Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Boston Cream Pie

This has been on my mind for a very long time. I first came across a recipe for Boston Cream Pie in my Hummingbird Bakery Book, which is also one of my 10 favourite cookbooks. The recipe seemed a bit complex, considering it had 3 parts to it; cake, custard, chocolate glaze..... If you know me, you also know much I love to keep the cooking simple. So, although I really wanted to make this cake, what I wanted more was to simplify it. And simplify I did.


Now, don't let the name deceive you. This is no PIE at all. It is in fact a cake.  I did google  a bit and figured out what really makes a Boston Cream Pie. It's as simple as this, Layers of vanilla cake, filled with custard, topped with chocolate glaze........... Tada!!!!!!!!!! Armed with this new information, I decided that for the cake, I could use my usual vanilla cake recipe, which is only like the simplest cake recipe everrrrrrrrr, for the custard,  I could cheat,  making it using custard powder ( Do not judge me now) and the for chocolate glaze , chocolate ganache is the easiest thing to make. And I would have a glorious Boston Cream Pie. Oh btw ,this post is going to have 2 recipes actually; one, vanilla cake ( you can do like only a 1000 things with it) and 2 chocolate ganache, (Warning : It's a bit addictive)


We had this ladies night in with my friends and me being me, offered to make the dessert for the evening. Also , this dessert would be a perfect birthday cake for a friend, who had celebrated her birthday earlier in the week . I decided to add a bit of extra indulgence to this already perfect dessert cake, and added a bit of cointreau to soak the layers of vanilla cake; best decision I ever made in my kitchen!!!!







How I made it :

I started with the cake. Simple vanilla cake.  Butter, sugar, eggs, milk and flour, vanilla. While the cake baked, I made my chocolate ganache. Ganache is the simplest thing to make and is so versatile. You can use it as a filling, glaze, frosting for a cake. It also is perfect for dunking cupcakes. All you need to remember is equal parts cream and chocolate. I use amul cream, which is low fat cream. and it works just fine, although a lot of recipes suggest using double cream, like nilgiris and that works fine as well. For the chocolate, I used dark chocolate for this recipe, but you can also use regular chocolate or a mix of both.

To make the ganache, first, gently heat the cream, on a slow flame, or in the microwave. Take it off the stove and add chopped chocolate. Leave it aside for a couple of minutes, then gently stir to make sure all the chocolate is melted. The gancahe will be pretty thin when you've just made it, and will thicken as it cools. You can also store ganache in the fridge for a couple of weeks, if you haven't licked the bowl clean that is.

Once the cake was done, I let it cool, while I got on with making the custard, just following the packet instructions for making pouring custard. Though  I used half a litre of milk to make the custard. I used just about half of it for the filling.


To assemble the dessert. I mixed the cointreau with a bit of sprite to make a soaking syrup .I cut the cake into half. One layer on the board, I put spoons of the cointreau syrup and then spread a generous layer of custard, that had cooled by now. Then top it with the other layer of cake, and some more soaking syrup. And to finish it off, I put spoons of the ganache that had cooled for an hour or so. Using a knife, I just spread it around the top and sides of the cakes. Let the cake cool in the fridge a couple of hours and it made a delicious dessert. The custard tasted smooth and silky and the cointreau paired great with the dark chocolate, and of course, another item on the food bucket list ticked off !!!!!!




Boston Cream Pie

Ingredients:

For the Custard
Custard powder
1/2 ltr milk
Sugar


For the vanilla cake :

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups maida
100 grams unsalted butter softened
1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup milk


For the Ganache :
200 ml cream
200 dark chocolate, roughly chopped

For the soaking syrup (optional)
Mix  4 tbsp cointreau and  100 ml sprite


A.Make free pouring custard, following the instructions on the packet. Let it cool

B. For the cake :

1. Preheat the oven to a 170 C. Grease and flour a 7 inch round tin.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder. Keep aside
3. Beat the butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs one by one
4. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
5. Add the flour and milk, alternatively, starting and ending with the milk.
6. Pour into the baking tin and bake for about 30 mins till a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let the cake cool.

