Something fruity, Something sweet

Rum raisin ice cream


This is delicious and super easy to make with only four ingredients. There’s no churning needed and it makes a creamy, soft-scoop ice cream. It’s based on Nigela Lawson’s no-churn ice cream recipes. It’s certainly not very healthy, but makes a nice treat.

Start by soaking 150g raisin in 150ml of spiced rum for a couple hours. Then put a can of condensed milk (about 380g) and 600ml of whipping cream in a large bowl or a stand mixer and whip them together until they become fluffy and begin to stiffen. This makes the ice cream light which means it does not need churning as it freezes. Then gently fold in the raisins and rum and put in an airtight container and freeze. The rum will prevent the ice cream freezing too hard so it can be scooped straight from the freezer. Enjoy!

Something fruity, Something sweet, Thai Food

Mango & sticky rice ice-cream lollipops with Sang Som


Probably the most popular Thai dessert is mango and sticky rice which is delicious but can be a bit heavy in the hot Thai summer. This ice-cream take the essence of mango and sticky rice and make them into cool lollies, with the added twist of some Sang Som, Thai rum. This will make about 15 lollipops.

So what do you need?

  • 500mls whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. Icing sugar
  • 300mls coconut milk (I used the scented dessert variety available in Thailand)
  • 400g sweet, coconut milk, sticky rice
  • 100mls Sang Som (optional)
  • the flesh of  2 medium sized mangoes (about 400g) chopped into small cubes
  • small (4oz / 5cms x 5cms) paper cups
  • lollipop sticks

So what do you do?

First put the whipping cream in a large bowl and whip it until it fluffs up a little then mix in the icing sugar, coconut milk and rum. Next crumble in the sticky rice and add the mango and stir them in so they are evenly distributed through the cream. Place the paper cups on a try and spoon in the mixture. Put in the freezer and after an hour or two when the ice-cream begins to freeze but is still slightly soft put a lollipop stick in each. Leave for another hour or two until frozen completely. Peel of the paper and enjoy a taste of Thailand!


Baking, Something fruity, Something sweet, Uncategorized

Dundee inspired fruit cake

When I was young my Nana always has a fruit cake in a tin which we’d enjoy a slice of when we went to see her. I guess she made one every week. My mum also used to sometimes make fruit cakes at home too. This is my take on Dundee fruit cake with the addition of some spices and some Turrón, which I had left from Christmas, it’s like a marzipan so you could easily substitute it. I guess this makes it a bit of a Dundee / Simnel hybrid. The dried fruit is soaked in scotch so it’s a good option for Burns light.

So what do you need.

  • 300g dried fruit (sultanas & raisins)
  • 50g naked (uncrystallised) ginger
  • 3 or 4 caps of whisky (optional)
  • 150g softened butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • Grating of nutmeg (about 1/2 tsp)
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 250g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 100g grated Turrón Yuma tostada (or marzipan)
  • 50g flaked almonds (or whole blanched almonds)

So what do you do?

First weigh out the dried fruit and place in a bowl and pour over the whisky and mix so the fruit absorb the whisky. Pre-heat your oven to 170 F / 325 C. Grease and line a 18-20cm round cake tin. Then cream together the butter and sugar and then add the lemon zest and eggs and mix together. Next add the flour, spices and baking powder and mix into a thick batter. Then add the fruit, ginger and Turrón and mix everything together. Spoon into the prepared baking tin and sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Cook in the centre of the oven and check after an hour and if it’s beginning to brown cover with tin foil to prevent the top burning. Cook for another 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean. The lemon zest and spices give off a delicious aroma as the cake cooks. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins then cool completely on a wire rack. It will keep well in an airtight container. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a dram of whisky!

Salads, Something fruity

Crunchy apple, pecan & blue cheese salad


This salad has a great crunchy textures and a delicious mix of flavours.

