The Best Ever Iced Coffee or Frappuccino!

 

 

Whenever I go to India there is the most amazing Iced Coffee I get at McDs of all places. Don’t judge, it’s really delicious. When I get home I run through tubs of double cream trying to recreate that sweet, creamy flavour.

Then one day, while sipping a hot Vietnamese coffee I had a brainwave and the easiest, tastiest iced coffee was born. And best of all no fancy equiThen I discovered throwing the whole lot in the blender makes a cool, creamy, delicious drink/pudding to rival any coffee shop. And now that it’s decided to be summer here I thought I’d share the recipe with you

Serves 1  as a straightforward iced coffee, 2 for a blended drink(because youll need more ice). These are the proportions I use but feel free to change them according to your palate or the size of your glass. The glass I used was about 300ml.

Ingredients

  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 tbs of condensed milk
  • 1 tbs double cream
  • 150  ml milk
  • a handful of ice cubes
  • 15-30 ml booze (optional but recommended), kahlua, amaretto, bailey’s, frangelico all work well here. Yes, I have tried.
  • ice cream (optional)
  • squirty cream (optional)

Method

If you are planning to blend your drink you can make it in the blender cup. If not you can make it straight into your serving cup.

  1. Make a good, strong shot of espresso.
    20160721_144335
    Get your espresso on

    If you don’t have an espresso machine, mix up 2 tsp instant coffee with 30ml of water, just off the boil and stir well until all the granules dissolve.

    20160721_144458
    Look away, coffee aficionados! This crema’s about to get wrecked
  2. Pour the condensed milk into the hot coffee and stir till dissolved.
  3. Add the milk, booze20160721_144932 (if yore using it) and ice cubes and stir gently.
  4. if you are blending, now’s the time. Whizz to your preferred consistency  and pour into a glass.

    20160721_145226
    Straightforward iced coffee.
  5. if you’re going all out, add ice cream and squirty cream.

    20160721_145446
    With all the bells and whistles
  6. Enjoy, quick! It will start raining in a minute!

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The Best Ever Iced Coffee or Frappuccino!

Cheat’s Mars Bar Ice Cream

Mars ice cream bars are delicious…except that fatty, cheap tasting chocolate coating. O, and the ice cream:caramel ratio is all wrong. So after the success of my Cheat’s Salted Caramel Ice Cream I thought I’d have a go at recreating the flavours of a Mars bar.

This is what I did….

Ice cream Ingredients 

  • 500ml tub of ready made custard. I used Waitrose’s essential one because it isn’t too sweet.
  • 40g Horlicks. Or ovaltine or other malted milk powder.
  • 10-30ml boiling water from the kettle.

I mixed the Horlicks with enough hot water to make a paste with no lumps.20160616_190823 I added in a little custard, stirred it about and added it back into the custard to ensure it spread through properly. At this point it tastes quite sweet but don’t worry, the freezing takes the edge off the sweetness. I put the custard mix into the ice cream machine and let it do its thing. If you don’t have a machine you can use a shallow plastic tub with a lid and whisk it up every hour till it’s set.

Meanwhile, make ganache 

  • 40g chocolate
  • 40ml double cream

I really don’t like big chunks of chocolate in ice cream so I decided to make a ganache instead. I used 60% dark chocolate but use what you fancy. Chop it up small and place on a bowl. Warm the cream in the microwave for 15 sec or so. Pour onto the chocolate and stir till smooth.

20160616_192343
Ganache….consider making extra to eat with a spoon while you wait…or put on a sneaky bit of toast

Let it cool a bit. If you want choccy chunks use slightly less cream and pour thd warm ganache onto a piece of silicone or greaseproof paper. Roll it up into a tube and pop it into the fridge until the ice cream is done.

Assemble 

20160616_194601When the ice cream machine is done, layer up the ice cream and ganache in a freezer proof tub until they are all used up. Cover thd surface with greaseproof paper.

