Coconut Mango Sorbet

The only thing missing here is sitting poolside at a 5 star hotel in Bora Bora. GOALS.


It’s the middle of summer here in Zimbabwe, and saying that it’s hot outside has become an understatement. The climate here is predominantly savannah, so the long summer days are plagued by dry heat and occasionally violent thunderstorms. In other words, it’s my favourite time of year.

My favourite things about summer include going for early morning runs, when the birds sing the songs of their people to bring in the day. It also happens to be mating season so all creatures great and small are displaying their vocal prowess in the hopes of attracting a mate. From the humble toad to the crafty locust, there is never a quiet moment in my garden. The heavy rains have transformed my neighbourhood into a lush green wetland, and the views just take my breath away. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t trade Harare for Bora Bora, even if you paid me.


I’ll sit back, relax and enjoy my mango sorbet poolside at my 5 star residence in Zimbabwe.

Coconut Mango Sorbet

Ingredients

¾ cup water

¾cup granulated sugar

3 large mangoes, deseeded and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 cup coconut milk

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil to make a simple syrup. Once boiled, remove to a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Once the syrup has cooled, add the simple syrup, mango and coconut milk to a blender and pulse until fully combined. Pour into a loaf pan and freeze overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let stand at least 10 minutes before attempting to scoop. Sit by the pool and enjoy!

 

There’s an even better way to enjoy this sorbet, and it’s with a cool glass of bubbly. Check out this recipe for Peach Mango Sorbet Floats

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Cinnamon Vanilla Bread Pudding with Crème Anglais

Bread and pudding don’t even sound like they should be in the same sentence.

This has to be one of my favourite flavour combinations. Coupled with balsamic + honey and blue cheese + sweet chilli. Another thing that this dish combines is the ability to be both a dessert and a breakfast item. That is to say, any leftovers can be consumed at 9 pm whilst drinking hot chocolate and watching Game of Thrones. Yes.


To be honest with you, I used to be one of those people who thought that bread pudding was one of those things that should have never been invented. That was before I actually had bread pudding. It’s terribly easy, requires literally no effort, and it’s basically a French toast casserole. That’s the easiest way for me to put it. And the great thing about it is that it can be easily manipulated as long as the core ingredients (bread, eggs and salt) remain the same.

I would recommend using a rich eggy bread, such as challah or brioche bread, because it drastically improves the flavour. Any other types of bread would still work, but I would strongly recommend either one of those two. This recipe also works really well if your bread is stale. If your bread is fresh, you can cut it into cubes and leave in a baking tray overnight, out in the open. Or, for a quicker method, preheat your oven to 180º/350ºF and bake the bread cubes for about 10 minutes, or until hard. I also like to leave my bread chunks to absorb the egg mixture for about 30 minutes to obtain maximum flavour. You can add in extras like chocolate chips, raisins or nuts to the mixture, it’s all about what you want.For anyone who’s unfamiliar with crème anglaise, the first thing you need to know is that it literally translates to ‘English cream’ from French. It’s similar to custard, but less thinner and it isn’t a sickly yellow colour like the packet variety tends to be. It also has a much more delicate and rich flavour than the yucky storebought stuff. I stole the recipe for the crème anglaise from Seasons and Suppers because she’s got the right idea. And she’s Canadian. That’s a definite guarantee that she can be trusted and that this will change your life.



Cinnamon Vanilla Bread Pudding with Crème Anglais

Ingredients

For the bread pudding: 

4 cups challah bread, or any other bread of your choosing, cut into 1 inch cubes

3 eggs

½ cup castor sugar

¾ cup milk

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla essence

a pinch of salt

½ cup sliced almonds (optional)

For the crème anglaise: 

½ cup fresh cream

½ cup full cream milk

½ tsp vanilla essence

3 tbsp sugar

3 egg yolks

Make the bread pudding:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Stir until the egg yolks are fully incorporated. Then add the bread cubes and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure to coat each bread piece fully. If you like, you could add in raisins, chocolate chips or nuts at this stage. Once each piece is coated, let soak for about 20 minutes before baking. This step is optional, you can bake the bread pudding straight after combining, but soaking the bread will give a more intense flavour.  Meanwhile, start on the crème anglaise.