C. Ganache : While the cake is cooking
1. Heat the cream on a gentle flame till warm
2. Take off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let it aside for a couple of mins and then stir till all the chocolate has melted. Leave aside and let it cool

D. Assembling the dessert :

1. Cut the cooled cake into two layers
2. Place one layer on a serving board and soak it with half the cointreau mix.
3. Spread a generous layer of custard
4. Place the other layer of cake over the custard and pour the other half of the syrup, all over the cake.
5. Pour the cooled ganache on the top of the cake and using a knife, spread it to the sides of the cake.
6. Refrigerate the cake for about an hour at least before serving.




Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Caramel Custard






Caramel Custard , or flan, or caramel pudding, or creme caramel, oh, call it what you will, it doesn't matter. Truth is, it's  a classic!!! and my all time favourite dessert and as luck would have it the foodie on duty (aka hubby darling) lovessssss it too. There can never be enough of it and to think that this heavenly dessert needs just 4 ingredients!!!! Unbelievable.



                                                            Remember this?




My first introduction to caramel custard was when I was a little kid. We often made it using the Weikfield pack. I still remember what that packet looked like. The instructions were easy to follow and it didn't take too long for that dessert to set and thinking of it, if given a chance I could've eaten the entire bowl on my own,,, sigh, if not for those two siblings.......



Anyway, these days, as I continue my baking expeditions, I've for long, wanted to learn to make this on my own. Added encouragement and motivation, that it's my husband's favourite dessert as well.Also, this is from my food bucket list that I posted earlier.  I tried making it a couple of times, without having understood the basics of it and yes while it still tasted good, I never got the texture right, and I could never get it to set right. It sorta became my arch nemesis. How terribly sad, considering I had always loved it. When I finally did my research, I realized I was making the silliest errors and in fact this beloved dessert was the easiest and most forgiving. All it needed and most was a bit of time.



Creme caramel needs just 4 ingredients, 4 everyday, very easily available ingredients, you'll find in your kitchen any time and that would be 1. Sugar. 2. Milk, 3. Eggs 4. Vanilla essence and that's it. A little bit of oven time, water bath and some chilling time in the fridge and your dessert will be perfect, to the point where it'll slide out of your mould straight on to your dish with all that caramel to drool on..

Here are a few things you should remember while making your creme caramel

1. DON'T grease your moulds, with butter or oil.
2. Use a "bain marie" method to cook the custard. No two ways about this
3. Give it sufficient time in the fridge to set. I now prefer making them the previous night and letting them set, but even just 4 hours is time enough




So how do you make it.

This is the most basic, yet efficient and fail proof recipe you'll  ever need.

We first start with the caramel. Sort of  like how we made for our Christmas cake, but we don't need to add a cup of hot water once the sugar turns browns. So in a pan, goes the sugar and a sprinkle of water to help it melt and we let it melt till it turns a deep golden colour. Put the caramel in your baking dish and swirl it all around making sure the base is all covered . You can use this recipe to make custard in 6 individual ramekins or a 6 inch round cake pan and it'll turn out just as good. I've tried both. Also, once you take the caramel off the stove, it sets quite fast, so keep your ramekins ready as you make the caramel and be quick in spooning and swirling that caramel into the dish.


Just set it aside and mix the custard. For this all you need to do is whip the sugar and eggs and then pour in the essence and milk and whisk it. Your custard mix is ready. While castor sugar is best, I've had those times, I've  gone ahead with granulated, regular sugar. Like I said, this custard is very forgiving.  I prefer to use milk at room temperature and not straight from the fridge. Once the mix is ready, pour it over the caramel and place the ramekins/cake pan in a large baking dish, Pour hot water in the dish that covers at least half the ramekin or the cake tin if you're using one. Bake till the custard cooks. Let it cool and then leave to set in the refrigerator



Un moulding the custards is really simple. Just run a knife around the edges of the ramekin and place a saucer over it and turn it upside down. You can gently tap the bottom of the ramekin, but even without it the custard should slide out on to your serving platter easily covered in caramel. And voila,,,,, creme caramel is ready!!!!!!!!! Attack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think this makes a lovely dessert if you planning one of those night in valentine day dates, because like love, this never goes out of fashion.

