Whippy

Oh my!  We went to a local Farm Shop for lunch last weekend – the Cafe at the Allington Farm Shop.

P1070091Look how whippy and creamy the froth was on top of this cappuccino – it looked like dessert!

P1070092Trifle topping, or tiramisu perhaps…?!!  Nope.  Just good ole coffee.

Your favourite coffee shop and drink?

Crepes

AKA pancakes – the French/English kind.  Thin, a little bit lacy in this picture!  Very quick and easy to make.  The fillings are according to your imagination.  The recipe is simple.

Pancakes or Crepes(makes 8)

100g plain flour

1 medium egg

300ml milk

Knobs of butter, to cook

Filling/topping of choice

Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle of the flour and crack in the egg.  Using a whisk start to whisk the egg and gradually incorporate some flour as you go – the mix in the middle will become sticky and thick, don’t worry.  Then gradually whisk in the milk, bit by bit – splash it into the middle, and keep whisking in the middle.  Eventually you will have a batter with all of the flour incorporated.

Heat a frying pan over a moderate heat, add a knob of butter and allow it to melt and swirl it around the pan.  Pour in approx half-a-ladleful of batter and swirl it round the pan.  Cook for approx 30 seconds until the pancake movers freely in the pan.  Flip – either in the air or with a fish-slice – and allow the other side to cook for approx 20 seconds. until golden  Slide from the pan and keep warm on a plate in an oven or serve immediately.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  Cover/fill pancakes with your filling/topping of choice and enjoy!

We chose to have a savoury pancake – with Cheddar and ham.

Then plain and simple, good old-fashioned sweet pancakes with lemon and sugar.  Sharp, fresh, vitamin C goodness.

Pancakes really need to be served piping hot – otherwise they can be a bit unpleasant.  Little niece and nephew love Nutella on their pancakes – little chocolate lovers.

Sweet or savoury?

Guests for Supper

My parents 🙂

Main course was cheese burgers.

Dessert was raspberry crumble.  A wonderful serving of luxury.  And I’ll confess – I’m a sucker for raspberries.

Raspberries are fresh with a tart flavour, and colourful.  I love the seeds – have you ever chewed a raspberry seed and savoured the flavour?  It’s difficult to describe, but it tastes sort of roasted…and  satisfying.  A raspberry flavour on its own.  Sounds weird.  But try it.

A crumble mix with oats and brown sugar stirred in – imparts a caramel-taste and makes for a crunchy, sweet topping.  The sweetness nicely balances the freshness of the raspberries.

Icy frozen raspberries – means this can be enjoyed at any time of year!

Dig in to that dishful of beautiful, raspberry-pink colour.

Custard…or cream…or both?   😉

The recipe for the crumble topping can be found here.

Seconds?

Fresh & Fruity

The strawberries smelled just like English strawberries in the supermarket recently, and I couldn’t resist.  Sadly they weren’t as soft and lovely as English strawberries, but they couldn’t go to waste.  We needed a good dollop of health, with fresh, wonderful nutrients.

I present to you…a Fruit Platter!

My Beloved and I use cake forks to prod the fruit pieces and enjoy.

(Confession:  I sprinkled a little golden caster sugar over the strawberries – oops!)

Your favourite, healthful snack?

Delightful Dessert

There was a meeting of paths in my life, recently:  An avocado which had been in the fridge for too long, and needed help to prevent waste;  and a dessert idea I have often seen on various websites.

[Apologies for the blur]

Avocado?  Dessert?  Can this be right?  Has the girl lost the plot…?  Nope!

I present to you….Chocolate Avocado Pudding.  This is how I made it, but see notes below.

Scoop out an avocado into a bowl.

Mash it with a fork to make it as smooth as possible.  Add a drizzle of Agave syrup, and mash that in.

Add 1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder and mix that in well.  The mixture will now be rather thick and stodgy – I mixed in 3 tablespoons of milk to keep it smooth and light.  Taste, and adjust for sweetness and consistency – add a little more milk if you wish.

Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

This dessert was a chocolate heaven!  There is no taste of avocado – it just provides a fresh, green underlying taste.  The cocoa gives a wonderful bitter chocolate kick, with a touch of sweetness from the sweetener.  And the texture is melty, smooth and luxurious.  I topped with grated coconut – to give a Bounty bar!  But this would be great with chopped nuts, maybe some raisins, or a mix of toasted seeds.

It feels indulgent and luxurious to dig in to, but it’s satisfying to know that this pudd is full of minerals and vitamins to nourish the body.  People can so easily become hung up on the calorie count of avocados due to their oil-content.  But what about all the other wonderful nutrients they provide?  Do they not matter?  It surely is healthier to indulge in a dessert like this, than a chocolate bar with a poor nutrition profile and possibly a higher calorie count than this dessert.  Food is more than just calories and fat.  Food can provide an abundance of healthful nutrition, and those minerals and vitamins and other nutrients all work together to provide balance and support maximum absorption by the body.  Nature is fantastic!

Avocado:  Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids, fibre, complete protein(contains all essential amino acids needed for the body to produce protein), vitamins A/C/E/K as well as the B vitamins, and all manner of minerals; anti-inflammatory to the body, low GI and heart/cholesterol friendly

Cocoa powder:  Fibre, protein, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, some B vitamins; and low GI

I had a lazy day when I made this dessert – in fact I made it for a snack, rather than eating something processed(made a nice change!).  For a guaranteed, really smooth result make it in a food processor.  Use any sweetener you wish, but it needs to be smooth for the smooth result.  Using caster sugar, for example, will provide a gritty result.  Okay I guess, but just not smooth.  Powder or liquid sweeteners should be fine.  Add as much or as little as you wish, depending on your desired sweetness.  Also add as much or as little milk as you wish, depending on the consistency you want.  The addition of the cocoa makes it quite thick and gunky – which is okay if you wish – but I like the dessert a little lighter and more ‘whippy’.  Cocoa powder gives the intense, dark chocolate flavour.  Drinking chocolate might work?  But the chocolate flavour would be much milder, and drinking chocolate also has sugar added to it which would affect the sweetness factor.  All of this discussion makes it seem so complicated – it’s not!  This is a simple and easy dessert to make.

I need some more topping ideas, please?

Fruity

My dear little niece(and nephew) visited a couple of weekends ago.  She spied a ripe pineapple on the counter and said, ‘Can we have some’?  Being one to encourage healthful options, of course I complied – me, niece and her mom ate the whole pineapple!

Now I know the picture above is not a pineapple…I’m fairly good at fruits and it’s chopped mango!  They’ve been good recently, and on offer at the supermarket – so they made their way into the shopping trolley.

Green with a little blush, and a bit dull-looking on the outside…

Beautiful orange colour and fleshy-looking on the inside…

There’s a large flat stone down the middle which you need to miss when slicing open – some will chew and suck at it to gain maximum fruit!  Slice off as much fruit as you can, remove the green peel, and dice/slice.  Good with some Greek or natural yogurt…and a little honey drizzled over the top?

Juicy!

Another good idea is to make a fruit platter – peel, chop and arrange various fruits on a plate for people to pick at…encourages curiosity in children and they can end up trying things they might only otherwise sniff at.  And it’s good for them to see adults picking at the same, and trying different things.  Good role-modelling!

My one wish?  That I could love plain and dull apples and pears…I know – they’re not dull and plain, they’re loaded with nutrition and can be tasty.  But they just don’t float my boat…

Will you befriend a mango?