Friday 12 April 2019


Ever since I first discovered it, I've always thought Kulfi wonderful stuff. And I had no idea, literally for decades, that it is such a simple thing to make. Research into recipes for Kulfi was prompted by the double discovery of (i) the availability in Pisa of evaporated milk, in industrial quantities, in the ethnic food-shop down near the station (which is a complete time capsule selling tinned goods from sixty years and more ago, when the far-flung outposts of empire required a reliable supply of Spam, and Marmite, and tins of corned beef and other such wonders), and (ii) a range of frozen desserts which suit my Ma's increasingly compromised diet, and which by happenstance come in plastic containers which are exactly the shape and size for re-use as kulfi moulds, in traditional kulfi shape.
This recipe is the simplest form of kulfi that I've found. There are many more elaborate versions, and I expect I might progress to those once I've got bored with this plain version - I can't see that happening any time soon, though.

For four individual  servings.


2 cups (i.e 1 can) of evaporated milk; 1/2 cup of gorund almonds; 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tsp almond flavouring.


1. Combine all the ingredients and stir to amalgamate thoroughly.  Leave in the fridge until properly chilled.

2. Churn in an ice-cream machine until the mixture has visibly thickened, but is not so thick that it won't easily be transferred into the individual moulds.

3. Transfer the mixture into individual kulfi moulds, and freeze for at least two hours until firm.

4. To unmould, briefly wrap a hot cloth around the outside of each mould and ease the kulfi out to stand proud on its plate.

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Digestive biscuits

Image result for digestive biscuits

I can  get digestives in Italy, but I'm not prepared to pay the silly price they ask for them. I started to make these in order to have them for use in making the base for cheesecake (most notably, either the lemon cheesecake from Stephen Bull or else his peanut butter version, either of which is excellent) - the Technical Dept greeted with derision the fact that I was making biscuits merely in order to throw them into the food processor to be crushed to smithereens....but he is possibly unaware that a significant number remain, and are consumed surreptitiously with a cup of tea at the end of an afternoon's gardening. Long may he remain in ignorance!

This recipe comes from the internet - from an irish cook who's name now entirely escapes me - and could not be more straightforward.

For approx 16 biscuits (I use a large cutter, and so the number will obviously be greater if  a regular size biscuit cutter is used)

225 g wholemeal flour; 120 g butter; 90 g sugar; 1 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp salt; 60 ml milk.


1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. In a food processor, blitz together all of the ingredients except the milk, and then add the milk once everything else has been thoroughly amalgamated.

3. Roll out the biscuit dough on a floured surface to approx 2 mm thickness and cut out the biscuit rounds. Re-roll the scraps and continue until all the dough has been used.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes before removing the biscuits from the baking tray, and then let them sit on a rack for about 30 minutes before storing them in an airtight box.

Monday 8 April 2019

Ginger Creme Brulee

Image result for creme brulee

First class! Light and delicious, and refreshingly surprising for those who have no expectation before they break through the crust of the ginger flavour which is about to assail them. This is one from the ever-reliable Michel Roux. 

For three.

40g ginger root; 250 ml milk; 250 ml cream; 75g caster sugar; 5 egg yolks; 35g demarara sugar.


1. Peel the ginger and dice it very finely. Place the dice in a square of muslin or a small muslin bag and squeeze hard to get as much juice as possible into a small bowl (a surprising amount of juice will be generated).

2. Heat the milk, cream and 45g of the caster sugar in a simmertopf until hot. 

3. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar and pour over this mixture the heated cream. Whisk to incorporate thoroughly, and then incorporate the ginger juice.

4. Pour into egg dishes, and then cook for about 55 minutes in a 100 degree C oven. When they come out of the oven they should be lightly set, but still slightly wobbly in the centre.

5. Allow to cool, and then refrigerate for at least two hours.

6. Before serving, sprinkle the surface of the cremes with demarara sugar and apply a blowtorch. Refrigerate again thereafter for at least ten minutes before taking them to table.