Creme Caramel :

Makes 6 medium sized ramekins or one 6 inch round tin.

Ingredients :

For the caramel :

5 tbsps of granulated sugar
1 tbsp water

For the Custard:

4 tbsp castor sugar
3 eggs
1tbsp vanilla essence
1/2 ltr milk

1. Start with pre heating your oven to 180 C

2. Make the caramel. In a small nonstick pan, put the sugar and sprinkle the water. Keep on low flame and let the sugar melt.

3. Swirl the pan around and let the sugar turn a golden brown. Pour equally between the ramekins or in the cake tin, swirling around to cover the entire base of the dish.

4. For the custard, whisk the eggs and sugar till fluffy, add the milk and vanilla and to bring together.  Pour into the cake tin or ramekins, over the caramel.

5. Place the ramekins/tin in a large baking dish. Fill up the dish halfway with hot water. Bake for 40 mins

6. Take the ramekins/tin out of the hot water and let them cool a bit.

7. Let them set in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours

8. To serve, run a flat knife around the sides of the ramekin/tin . Place a saucer/platter over the dish and turn upside down. Gently tap the bottom of the dish for the custard to slide out,






Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The food bucket list for 2015

Happy new year all!!!!!!!! It's that time of the year, for new enthusiasm, new renewals of old resolutions, new lists, goals, and in all this energy I couldn't help but think of a recipe list. That's how I've come with my Food bucket list for 2015, with a list twist. One, it's a list of to do's for this year and 2 , it's a list of things I'm going to try making not exactly eating at some place. Well I am going to eat them eventually, after I've made them and yes every successfully completed recipe will be up on the blog.


So I looked through my recipe books, which by the way have totally overflowed from my little kitchen shelf to my book shelf to my bed side table to my study table.  Every recipe book has been decorated with bright post it's for "must try recipes" and when I got down to making my list, it continued to over a 100. Geez, I wanted to keep this real, a number I could actually accomplish, given how time flies with all the other zillion things I need to and plan to do with my time.

I decided to take on some godzilla recipes, the ones that I have been staying away from, for thier accompanying anxiety and  some simple recipes, mostly bakes that I've been meaning to try for so long and just have not made the time for or shunned for something more fancy.


So this list contains recipes I plan to try out this year and the ones that go well will be up here on the blog, for you'll to try.

Let's have a look at the list shall we .

1. Baked Alaska (this has been on my mind for a couple of years now. It'll make a spectacular dessert)
2. Bibique ( my favourite take away from Goa, one of my favourites, along with the wine and sausages)
3. Angel food cake ( 12 egg whites!!!!)
4. The perfect pound cake
5. Roasted leg of Lamb, not going to let it bake overnight though. Need a simpler recipe.
6. Creme CaramelDone
7. Baklava, (need to find that filo pastry)
8. Summer pudding, sweet and simple
9. Bitter orange Ice cream ,for those summery days.
10. Snickerdoodles (How can I not try something that sounds so adorable )
11. Croissants
12. Om Ali, a very delicious Egyptian pudding
13.Boston Cream pie :Done
14.Pineapple, carrot and apple cake (yes, all in one, I already love it)
15. Mango Ice cream
16.Puff pastry, I'm on the lookout for a cheat's recipe.
17. Christmas Pudding
18. Gingerbread house, Plenty of time to research and get it ready in time for Christmas!!!!


Now now , let this list not fool you. Though I hope to keep at it, ummm I don know, ,, , also this doesn't mean you won't see any other posts on the blog. I got plenty of other recipes lined up .

