Pear and Vanilla Vodka Granita with Sweetend Lemon Scented Cream

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A while ago on the Sundays with Joy facebook group they made espresso granita with sweet lemon cream. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like coffee, so I really didn’t want to make it as well its coffee flavoured. However I did play around and make granita based on a cocktail I had recently had. At the time I didn’t blog about it as it was the middle of winter and I had a couple of other posts on the go.

Well Summer’s got off to an early start here, cue ridiculous heat and some humidity. So I thought it might be time to revisit it. Its prefect for summer as its cold, icy and refreshing. It’s also really really really easy to make. You are pretty much mixing a few liquid ingredients, freezing then topping with some whipped cream sweetened with lemon infused sugar.

It’d be a delightful dinner party desert and its easy put sounds really fancy.

I’m giving you a recipe but I suggested tasting it and adding more of less of the ingredients to taste

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2 types of vodka (winner) plus the always fancy sounding elderflower cordial are amongst the ingredients

Pear and Vanilla Vodka Granita with sweetened lemon scented cream recipe adapted from Joy The Baker Cook Book

2 cups warm water

70ml of pear vodka

30ml of vanilla vodka

50 ml elderflower cordial

30ml lemon juice

1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 cups cream

3 tbls sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

In a glass bowl dissolve sugar in water, leave to cool for a bit

Add vodkas, elderflower cordial and lemon juice, mix taste and adjust if required.

Put in freezer, after 1 hour take out and scrape and break up with a fork (what you don’t want to happen is for it to freeze into a solid mass, which is probably unlikely with all the vodka), put back in freezer. After 30 mins take out and scrap with fork again. Leave 3-4 hours until frozen into flaky crystals.

Once it’s all frozen  and flaky, it can stay like this for a few day.

When ready to serve, put sugar into mortar and pestle with lemon zest, lightly pound together to release oils form lemon.

Whipped cream for 1 min, then add sugar, keep whipping until peaks form.

fill glasses with granita, and top with dollop of lemon scented cream.

Enjoy on a hot night.

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Sundays with Joy – S’mores Brownies

Food can be a strange thing, but it can also be a historical thing to. I mean what we call biscuits, is known in the UA as cookies, and there biscuits are scone like to us and what they call scones is one big round cut into wedges. Why is this and how did it occur. Some people might not care as long as its tastes good. But I’m sure these subtle food naming difference represent something deeper historically.

This thinking about food history really came about after a colleague went to the USA and reported back about the triangle wedge scones. She said they were similar in texture and taste but not the same as our cones. It posed the question why were scones in USA different from ours. We guessed maybe our strong connection with the English lead us to follow their food and baking traditions long after maybe the Americans had abandoned them. Was it availability of ingredients, was it to serve some other purpose. We couldn’t really get to the bottom of it.

But my point is why food is cooked eaten and named is really a link to the history of a country or region. A dish usually evolves because of need plus available ingredients. So by looking deeper as to why a dish/recipe is the way it is you can understand the history behind it and of the region it comes from. Eg Damper is an example. It’s an Australian bread , but it’s made pretty much with flour salt and water (sometimes milk), but no yeast, it’s also traditionally cooked on the coals of campfires. Why? Well it evolved out in the Australian outback where people did have access to flour and salt but wouldn’t have had access to yeast. They probably didn’t have access to an oven, particularly if they were exploring, mustering, travelling or early settlers. So from all of these we get damper but also a bit of understanding of life in the Australian outback 100 plus yrs ago.

So what does this have to do with the Sundays with Joy facebook group? This week we made S’mores brownies. Now I know brownies are a North American thing, Cleary born form a need for a fudgy cake type slice, but I had no idea what S’mores are. In fact I’m still a bit lost on what they are, I’m suspecting they are something we call something different tin Australia (again why does this happen, what’s the reason behind it). I’m guessing they are marshmallow campfire things. Joy’s intro into the recipe in the book kind of gives that away.

