Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Discoveries of the weekend

Fresh blackberries

I love fresh berries, but have an aversion to paying exorbitant prices for them. When I saw a tweet from Sue that there were fresh blackberries ready for picking in the local cemetery I made a beeline straight there.

I hadn't been into the cemetery before. Many of the graves were overgrown with weeds, but importantly brambles too. Quite a few people had obviously had the same idea, so lots of the easy pickings were gone and I have quite a few scratches from wading through the bushes to get at unpicked berries.

Being a grave yard, it was also a moral dilemma. Is it ok to stand on an overgrown grave to pick blackberries? Balance on someones headstone?

After forty five minutes I'd managed to fill two ice cream containers. There were lots of unripe berries too, so I'm sure they'll be a good supply over the next couple of weekends as well.

Ice cream sandwich

This weekend I also did some experimentation for my sister's wedding using the pork I bought at Jimmy's farm (more on that later). Deciding I needed a dessert for my recipe testers I had the urge to make a mini ice cream sandwich.

I made super gooey chocolate cookies and sandwiched some raspberry ripple ice cream between them. Tonight's take was enhanced by some of my hard won berries.

Chocolate cookies adapted from this Mary Berry recipe.

200g dark chocolate
50g butter
1 x 405g tin of light condensed milk
225g self raising flour
A handful of dried fruit / mixed peel

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over boiling water.

Once the butter and chocolate are melted, remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk.

Place the flour and dried fruit / mixed peel in a (larger) separate  bowl and then add the chocolate mixture. Give everything a good stir to combine.

Place large heaped teaspoons of the mixture on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 15mins at 180 degrees. After 15mins they won't look cooked, but remove them from the oven as they will firm up and you want them to remain gooey.

The volume of mixture should make approximately 50 small to medium cookies like mine. I only baked 20 cookies and put the rest of the dough into my freezer. Not something I've done before so hopefully it will be ok when I next want to bake!

The original recipe called for white chocolate chips instead of dried fruit. I decided that with the ice cream there was going to be a lot of sweetness already so would try some dried fruit instead (although fruit isn't exactly savoury). I bought a cheap bag of mixed sultanas, raisins and 'other' mixed fruit. There seems to be some dried orange peel in the mix which I'm loving.

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