Do you have a " must try recipe list" . I'd love to hear about it. Email me : ronamarlene@gmail.com

Also, if you try recipes posted here, don't forget to email me pictures, I'd love to know how they turned out.

Again, Happy new year !!!! Here's to new dreams, hopes and aspirations. Cheers!!!!!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Chicken Roast with Vegetables


Compliments of the season y'all. .  Tis the season to be jolly and boy am I . I know I'm a bit late in posting this roast recipe in time for Christmas, buuuuuut, you could make it for that New Year dinner. 


Between all the Christmas merriment, to dos, Mangalorean weddings, feasting on delicious food from my mother's kitchen , it's been a real challenge to sit down and write this post. So I'm going to make this quick. 


So as promised, this is my cheat's recipe for chicken roast. While I skip the usual filling, I still go ahead with the  vegetables which gives this dish, a good balance of ingredients and also adds such colour!!!!!

While you can make the marinade and let the chicken marinate even overnight in the fridge, I got to admit, there are times, I have rubbed the marinade on the chicken and put it straight into the oven and still managed to have a very delicious roast on the table. 

The 2 most important things for a roast, as I have learnt is good seasoning and cooking at the right temperature. Good seasoning means a good rub of salt and pepper. I once made a very fancy marinade with what seemed like a 100 herbs but then was forgetful on the salt and ended up with a very tasteless chicken roast and boy was that disappointing. Cooking at the right temperature will ensure the meat stays tender and juicy and also gets you a good crispy skin. 











To start with, clean a full chicken with skin. yes with skin. Roast chicken is made with skin, don't fight it. Use a chicken that's between 1 - 1.5 kgs. Once the chicken is clean, pat it dry with a kitchen towel. Set it aside and get going on your marinade. For the marinade I mix every dried herb I find in my kitchen and bring it all together with some salt and olive oil. Rub the marinade on the chicken, try not missing a spot. Put in a ziplock and let it sit in your fridge overnight, if you have the time, or let it sit for atleast 30 mins before you bake it. Another thing I do is marinate it when I bring the chicken home from the market, and put it straight into the fridge. So I don't need to worry defrosting the chicken to marinate it the day I need to cook it. 

When you're ready to bake the chicken, make sure you let the chicken come to room temperature before tossing it into the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C and put the chicken to bake and let it bake, half an hour for every half kilo of chicken. So, 90 mins for a 1.5 kg chicken. After the first 30 mins bring the temperature to 150 C. Baste the chicken regularly with the juices that gather.

While the chicken is cooking, you can get the vegetables ready. I use cauliflower, carrots bell peppers, baby corn and peas. You can also use broccoli, potato, mushrooms.  Roughly chop all the vegetables and toss them in butter and salt. That's it; vegetable done. 



The chicken is done, when, clear juices run from the chicken, if you run a knife through the thighs. Also, when it's cooked , the leg will break from the chicken when you gently twist it. 

Put the cooked chicken on a platter, gather the juices from the pan and mix with some cornflour to make a little gravy. Serve with some mustard or mayonnaise mixed with mustard.


Chicken Roast :

Chicken : 1 full chicken , 1 to 1.5 kgs

For the marinade :
Salt and pepper for seasoning.
Mixed dried herbs : 1 tsp
Garlic powder : 1 tsp
Onion powder 1 tsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp

Assorted vegetables : Cauliflower, Carrots, bell peppers, peas, baby corn.
2 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

1 tsp cornflour


1. Clean the chicken and pat it dry. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and rub it on the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for  at least 30 mins if not overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 C and bring the chicken to room temperature. Let i bake in the oven at 200 C for the first 30 mins, then at 150 till done.

3. Heat the butter in a pan and toss all the vegetables, roughly chopped till they turn colour.

4. When the chicken is done, remove the chicken and put in a dish. Gather the juices from the pan. Mix cornflour in a little water and add it to the juices from the pan and heat it till it thickens.

