Bailey's Coffee Cream Mousse

If you're still searching around for an easy dessert to have on Christmas day or just something to have in the fridge, at the ready for any unexpected visitors, then try this James Martin dessert.

James has teamed up with Baileys this Christmas and has created some really delicious desserts.
As you know, I have a bit of a soft spot for James and I like a glass or two of Baileys at Christmas, so I was easily persuaded!

Bailey's Coffee Cream Mousse



5 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
260ml milk
260ml double cream
5 tsp instant coffee granules
100mls Baileys Original (or Baileys with a hint
of Coffee if you prefer an extra coffee hit)


  1. Pre heat the oven to 150˚c.
  2. Have 6 ramekins (moulds) in a roasting tin ready.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and half the sugar in a bowl.
  4. Put the milk and cream into a thick based pan with the remaining sugar and coffee. Gently bring to the boil.
  5. As soon as it reaches the boil, remove from the heat, stir in the Baileys and strain straight away, pour over the eggs and sugar. Strain.
  6. Pour into the ramekins fill the tray with hot water so that it comes up to half way up the side of the moulds, and bake for 25-30 minutes. They should just set with a slight wobble.
  7. Then allow to cool for a least 6 hours in the fridge (or pop them in the freezer for a little while)
  8. Remove from the fridge and serve with the shortbread.

Serves 6

I tried out the new Bailey's with a hint of coffee for this recipe, but I decided to add cocoa powder instead of coffee granules to the dessert.

I think this is quite an adaptable recipe. You could use the original Baileys and add chocolate chips or the Baileys with a hint of Mint Chocolate and serve them with After Eights or use the Baileys with a hint of Crème Caramel and add fudge pieces. Yum!

Don't forget to pour yourself a glass too!

I wish James came free with the bottle! *sigh*

Check out my Ultimate Veggie Christmas Guide with all the recipes and tips you could need for a vegetarian or vegan Christmas.

Have a sip of Apple Snow with Pomegranate

I had some leftover apples to use up and I wanted to make a drink. I also had a few pomegranates. "Yes" I thought, "that could work", so I got together a few ingredients and whipped up this frothy drink.

When it was poured into a glass, it made me think of all the snowy walks I have been on recently, so I decided to call it apple snow.

Apple Snow with Pomegranates

1 cup milk
2 apples
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp honey

Whizz all of the ingredients, except from the pomegranate seeds. Save these to sprinkle on top.

You are on your way to a milk moustache!



Spinach, Pear & Blue Cheese Soup

This is a really green tasting soup, if you know what I mean. It must be the vast quantities of spinach I added to it.

Spinach, Pear & Blue Cheese Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large bag of spinach
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped
1 pear, chopped
1 pint vegetable stock
100g danish blue cheese
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
a grating of fresh nutmeg
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper and fresh herbs to serve (I added basil, as it is my favourite)

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until tender. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes, then add the spinach and leave to wilt, before adding the pear.

Pour in the stock and cook, covered for 30 minutes.

Crumble in the blue cheese and stir until melted.

Flavour the soup with the worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Adjust the seasoning until the soup tastes just right for you, then blend until smooth.

Serve topped with some fresh herbs and a sprinkling on cayenne pepper.

Serves 4-6

Caramel Coated Popcorn

My mum gave Graham a popcorn maker for Christmas, the year before last. It is one of those gadgets that are put in a cupboard and forgotten. We always meant to get around to using it, but needless to say, we never did.

Last week, I bought a bag of popcorn kernels, thinking they would be good as a low fat snack and they would, but Friday night was movie night and I had some cream sitting in the fridge, which needed to be used up. Caramel coated popcorn sounded just the thing, so the popcorn maker was dragged out of it's hiding place in the cupboard. After a swift reading of the instructions, I quickly made some caramel sauce and then added some kernels to the machine and switched it on. Armed with a bowl underneath the spout I stood and waited in rapt anticipation and it didn't disappoint! It was great! Popcorn started shooting out. Most of it made it into the bowl, but some of it pinged around the kitchen. I was killing myself laughing at this point, but had enough sense to change bowls when the first one was near to overflowing!

