Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.

Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

February 24th, 2012 by Clarabella

Caramelised White Chocolate

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I’m back. With a new look, and a new style. Style as in look, and style as in content. My blog is all about me, my food, my work, and my running. I have struggled to keep my blog active over the last few months as my work has kept me busy and after baking all day (I made 19 sponges in 4 hours the other day) I just didn’t feel like all the food-based blogging when I got home. So I have decided to vary things a bit. Blog about food and cooking and baking still, but add variety with work stuff, running stuff and any other stuff that comes to mind. So I hope thats ok. Let me know what you think. I do it for you, my invisible audience.

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So I was home this afternoon. I worked this morning, then I took the pooch running in the woods. 10k later and my legs are feeling it. I am not as fit as I used to be. Its a shame. But I still love it. It was warm today too. Like a whole 12 degrees. I had actual sweat in my hair and all over my t-shirt. could it be the first vestiges of spring? Or is it just mother nature teasing us with the wonderful warmth, just to dump a foot of snow on us again at easter? Who knows. I will enjoy it while it lasts and try not to speculate.  Read the rest of this entry »

October 29th, 2011 by Clarabella

Halloween Pumpkin Pie

I’m not sure about halloween. I did not grow up with it as a tradition as South Africa, with all houses behind big walls with electric fencing and guarded by at least 3 Rottweilers, is not conducive to trick-or-treating. Now I’m in the UK, all around me is orange, black and purple, and I guess I will have to stock up on sweeties on the weekend in case any little dressed up kiddies knock on the door hoping for a treat.

(tip: sprinkle leftover pastry with cinnamon sugar and cut into strips and bake with the pastry shell for a yummy snack)  Read the rest of this entry »

October 10th, 2011 by Clarabella

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream in the Universe

No matter how old I get, there is something comforting about ice cream. Something in its cool velvety creaminess that calms my very soul. A little melodramatic you say? Well, it does. And this chocolate ice cream is the epitome of comfort food. I don’t have chocolate ice cream very often. Its never the first flavour that I’ll choose when faced with an ice cream parlour full of options. Normally the vanilla raspberry, the pistachio or the creme brulee flavours get the first look in. But when I came across this recipe quite accidentally while browsing online, something about it spoke to me. It said ‘make me. you won’t regret it’.

Apart from the completed deliciousness of the finished product, the actual making of this ice cream is a divine process. The chocolatey mixture bubbling on the stove will fill your entire house will the blissful aroma of deep, rich, chocolate. It does this to such an extent, that the nice lady coming to pick up her birthday cake, will walk in, sniff, and goo ‘ooooohhhhh, what IS that gorgeous SMELL?’. Its true. It really happened.

 

So, being the rushed-off-my-feet self-employed mad workaholic that I am now, I neglected to take any photos of the making of the ice cream. I am sorry. Truly. Very. Please forgive me. So please settle for a few images of the finished product, and let me assure you that the making of this ice cream, is silly easy, and every sublime scoopful of it will make you smile and forget your worries for as long as it touches your tongue. I promise.

 

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Chocolate Ice Cream

Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz

You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t call for eggs, which makes it suitable for people who are avoiding eggs for various dietary reasons. For best results, sift the cocoa powder to remove any lumps and use good chocolate, one in the range of 55 to 70% cocoa solids.

What you will need: 

1 cup (250 ml) full cream milk
4 teaspoons cornflour
1 cup (250 ml) double cream
1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk
2/3 cup (130 gr) sugar
1/3 cup (35 gr) good quality cocoa powder
3 ounces (85 gr) dark or milk chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 generous shot of creme de cacao (dark or light)

What to do:

1. Mix a few tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour in a small bowl, until smooth.

2. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the rest of the milk, cream, evaporated milk and sugar. When the mixture comes to a gentle boil, whisk in the cocoa powder, then let it cook at a modest boil for 4 minutes, whisking regularly.

3. After four minutes, whisk in the cornflour/milk mixture then continue to cook for one minute, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened.

4. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate and salt, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and liqueur.

5. Transfer the ice cream mixture bowl then sit that bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice and a bit of water, and let sit until cool, then refrigerate until cold.

6. Pour the mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker, then freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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August 24th, 2011 by Clarabella

Eggnog Pancakes and Come Run with Me

(Warning. This blog post contains many, many images of woods and trails) I like pancakes, and I love to run. Join me for pancakes and a <virtual> run?

I don’t make pancakes for breakfast very often. Partly due to morning time restrictions, partly due to the fact that they are a ‘treat’ for breakfast, and should not be the norm, lest they cease to be a treat and become mundane. But I felt like pancakes, I had time, and I have been running again recently so I can justify the sweet indulgence with a run.

I came across these on Joy the Baker and they just sounded different. Unusual. Spicy and interesting. So I chose them. The only small pitfall was that I did not have any buttermilk with which to make my buttermilk based pancakes. Did I say pitfall? Sorry, I meant potential pitfall, if I did not know how to make my very own buttermilk. Its great, easy, quick, and just the thing when you want pancakes and don’t have any buttermilk in the fridge. Just 1 cup of milk and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes. Voila. Buttermilk.  Read the rest of this entry »

August 15th, 2011 by Clarabella

Big and Bright Rainbow Cake

Wow, I can;t believe I have neglected my blog for so long. I don’t know where the time has gone in the last week. Well, I do know actually. Its gone on starting my new part time job – baking and cake decorating at The Cake Gallery in Bowden. What a gorgeous place and the people there are just lovely. Can’t wait to get more stuck in this week 🙂 Time has also been spent on my first wedding cake order, hurrah! I am SO excited to have the opportunity to make a wedding cake for a lovely couple who are getting married in 6 weeks. It will be a square, 3-tier cake. Separated by pillars so its super tall, and decorated with garret frills and yellow roses. I can’t wait to get going on that one. I have also been planning the design for the golden wedding anniversary cake which I am doing in 2 weeks time. I think I have settled on the design now, so just need to go and get a baking tin and I will begin next week.

So things are going well. The only slightly sore point is that I haven’t received any orders from my website yet. I have done a lot more content writing this past weekend to make Google like it more, and I guess that takes time before it shows, but I am wondering if people just don’t find it, or if there is something about the site that puts them off. If you are reading this and are at all curious, take a mosey on to my site and let me know what you think. Any feedback will be welcome! Thank you. Read the rest of this entry »