I started by tossing about 100 g of pecan nuts in a tsp. of maple syrup with a pinch of salt which I then toasted in a hot oven for a few minutes turning a couple of times until they just started to brown (you could do this under a grill too). Next I sliced a  courgette and grilled it on a griddle pan with a little olive oil. Then I sliced a couple of smallish heads of fennel and two small red shallots. Then washed a bunch (about 50g) of rocket and cored and sliced two apples and put them in a bowl of water with a good squeeze of lemon juice. Then I made a dressing with about a tbsp. of olive oil, a tbsp. of maple syrup a pinch of sea salt, a squeeze of lemon, a tsp. of Dijon mustard and a splash of water which I mixed together. I assembled the salad scattering the rocket first and then adding the other fruit and veg. I then crumbled 110g of blue cheers on top (feta would work well too) and the sprinkled over the pecans and a little chopped parsley and then drizzled over the dressing. I served it with some small cubed roast potatoes, it would also be great with a fresh crusty loaf.



Baking, Something fruity, Something sweet

Pears poached in Marsala 


These make a great autumn dessert if you have the oven on cooking a roast.

Start by peeling your pears (one per person) leaving the stalk and the slice the bottom flat. In a casserole dish place your pears (I made 5) and pour in about 250ml of Marsala wine, a cinnamon stick, a tsp. vanilla essence and a tbsp. honey. Cover the casserole dish and put in the bottom of the oven at about 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F and cook for about 90 mins turning a couple of times. Take them out of the oven an allow to cool down. Serve warm with some thick cream.

Baking, Brunch, Something fruity

Breakfast bars


I’ve made these the last couple of Sundays so that I have something healthy and easy to eat in the mornings rather than just eating toast. They keep longer if you make them without  the bananas. You can adapt the recipe adding dried fruits and nuts of your choice. I either make them in a tray and cut them into squares or in individual portions in a muffin tin.

Today I used:

  • 2 ripe bananas (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (rice bran) oil (coconut oil works too)
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup honey (maple syrup or muscovdao / unrefined sugar are good too)
  • 1 cup of dried fruit (chopped dates and sultanas)
  • 1 cup of nuts (I used peanuts)
  • 1 handful of chopped crystalized ginger (or a tsp. ginger powder or other spice of choice)
  • 4 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. perilla seeds
  • 2 0r 3 cups of porridge oats

Start heating your oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then mash the bananas (if using) and  mix in the oil and honey. Then mix in the dried fruit, seeds and spices saving a couple of tsp. of sesame seeds to sprinkle on top. Finally stir in the oats to make a thick mixture. If you don’t add bananas then you won’t need as many oats. Then press down in a lined baking tin or in individual portions in cake cups in a muffin tin and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top. Bake for 15 mins for individual portions or about 20 mins for a large baking tray, until they it browns on top. If you have made them in a try cut into 12 pieces while warm and the allow to cool and keep in an airtight container. If you’ve added bananas you can keep them in the fridge so they last longer if you live in a hot climate like I do.

Baking, Something fruity, Something sweet, Tarts

Rustic apple & pecan tart

This is an autumnal variation on my rustic peach tart the pastry is made in the same way. For the filling I put a good handful of sultans in a large mixing bowl with about 4 tbsp. maple syrup to this I added about 5 or 6 freshly ground cloves and mixed them together and left to stand while I made my pastry. While the pastry was in the oven I pre-heated the oven with my pizza stone in it and peeled, cored and sliced 4 eating apples. I kept the apples in a bowl of water with lemon juice in it to stop them browning. Once my oven was hot I rolled out my pastry. I drained the apples and dried them in a clean tea towel and mixed them and a good handful of pecan nuts in with the sultanas and coated them all in the maple syrup. Then I put the pastry on the pizza stone and spread the apple mixture in the middle of it and quickly folded up the edges and put an egg and milk glaze on the crust. I then sprinkled over a tbsp. of brown sugar and baked the tart for 45 minutes until the pastry was golden brown. Serve warm with thick cream or vanilla ice cream