We drizzled some of the warm caramel sauce over our popcorn and sat down to watch the French film Le Picard/The Closet, a very funny film starring Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp water
½ cup double cream
50g/½ stick/8 tbsp butter

Add the sugar and water to a pan and warm up over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat until the syrup starts to bubble and leave bubbling for 5 minutes or so until it has thickened. Take the syrup off the heat and add the butter. Allow to melt, then stir in the cream. Leave the caramel to cool a little before pouring into a clean jam jar. Once cool, store in the fridge, until required.

Squash, Carrot & Noodle Soup

This is one of our favourite soups. The combination of peanut butter, chilli and ginger give this soup a wonderful rich flavour and adding noodles turns this into a really filling meal in a bowl. Move over pot noodle. There's a new boy in town!

print recipe

Squash, Carrot & Noodle Soup
A really satisfying soup that is full of flavours and textures. A real winner.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • ½ butternut squash, chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 4 cups/2 pints vegetable stock
  • 200g soft noodles
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 large handful roasted peanuts
  • a good grinding of salt & freshly ground pepper
1. Gently saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil.2. Add the celery and carrots and cook for a few minutes. 3. Add the squash and cook for another few minutes.4. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric and peanut butter. Pour in the vegetables stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 30 minutes.5. Add the noodles and cook for a few more minutes before seasoning and adding the coriander. 6. Serve topped with a sprinkling of roasted peanuts.
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4-6 


Apple, Pear & Passion Fruit Chutney

I have the preserving pan out again! I really do like giving friends food gifts at Christmas. I think it is very much a 'feel good' thing to do! You would think this would mean that I spend less money, but no, I am not that wise and still end up buying presents as well. It is an expensive time, *sigh* and it really shouldn't be should it?

I wanted to make an apple and pear chutney this time and decided to add passion fruit as an experiment. The little jewel-like seeds didn't soften as I supposed they might, but added a little bit of crunch. I was quited surprised! Luckily they do add to the overall flavour.

Apple, Pear & Passion Fruit Chutney

3 cooking apples, peeled and chopped
1 large pear, peeled and chopped
2 passion fruit, halved and scooped out
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups malt vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 cup demerara sugar
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
12 dates, stoned and chopped
1 cup raisins
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon

Place the pear, apples, passion fruit, onion, salt and vinegar in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add all the other ingredients, bring back to the boil and then simmer for approximately 40 mins until the chutney has thickened, stirring occasionally.

Decant into sterilised jam jars.

Store in a cool, dark place for a couple of months to mature. This chutney will keep for up to a year, in that cool place, but once opened keep in the fridge.

Lemon Curd with Nutmeg

I have been wanting to make curd for a while now, but just never got around to it.

Then I saw a microwave recipe that included nutmeg and I thought, that is the one for me. I have adjusted the quantities and passed on making it in the microwave, which is just not for me at all. My microwave is probably way under used.

It heats beans and soup and occasionally bakes a potato, but that is about it. So, anyway here is the recipe. I hope you give it a try.

Lemon Curd with Nutmeg

1½ cups caster sugar
finely grated peel of 4 lemons
juice of 4 lemons
100g butter, diced
4 large eggs
1 fresh nutmeg

Place the sugar, peel and juice in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and stir until the butter has melted.

In a bowl, whisk up the eggs and then gradually beat the eggs into the lemon mixture. Whisk the mixture until it thickens. It will be ready when the curd is thick and glossy, this takes about 30 minutes. Towards the end of cooking, finely grate some fresh nutmeg into the curd. Taste the curd to judge how much you want to add.

Sieve the mixture into a 1lb sterilised jam jar. Yes, this is all it makes, but it is deliciously unctuous!

This will keep in the fridge for up to six weeks.


Banana & Raisin Bread

This is a dense and moist banana bread, filled with spices and fruit. The perfect way to use up those bananas that are ripening quicker than you can eat them.

