Fig Margaritas

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The sun is shining, the weather is sweet yeah!  At long last, we're finally seeing some decent weather in good old blighty. While there's still a little bit of a nip in the air, the scent of barbecues and beers is fresh in the air.  Nothing excites us Brits like a little bit of sun.

Fig margarita recipe, the perfect cocktail for your summer barbeques

As it's not quite Summer, and the weather can change at the snap of a finger I thought I'd stay clear of the typical sunshiney cocktail. These fig martinis are so delicious, the sweet but earthy element of the figs is just as perfect with grilled meat on the patio as it is pizza with the girls.

Fig margarita recipe, the perfect cocktail for your summer barbeques

The figs are imparted into this recipe by ways of sugar syrup, make that part ahead (it keeps in the fridge for up to a week) so you can whip these beauties up at the drop of a hat.  Hostess with the mostess or what!  You just know people are gonna be talking about your mad cocktail skills for weeks.

Fig margarita recipe, the perfect cocktail for your summer barbeques

Fig Margarita
Makes two drinks

Fig Syrup:
500g figs cut into quarters
125g caster sugar
500ml water

Margaritas:
100ml tequila
75ml fig syrup
25ml triple sec
25ml fresh lime juice

Method:

For the fig syrup: place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Turn the heat down to a steady simmer and let reduce to half the original volume.  Strain through a fine meshed sieve and leave to cool to room temperature.  Will keep in the fridge for around a week.

For the margaritas:  Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Give it a good shake and strain over two ice filled glassed.  Garnish with a slice of lime and a slice of fig.
Place all 

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Nutella Melting Middle Cookies

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These cookies should be illegal.  In my house especially!  I mean, just look at these saucy little devils.

Super awesome chocolate chip cookies with a melty Nutella center.
I know, right?!  Why are you still here? Get your Nutella loving butts into the kitchen and get these bad boys baked.  You know I'm right, I'm always right about Nutella bro!

Super awesome chocolate chip cookies with a melty Nutella center.

Super awesome chocolate chip cookies with a melty Nutella center.

These cookies require a little bit of planning, but I promise you it's all worth it.  It's pretty much just freezing little balls of Nutella and wrapping chocolate chip cookie dough around it before it melts. What with me always shoving stuff in the middle of cookies, it's becoming a problem.  


You might want to skip the little sprinkle of salt but you shouldn't.  It gives these cookies just the right amount of lift, it sounds weird but I promise you, it's not.

Super awesome chocolate chip cookies with a melty Nutella center.



Nutella Melting Middle Cookies
Makes 12

Ingredients:
125g unsalted butter, softened
100g light brown sugar
1 large, free range egg
1tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1tsp bicarb
2tbsp corn flour
150g dark chocolate chunks plus extra to decorate
Sea salt
Large jar of Nutella


Method:
First of all, line a large baking sheet with grease proof paper and scoop out 12 table spoons of Nutella onto the sheet.  Freeze the blobs until solid, around an hour.

Once the Nutella is frozen, leave in the freezer while you prepare the cookie dough.

Preheat the oven to 170C and line two baking sheets with grease proof paper.  Mix the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix till combined.  Add the flour, cocoa, bicarb and corn flour and stir together until just combined, stir through the chocolate chips. 

Scoop up a table spoon of dough and flatten it in your hand, place a frozen Nutella blob in the middle and pull the dough around the Nutella to seal it in a little ball.  Work quickly as the Nutella will start to melt in your hands. Add a few chocolate chips to the top of each ball followed by a sprinkle of salt.

Once you've finished making your cookies pop the trays in the fridge to chill for an hour, once chilled bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool for ten minutes before digging straight in.

If you can resist, the unbaked balls can be frozen and baked straight from the freezer.  Just add 2 minutes to the baking time.






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Mint & Passion Fruit Rum Punch

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It's the bank holiday weekend here in rainy old Blighty, and if there's one thing us Brits love it's a jolly good knees up on an extra day off work.  What better way to celebrate than to whip up a nice fruity cocktail, even if it is grey and drizzly outside.

Bring in the sunshine with this mint and passion fruit rum punch.

This is such a delicious cocktail and looks hella pro, the best thing is you can make it well in advance leaving you plenty of time to lap up all the compliments from your guests.  I've included the measurements for two cocktails bellow but feel free to double or even triple the recipe to keep you sauced up all weekend long.

Bring in the sunshine with this mint and passion fruit rum punch.

Mint & Passion Fruit Rum Punch
Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
Juice of 3 limes, plus an extra lime sliced thinly for decoration
3 passion fruit, plus extra to decorate
Handful of fresh mint, plus extra to decorate
1/2 stick of lemon grass, bruised and chopped into pieces
125ml sugar syrup
175ml white or golden rum
Fizzy water
Ginger beer
Ice

Method:
In a large jug stir together the lime juice, the pulp from three passion fruit, mint, lemongrass, rum and sugar syrup.  Muddle it all together with a wooden spoon and place in the fridge for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.

