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!

Baking, Something sweet

Double choc biscuits 

These are really easy and delicious if you like chocolate. This will make about 15 biscuits or 8 larger cookies.

So what do you need?

  • 100g butter
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 100g plain (all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. cocao powder
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. plain yoghurt or milk

So what do you do?

Start by pre- heating your oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then cream together the butter and sugar and mix in the vanilla essence. Next add in the the flour, baking powder, cocao powder and choc chips and mix them in. Then add just enough plain yoghurt or milk to bring the mixture together into a dough.

On a lined baking sheet put dessert spoons balls of the mixture leaving some space between them and then press them down with the back of a fork. Put them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the begin to crisper at the edges. Allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Baking, Something sweet

Spiced pumpkin cake

This makes a great cake to have with a cup of tea at Halloween, or at any other time for that matter! It’s a spiced up recipe from the River Cottage.

So what do you need?

  • 150g soft butter (a pinch of salt if you use unsalted butter)
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2tsp. group cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 250g grated raw pumpkin
  • 350g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder

For the icing

  • 1/2cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1tbsp. lemmon juice

So what do you do?

Start by preheating your oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then in a mixer, or mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and then add the eggs one by one and mix them in. Next add all the spices and the pumpkin mix everything together. Then sift in the flour and baking powder and mix them in. Grease a 20 cm cake tin or a 25 cm bunt tin and dust with flour then pour in the cake mixture. Put in the oven and cook for about an hour. A cake cooked in a bunt tin will cook a bit faster so one in a normal tin may take an extra 15 minutes or so. Cook until the cake is firm and a skewer comes out clean. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to stand in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing sift the icing sugar and turmeric into a bowl and add the lemon juice then add enough hot water to make a thick paste and put in an icing bag and pipe it onto the top of the cake like a spider’s web, or just ice the cake normally. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

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, 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

Baking, Something sweet

Healthy chocolate and beetroot cake


This is based on a great recipe from the Green Kitchen Stories blog. It’s a healthy chocolate cake using beetroot, olive oil and honey. It makes a nice moist earthy chocolate cake.

So what do you need?

  • 150ml olive oil
  • 120 ml honey (or maple syrup)
  • 100g plain (70% cocoa) chocolate
  • a pinch of salt
  • 250g grated raw beetroot
  • 125g of sour cream
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

For icing (optional)

  • 25g sour cream
  • 50 g chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. honey

So what do you do?

First preheat your oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then in a medium / large saucepan warm the olive oil and honey and break in the chocolate and warm until the chocolate melts. Then add a pinch of salt and the sour cream and mix it in. (The pot of sour cream I bought was 145g so I saved about 25g to make some chocolate icing.) Then add the grated beetroot and mix it into the chocolate. Next sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix them into the chocolate mixture. Grease a 23 cm bunt tin with olive oil and pour the cake mixture in. Chook for about 35 mins. until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve either dust withy icing sugar or make a chocolate icing by meting some chocolate in a bowl over some hot water, then mix in sour cream and honey and drizzle / spread it over the cake.