Posts Tagged ‘Raspberries’

Peach Melba Trifle

Trifles was one of the first desserts I ever ate. Or made at home. My mom would only make them in the months of Ramadan. I remember waiting in anticipation as she assembled the different layers. First she would make the jelly layer and pour into a white and blue ceramic platter. A platter she still has to this day. One I may need to steal on my next visit to Dar.

I would poke the jelly in the fridge every few minutes and lick my finger, pink tell tale signs on my pointing finger to give away my crimes. Of course, if the jelly had set, my mom would never be surprised to find holes where I’d been poking around. 

She would then put a layer of cake, my most favorite part. I would always make sure to take a scoop from the edge where she would hide the extra cake scraps. Then the thick creamy canary yellow custard would be poured on followed by chopped apples and bananas. She would leave all this to soak from morning and by night, the custard would have partly penetrated the cake. Those soggy parts were my absolute favourite. 

That was her way. This is mine. Lots of cake soaked with raspberry jam and raspberries. Juicy peaches topped with dollops of creamy custard. And a generous helping of cream. But a few things remain the same. Thick luscious custard and moist pudding like cake. Some things never change.

Peach Melba Trifle

100 g raspberries
60 g raspberry jam
40 ml pineapple juice
330 g Madeira cake, sliced
4 saturn peaches, sliced
500 ml thick custard
280 ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
chopped pistachio nuts for garnishing 

In a bowl, mix together the raspberries, jam and pineapple juice. Use a fork to muddle the berries slightly. Arrange the sliced cake at the bottom of the trifle dish. Top with berry mix followed by the sliced peaches. Pour the custard over the fruit and chill in the fridge for a few hours (2 hours at least for the cake to soak up the berry juices). Whip the cream with icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Top the custard with cream when it’s time to serve and garnish with pistachios. 

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Raspberry and Coconut Summer Cake

Early in May of this year, I travelled to Morocco for a blissful ten days. As with any holiday, if my room is good and I can find traditional and authentic food to fill my belly, I can rest assured that my holiday will be a success. 

After much searching, we settled on the boutique Riad el Fenn, a  charming boutique riad nestled in a bustling corner of the old medina. It did not disappoint. When we first arrived, I was a little concerned by the looming dark entrance. But once inside, it was an oasis of tranquility. The art filled retreat was beautifully decorated in the most saturated shades of terracotta and turquoise. 

Each room was filled with quirky details, eclectic art, local decor. I only wished I had gotten to stay in a different room each night. Every morning, we would be greeted by hot tea placed outside our room. This would be accompanied by a small tray of home baked Moroccan sweets. Perfect start to the day, no?

Lazy breakfasts of berber pancakes and cinnamon porridge were had on their rooftop terrace which had views of the Koutubia mosque and it really was the most perfect spot to catch the sun setting every evening. They even had a family of turtles housed in the courtyard that kept both kids highly entertained. 

One of my favourite things to do was recline on the large oversized cushions in the courtyard and gaze up at the overgrown citrus trees. Full of ripe oranges and lemons, their heady scent filling the air. Bright pops of orange and yellow against the blue spring skies. Every morning, Maryam would count how many had fallen to the ground and proceed to collect them. 

What Maryam and I, even Hassan, looked forward to most was chomping away at the home baked cakes and pastries every afternoon with a steaming cup of mint tea. Every afternoon, the treats were different and all housed in a beautiful bird cage. There was a pear tart, a luscious orange scented cake, baklavas and some dainty coconut crusted concoction. 

Ever since we have returned back, Maryam has constantly asked what ‘cake’ we would be having after her nap. Every single afternoon without fail. And so I thought it would only be fair if I made her one to remind her of the fun afternoons spent in the riad’s courtyard. This version has lots of coconut which pairs beautifully with the tart berries. 

Now if only I was sitting in in orange scented courtyard with a local cup of freshly brewed mint tea in hand and listening to the distant hustle and bustle of the city of Marrakech!

Raspberry and Coconut Summer Cake

225g butter, room temperature
225g sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
175g all purpose flour
pinch salt
1 1/12 tsp baking powder
100g unsweetened shredded coconut
100ml coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g raspberries

Extra raspberries, icing sugar and creme fraiche to serve

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Centigrade and butter and flour a 10 inch baking tin (I used two 7 inch pie tins and had extra batter leftover for 4 cupcakes as well).

Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and frothy, about 7 minutes and on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time and scrape the bowl now and then. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and shredded coconut in a separate bowl. Mix together the coconut milk and vanilla extract in a jug. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour and coconut milk alternatively. Pour the batter into the prepared tin (or pie tins) and top with raspberries. Bake for 40 minutes if using the 10 inch baking tin (25 minutes if using 2 pie pans) or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a rack. 

Decorate with more berries and a sprinkling of icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche on the side. 

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Maryam’s Chocolate Crepes

This is Maryam’s recipe. Kind of. It was Monday and we had just spent our entire weekend cooped inside. Maryam had a fever since Friday which meant she was off school. The weekend was spent trying to tear Hassan off Maryam as she rested on the sofa. The other half was spent pacifying Maryam as Hassan kept destroying her Lego creations. 

You know the usual. She made, he destroyed. Don’t ask. So when Monday rolled round, I was relieved we had plans to go to the beach with friends. Followed by a picnic of course. Beaches are aways associated with picnics, yes? At least they are in our world.