But is uses Graham crackers which really threw me. Some investigation and some help from the Sundays with Joy facebook group gave me the indication they were a basic sweet biscuit (if they are a biscuit then why are they called a cracker, not a cookie?) . I suspect my choice of plain sweet biscuits (Arnott’s Granita biscuits) wasn’t quite right but none the less a set out to bake me something I didn’t quite understand (again what are s’mores?).

The ingredients look pretty promising

The result

whatever county you’re in it was chocolaty fudgy goodness with marshmallows on top and biscuit chunks within and I’m hoping thats what it was supposed to be.

Recipe in the Joy the Baker cookbook

Blog link up via Bakeaholic Mama

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Sundays with Joy – Blueberry Orange and Almond Pancakes with Orange Maple Glaze

I make these pancakes every Saturday.  But not today, today as part of the Sundays with Joy facebook group I made what I shall call fancy pancakes.

Some breakfasts call for simple pancakes, some call for fancy pancakes (aka you need to impress somebody, thank somebody, need something from somebody).  These would be the fancy pancakes you make.

I mean just the name of them sounds fancy. You even servie them witha a fancy glaze.  If you served them up for breakfast people would be so chuffed you’d gone to the effort of making something fancy for them.

But you know what made them extra fancy and special besides tasting pretty damn good? They were easy as to make.  A few extra ingrediants than my normnal recipe but pretty much made the same way, combene dry ingrediants, combine wet ingrediants, mix together, cook, enjoy.

Simple

Recipe for super easy suprer fancy pancakes from the Joy the Baker cookbook

Part of the link up hosted by the talented Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops

This week the Sundays with Joy Facebook group make Chocolate Raspberry pops.

It was a bit traumatic. Not because I have some super phobia of chocolate (god forbid) or raspberries or ice cream, Not even because I made ice cream in the middle of winter. But because I had to find my ice cream moulds.

I’ve had my ice cream moulds for a few years. They were given to me by my mother in law. I’ve used them to make a variety of ice cream/ice blocks but hadn’t used them for 18 months. This meant they had moved to the deep dark corners of the tupperware cupboard. The only things I can ever find in our tupperware cupboard are the most used items because these are the things that fall out of the cupboard when we open the door because they are the things shoved in cupboard while the door is slammed shut.

I methodically took things out of the cupboard whilst hunting for all the bits to the ice cream moulds, oh okay I randomly pulled things out the cupboard whilst possibly swearing and vowing to organise it one day (note that would not be the day that I had most of the contents of the tupperware cupboard on the floor, because that would be too easy and I relish the challenge and trauma of doing it all again).

In the end tupperware was scattered all over the place and I was missing one stick bit, but feeling scarred and emotional and slightly triumphant I was ready to go.

Its essentially a custard cooled with raspberries and chocolate chunks added, then frozen (note I used frozen raspberries because they are out of season but mainly that’s what I had on hand). They were delicious even more so after a couple of days. Totally will make again, but maybe in summer.

mmm sugar cornflour and cocoa powder

plus milk cream vanilla and butter

= chocolate custard

raspberrires & chocolate mixed in lead to Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops

I only made a half batch because I could tell by other posts that a full batch would be more than my small ice block moulds could handle. I also only mixed raspberries and chocolate chunks into 3 out of the eventual 5 made and left 2 plain for the kids.

They were absolutely perfect for dealing with the trauma of the tupperware cupboard (although gin/vodka/wine would have helped too).

For the delicious recipe you’ll need the Joy the Baker cookbook

And for more delicious versions of the Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops see the delightful blog link up at Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Kale Spinach Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

This week in Sundays with Joy Facebook group we made a green smoothie

As we all know I bake – like a LOT. As much as I would like to live on cake alone, I need to do something to compensate of all the baked goods. One of these things is to have green smoothies for breakfast (well weekday breakfast because weekend breakfasts are for pancakes, bacon, waffles etc.). I got into these after my mother in law and sister in law started raving about them. I like them because they are healthy, like super healthy as kale’s packed with goodness. They are also easy and quick to make and I can sip it whilst running around getting everyone ready for work, school etc, or if I’ve run out of time take it with me.

