From time to time I get a real craving for something sweet after dinner. I could go and raid the biscuit tin; I have bourbons in there presently and they would go down a treat. But actually, I want something a little healthier and that’s where these mint, orange and raspberry ice lollies come in. They take moments to make and I can grab one from the freezer to cool down in this lovely summery weather we’re having and at the same time satisfy my sweet tooth. I have been growing some mint in the garden beautifully named ‘chocolate mint’ so I used some of that, you can use whatever mint you can get your hands on.
I’m not sure these Peanut Butter and Raspberry Brownies need an introduction; just the name gets my mouth watering and a hankering for a piece with a coffee shortly follows. I’ll be honest from the outset, these are not exactly what you’d call healthy. They are full fat, properly indulgent, to-hell-with-it brownies. And frankly, when you’ve been working hard all day coming home to one of these and a cuppa is like a hug for the soul. A gooey, chocolatey, nutty…stop it…slice of comfort.
You will need (for 2 bowls):
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Handful raspberries
Crack open the cardamom and add to the milk in a saucepan. Heat the milk and cardamom very gently for about 20 minutes. Remove the milk from the heat when done.
Put the oats into another saucepan and then sieve the milk into the oats. Cook the oats, stirring often, on a medium heat to the texture that you like; some like it so rubbery you could bounce it and others prefer it very thin. I go for somewhere in between the two.
When the porridge is ready remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar. Stir half of the raspberries into the porridge and then put the remaining berries on top. I enjoyed this with a nice cup of tea.
You will need (for one pavlova, to serve 6-8 people):
- 3 egg whites
- 180g caster sugar
- 150ml whipping cream
- Elderflower syrup
- Berries of your choice, I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
Spoon, smear or pipe the egg white onto some greaseproof paper and then bake at 140C for one hour. Turn the oven off and then leave the meringue in the oven for another half an hour before removing and leaving to cool.
While the meringue is cooling whip the cream with a tbsp of the elderflower syrup. I ended up putting about three tbsp of syrup in but it depends on the strength of your syrup. Whip it all together until you’ve got firm peaks. Spoon the cream onto the meringue and top with berries.
So you’re in the kitchen feeling a bit peckish and you spot the biscuit tin. My biscuit tin had previously been looking after some elderflower and white chocolate shortbread but was there any left? Yes. Yes there was some left, but just one piece. Should I eat it myself and snub all knowledge of its existence?
Unfortunately as I was plotting how to cover my tracks my other half walked in to the kitchen with a similarly devilish plan. I think for a moment we both considered lunging for the tin and throwing all sense of caution out of the window. I’m glad this didn’t happen as one or more of us would probably have ended up with crumbs in our eyes and shards of shortbread embedded in our forearms.