely, slightly damp and sticky ginger cake is fast becoming a staple in our house. I love how the sharp lemon icing cuts the sweetness of the sponge.

The cake keeps really well, and is even more delicious the following day. It could well be even better the day after that, but we’ve never had one last long enough to find out…;-)

The original recipe is from the BBC Good Food website. Continue reading