When it’s time to serve let the ice cream ripen for 20 mins in the fridge so it scoops easily. Top with caramel sauce or dulce de leche.

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If you wanted to make this as a fancy pudding, you could use silicone moulds to set the ice cream in and use the ganache and caramel as drizzles.

Cheat’s Mars Bar Ice Cream

2 Ingredient Nutella Brownies

I ummmed and aaaahead about making these for ages. It sounded too good to be true. On one hand I thought it should work because nutella would act as the fat, flour and sugar. But then I thought it doesn’t have the correct ratios for the perfect cake described in this book. So I read a few reviews and they were all raving about how good these are and I saw a similar recipe in Nigella’s last book. Despite the red flags I thought I’d give it a go, I couldn’t bear the thought of this recipe being fantastic without me knowing about it.

Ingredients 

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (about 270g) nutella
  • I cheated a tiny bit and added a few extras, I don’t know if they made much difference if I’m honest but they were
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40g chopped, toasted hazelnuts

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C, line an 8″ square tin.
  2. Whisk the eggs with the salt until they have tripled in volume, about 8 mins or so.
  3. Meanwhile, warm up the nutella either in a hot water bath or the microwave until it is runny and smooth.
  4. Whisk the vanilla into the eggs then on low-medium speed pour in the nutella in a slow steady stream. The mix will deflate but that is normal apparently. Fold in the nuts.
  5. Pour into prepared in and bake for 20-25 mins until it is set and there’s no wobble.

Nigella’s version of the recipe advised to wrap these and let them sit overnight….she was right. I couldn’t wait so I had a bit while still warm and when completely cold and it tasted overwhelmingly like a sweet omelette…absolutely disgusting!  But I did as I was told and unusually it wasn’t difficult to leave them alone for a day(or two). When I unwrapped them I was suprised to see that they had indeed become fudgier and altogether much more agreeable in both taste and texture.

20160322_090538
Wrapped and rested brownie

But still a long, long way off what I would expect from a brownie. Yes it’s a quick and easy recipe (if you have an electric mixer) but I’d rather take the time and trouble to make something really delicious. Like this!

2 Ingredient Nutella Brownies

Sticky Ginger Cake

This recipe started life as a Nigella Lawson recipe and though the texture was soft, melting and delicious it lacked flavour. I found it needed the double hit of ground ginger and fresh ginger, along with some other spices. Which brings me on to one of my pet peeves….peeling ginger….nothing drives me mad like watching these so-called top chef take a knife and CUT the peel away along with the soft, tender ginger, leaving behind the less pleasant stringy bit it the middle. The best way to peel fresh ginger is rather like the way you might deal with new potatoes, use the edge of the blade of the knife (or a tespoon if you’re prone to accidents) and scrape the peel away.

20160424_181127
Just pretend it’s a new potato!

The original recipe calls for an icing made from a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar mixed to a spreadable consistency with lime juice. I prefer to serve my cake with cream and/or custard so I leave off the icing but you can do as you please.

 

Do you call this ginger bread or ginger cake? I always called both the cake and the biscuit ginger cake

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 220g black treacle
  • 120g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbs finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml full fat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a tin about 20cm x 25cm and at least 5cm deep.
  2. Get a medium sized saucepan  (preferably one that doesn’t smell like dinne). Put in on a low heat and melt the butter. Oil a tablespoon and use that to measure the syrups into the pan. Add the sugar and spices. 20160424_181739Stir it until it is smooth and combined then turn off through heat and let it cool a little.
  3. Measure the milk onto a jug, beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  5. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with a tablespoon of warm water then sir it into the eggy mix.
  6. Now stir the eggs mix into the gooey saucepan mix until it’s combined.

    20160424_182922
    Here’s an action shot for you
  7. Slowly, slowly, mixing all the time add the sauce pan contents to the flour. Go easy here, if you add the liquid too fast you will get lumps, if you add too slow you will get a sore arm!

    You don’t want to used am electric whisk because you don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour.