Banana & Raisin Bread

2½ cups self raising flour
100g butter, softened and cubed
1 cup demerara sugar
3 bananas, mashed up
1 pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups raisins

Heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4, then line a loaf tin.

Sieve the flour into the bowl and then add all the other ingredients execpt for the raisins. Mix gently and then pour mixture into a food processor and whisk until pale and creamy. Pour back into your bowl and fold in the raisins. Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and place in the oven for approxiamately 1 hour and 15 mins until a skewer comes out of the loaf clean. Allow the loaf to cool for a while in the tin before moving to a wire rack.

Serve warm and buttered and don't worry about the calories!

Hey, it's mostly fruit, isn't it?


Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie Cake with Chocolate Frosting

A few days ago I was given a bag of freshly dug beetroot. I love beetroot and I wasn't stuck for ideas of what to do with it, especially after reading the gorgeous recipe for Beetroot Brownies that Jules posted. I had a real craving for these after seeing the scrumptious photos on her blog.

Jules was experimenting with a recipe shown on River Cottage Autumn, a tv cookery show hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hugh is not a chef I normally follow because his recipes are usually more suited to carnivores, but this recipe made me sit up and notice him for the first time. I think I am going to have to make a trip to the library now.

Roast Beetroot

  1. Wash your beetroot (I used about 8 beetroot for this recipe), to remove any of the garden that is still clinging to it. 
  2. Trim down the beetroot, so that there is a little stalk and root left on before wrapping each beetroot in tinfoil. 
  3. Place on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven (180c/350f/gas 4) for 1 hour. 
  4. Allow the beetroot to cool in it's foil for 10 minutes or so before peeling the beetroot. Watch out for stained hands, worktops or clothes. (I peeled my beetroot over tinfoil on the baking tray and that seemed to work well. The beetroot juice washed off my hands ok, but you would be better to wear gloves)

Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie Cake with Chocolate Frosting


250g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter -cubed
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g self-raising flour -sieved
250g fresh beetroot - grated (weight after peeling)


50g butter (softened)
100g cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup cocoa
½ cup cadbury's drinking chocolate
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.

Line an 8 inch/20cm cake tin.

Simmer a couple of inches of water in a pan and place a bowl over the top. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Now break the chocolate into the bowl and add the butter. Stir until the mixture is melted and glossy, then set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until combined and then beat in the chocolate mixture, before folding in the flour and then the beetroot. Do not over mix as this will make the brownies tough.

Pour into the lined tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. Insert a skewer after 30 minutes and check. It will be ready once the skewer comes out with a few crumbs still attached to it. It the skewer comes out covered in wet mixture it is not ready and if it comes out clean then it has moved on from being a brownie into a cake and won't be as moist.

Leave to cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Whisk together the butter, cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add the salt and vanilla essence and mix in well. Keep whisking and gradually begin to add the icing sugar, cocoa and drinking chocolate until the frosting begins to thicken. You may add more icing sugar until you reach a consistency you are happy with.

Remove the cake from the tin and finish cooling on a rack before spreading on the frosting.

Slice and devour, ah, I meant to say share!

I cooked beetroot from fresh for my brownie cake, but alternatively, you may like to buy the vacuum sealed fresh beetroot sold in supermarkets.

Graham and I both took a brownie cake into work and they were very, very popular! Graham wouldn't tell his friends what the secret ingredient was until they had tasted a slice and guessed, he is mean! The cake was pronounced "the best brownie I have every tasted!" by quite a few of those indulging in a slice.

update: Ricki from Diet Dessert and Dogs has quite rightly pointed out that I never said what I actually thought of the brownie cake. Well, I thought it was divine, a slice of chocolate heaven and I want to eat slice right now as I type this!

Apple & Raisin Crumble with Cinnamon

I made this one especially for Graham. He loves baked dishes, be they savoury or sweet. He especially loves the crispy bits around the edges.

I actually prefer the crumble cooked a little longer, but there was such a gorgeous smell permeating the house and Graham got to the oven before me. He just couldn't wait and declared it ready.