I usually just blend up a small handful of spinach/kale a frozen banana, and whatever fruit is on hand. But this one is different it has both kale and spinach (although I had no spinach so used silver beet), frozen banana, peanut butter, honey and milk.  The peanut butter and honey I could totally see working in a green smoothie and I’ll probably add to the ones I usually make. But the milk well I was a bit unsure. Joy’s recipe said cow’s or soy or almond milk. I used cashew milk instead.

Overall it tasted like a pretty good green smoothie, prefect for attempting to balance out the butter and sugar in my life.

Recipe available from the Joy the Baker cookbook

Sundays with Joy – Leek & Asparagus Quiche

This week in the Sundays with Joy  Facebook group we made Leek and Asparagus Quiche. Well everyone else did I made Leek and Bacon quiche.

It’s not that I don’t like Asparagus, no far from it, I spend all of spring trying to incorporate it into as many meals as possible. But the thing is it’s not Spring here in Australia so it’s not in season. I mean sure I could buy it, but I don’t quite feel right buying it when it comes from Peru or where ever. For a whole host of reasons I’d rather buy fresh local in season produce.

So I adapted the recipe to use bacon in its place. I mean bacon makes everything good so I figured there wouldn’t be a problem.

I also don’t make quiche too often. It all seems a bit 1980’s. But you know what quiche is pretty good and this one was delicious. We ate it hot, but it would be perfect as picnic food.

Let’s make quiche

There was bacon

Of course Leeks

2 types of cheese

And Eggs, milk and cream action

Leek and Bacon Quiche – recipe adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook  Leek and Asparagus Quiche

3 rashers bacon diced

1 leek thinly sliced

1 sheet frozen puff pastry

1 cup milk

3/4 cup cream

4 eggs

3/4 cup grated cheese ( I used shedder)

1/4 cup of feta cheese

Pr3eheat Oven to 180 degrees C

Defrost puff pastry

Fry bacon until just starting to brown. Add sliced leek. On medium heat cook until leeks are just starting to soften.

Mix together milk, cream, and eggs ad in 1/2 of the grated cheese

Line 25cm pie tin with pastry. Fill with Leek and Bacon mixture. Crumble feta over the top. Then pour over egg mixture, top with remaining grated cheese.

Bake for 1bout 40 mins or until quiche is set and browned on top. Let site for 30 mins.

Serve hot or cold

To see how others from the Sundays with Joy group baked the quiche, checkout the very lovely Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy- Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

Let me start by saying brown butter makes everything better.

Blueberry muffins + brown butter = a little piece of deliciousness above and beyond the usual muffin experience

This week in the Sundays with Joy Facebook group we made Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins.

I knew I was on to a winner with these muffins when I tasted the batter,  it was so moreish. They were so good, even my non blueberry eating husband couldn’t keep his hands off them.  The brown butter adds a kind of subtle caramel flavour to them and they are so moist.

Plus brown butter bears strong resemblance to beer – winner

I used frozen blueberries because blueberries are out of season here in Australia and even if I could have tracked some down they would have been super expensive.  I’ll admit I was worried about the blueberries as frozen berries have the problem of not holding their shape and kinda going mushy.  I was extra careful with the ones I used, I defrosted them overnight in a colander, then really carefully folded them through.

They have a crumble topping.  The amount of crumble seemed excessive so I didn’t use it all.  I now know I should have used all of it as a fair bit disappears into the muffin, and whilst they had some crumble topping more would have been the icing on the cake (or crumble on the muffin). Forgive me Joy.

I really think a whole variety of fruit could be used in place of the blueberries, I’m thinking peaches or  raspberries or bananas and this will totally be my go to muffin recipe from now on.

The recipe for these delicious morsels can be found in the Joy the Baker cookbook ,which truly is a celebration of butter and sugar.

Don’t know who Joy is? Well she’s an awesome baker and blogger.  Here fantastic blog can be found here

Interested in seeing the other Sundays with Joy bakers Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins? the delightful Bakeaholic Mama has compiled the links to their blogs