Tag Archives: whisky

CRANACHAN ICE CREAM (no churn)

cranachan ice cream

I think that Mr Colonial Cravings is the only member of his family who celebrates his Scottish heritage on Burns Night. I think that this is partly my influence (I don’t think he’d ever eaten a Burns dinner before we met) and partly because it’s a damn fine excuse to eat cranachan.

cranachan ice cream

Seriously, who can say no to a combination of whisky, raspberries and cream. It’s just glorious. This year I’ve refreshed my usual recipe (this one over here… https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/cranachan/) and turned it into a wonderful, easy peasy, no-churn ice cream. This is truly heavenly, I think it might be my new favourite of all the no-churn ice cream recipes on here. The sharp ripple of raspberry sauce nicely cuts through the richness of the whisky ice cream and the honey coated granola clusters add a really nice crunch.
This makes double the amount of my other ice-cream recipes – which is just as well because it’s really, really good!

cranachan ice cream

Ingredients

150g raspberries (frozen is fine)
2 tbsp icing sugar
90g oats
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp oil (anything with a mild flavour)
pinch of salt
600ml double cream
350g condensed milk
50ml whisky

cranachan ice cream

Pre-heat your oven to 170°c. Gently heat the salt, oil and honey to melt and combine them and toss the oats in this. Spread the mixture out on a baking tray, keeping things clumped together a bit. Bake the oats for 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. Leave them to cool and crisp up on the tray and then break up the clumps a little.
Warm up the raspberries (in a small pan or the microwave) to encourage them to release their juices and then mash them and push them through a sieve. Stir the icing sugar into the resulting puree and set it aside to cool.
Pour the cream and condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until they are quite thick and fluffy. Add the whisky and beat the mixture again until it holds soft peaks. Fold in the cooled granola.
Transfer the ice cream mix to a freezable container and then ‘ripple’ the raspberry sauce through it. Freeze until solid.

cranachan ice cream

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GINGERBREAD MAN COCKTAIL

gingerbread cocktail

Give the Bailey’s a break and make your own creamy concoction.
This isn’t quite as heavy as Bailey’s or as rich as something like eggnog but it’s still got a bit of a kick to it. It makes a nice alternative to dessert at the end of a festive meal.
For the ginger simple syrup you need equal amounts of sugar and water (about 3 tbsp of each) and a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger that you’ve sliced into 6-7 pieces and bashed about a bit to release the juice. Combine them in a small pan and let the mixture bubble over a low heat for 5 minutes. Allow to cool before straining and using. This doesn’t make a lot of syrup, enough for 1-2 people but you can easily increase the amounts if you need to.

gingerbread cocktail

Makes 1 (very) generous serving

25ml bourbon
25ml vanilla vodka
25ml ginger simple syrup
15ml amaretto
30ml single cream
ice
pinch of nutmeg/cinnamon

Add everything but the cinnamon or nutmeg to a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake to combine and then strain into a glass. Sprinkle the top with a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon.

gingerbread cocktail

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CHRISTMAS STOCKING COCKTAIL

Clementine sour

Put the fruit at the bottom of your Christmas stocking to good use this year and make one of these.

Clementine sour
I love this drink, it looks all sorts of fancy but it’s actually pretty easy to make once you’ve got the syrup. It’s not as tart as a ‘sour’ because the clementine juice is nice and sweet and the spices make it wonderfully fragrant. I also like to think that the foamy egg white layer on the top makes it look extra festive and snowy.

This makes enough for two drinks but you can easily increase the quantities. To make the simple syrup lightly crush 3 cloves and 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns before combining with equal amounts of soft brown sugar and water (about 3 tbsp of each) in a small pan and heating gently for a few minutes. Leave to cool before straining and using.

Clementine sour

Makes 2
75ml bourbon
2-3 strips of clementine/satsuma zest
25ml clove and pink peppercorn brown sugar simple syrup
Juice of 2 clementines/satsumas (50ml approx)
25ml triple sec
1 egg white
ice

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Strain into coupe or martini glasses and let the foam settle on the surface before garnishing with pink peppercorns.

Clementine sour

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WHISKY HONEYCOMB ECLAIRS

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

I think that maybe there should be more choux pastry in my life. It’s way easier to make than you might think. In fact, provided you’ve got strong wrists for all that beating, I think it might be one of the easiest pastries to make.
And who doesn’t love an eclair now and then. Or profiteroles. Or Paris-Brest. Or gateau St. Honore. I think you get the point…
These are made from lovely light and crisp pastry filled to the brim with boozy honey-bourbon whipped cream and crowned with a rich dark chocolate ganache and crunchy honeycomb. Yeah, you know you want it.
I made my honeycomb because it’s dead easy and I couldn’t find any here but you could just crush up a Crunchie if that works better for you.

