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Blackberry Liqueur (Crème de Mûre) Recipe – How to Make it at Home

A sweet and fruity homemade Blackberry Liqueur (also known as Crème de Mûre) that is so easy to make yourself with very little hands on time. The perfect way to use up all the blackberries the season has to offer! This easy homemade Blackberry Liqueur only gets better with time – so make up a big batch now to have the perfect homemade Christmas gifts on hand come December.

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A sweet and fruity homemade Blackberry Liqueur (also known as Crème de Mûre) that is so easy to make yourself with very little hands on time. The perfect way to use up all the blackberries the season has to offer! This easy homemade Blackberry Liqueur only gets better with time – so make up a big batch now to have the perfect homemade Christmas gifts on hand come December.

"When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt" - The Prince That Was Promised is a delicious Game of Thrones Cocktail inspired by the prophecy and those characters that may just be this promised saviour. Whoever you think will end up being The Prince That Was Promised, this Game of Thrones inspired Cocktail is sure to impress!

Want more cocktails? Click here!

If you couldn’t tell from all the recipes on my blog by now, I absolutely love making cocktails and playing with different spirits and flavours. This means I need to keep my bar* as fully stocked as I can, so I don’t limit my creativity. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m spending a fortune on spirits, bitters, and the like! So, if I can make some of the staples at home with minimal effort and cost, I am SO on it.  This Crème de Mûre, or Blackberry Liqueur, is one of those!

*by bar, I mean a mess of many different bottles, poorly organised in a kitchen cupboard and a wine rack with bottles of gin instead of fine wines!

A sweet and fruity homemade Blackberry Liqueur (also known as Crème de Mûre) that is so easy to make yourself with very little hands on time. The perfect way to use up all the blackberries the season has to offer! This easy homemade Blackberry Liqueur only gets better with time – so make up a big batch now to have the perfect homemade Christmas gifts on hand come December.

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Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

What’s that? Winter you say? Sounds like the perfect time for ice cream to me! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s never too cold for ice cream. I know lots of you are covered in snow right now, and I bet ice cream would make you feel better about that! Don’t believe me? Try this super chocolatey ice cream full of banana sweetness and I’ll wait for you to tell me I’m right, I won’t even tell you I told you so – I’m nice like that!

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I’m on a bit of banana kick at the moment. I keep buying them and just waiting for them to go over ripe in the fruit bowl, so I can make something yummy with them! With this batch of bananas I was torn between two ideas, so I did the only thing I could – made one of them and bought more bananas so I could make the other thing too! This yummy chocolate banana ice cream was the result of the first batch – creamy, chocolatey, sweet and oh so delicious! 

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Now I know you’ve probably heard about that healthy banana ice cream that is pretty much just mashed frozen bananas, but you’re not going to find any of that kind of healthiness here I’m afraid – this is proper ice cream, full of real cream! It still has bananas in though, so it’s entirely bad for you right? All that potassium totally negates all the fat and sugar I’m sure of it! Come to think of it, with all that potassium this ice cream is sure to be a hangover buster. See, I’m looking out for you guys 😉

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I originally thought about just banana ice cream, but then I remembered everything is made better by chocolate so I had to add it! I use both cocoa powder and melted chocolate in this ice cream, to really give it that chocolate boost. It doesn’t over power the banana though, both flavours punch through beautifully alone while also complimenting each other! I put a little cinnamon in there too a) because I’m me and b) cinnamon really does compliment banana so nicely. You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you love ice cream as much as me! 

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

So let’s do a headcount shall we? Banana? Check! Chocolate? Check! Real cream? Check! Deliciousness? Double check! Yep, this ice cream really does have it all! You won’t be sorry you made this, and neither will your family/friends/random people who show up at your house to eat your ice cream. Serve it up with some fresh banana slices or even on top of a nice warm pie, and you’ll have one awesome dessert! Since it’s homemade it won’t last as long as your store bought ice cream, but trust me when I tell you it won’t have a chance to go bad – you’ll be lucky if it lasts overnight! 

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

 

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

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Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
Delicious chocolate banana ice cream, simple to make and oh so worth it
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Bananas, very ripe
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 60g chocolate finely chopped
  4. 1 cup double cream
  5. 2/3 cup milk
  6. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 2 egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Put the bananas and 1/8 cup of the sugar in a blender, and blend to combine. Only do a couple pulses if you'd like little chunks of bananas in your ice cream like me, otherwise blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat 3/4 cup the cream until bubbles just start to appear and pour over chocolate. Leave to stand for 1 minute and then stir until smooth.
  3. Pour the cream and chocolate mixture back into the pan with the milk, rest of the sugar, cocoa, salt and cinnamon. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar is all dissolved and it just starts to steam. Remove from heat
  4. Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Ladle 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the bowl with the eggs and whisk in. Repeat with 2 more 1/4 cups of the mixture - until egg yolks are warm to touch.
  5. Pour egg mixture into the pan and return to a medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens. It's ready when it coats the back of the spoon - it will be about 80C/170F on a candy thermometer. Do not boil!
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the cream and the banana mix. Transfer to a bowl.
  7. Fill a bowl slightly larger than the bowl your custard is in with ice water, place the custard bowl in the ice water. Cool in ice bath for 20 minutes, until room temperature (make sure no water can spill into the custard). Transfer to the fridge and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
  8. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  9. Once it reaches a soft serve consistency, transfer to your storage container and place in freezer overnight.
  10. Leave at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before scooping and serving
Notes
  1. Keep in airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the freezer
  2. I used dark chocolate, but milk chocolate will be good too - whichever you prefer.
  3. Recipe makes about 1 quart (950ml)
Giraffes Can Bake https://www.giraffescanbake.com/
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Michelle’s Christmas Mince Pies

