30 January 2011

Coffee Liqueur

I recently made some Coffee Liqueur and it was such a hit with my friends that I decided to post the recipe here. It is really easy to make and you can drink it immediately if you like, but if you can wait I suggest letting it sit for at least 10 days - it makes a big difference to the taste!

2 cups of good strong Coffee
1 and 1/2 cups Sugar
2 cups Water
2 tbsp Vanilla
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
750ml Vodka or Rum

Use some good, strong coffee, preferably not instant, and brew two STRONG cups.
Put the sugar, water, vanilla and cinnamon stick in a casserole (pot) and bring to a simmer. Add the 2 cups of coffee and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the vodka or rum.

I usually pour mine into a large jar (1.5L) which I shake everyday - to stir up the coffee residue and get the flavours mixing a bit. After about 10 days I take out the cinnamon stick and pour the coffee liqueur into bottels.

Makes about 2 x 750ml bottels

It is great to drink on its own (ice cold) or over crushed ice or in a cocktail.

I will be making another batch soon, as I am on my last bottle, this time I might try something different. If it is any good, and my guinea pigs likes it, I will post it here.


26 January 2011

Exotic Mango Sorbet

The other day I was outside in my garden, relaxing and just enjoying the sunshine. Ok, seriously, if you have to know, I was weeding! Terrible job! Like that was not bad enough, this Mango falls off the tree and hit me on the head! So I figured if life throws me Mangoes, I will make Mango Sorbet!

It is such an easy recipe and the sorbet is really tasty and refreshing - even the kids will love it! You can also easily convert it into a cocktail - Exotic Mango Sorbet with a twist (read on)..

Exotic Mango Sorbet


12 Mangoes (this will make about 2L) - cut in cubes
1/2 cup Sugar Syrup
1 tin Coconut Cream
1 medium size Pineapple - peeled and sliced

Cut the mangoes in cubes and freeze them for about 3-4 hours. If you freeze them overnight, take them out for half an hour before use. 
Put frozen mangoes into a blender with the sugar syrup and blend. If you do use the store bought frozen mangoes, you might have to add some more sugar syrup as they are not as sweet.
Add the pineapple and coconut cream and blend till slushy.

Pour into a container and freeze. It can be served after about 2-3 hours in the freezer. Take out for 5 minutes before dishing.

Absolutely delicious!


After blening all the ingredients in the blender, add a tot or two of Coconut Rum (Malibu or other)  to the sorbet and mix. Pour into Coctail glasses and enjoy!

Exotic Mango Sorbet with a Twist

24 January 2011

Delicious Mango Jam

A while ago I borrowed a book from a friend called "A year in a bottle - Sally Wise" . It is a great book full of recipes and tips to create your own jams, jellies, pickles, relishes and chutneys, and it inspired me to try and make some mango jam. There wasn't a recipe for mango jam, but I thought what the heck, it can't be that difficult and different from say apricot jam? Not that I have ever made apricot jam in my life - or any kind of jam for that matter. A bit ambitious I say! This is what I came up with and if I must be honest, it is really good - and my guineapigs also approved!

How to cut a mango


10 ripe fresh mangoes
1 cup (250ml) white sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) fresh lemon juice
1 cup (250ml) water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

I use the sweet ripe, fibreless mangoes from one of our trees. Cut them in chunks (see above - this is the easiest way to cut a mango). You can use the frozen store bought ones, but then you might have to add a bit more sugar as they tend to be less sweet.
Put the mango, sugar, lemon juice and water into a casserole (pot) over medium heat.
Stir the mixture till all the sugar has melted.
Turn down the heat and let the mangoes simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
The mangoes will be nice and soft by now and will break down when you stir them.
Add two cinnamon sticks (break in half) to the mangoes and a table spoon of cinnamon.
Let simmer for a further 10 minutes. If you like your jam smooth, you can use a stick blender at this stage, but if you like it more coarse, you can leave it as is.

If you are going to eat the jam straight away, you can put it in a container and refrigerate it. If you want to save some for another day or to give away (you might not once you tasted your jam) you can put it in sterilised jars.

To sterilise the jar, I first wash it with soapy water, then I rinse and dry it before I put the cold jar in the oven. I turn the oven to 110 degrees celcius and once the oven has reached the temperature, I turn it off and let the jar cool slightly.

I let the jam cool slightly (still hot, but not boiling), take out the cinnamon sticks, and then pour the hot jam into the hot jar and seal. You can add a new whole cinnamon stick to the jar before sealing. The cinnamon really gives it a lovely taste.
It should last up to six months in a cool, dry place.

Makes about a litre of mango jam

Mine is going fast - I will have to make another batch soon!


Delicious Mango Jam

So what's the deal with all these Mangoes?

I have five huge mango trees in my garden, and boy do they make a mess! A huge MESS! So what can I do? Apart from sweeping and cleaning up after the creatures (bats, birds, kids) that made the mess in the first place. Ok and the tree is pretty messy by itself!

So what do I do? I GET CREATIVE!

There is about a million different recipes for food and drinks with mango - if you don't believe me just Google it!  So I decided to give some of them a try.

I will share the good ones with you - enjoy!

Did you know that mangoes originates from India and it is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. The yellow to orange fruit is juicy, distinctively spicy, and a rich source of vitamins A, C, and D and Potassium.
Mango fruit varies in shape, colour, and size from ovoid to long, from vividly red and yellow to dull green, and from plum size to melon size.