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

Ingredients
makes 6 small eclairs or 4 full size ones

Choux pastry
30g butter
60ml water
35g plain flour
1 egg

Bourbon honey cream
120ml double cream
20ml bourbon
1-2 tsp honey

Chocolate topping
30g dark chocolate
5g butter
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cream

crushed honeycomb to decorate

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring it to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and tip in the flour, all in one go. Vigorously beat it with a wooden spoon until you end up with a ball of dough that has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Lightly beat the egg and add about half of it to the pan. Beat this in, once it has been absorbed add the rest of the egg and beat it again. The dough should become soft, smooth and glossy.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a very large round nozzle (or if you have disposable bags you can just snip the end off). Pipe the dough onto the tray in thick strips, mine were about 4″ long. If you need to smooth off any edges then just dip your finger in a little water first.
Bake the eclairs for 30 minutes then turn off the oven and open the door a little, leave them in the oven for a further 10 minutes to dry out a little.
Once they are done you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool. I would recommend poking a little hole in the bottom or side to let the steam out and prevent them from becoming soggy.

Whisky honeycomb eclairs
Put all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and whip them until they are thick and fluffy. If you want to pipe in the filling then put this mixture into a piping bag fitted with a smallish nozzle. Otherwise you slice each of the cooled eclairs down the side and spoon in the cream. If you are piping it in then you can enlarge the steam holes a little so that you can poke the tip of the piping nozzle in and then gently squeeze in the filling.
To make the topping put the butter, cream and honey in a small pan and gently heat them over a very low heat. Finely chop the chocolate and then add this to the pan too and stir it until it has melted and combined to form a smooth ganache. Let this cool for a moment or two and then spread it onto the top of the eclairs. Before it sets sprinkle on a bit of crushed honeycomb as a decoration.

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

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BLACKBERRY BOURBON SCONES

blackberry bourbon scones

Regular readers may know by now that I love a bit of hedgerow foraging, especially at this time of year. I used to love picking blackberries in Cornwall with my Grandma until my fingers (and probably my mouth) were stained blue and purple.

The same readers may also have picked up on the fact that I don’t just like my booze in a glass. I really enjoy incorporating it into my baking too, even more since I learned that you could use gin in pastry for light, crisp results. (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/gin-and-lemon-tart/) The principles are the same with this, the booze will evaporate at a different temperature to the buttermilk and cream in the recipe, making the scones light and fluffy.
The bourbon and blackberries make these scones into a wonderful autumnal treat, just the thing when you’re pining for the cream teas of summer’s past. They’re ideal with a cup of tea after a day spent kicking your way through fallen leaves.

blackberry bourbon scones

Ingredients
makes 12

375g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
20g soft brown sugar
60g butter
125g fresh ripe blackberries (smaller ones work better)
100ml buttermilk
75ml cream
50ml bourbon
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tsp Demerara sugar to decorate

blackberry bourbon scones

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and pop a large baking sheet in there.
Sift together the flour, raising agents and cinnamon so that they are well blended. Stir through the salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips. Once it looks a bit like breadcrumbs you can gently toss in the blackberries.
Combine the buttermilk, cream, bourbon and vanilla in a separate jug. Add this to the dry mixture, in two lots, stirring gently with a butter knife to bring it all together to form a soft dough.
Gently pat the dough out on a lightly floured surface so that it’s about 1/2″ thick. Stamp out the scones using a metal cutter with a sharp tap. Never twist your cutter when you’re making scones.
Carefully re-roll the dough as necessary but try to keep this to a minimum so that you don’t break up the fruit too much.
Take the tray out of the oven and very carefully grease it (I use a spray) before placing the scones on it, spaced a little way apart. Brush the tops with a little extra buttermilk and then sprinkle each one with a bit of Demerara sugar to give it a crunchy top. Bake them for 15-18 minutes, until they have risen and become golden brown.
Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool a little before serving with some cool creamy butter or a generous dollop of clotted cream.

blackberry bourbon scones

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MANDARIN-BASIL SHRUB

Mr Colonial Cravings here, writing a guest post on my wonderful wife’s excellent blog! (you see I get to benefit from the fruits of Mrs Colonial Cravings efforts, so I really do think it’s excellent!)

mandarin basil shrub

A few years ago, while in a sleepy Cornish town, I was party to a very British tradition, the pub lock-in. My ticket to such a prestigious event lay with the old bar piano, on which I had been entertaining the locals with increasingly messy versions of Delilah, Your Song and Hey Jude (amongst other less memorable sing-alongs), increasingly messy because the locals had been plying me with the traditional Cornish tipple Rum & Shrub. I came away with an almighty hangover, but also with a taste for this new delightful beverage, and its similar cousin Brandy & Lovage.