‘Mummy, what are you making to take to the beach?’ Maryam enquired. ‘I want something with chocolate, lots of chocolate.’ A giggle escaped her lips. I had no choice but to agree- who could turn down chocolate right? We decided on crepes, slathered with Nutella and sealed with bananas.

As she did her usual routine of cracking eggs and telling me the same story she tells me every time she cracks eggs- that of her 21 year old cousin that is scared to break eggs, she asked, ‘How about chocolate crepes?’ And I thought why not?

As the batter whizzed and spun in the blender and we both eyed the bubbles frothing, I saw a tiny hand scooping more cocoa powder. ‘It just doesn’t look chocolaty enough.’ Who was I to disagree. So instead of three, we put four tablespoons. Just right.

So that makes it Maryam’s recipe right. She beamed when I said we’ll call these Maryam’s crepes from now. ‘And I cracked the eggs all by myself and I wasn’t even scared……’ And she went on to repeat the same story for the nth time. 

After a hard day picking shells and sand at the beach for a special project (again, dont ask!), we feasted on these crepes. Some with bananas, some with raspberries. All with nutella though. And my Hassan, of course he joined in too. He’s also just learnt to suck with a straw. He is utterly obsessed with straws now. And I with him. 

Maryam’s Chocolate Crepes

1 cup all purpose flour
4 tbs cocoa powder

Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup soda water
2 eggs
2 tbs butter, melted and cooled
Melted butter for frying

Nutella, sliced bananas, raspberries, icing sugar and roasted hazel nuts to serve

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and mix until the batter is smooth and lump free. If lumps remain, sieve the batter. Let it rest for at least an hour or more.

In a non stick frying pan set over medium heat, ladle approximately 1/3 cup batter at a time (the amount will depend on how big your pan is) and swirl the batter around the pan. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. You can add a few drops of butter to help lift the edges off to flip the pancake over. Cook for a further minute on the other side. Serve immediately with nutella, bananas, raspberries, icing sugar and hazel nuts.

Makes 10 crepes.

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Peach Ice Cream With Raspberry Swirls

A season of renewal and rejuventaion, a season of togetherness, a season of growth, a season for love. That’s what comes to mind when I think of summer. It is a time for the sizzling sun to embrace my arms, a time to hear little arms splashing in the pool, a time to feel the flutter of excitement about holidays and a time for indulging in seductive foods.

But my definition of summer keeps fluctuating. Up until my teens, summer signified freedom and a time to discover a new world, the unknown. Me and my sister would spend two months of our summer holidays with my grandparents in London. Everything about London was a stark contrast to home- Dar es Salaam.

We loved the fresh cold air, the quaint houses where you could hear your neighbors brushing their teeth if you listened hard enough, the long walks in the park with dew beneath our feet, the sweet smell of my Grandma’s roses, the numerous shopping trips to the city, the joy at feeding the ducks- there are just too many memories to list here.

But my most vivid memories of summer holidays are intertwined with food. I loved losing myself in the supermarket aisles, admiring the luscious berries, the furry peaches. The fresh smell of washing up powder drew me, the rows upon rows upon rows of cereals enthralled me. You see, Dar es Salaam at that time never had supermarkets! I was in heaven. I still am every time I visit this city- Sainsbury’s is usually my first pit stop.

London truly was the city of dreams. It is where I learnt to ride a bike, where I bought my first Barbie, where I longed to be a ball girl in Wimbledon, where I ate my first peaches. That baby soft skin, that juicy dribble down my arms, that delight at finding a huge stone in the centre. I still remember. So in keeping with summer, in keeping with  peachy first and in keeping with London- here is a creamy dreamy peach ice cream recipe with a raspberry swirl.

Where is the London connection to the recipe? It’s my grandfather’s ice cream recipe. He lives in London and apparently made the best ice cream according to my Mum. Then there’s also the memories of the musical ice cream van whom I first encountered in London. But I’ll leave that for another blog post!

This is my submission for Monthly Mingle this month which I’m hosting. The theme is stone fruits.

Peach Ice Cream With Raspberry Swirl

6 peaches- cut in half and pitted
1 vanilla pod deseeded
3 tbs sugar
1/2 cup raspberries
1 tbs sugar
250 ml double cream
250 ml full fat milk
250 ml condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade (I turned it on the grill function). Combine sugar and vanilla. Arrange the peaches skin side down on a baking tray and sprinkle with the vanilla/ sugar mixture. Grill in the oven for 10 15 minutes or until the top of the peaches appear caramelized. Remove the skin from the peaches as soon as it is cool enough to do so. Puree the peaches and any juices in the baking tray in a blender.

In a separate bowl, combine the raspberries and sugar and set aside for a while. Blend the mixture.

In a separate bowl combine, the cream, milk, condensed milk and peach puree. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Freeze the ice cream in a baking tray for half an hour. At this stage remove from the freezer. The ice cream should just be starting to set. Spoon the raspberry mixture on top and use a toothpick to make swirls. Freeze the mixture wrapped in clingfim overnight.

A few words of advice that I learnt from my first ice cream making session:

1) The ice cream batter always tastes less sweet after it has set. So make sure the batter is just slightly over sweetened before churning.

2) The higher the double cream content, the creamier the ice cream will be.

3) For a more distinct peach flavor, increase the number of peaches. Using the above recipe, the peach flavour is subtle. You can also consider adding a peach extract for a stronger flavour.

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