5. Serve the chicken with the vegetables, mayonnaise and gravy.





Monday, 15 December 2014

Date and Beer Cake

Christmas recipes continue. If you read my earlier post, I did promise a cheat's version for a Christmas cake. And at Christmas time, I keep my promises and I'm posting the recipe today. This is a treasure of a recipe, again,  found through Pinterest. I was skeptical about making it the first time, considering it used beer, I wondered if the froth really was going to help the cake bake, but with a little nudge I decided to try anyway. This recipe is super simple, turns out great and having tried it more than a couple of times, I can tell it's fool proof. I call this my cheat's version of a christmas cake, because it bakes to a lovely dark brown and also the dates make it really moist. If you haven't soaked any dry fruits, go ahead and make this cake with just the dates and nuts, but if you have, I suggest you add a scoopful of the dry fruits with the dates to this cake and you're going to get real close to tasting a Christmas fruit cake, and yes with only half the trouble.





Also this recipe makes quite a large cake, a 10 inch round cake to be precise. If you don't have that large a cake tin, use 2 smaller cake tins and adjust the baking time accordingly.


I have modified the original recipe, skipping the cinnamon powder and replacing the walnuts with casehwnuts, simply because I didn't have either of these ingredients at home. And by now you'd have figured out my rule, if it isn't there, do without it and it works almost every time. I have also modified the quantities of the ingredients a bit. However, I did stick to using Carlsberg beer like the original recipe.


To make the cake, do the usual process first. Prepare your baking tin, greasing it with butter and dusting it with flour. Then sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Chop the dates, though not necessarily fine, chop it small, so you don't run the risk of the dates sinking to the bottom of the cake.
 
Chop the cashew nuts as well ,toss them together and coat them with about a tbsp of the flour mixture, again, this is to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom if the pan when you bake.



Back to usual cake making process, beat the butter, and sugar till creamy. This recipe uses brown sugar. It's available in most supermarkets and of course Nilgiris is pretty well stocked usually. Then go in the eggs, one at a time.


The recipe uses 2 cups of beer, which you alternatively fold into the batter with the flour mixture. Finally go in the dates and nuts and the cake bakes for about 1 hr 10 mins. If you're using 2 smaller cake tins, it should take a bit lesser.

And there 70 mins later you have your cheat's Christmas cake ready and you didn't even have to line the tin with baking paper, or soak your fruits for weeks. Give this recipe a try and I can promise you, that you are going to love it and keep coming back to it. Happy Christmas time folks, and there'll be a couple more Christmas recipes soon.




Date and Beer Cake 

Makes 1, 10 inch round cake

Ingredients :

300 gms plain flour
a pinch of salt
2 tsp baking soda
125 gms dates, finely chopped
50 gms cashewnuts chopped
200 gms butter
225 gms brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups of beer

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 10 inch round cake tin and dust with flour
2. Chop the dates and cashewnuts.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Use 2 tbsp of this mixture to coat the dates and nuts. Keep aside.
4. Beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time.
5. Fold in the flour mixture with the beer alternatively, starting and ending with flour.
6. Fold in the dates and cashewnuts.
7. Pour batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hr 10 minutes , till a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.



Friday, 28 November 2014

Kulkuls

Some more Christmas goodness. . . Kulkuls are such a big part of the whole Christmas season in Mangalore. It's one of my favourite Christmas time things to do. Kind of on the "must do" list. So , thought I'd put up some traditional Kuswar recipes and  Kulkuls , also known as kidyo are one of the easiet things to make. This kulkuls recipe is very simple and failproof. What makes it most fun is getting the whole family together, to roll them out. This way, you won't take light years to use up the dough and also kids totally love making these. I know I did, when I was younger, wait a minute , I still do.