Not only do they taste great, but they have a great story too. Shrubs have been around for a long time, according to ‘The Ark of Taste’ it was a colonial drink whose name derives from the Arabic word sharab, to drink, but by the time they arrived in Cornwall they took on their own unique purpose. Cornwall was a hot-spot for smuggling due to its abundance of coastline littered with many small coves, and one of the big items to smuggle was booze, in the form of French Brandy and Caribbean Rum. Trying to get a barrel of booze, in the dark, onto a small boat, into a small cove in the notoriously fickle seas around Cornwall could easily result in a dunk in salt water leaving you with a tainted product. No problem, just adding some Shrub or Lovage would mask that salty taste – proper job (as they say in Cornwall!).

blogcornwall

Anyway, fast forward to the present and I find in our new stateside home that Shrub is back again, and back with a vengeance. I’ve even got a book on it now and have found out you can make all kinds of yummy shrubs by combining fruit, vinegar, sugar, water and herbs. So Mrs Colonial Cravings asked me to have a play with a new shrub concoction and write a post about it. This is a simple shrub combining mandarin and basil, it’s incredibly easy to make and can be used in all sorts of drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Ingredients

2 mandarins
lots of basil (at least 20 leaves)
100g sugar
120ml white wine vinegar

Remove the zest from the fruit, trying to keep the amount of white pith to a minimum. Muddle the zest thoroughly with the basil and the sugar before covering and leaving it for 1 hour (this allows the sugar to extract the citrus oils from the zest).

Combine the oily sugar mix with the squeezed juice of the fruit and the vinegar. Stir it well so that the sugar dissolves and then strain the liquid into a clean jar and give it a good shake. Put the shrub in a cool dark spot and leave it for a couple of days for the flavours to mellow and mingle together. When it is ready store it in the fridge until you want to use it, the sugar and vinegar combined with the cold of the fridge should keep it fresh for a long time (although ours only lasted 6 weeks because we’d drank it all by then!)

Now you have your shrub there are many ways to use it, here are a few suggestions we tried but I’d encourage you to get creative and try others too.

Elderflower & Mandarin Martini – try this sophisticated drink for size.

blogmandarinbasilshrub_elderflowermartini

Ingredients

2 parts shrub
4 parts gin
1 part elderfllower cordial

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and then strain into martini glasses. Add a simple garnish of basil for presentation.

New-Fangled – my take on an Old Fashioned!

blogmandarinbasilshrub_newfangled

Ingredients

1 part shrub
2 parts bourbon
1 tsp honey
2 dashes of bitters

Warm the honey so it will dissolve more easily and then combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (without ice), shake and then serve over ice in a rocks glass. Add a twist of mandarin peel for presentation.

Mandarin-Basil Mocktail – even the kids can get involved in this one, it makes a very sophisticated and refreshing take on a soft-drink.

blogmandarinbasilshrub_mandarinmocktail

Serves 2

1.5 oz shrub
1 tsp demerara sugar
big handful of basil
soda water

Muddle the basil (keep some leaves for garnish) with the sugar in a jug (or directly in the glasses if they’re sturdy). Add the shrub and then slowly add the soda water to keep the fizz. Serve in glasses with a garnish of basil leaves.

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BOURBON BERRY FOOL

Bourbon berry posset

A fool is a distinctly British dessert that it seems I may have previously over-looked on here. It’s so ridiculously easy to make and produces such delightfully fluffy fruity clouds, it’s the perfect summer pud. Fools are essentially just fruit puree combined with cream but I have seen them made with custards and yoghurt too.

Bourbon berry posset

Obviously, as you will have noticed by now, I love to make a boozy dessert. If you can’t choose between having dessert or after dinner drinks you should always have them both. Simultaneously. This one has been inspired by a cocktail I tried recently made with raspberries muddled with Drambuie and whiskey. I actually ordered it but rather selflessly swapped it with Mr Colonial Craving when he didn’t like the one he ordered. It has left me pining for another taste of it so I’ve come up with this deliciously creamy homage to it.
You can make the fruit puree in advance if you need to too but I wouldn’t recommend combining it with the cream until about an hour before you want to serve it. If you make it too far in advance the air tends to come out of the cream and you get a sort of boozy, creamy syrup at the bottom of the glass.

Bourbon berry posset

Ingredients
serves 4

150g mixed raspberries and blackberries (frozen ones work fine)
50ml good bourbon (I used Gentleman Jack)
200ml double (heavy) cream
2 tbsp floral honey

Blitz together the bourbon and the fruit in a little food processor until it is well pureed. Pass this through a fine mesh sieve until you are just left with the seeds of the berries in the sieve and a bowl of fruit puree. Toss the seeds away.
Whip together the cream and honey until they are quite stiff and then fold or whisk in the fruit puree (you should have about 130ml of fruit). You can either make the fool look a uniform colour, like mine or leave it marbled and rippled. Both will taste absolutely glorious.
Divide between 4 pretty glasses and put them in the fridge to chill for a while. Before serving you can garnish them with a few extra berries and a sprig of mint.

Bourbon berry posset

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