It’s #befair fortnight until 12th October which is all about asking the question, “Are we really as fair as we think?”. The Fairtrade Foundation is working to make us aware of small acts of fairness that can make a big change; like switching your morning coffee to a fair trade coffee. The people at the Fairtrade Foundation sent me a variety of coffees to try and I set about making a fair bake. This recipe for chocolate and coffee shortbread uses fair trade chocolate, sugar and coffee.
You will need (for a jug of basil lemonade):
- Small handful basil leaves
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 750ml sparkling water
- 125ml freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice (I used three limes and one lemon)
- Ice to serve
MethodPut the basil and sugar into a jug and bash it together with a rolling pin or muddler until the basil is well bruised and it smells lovely. Add the lime and lemon juice and stir it all together until the sugar is dissolved. Add some ice to the jug and top up with the sparkling water. Give everything one final mix then pour into glasses and serve.
Trust me on the basil for this, it gives the drink a really interesting flavour; sort of floral and quite earthy. I made this quite strong as I prefer a mouth puckering, not too sweet lemonade but you could add more or less sugar and juice to suit your taste. I have made this with flat water but I do think that the sparkling is slightly better. It’s really refreshing and ideal for a warm evening but I will definitely make it later on in the year as a citrus pick-me-up.
IngredientsYou will need (per drink):
The recipe we used was written down in Gert’s secret black book but it was very similar to this one on the BBC Good Food site. Apart from the added ingredients below.
You will need (for around 1.5 litres of finished cordial):
- 20 elderflower heads
- Sugar – all the recipes I’ve seen vary so much in sugar quantity so it’s how sweet you like it
- 1.5 litres boiling water
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 50g citric acid
- 1 stalk lemongrass
Tap the elderflower heads on the side of a bowl to get rid of any insects then put them into a bowl with the sugar, lemon zest and juice and citric acid.
Pour over the boiling water and whisk everything together well.
Add everything to a sterilised jar, whack the lemongrass with a knife and add this to the jar too.
I thought I knew a bit (at least) about Twinings but I learnt so much! They have been operating out of the same shop in London since they started in 1706 and have a huge variety of tea available; all sorts of flavours and blends. It takes five years to become a master tea blender and, once qualified, you get a special teaspoon engraved with your name on (I really want one of those!). I also didn’t know that Twinings originally created Earl Grey; that’s why theirs is called The Earl Grey.
As I rent a house I am in the unfortunate position of being lumbered with the oven and hob that I’m given. Don’t get me wrong; having a hob and an oven is certainly one up from having no heating implements at all but they definitely leave a lot to be desired.
You will need (for two hot chocolates):
- 60g 70% dark chocolate
- 50ml rum, whisky or Cointreau
- 225ml whole milk
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Vegetable oil
- 8 sheets of gelatine
- 2 egg whites
- 450g unrefined caster sugar
Sift the icing sugar and cornflour together. Rub a tin lightly with the vegetable oil then dust with the cornflour sugar mix.
Put the caster sugar in a pan with 200ml water and bring to the boil. Boil until it reaches 127C on a sugar thermometer.
While you wait for the sugar to boil put the gelatine sheets into 150ml water.
When the sugar syrup is ready add the gelatine with the soaking water and mix well. Grate around 1/2 tsp nutmeg into the syrup.
Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff then continue to whisk them while you pour in the hot sugar syrup. Keep whisking until the marshmallow is stiff.
IngredientsYou will need (for 6-8 portions): 400ml mulled wine 5 sheets gelatine 100g sugar 160ml water
Few slices panettone
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
150ml double cream
Make the jelly by dissolving the sugar in the water on a low heat. Put the gelatine into some cold water. Bring the sugar syrup to a boil then remove from the heat, squeeze out the gelatine and then stir it in to the sugar syrup. Add the mulled wine and stir well. Pour into the dish you’ll be serving the trifle in then refrigerate until set.
When set, lay the slices of panettone on top of the jelly and drizzle over the orange juice. Whip the cream until firm and then smooth over the top of the panettone. Decorate however you like.
You will need (for 10-12 scones):
240g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
130ml milk plus extra for brushing
For the sloe port jelly:
100ml sloe port (any other port would be good too)
2 sheets gelatine
Make the jelly first.
Put the gelatine into some cold water to soften.
Get a small saucepan on a low heat and add the sugar and water. Once the sugar has dissolved squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine and stir the gelatine into the hot sugar syrup.
You will need (per drink):
37.5ml damson (or sloe) gin
1 lychee from a can plus 3 tsp of the syrup
Champagne to top up
It’s not particularly complicated but who can be bothered with all that exuberant shaking when you’ve just eaten a disgraceful amount of roast potatoes?
Pour the gin into a glass; over ice if you’d like. Plonk the lychee in with the syrup then top it up with Champagne.
You might want to play around with this recipe a little; if your gin is particularly sweet or sharp you may need a little more or less lychee syrup.