  8. Pour that mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes depending in the size of your tin. It should be risen and firm and a toothpick should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

    20160427_201907
    I didn’t have any fancy custard on hand so the yellow stuff will have to do….I’m no food snob!

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Sticky Ginger Cake

Adult Chocolate Brownies (for my birthday!)

Not that kind of adult brownies, the type that aren’t for kids. These are dense and gooey, squishy and chocolatey with a delicious flavour that kids just won’t understand. This is probably my favorite brownie recipe ever! It only takes about 5 minutes to make the batter and is all mixed up in 1 saucepan. Even if you think you can’t bake you can manage these!

Ingredients 

  • 150g butter
  • 3 tbs black treacle
  • 220g caster sugar (or 200g caster sugar and 20g muscovado sugar)
  • 90g plain flour
  • 70g cocoa powder

50g dark chocolate (anything over 60% will do)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g chocolate chips (I use dark)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 17cm square tin
  2. Melt the butter, treacle and sugar and mix until combined.20160418_141412 Turn off the heat.
  3. put the chocolate in and stir it till it melts.
  4. Whisk the eggs in one by one followed by the vanilla extract.20160418_142323
  5. sieve the flour and cocoa in and fold in in gently. 20160418_142440It might look a bit grainy but don’t worry about that. Stir in the choccy chips.
  6. Pour into the tin and bake for 15-20 mins.20160418_142637 It should look dry on top and just set in the centre.
  7. allow to cool in the tin then cut into squares as big or small as you like.

    20160419_081924
    See how gooey they are?

 

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Adult Chocolate Brownies (for my birthday!)

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Everyone loves lemon drizzle cake and it has the massive advantage of being really easy to make with the usual store cupboard ingredients and if you can make a regular sponge cake you can manage this. The main advantage is, because if the drizzle element even if you dry out your sponge it’s no disaster! So here’s how it’s done

Ingredients 

  • 150g soft butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • The zest of 1.5 lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 150g self raising flour

for the drizzle

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 90g caster or granulated sugar

A lined 1lb loaf tin, mind was 10cm by 16cm

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar till its fluffy, light and white. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.20160410_133208
  2. one by one whisk in the eggs.
  3. gently fold in half the flour followed by the lemon juice then the rest of the flour.
  4. tip the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.20160410_134507 Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. take the cake out of the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes or so.
  6. meanwhile mix the sugar and lemon juice, don’t worry if the sugar doesn’t dissolve.
  7. Arm yourself with a skewer or over pokey device and poke holes all over the cake. 20160410_144508Gently pour and brush the drizzle over the cake.  Leave to cool in the tin.
  8. Remove the paper, slice and serve 20160412_192352

The error I made was not waiting long enough before adding the drizzle. If you do it properly you get a lovely sugary crust on top of the cake. If you prefer a more icing type of drizzle, top your cake with a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar mixed with enough lemon juice to make the required consistency.

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Frangipane tartlets with a biscuit base

I saw a programme on telly the other day where Mary Berry made an apple frangipane tart. She used crushed digestives for the base instead of the usual pastry.  I thought that was a great idea for days when you can’t be bothered with pastry and it’s accompanying drama but you still want something crisp and crunchy around your tart.

Today was such a day.

Ingredients

  • 6 digestive biscuits
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a few drops of almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g ground almonds
  • A small handful of flaked almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter 4 tartlet tins (12cm)

  1. Smash the digestives up and mix in the melted butter.

    Use this to line the tartlet tins. Squash it into the nooks and crannies using a flat bottomed glass.20160324_170830 Put them in the fridge while you get on with the filling.

  2. Beat the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Beat in the extracts.
  3. Beat in the eggs one by one.
  4. Fold in the ground almonds.
  5. Divide the filling between the tartlet tins. 20160324_173853Scatter with flaked almonds and bake for 16-19 mins until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.20160324_180024
  6. Allow to cool for 15 min before removing the tins.

 

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Frangipane tartlets with a biscuit base