I've adjusted the recipe to use just about 1/2 a kilo of flour. My grandma I'm told used no less than 4 kilos!!!!! Phew.... I wanted to start off with a smaller batch and then maybe double it for a batch over the weekend. If you're making it alone, 1/2 a kilo is quite a bit, but absolutely doable.





Like a lot of the recipes on this blog, this one too is a cheat's version. Yes, I do this cheating business a lot. After having looked at my mum's recipe I made two very important changes. For starters, I use readymade coconut milk, this one to be precise, so there , your work has already been halved, and two, I don't make the sugar syrup, I use icing sugar instead , and this is so much easier. Here's what I do, once the kulkuls are fried and drained of all their oil, I toss them in a bowl of icing sugar. This way, no sticky icky business of making/using sugar syrup and also the kulkuls don't become too sweet. Over the years, I have developed a taste for eating these plain,  you can also have these without any of that sugar coating business. 


So here's how we make it. Mix the flour and the sugar , a pinch of salt, that's basically the base of our dough. 



A tip my mum gave me was to use warm oil, that'll make the kulkuls crisp. So warm the oil, to a rather hot temperature and add to the dough. Mix with a wooden spoon as you do. The mixture is going to resemble bread crumbs. Wooden spoon coz, it's going to be difficult touching that hot oil with your hands. Add the coconut milk and using your hands, knead into a dough, that is sorta smooth and pliable, just not sticky.  Use less of more the coconut milk, as you go with kneading the dough.




You can rest the dough for about 10 mins before you start rolling out the kulkuls. Cover the dough with a cloth, so it doesn't dry out. To make the kulkuls, start with small portions of the dough, again, cover the rest with a cloth.  Take a small  piece of dough and roll into a little ball.Using your fingers, flatten it out into a rectangle on the back of a greased fork, (it should be quite thin), press the dough into the indents of the fork, and then roll it away from you, into a little worm, and that's a kulkul right there. Press them a bit with the fork at the edges to seal them, so they don't open up while you fry them.







See, isn't this fun. Make kulkuls with at least half your dough, before you start frying them, specially if you're making them alone. You could also roll and fry them in batches.
To fry the kulkuls , heat up the oil in a wok. Bring the oil to a medium hot temperature and not smoking. To test if the oil is at the right temperature, drop a small piece of dough in the oil. If it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil's at the right temperature. 





Fry the kulkuls in batches to a medium brown colour, not dark brown. Remember they continue to cook a few seconds after you take them out of the oil, so don't leave them in the oil till they look well done. Using a slotted spoon, take the kulkuls out and leave them to drain on kitchen towels or paper . If you plan to sugar coat them, literally, toss them in the icing sugar and then transfer to a bowl. And with that comes one tick on that kuswar list







Here's the recipe for Easy to make Kulkuls


Ingredients:

1/2 kilo flour
A pinch of salt
6 tbsps powdered sugar
4 tbsp oil
250 ml (aprox) readymade coconut milk
400 ml oil for deep frying
200 gms icing sugar for coating the kulkuls

1. In a vessel, mix the flour, salt and powdered sugar.
2. Heat 4 tbsps of oil . Add to the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon to blend it into the flour.
3. Add the coconut milk and knead the mixture into a dough.
4. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for 10 mins.
5. Take a small piece of dough, roll into a ball, and flatten it out on the back of a greased fork.
6. Roll into a kulkul. Roll out all of the dough into kulkuls in batches.
7. Heat the oil and deep fry the kulkuls to a medium brown.
8. Using a slotted spoon, take them out and let them rest on paper towels, before you toss them in the icing sugar.



If you are new to making Kuswar, or trying Kuswar on your own for the first time, there couldn't be a simpler goodie to start with. Trust me. . Would I lead you astray?

Happy Christmas time everyone. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Cocktails

About a month to go for Christmas!!!!!!!! Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!!! I'm in love with the sight of my home at night. My Christmas tree in the balcony, Christmas lights all over the house, Christmas decor's up and this year I made us some kinda Advent Calendar. For the 24 days before Christmas, I put down 24 Christmas activities for us , one for each day and I can't wait for Dec to get here. I'm sooooooooooo excited.