When ready to make your cocktail, strain the contents of the jug through a sieve making sure to press out all of the delicious liquid.  Fill two tumblers with ice and push two slices of lime down the side of each glass, using the ice to keep them in place.  Pour half of the fruity liquid in each glass and top up with tonic and ginger beer.  Top each cocktail with a sprig of mint and half a passion fruit.
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Jammy Dodger White Chocolate Blondies

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On a weekly basis, I reckon I get through around four packs of Jammy Dodgers, at least.  To me, dipped in a hot cup of tea, the Jammy Dodger is king of the biscuits.  All hail the mighty Dodger, bow down to its supreme jammyness!  We'll not discuss those disgraceful pretenders to the throne though.... I'm looking at you, banana and toffee horrors!

White chocolate blondies featuring the king of biscuits, the Jammy Dodger.

During my last tea and biscuit break I was sat, Dodger in hand, staring wistfully into space when my gaze landed upon a pile of white chocolate blondies.  I should mention at this point that I was at work, I don't just have piles of baked goods surrounding me at home.  Honest!  When it struck me, Jammy Dodger blondies!  What's not to love?!  A creamy white chocolate blondie, swirled with sticky strawberry jam and topped with my very favorite biscuit.  Get in!

White chocolate blondies featuring the king of biscuits, the Jammy Dodger.

I seriously can't even begin to get over how cute they turned out.  I must have shown the steaming tray to everyone who came into the shop that afternoon, eardrums may have been pierced from my high pitched squeal of 'aren't they just so goddamn canny?!'  Imagine them on a mad hatters style tea party, I don't think I could bare the cuteness.

White chocolate blondies featuring the king of biscuits, the Jammy Dodger.

Jammy Dodger White Chocolate Blondies
Makes 15

Ingredients:
175g unsalted butter
250g white chocolate, chopped
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
3tbsp strawberry jam
11 Jammy Dodger biscuits

Method:
Preheat the oven to 175C.  Grease and line a 9x13" baking tray or use a disposable one.

Melt the butter and white chocolate in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over a low heat.  Stir constantly until smooth and melted.  In the bowl of an electric mixer add the sugar and eggs and mix until combined and light, pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.  Add the flour and stir in by hand until just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Drop teaspoons of jam over the blondie batter and use a sharp knife to swirl through.  Place the Jammy Dodgers on top in a neat pattern and bake for 25 minutes until just set.  Allow to cool completely.

Cut into 15 squares and enjoy.  


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Creme Egg Slutty Brownies

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You know late at night when you're thinking about all the naughty food you really shouldn't eat, but really want? I do that a lot, like a lot a lot! This is where the filthy things you dare not speak of happen, like when you put a microwavable lasagna in a bread bun or when you run out of crackers so just dip your cheese in butter.  Don't look at me like that, you're just like me and you know it!

Take a slutty brownie, stuff them with Creme Eggs instead of Oreos. Thank me later!

This is where these mucky little buggers came from, that sordid little place ruled by my own greed and childlike glee.  I was thinking of those creme scotch eggs that have recently taken the internet by storm and I got to wondering what else could be improved by ramming it with a creme egg.  Slutty brownies of course, as if we could make them any naughtier!!

Take a slutty brownie, stuff them with Creme Eggs instead of Oreos. Thank me later!

 Que a lot of Vic and Bob style thigh rubbing. The phrase food porn has never felt so apt, I mean look at that. If those delightful little blighters don't make you feel all weak at the knees then I just don't think we can be friends. 


Take a slutty brownie, stuff them with Creme Eggs instead of Oreos. Thank me later!

Creme Egg Slutty Brownies
Makes 14 or loads more depending how greedy you are

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough layer:
225g unsalted butter, softened
100g soft, light brown sugar
300g caster sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
350g self raising flour
150g chocolate chips

14 Creme Eggs, unwrapped

For the brownie layer:
175g unsalted butter
175g dark chocolate
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
100g plain flour


Method:
Preheat oven to 170C and prepare a 20x30 brownie tray, or use a disposable tray.

For the cookie dough layer, cream together the butter and sugars till light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition followed by the vanilla extract.  Add the flour and mix until just combined, stir through the chocolate chips.  Press the dough into your prepared pan in an even layer.  Place seven Creme Eggs down each side of the pan with the tops of the eggs pointing towards the middle of the try, keeping them nice and neat.  Set aside while you make the brownie layer.

In a large saucepan over a low heat melt the butter and chocolate together.  Add the sugar and stir together.  Crack the eggs into a large jug and whisk up, slowly pour the eggs into the chocolate mixing as you go until combined.  Add the flour and stir until the white streaks just dissapear.  Pour the brownie mixture over the cookie dough and Creme Eggs making sure everything is covered but your don't over fill the tray.  Don't worry if the peaks of your eggs are poking out.  Bake for 35 minutes, until just set.

Allow to cool in the fridge over night before cutting into fingers and enjoying.



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