These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn’t Christmas without Mince Pies!

Michelle's Christmas Mince Pies - These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn't Christmas without Mince Pies!

Happy Thursday! Only 1 week ’til Christmas and It’s day four of my Countdown ’til Christmas – I’m posting a festive recipe every day up until, and including, Christmas Eve. So far I have posted Spiced Caramel, a Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake and Peppermint Puppy Chow – today I have Mince Pies.

Michelle's Christmas Mince Pies - These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn't Christmas without Mince Pies!

The title here might be a tad misleading, as it could look like I’m saying these are my famous mince pies or something – but actually, this is the first time I’ve ever made mince pies. The reason being that I don’t like mince pies, I never have – I don’t like mince meat, I can’t even put my finger on what it is I don’t like about it, I just don’t. So, I made my own version of mince meat – it has the same core flavours of mince meat but it’s not baked and it’s super yummy. I also used puff pastry as the casing, just because I thought a mince pie roll would be really cute and yummy, and I was right! 

Michelle's Christmas Mince Pies - These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn't Christmas without Mince Pies!

 

For those of you unfamiliar with mince pies, they’re a British staple at Christmas time. They’re small, individual pies filled with mincemeat – mincemeat being a sweet mixture of dried fruits, brandy, spices and beef suet (I think traditionally they contain actual beef, hence the name). Most Brits will tell you Christmas isn’t complete without lots of mince pies, so I always kind of felt like I was missing out. Which is why this year I decided to come up with my own version – mine contain lots of dried fruits, spices, almonds, spiced rum and a sweet, sticky brown sugar mixture. They were so yummy, I will definitely make it a tradition to make these every year. I’m going to make some more for Christmas day and bring a little British tradition (even if it’s not totally traditional) to the US. Although I will be making them in a pie crust casing rather than the puff pastry. 

Michelle's Christmas Mince Pies - These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn't Christmas without Mince Pies!

 

Even if you’re a big lover of mince pies, you should definitely give these ones a go if only to shake things up a bit – plus I think you’ll love them, they’re wonderfully sweet and packed full of yummy fruit. The main star in these is dried figs because I love figs, but you really can customise these to suit your own tastes. 

Michelle's Christmas Mince Pies - These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn't Christmas without Mince Pies!

One small confession before I get on with the recipe – I didn’t make the puff pastry for these. Making your own pastry is great and I find making puff pastry quite therapeutic but sometimes I’m just too lazy or I don’t have the time, or both. This was one of those times. They’re great either way, so you can either buy pre made puff pastry from the store or make you’re favourite recipe. I don’t have a recipe for puff pastry on my blog, but Dini @ Giramuk’s Kitchen has an awesome recipe for Rough Puff Pastry which is a quick and effective way to make puff pastry from scratch. 

Michelle's Christmas Mince Pies - These are Christmas Mince Pies done my way! Made with puff pastry, dried fruit, nuts and a sweet, sticky sauce! So simple to make, and the perfect festive treat! It isn't Christmas without Mince Pies!

I’m going to bring these along to Fiesta Friday this week, bring a little British Christmas to the party! This week it’s co hosted by the amazing Indu and Jhuls, so this week is a great time to come join Angie’s party!

Want to come hang out with me on social media? I’d love to see what you guys are up to and chat with you outside of blog posts – you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Follow me on social media and you’ll get these lovely views of my part sky as I was writing this post 😉 Shared on Instagram: 

