Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sloe gin cocktails

It's weekend and what better way to celebrate the weekend than with a cocktail or two in some great company. The fruity drink also doubles up as a dessert because it's made with raspberry sorbet. Serve in chilled glasses with a sugar rim and orange peel.


for 4-6 coupes:
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups raspberry sorbet
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup sloe gin
1/4 cup cointreau
1/4 cup tonic water
sugar to taste


The days are getting shorter and colder now. Brrrrrrr...

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Chocolate macaroons

This is my first attempt in making macaroons and I am quite pleased with the result though not all of this batch turned out consistently perfect. Made with just three ingredients it is still technically challening. These ones are chocolate filled with a dark chocolate ganache flavoured with rum and spices. They would be a great treat for Christmas, too.


140g ground almonds
275g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
4 egg whites

For the filling:
100ml double cream
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp rum
1 tsp mixed spices (cinnamon, cardamon, allspice)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blend the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder until very fine. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold under the mix. Place into a piping bag and pipe 3cm circles onto a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Let rest for 15-30 min. Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 min with the door slightly ajar. Leave to cool. For the ganache heat the cream, the rum and the spices and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until the mixture is velvety smooth. Spread the filling onto one macaroon, then sandwich with another macaroon.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Colour lovers: leaf peeping

I always love the autumnal colours with the leaves changing from green to red, yellow and gold to shades of brown. This is due to the pigment chlorophyll decreasing when the daylight hours shorten and temperatures cool.
Carotenoids are present in leaves the whole year round, but their orange-yellow colors are usually masked by chlorophyll. The reds and purples come from another group of pigments called anthocyanins. Unlike the carotenoids, these pigments are not present in the leaf throughout the growing season, but are actively produced towards the end of summer. Check out the palette at colourlovers

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pumpkin pie

This week was Canadian Thanksgiving. It's occurring on the second Monday in October and is an annual holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. In the United States Thanksgiving Day is currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and has been an annual tradition since 1863.


sweet pastry base
500g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
2 tbs rum
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
125ml single cream
1 egg
100g sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel and cube the pumpkin and place on a baking tray. Cover with foil and leave in the oven for 40 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Blind bake the sweet pastry and prepare the filling by processing the pumpkin and adding the other ingredients. Pour in the filling and bake for about an hour at 170 degrees until set. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Vegan banana walnut brownies

This is a quick and easy recipe for brownies and without eggs and milk vegan too.


1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 ripe banana
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
hand full chopped walnuts
1 vanilla pod
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground spice
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Chop the chocolate and mix with the flour, baking powder, sugar and spices. In another bowl mix the water, soy milk and oil. Add to the other ingredients. Mush the banana and to the mix as well as the walnuts. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top looks dry. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.