Today, I decided to put up a couple of cocktail recipes, well Christmas cocktail recipes, perfect for those Christmas parties. Last year I tried some pina coladas. Apart from the fact that I loaded them with alcohol ( which my guests didn't mind at all), they turned out a big hit at our Christmas party. So that's the first one I'm going to put up here. Also, I'm putting up a recipe for "blizzard", a cocktail made with bourbon whiskey. I've rarely had a cocktail with whiskey, so decided to try this recipe I found. And then the last one here is Christmas Mojito, it's a mojito with a splash of cranberry that makes it perfectly Christmasy. I'm putting recipes with measurements enough to make one, just double them or more to make many, and feel free to lessen or increase the quantities of any of the ingredients, to taste the way you like them.

So let's start with the Pina Colada. This has always been my favourite, it's just that great combination of pineapple and coconut that makes it very very yummmmm. I researched a lot of recipes before I finally decided to come up with one of my own, and it adds a very special ingredient, I can't call it a secret ingredient, coz it's no longer going to be a secret. That talked about ingredient IS . . . . A. . . . Wait for it. . .  . . . . scoop of vanilla ice cream . Yyyuupppp.. . . . . It's ice cream, it's got to taste good. Adding ice cream, makes the drink creamier and adds a great flavour to the drink. You cab definitely skip it if you think it's gonna be too heavy or something but if we're doing it my way it's got to have ice cream.


Pina coladas are very easy to make and require just about 5 ingredients; White Rum, pineapple, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and in my version ice cream. You can go ahead without the ice cream as well. I have tweaked the recipe a bit, so it's a bit different from the usual pina colada recipe, but this works great for me. Also remember, this recipe uses coconut cream and not coconut milk. Canned coconut cream is available in a lot of stores and it much thicker and creamier than coconut milk.


Here we go :

Pina coladas

Makes 1

2 Pineapple slices, cut into bits
50 ml White rum
30 ml Coconut Cream.
70 ml Pineapple Juice
3 tbsp of Vanilla Ice cream
Ice


Method :

1.  Place all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.
2. Pour in a tall glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple.



Moving on to the BLIZZARD. . . . This one uses Cranberry and Bourbon whiskey, such a classy combination. It's got a lovely  shade pink champagne. So prewwtty!!!!!!!!



Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Cranberry juice, and I thought this drink would be too sweet . . . . . .  But the whiskey totally balances it out. I used Bourbon whiskey that I had lying around, but if I didnt, maybe I try it using any other whiskey. Though all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon, making this cocktail with any whiskey should taste just as fine.

My verdict for this cocktail : It's classy, stylish and very christmasy.










Blizzard 

Makes 1

60 ml Bourbon
30 ml Cranberry juice
1 tbsp Lime juice
2 tbsp simple syrup
Slice of Lime
Handful of Ice

1. Put the ice in a glass
2. Put the lime juice, bourbon, syrup and cranberry juice in  a cocktail shaker and mix well.
3. Pour over the ice. 
4. Serve with a slice of lime



And now the Christmas Mojitos.  Making any drink Christmasy is that bottle of Cranberry juice. So this recipe is not very different from the usual recipe for a mojito, but with the addition of cranberry juice, I'm not sure how much classic mojito lovers will like this, considering it's a bit sweeter but I found it refreshing and yes the pink made it pretty......









Christmas Mojitos

Makes 1

Handful of mint leaves
50 ml white rum
60 ml soda
1 tsp lime juice
30 ml cranberry juice
Ice

1. Place the lime juice and mint leaves in your serving glass and mix them together , mashing the mint with the back of a spoon
2. Add the ice, rum and cranberry juice 
3. Top it up with soda.



 So there we go. . 3 easy peasy Christmas Cocktails. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch this space for some more christmasy recipes..........