If there’s one thing nicer than Murphy’s Seacláid (chocolate) Ice Cream, eaten straight from the tub beside the fire (yep, it’s still cold in Ireland!), then it’s got to be that self same cold, intensely flavoured ice cream topped with great generous spoonfuls of creamy sweet/salty confiture de lait. Perfect for an Easter treat! Literally translated as milk jam, confiture de lait is a truly luxurious, indulgent toffee caramel sauce, similar to the Argentinean dulce de leche, and often used as a spread for bread, or even to sandwich cookies together.
Having missed the first Winos and Foodies Hay Hay, It’s Donna Day – and you all know about my love of Donna Hay! – I had every intention of making a real effort for the second episode in what looks like becoming a long-running series of worldwide bake-ins. Glutton Rabbit at Pearl of the Orient chose Macaroons for Hay Hay It’s Donna Day #2 but I’m not a huge macaroon fan. Besides, I was down home and my little sister took one look at the recipe that I’d printed off from Pearl of the Orient and went “ugh! There’s coconut in it.” I have memories of making coconut macaroons when I was a child and they were never a great success – unlike anything involving chocolate. Then I remembered a recipe for Chocolate Almond Macaroons that I had come across in Taste: Baking with Flavour by Dean Brettschneider and Lauraine Jacobs. Although the book is back in New Zealand, there’s still the internet and the Cuisine website came up trumps with just the recipe that I had noted in the cookbook.
I’ve always loved getting parcels in the post (hence my involvement with Blogging by Mail 2!) and this year in New Zealand has only accentuated that fact. When you’re far away, it’s always nice to know that your friends and family at home are thinking of you, something which is even more appreciated when there’s chocolate involved! My mother is great for sending on bars of Butler’s Irish Chocolate and chocolate Santys at Christmas time – I even got a (very squashed) box of Black Magic for my birthday and a slab of Bournville (especially useful for bach hot chocolates).
Spicy Chocolate Biscotti Ever since having Chocolate and Chilli Biscotti at Underground I’ve been wanting to try making these and, biscotti weighing hardly anything in terms of postage for Blogging by Mail, this was the ideal...
I think that my interest in the Mexican combination of chocolate and chilli may have been originally sparked from watching the film adaptation of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water For Chocolate in college. The fire of chilli and the dark richness of chocolate seems, to me, to be a rather good combination. The Chocolate and Chilli Biscotti I picked up recently to accompany my flat white (coffee) at the Underground Coffee Company Café in Christchurch was a good example of this and put my mind musing over other ways I could use chocolate and chilli together.
When I was a kid, Bread and Butter Pudding was the desert that we all loved. I wasn’t too impressed with other traditional milk puddings like Farola or semolina and often would walk away from the dinner table with my pockets full of secreted spoonfuls rather than actually eat a bowl of the insipid stuff.
Ginger is big business in New Zealand. Whether it’s the pieces of ginger slice available in every café and bakery, gingernut biscuits beloved by the boyfriend’s parents, the many brands of commonly available ginger beer (not in the least bit like the insipid ginger ale mixer common in Irish bars) – the best of which is always a hotly debated topic of contention in the boyfriend’s household – or Ginger Bear sweets (like gummy bears, but with a ginger kick) it seems like the Kiwis just can’t get enough ginger.