Lemon Mint Sorbet with Strawberries and Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

First of all I am really sorry about the terrible image quality, too desperate to eat this than concentrate 🙂

I was in visiting my friends at Crown St Grocer and Joe gave me some new Balsamic Glazes to test out. They are a product from Simon Johnson and I have to say so far so good on the testing front. There are four types but I went straight for the Raspberry Balsamic first. I made my own lemon and mint sorbet for this but any decent quality lemony sorbet will work brilliantly well.

And this is such a simple desert yet packs a real punch and wow factor. Try it.

Recipe: Lemon and Mint Sorbet with Strawberries and Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients

  1. Lemon and mint sorbet, home made, or any good quality lemon sorbet from the store.
  2. Fresh strawberries cut into thick slices.
  3. Caster sugar.
  4. Raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Method

  1. About an hour before you are ready to serve sprinkle the sliced strawberries with a few teaspoons of caster sugar and leave them to macerate in the fridge.
  2. Spoon a nice sized ball of sorbet on to a cold plate.
  3. Toss a few strawberry pieces and some of the juices over the sorbet.
  4. Drizzle with the raspberry balsamic vinegar and top with a sprig of mint.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Rating:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Portuguese BBQ Chicken and Salad

I love spring, mainly because the lamb is incredible but the main reason I love spring is that the longer light and cool evenings are perfect for eating outdoors with the BBQ. And my favourite thing to BBQ is a chicken in Portuguese marinade. There are a lot of theories about the right way to marinade but this recipe is my version, it is really simple  and very tasty. And what makes this even better is to cook with a fantastic free range chicken, I get mine from Hudson Meats sourced from Burrawong Gaian.

 Portuguese Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 long red chillies
  • 10 hot small red chillies
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, get the really good spanish type
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup of canola or vegetable oil

Method

  • Blend all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor but do not over process.
  • Reserve a small amount for basting.
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and cover in the marinade. Refrigerate and turn in the marinade regularly for an hour or more.
  • On a high BBQ sear all of the chicken pieces then lower the temperature and close the lid for another 30 minutes, turning now and then. (note: you can also finish the chicken in the oven once you have charred it, this delivers a really moist chicken)
  • Close to service bast the chicken once more with the left over marinade but don’t turn it, you want the marinade on the surface.

 

Salad to Accompany

  • Good handful of mixed salad leaves, choose one with lots of peppery rocket
  • Packet of cherry tomatoes halved
  • Sliced red onion
  • Black olives pitted
  • Dressing of 2 TBsp of olive oil, 1Tbsp of lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of dried oregano.

Perfect to share with friends on a big serving platter on a spring evening.

Sponge Cake Mistakes

I watch far too many food TV shows and I read loads of books. And there is a recurring theme about remaining calm when you make a mistake. It’s an incredibly important thing to remember when you are cooking. I set up to make a different type of sponge cake last night, incredibly light and fluffy. So I baked it and to be honest it wasn’t spectacular. The top dropped and when I removed it from the tin it certainly was light, but the dip in the top was painful.

So I had already made the strawberry sauce, with balsamic and lemoncello and I had also made the lemoncello buttercream icing. What to do. Then I had a crazy idea. I quickly whipped up a mix of cream, sugar and mascarpone cheese then I took the caved sponge and halved it normally, but I used the dipped top as the base, spread some of the cream mix on it leaving the dip in the centre, used more cream mix to seal the base of the other half and then filled the dip with the strawberry sauce, put the other half on top. The result was a sealed cake with a surprise  in the centre. I then iced it as planned. And I had some cream and strawberry mix left, a quick swirl, bake two victoria sponges and I had a second cake.

So it was not lost, in fact the final outcome was arguably better than the original plan. When something goes wrong don’t be too fast to bin it. Sit back and think about your options. You never know you could end up with something special. I did.

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