We had a bit of a debate around whether we should have our crumble with custard or ice cream. I really didn't mind, because I knew it was going to be delicious, so I let Graham choose and ice cream it was.

Apple & Raisin Crumble with Cinnamon


200g/1 ½ cups plain flour
100g/1 cup porridge oats
200g/1 cup demerara sugar
200g/1 ¾ sticks unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
1 cup raisins
pinch of salt
1 knob of butter for greasing

Fruit Base:

4 large apples, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

In a bowl, mix the sliced apple with the flour, sugar and cinnamon, until the apple is well coated.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, porridge oats and sugar. Add the butter and rub between your fingers until it is the texture of breadcrumbs. Stir in the raisins.

Butter a large ovenproof dish. Place the apples evenly across the base of the dish and top with the crumble mixture.

Bake for 30 - 40 mins until the crumble mixture is starting to brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling!

The recipe is a bit mixed in calculations. I much prefer using cup sizes when cooking now, it just makes sense, it is so much easier. However, I got to the butter and was stuck, because we don't measure butter in sticks and it is awkward to do.

Our packs of butter come in 250g blocks, which makes it easy to cut the portion you want. Sometimes there are even guide marks on the butter pack itself, showing you where to cut. If we need a trickier measurement, then we weigh the butter. So stick with me through the double calculations :)

Cinnamon Ice Cream for Peter

This recipe is for Peter over at Kalofagas - Greek Food & Beyond.

Peter makes some gorgeous Greek food, which is always popular with his readers, but now and again he ventures into the world of desserts and I have to say, he is the King of Desserts! Have a look at some of them and you will see what I mean. There is his ....

Creme Caramel,

Apricot & Pistachio Cake

and my personal favourite, the Ultimate Cheesecake.

And then there is the one that inspired this recipe .......

Plum Tarte Tatin!

Peter made this tatin with an almond pie crust, instead of puff pastry and it worked out a treat. The plums looks beautifully unctuous and you can just imagine how good they tasted alongside that almond base, but the piece de resistance is the cinnamon ice cream that Peter had the genius to serve with this tarte!

Peter doesn't have an ice cream maker, so he mashed some vanilla ice cream up with some cinnamon. Fabulous!

So, just in case Peter succumbs and buys an ice cream maker, I have made for him, cinnamon ice cream from scratch. It is just so good that you have to try it, even if you don't make it from scratch, then whip out that tub of vanilla in the freezer and mash in some cinnamon. You won't be disappointed. It is a delicious, warm and spicy ice cream. The best I have tasted this year!

Cinnamon Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups milk
1 vanilla pod
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup golden caster sugar
1 cup double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon

Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Heat the milk with the pod, seeds and extract. Do not allow to boil. Leave to stand for half and hour. This will allow the vanilla to infuse into the milk.

Whisk the eggs, sugar adn salt until pale and creamy. Add the milk, after removing the pod. Heat gently and whisk until the mixture had thickened. Whisk in the cinnamon. Taste at this stage, to see if you would like to add more cinnamon.

Whisk up in your ice cream maker. Remove when velvety smooth. I think it is best served at this point with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.


Chunky Plum & Apricot Chutney

Chunky Plum & Apricot Chutney

8 plums, stoned and chopped
30 apricots, chopped
3 apples, peeled and chopped
4 onions, finely chopped
3 cm piece of ginger, grated
1 fat clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tin chopped tomatoes
5 cups red wine vinegar
2 ½ cups caster sugar

Place all the ingredients in the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about an hour and a half until the chutney has thickened.

Spoon the chutney into sterilised jam jars and seal.

Makes 6 x 1 lb Jars

Try to remember to remove the cinnamon sticks before you jar up the chutney!

I ran out of time while making this batch of chutney and had to leave the finishing off and jarring up in Graham's rather astonished hands. He did a grand job, but forgot to take out the cinnamon sticks. I apologise to anyone who gets a crunchy bit in their batch LOL!

p.s. thanks for the cinnamon sticks Davimack and Tadmack :)


Just remembered I had some rather nice photos from the chutney making, so I am going to add them now :)

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