2014-12-17 22.50.02

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Michelle's Mince Pies
Yields 12
My own take on the British classic - mince pies!
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Ingredients
  1. 320g puff pastry (homemade or store bought)
  2. 60g butter
  3. 100g brown sugar
  4. 2.5 tbsp golden syrup*
  5. 2 tsp vanilla
  6. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  8. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  9. 1 clementine - zest and juice
  10. 140g dried figs, roughly chopped
  11. 100g dried cherries
  12. 100g raisins
  13. 50g slivered almonds, plus more for garnish
Instructions
  1. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with circles of parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200C/390F
  2. Add the butter, sugar and golden syrup to a medium saucepan, heat on medium until butter and sugar are melted, stirring. Bring to the boil and boil for 30 seconds, reduce heat to a low medium.
  3. Add the spices, extracts, zest and juice and stir to combine
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium low heat, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside and leave to cool.
  7. Roll out puff pastry into a large rectangle, approx 14" x 9"
  8. Spread the cooled mincemeat mixture over the pastry, covering up to the edges - leaving a small border clear on one length side (about 1cm)
  9. Roll the pastry up length ways (i.e. so you have one long sausage).
  10. Cut the roll into approximately 1"-1.5" slices and place in prepared muffin hold, with spirals facing up. Sprinkle a few slivered almonds on top.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until pastry is gold brown
Notes
  1. *If you're in the US you can use corn syrup in place of golden syrup
  2. You could also use muffin cases instead of the parchment paper, but personally I like the look the parchment paper gives them.
  3. And since you're using cases, you can cool them in the pan without worrying about them sticking. However, if you want to remove the cases this is much easier to do while they're still hot, so leave to cool for 5 minutes and then carefully peel away paper.
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Christmas Spiced Caramel

This Christmas Spiced Caramel is full of delicious festive spices, drizzle it on everything and anything this holiday season! It’s so easy to make and so delicious!

This Christmas Spiced Caramel is full of delicious festive spices, drizzle it on everything and anything this holiday season! It's so easy to make and so delicious!

 

Have you guys been listening to Serial? If you have, I’m only up to episode 7 so far so no spoilers please! If you haven’t, you need to start now! Right now! Okay, you can read this post and save this recipe first, but then listen! It’s a series of podcasts from NPR and you can download them for free from your podcast app (just search Serial) or you can download it here. No, I’m not being sponsored by NPR that would be weird (and awesome, I love NPR!) this is just totally worth listening to and I want to talk to y’all about it! If you’ve been living under a rock and have missed all the buzz around Serial – it’s a nonfiction story told week by week about a murder that happened 15 years ago, a young man was convicted of murdering his ex girlfriend. Nothing quite adds up though and Sarah Koenig has been digging through the case since last year trying to get to the bottom of it. 

It’s really interesting, so gripping and really thought provoking. There’s so much to think about and you can go from thinking “yes he totally did it” to “there’s no way he did it” in the space of one episode. Go download it now, and you can thank me later! There’s 11 episodes so far, new episodes released every Thursday, I don’t know how many there will be total – I think they just keep going until they come to some kind of conclusion

Those who of you who have been listening to it, what do you think? Are you enjoying it? Do you think Adnan did it? If not, who do you think did? Remember, I’m only up to episode 7 so no spoilers!! Also, would be nice to keep your comments generally spoiler free for those who are behind me or haven’t started it yet! If you wanna talk to me about it in detail though, you can come chat to me on Twitter

This Christmas Spiced Caramel is full of delicious festive spices, drizzle it on everything and anything this holiday season! It's so easy to make and so delicious!

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Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter Pop-Tarts

cinnamon raisin peanut butter pop tarts

 Do you ever find yourself watching TV shows that you hate, but you can’t turn them off? You just love to hate them! That’s me with Love It or List It, it drives me crazy and I spend most of the show shouting at Hilary – seriously, she’s the worst, she never has a contingency in her budget for any hidden problems, she basically ignores what the home owners want and acts like the fact they don’t have endless amounts of money to throw into her budget (that she’s terrible at managing) is their fault and that they’re crazy for being annoyed with her for messing things up! Who knew I would have such strong feelings about a HGTV show, right? But despite all that, I watch it all the time! I’m get a bit addicted to HGTV when I’m in the US, it’s about the only TV I watch out here, and I miss it a lot when I’m back home. I’m watching HGTV as I write this post, it’s Hawaii Life tonight though and I’m still finding myself moaning at the people on the TV! Maybe this is my guilty pleasure, enjoying being annoyed by strangers on the television!

cinnamon raisin peanut butter pop tarts

Okay, on to something that is the opposite of annoying! Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter Pop Tarts (with frosting). The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but the pop tarts aren’t – they’re mini! 

When I made this Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter I knew I wanted to bake with it, but what to make? My first thought was to make a spruced up version of my Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Pudding Cookies, but that didn’t feel exciting enough. I don’t know how I ended up on pop tarts, but I’m so glad I did. 

cinnamon raisin peanut butter pop tarts

Oh my, these mini pop tarts are heavenly. The pastry is a pie crust and it’s so flaky and buttery and the sweet and salty filling is so tasty, especially when paired with the sweet frosting. And look how cute! These went down very well with my mum and her colleagues, they’re definitely a keeper.

cinnamon raisin peanut butter pop tarts

The great thing about these is they’re easily changeable to suit your tastes and what you have access to. Just full them with your favourite pop tart filling and you have just improved that sweet breakfast 10 fold. I love store bought pop tarts, I’m not going to pretend like I don’t, but they cannot hold a candle to these homemade ones. It’s great for me too because they’re not a lot of varieties in flavour for pop tarts in the UK, I often bring back a box of the cinnamon brown sugar ones when I’m in the US – but now I can make my own, and I’m definitely going to!

cinnamon raisin peanut butter pop tarts

 

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