Make the crème anglaise:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Add the milk, cream and vanilla essence to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a low boil, then take the saucepan off the heat. Make sure it doesn’t come to full boil because if it’s too hot, then you will cook the eggs and end up with scrambled eggs instead of crème anglaise.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until combined. Bit by bit, whisk small amounts of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until you’ve added about half the milk mixture. Then, pour the egg mixture from the bowl into saucepan and whisk over low heat until slightly thickened and the sauce just coats the back of your wooden spoon. When thickened, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap is right on the surface of the crème anglaise so that it doesn’t form a skin. Chill whilst you bake the bread pudding.
  4. Grease a medium deep dish baking pan with BUTTER, not any of that non-stick spray. We’re not here to help you cut calories. Then sprinkle the bottom of your greased pan with about 2 tbsp of brown sugar. This step isn’t necessary but whilst baking, the sugar caramelises at the bottom, giving your bread pudding a crispy bottom.
  5. Carefully layer the soaked bread cubes in the greased baking pan, and pour any leftover egg mixture over the top. This will bake into a lovely custard in the oven and the dish just becomes that much more rich. At this stage, you can sprinkle chopped almonds, chocolate chips or even sugar over the bread pudding mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or when you pull the bread apart with a fork, no liquid seeps out.
  6. Serve warm or cold with crème anglaise, melted ice cream or dusted with icing sugar.


 

Strawberry Cheesecake No Churn Ice cream

Summer is coming.

Yes, I know, it’s been a while. A bit too long if you ask me, but I swear it’s a funny story. So my camera ran out of battery. And I couldn’t find the cable. Okay, maybe not so funny, but there’s no need for you to be so cold (haha).

Did you know that you can make your own ice cream, at home, without a machine, with just 4 ingredients? No joke. And I’m the type of guy that plays April Fools Day jokes right until the end of the month.

  
And this has to be mentioned, because you guys have to know, this ice cream is SOFT SERVE. That means, it doesn’t give you the kind of ice cream that’s a lot more ice than it is cream, if you know what I mean? Also, this recipe doesn’t involve you freezing a banana. Don’t get me wrong, that is probably a way more convenient way to make ice cream, but I HATE bananas. More than anything on this planet. Bananas are my sworn enemy. We will never be friends.

Instead, this recipe uses condensed milk, fresh cream, vanilla essence, strawberry syrup and cream cheese. And if you’re not keen, you can totally leave the strawberry syrup and cream cheese out and still end up with killer ice cream. And this is amazingly simple! Just whip your ingredients together, stick them in the fridge for 4 hours, and you’re done! Didn’t even have to work up a sweat.

Strawberry Cheesecake No Churn Ice cream

Ingredients

2 cups fresh cream

1 8 oz tin of plain cream cheese

1 14 oz can of condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 packet of Marie biscuits, crushed

Strawberry Syrup

Ingredients

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped into pieces

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 cup of water

1 tsp lemon rind

1 tbsp cornflour

Method

Make strawberry syrup:

  1. Add the strawberries, water and sugar to a medium saucepan, and heat over medium low until the mixture boils, about 10 minutes.
  2. When boiled, reduce heat before adding in lemon rind. Dissolve the cornflour with 2 tbsp of cold water and add to the saucepan. Stir until mixture has thickened. At this point, you can choose if you want to strain the strawberries or keep them in the mixture. Pour the syrup into a bowl and refrigerate until cooled, about 15 minutes

 

Make ice cream: 

  1. In a small bowl, whip cream using a handheld electric whisk until stiff peaks form, between 7 and 10 minutes. Scrape the whipped cream into a larger bowl.
  2. Using the same small bowl from before, whisk the cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the condensed milk and vanilla essence and mix until combined. Carefully add the cream cheese mixture into the larger bowl and fold into the whipped cream. Stir until everything is combined, be careful because the cream cheese mixture tends to sink to the bottom!
  3. In a loaf pan, pour half of the cream mixture into the pan, and pour half of the strawberry syrup in, using a toothpick to swirl as soon as it hits the mixture (it tends to sink the bottom). Distribute the crushed Marie biscuits over the ice cream. Layer with the rest of the ice cream mixture, and pour and swirl the remaining strawberry syrup on top. Freeze for about 4 hours, or until the top is solid. Serve and enjoy!