Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

instant strawberry frozen yoghurtOK I’ve been away again. Not on holiday, well a short one to Bali was had, but I have a new job that has consumed my time. I’ve had some long days followed by long weekends on the couch recovering, hence the much needed break in Bali.

I don’t know about you but I go through phases of cooking like crazy and experimenting, to feeling lazy and uninspired. Maybe uninspired is not really the right word, it’s more that I’m overwhelmed with ideas I don’t know where to start and then feel too exhausted to be bothered with all the preparation.

This recipe is instant. It’s definitely one for afternoon treats, after dinner sweet cravings, and all those mothers with children demanding ice cream. No it’s not ice cream but they will be satisfied by this one.

The key to it being instantaneous is to have the strawberries frozen. If you don’t you will have to pop the mix into the freezer after mixing. This might be advantageous if you want to put it into ice cream moulds. I also tried to make it without the icing sugar but it needs a little sweetness, and it’s not much. The vanilla powder I used is from Loving Earth, otherwise you could add vanilla extract or paste. If you have vanilla essence in your cupboard throw it our now and get yourself some vanilla extract, you will never look back and you will always be able to taste the difference.strawberry frozen yoghurt

Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

350g frozen strawberries (I used bought ones already frozen)

350g natural yoghurt

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Squeeze of half a lemon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

Put strawberries and yoghurt into a food processor and blitz until combined. This will require stopping and coaxing the strawberries back into the blades every now and then. Then add the icing sugar, vanilla powder and lemon juice and blitz to combine. And that’s it!! Your done!

Serves 4 small portions

strawberry frozen yoghurt

Cardamom and Orange Creamy Rice

orange and cardamom creamy riceMost people know this dessert as rice pudding but in our house it’s called creamy rice, and it was THE favourite dessert of my childhood. It make an appearance most winters and especially when I need some comfort.

There are some recipes I don’t like to mess with and I always thought this was one of them. I was wrong. Thick creamy sweet rice is perfect on its’ own but it can also carry so many other flavours so well.

orange treeI recently had a trip home to my parents house and arrived back laden with lemons, mandarins, and the last of the navel oranges. The oranges have been sitting in front of me waiting for an opportunity to be added into something but gee they’re good just on their own.

I do love cardamom, it’s not for everyone but it’s definitely for me. Now if you don’t fancy cardamom, I think medjool dates would be nice. I would add 2 chopped dates and halve the sugar. In fact dates and cardamom now that would be good too. Ahh now I’m just getting carried away.

Cardamom and Orange Creamy Rice

500ml full fat milk

2 tablepoons rapadura (or brown sugar)

60g medium or short grain rice (I often use carnaroli as it’s to hand)

4 cardamom pods

zest of half an orange 

Use a heavy based saucepan over med heat, add milk and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved then add rice and lower the heat to a very gentle simmer. Break the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and ground in a mortar and pestle. Add to the milk saucepan. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until it’s thickened up. Stir through the orange zest and serve hot or cold.

It’s pretty sweet, so best served for 2, or 1 person in need of a massive, sweet, comfort hit.

Spiced Rhubarb Syrup

rhubarbThis weekend welcomes the start of winter with a rainy few days. I for one, love the excuse to stay in and catch up on some relaxing. Well I call it relaxing but it’s just staying at home, cleaning, baking and repotting some of my plants to make more space on the balcony etc etc.

When I first made this syrup it was to accompany a semi-sweet sparkling wine on a picnic in the park. I was honestly surprised how well it worked, balancing perfectly together with the wine. It was a warm Autumn day and the leaves were in full change, so beautiful. If only I remembered my camera.

The syrup would also work swirled through some natural yoghurt or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Don’t waste the remaining rhubarb either! Use it over muesli or porridge but remember to remove the spices before storing in the fridge.

rhubarb syrup

Spiced Rhubarb Syrup

250g caster sugar

350ml water

6-8 stalks rhubarb, cut into 5 cm pieces

1/2 a star anise

1 stick cinnamon

thumb size piece of ginger, sliced

squeeze of half a lemon

First make the simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently until the rhubarb is soft.

Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Stir the rhubarb to remove most of the liquid. If you want a clearer syrup and have the patience let the liquid drip out without forcing or stirring the rhubarb. Leave to cool then store in a jar in the fridge.