Gianduja Gelato

(Pssst! Gianduja is basically the official name for what we call Nutella) Somehow, it is October! Which may not seem the ideal time of year to share an ice cream recipe but in my opinion there is never a bad time to eat ice cream; breakfast, lunch, dinner, January, July, November. Plus there is something very autumnal about hazelnuts and chocolate. My favourite flavour of ice cream is Hazelnut, there is nothing greater on this Earth. This recipe, however, is for Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate and is pretty damn amazing too. I will be using the method minus the chocolate to make Hazelnut Gelato. This recipe is from my ice cream oracle, David Lebovitz‘s – The Perfect Scoop but I subbed the milk chocolate for  dark chocolate, just a personal choice, and make sure it is good quality chocolate with a minimum of 30% cocoa solids, whatever you choose.

gelato

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Mother’s Day Cookies, A Variety of Shortbread

The internet is a wonderful thing, it enables people half way across the world to get in contact at the touch of a button. I’ve already talked about how thankful I am for my little corner of the internet, but today I’m here to tell a whole different story. A message arrived a few days ago from a mother-daughter duo, Patience Brewster, who make unique gifts, inspiring me to share a recipe that says ‘mothers day’ in my mind and if possible to discuss my mother (and grandmother) and daughter cooking story, in honour of mother’s day in the USA.Short2

When it comes to be being surrounded by good cooks, I was blessed. My mother always kept me in awe in the kitchen with her sugarwork fruit baskets and elaborate birthday cakes that she made me each year. My grandma on my mum’s side was no cook unfortunately, but she left an even greater gift, her recipe for Christmas cake, it was the only thing she was good at making and it just happened to be the best in the world; I’ve shared that story already. Whilst I sadly never met my paternal grandparents, I was truly blessed with hands down the most amazing surrogate (long story) grandparents; the richness they bought to my childhood is immeasurable (along with the number of photos they have of me, along with stories), one (of the many) thing they bought me was a basket full of kitchen tools and cookery equipment, in honour of me starting cookery club. That was 17 years ago, when I was 7 years old and I still use most of those tools today. The first recipe I ever learnt by heart was shortbread. I’ve talked about my shortbread story before but it really is where my cookery journey started; inspired by one incredibly talented and fearless cook, my mother.

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Cacao & Hazelnut Spread

Nutella, being chocolate and hazelnut i.e. my two most favourite flavours ever, is one of my weaknesses. I dream about the stuff. Unfortunately, despite marketing itself as a healthy and nutritious breakfast toast topping of choice for children, it really isn’t. I’ve been wanting to make my own ‘healthier’ chocolate and hazelnut spread for a while and when I got my hands on Deliciously Ella’s cookbook, I was excited to see the recipe in there. I’d seen the recipe on her blog before but never got around to making it. Having some time off of work though, meant I finally did get around to making it. Oh wow. It is delicious; it is hard to believe that this is the healthy nutritious version, it is to die for. It’s vegan friendly and gluten free too.

Nutella

On the subject of nutritious and delicious, if you’re looking for a cookbook of ridiculously tasty food that will make your body feel great, look no further; Ella has you covered. Ella uses raw cacao in this recipe, an ingredient I’m using more and more. It is jam packed with minerals and antioxidants, Ella has written a whole post on it, if you’d like some more information. I used raw cacao in my last batch of brownies, its a change you’ll never regret. It might seem slightly pricey but actually it works out much better as you use far less (half the quantity of normal cocoa if substituting). You can find raw cacao in most whole food stores and online.

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Vegan Hazelnut Icecream

It is no secret that I love hazelnut, and that I adore ice cream. The combination of the two is almost more than I can cope with. I’ve been trying to reduce my dairy in take to minimal but the sun keeps shining and I keep on loving ice cream way too much. This meant attempting to find a dairy free hazelnut ice cream recipe, that was still rich and creamy. I found this recipe online and it definitely does the trick. Here’s my version, topped with chopped hazelnuts:

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Banana and Nutella Muffins

I won’t repeat my strong feelings on ripe bananas here but they do make exceptional cakes. I will however talk about how strong my feelings for Nutella are. I adore it, I eat it out of the jar with a spoon when no one is looking, I crave it, I would eat it daily if I could. I really love chocolate, I really really love hazelnuts. I also love banana cake. Then, one beautiful day, I combined the two. Nothing more needs to be said on this matter.

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