Ah, Gentle Readers!
A long absence has occurred between us, has it not? My apologies. I went to have an Antipodean Adventure, and it was marvellous. Absolutely marvellous.
Anyway, normal service will attempt to resume now, with this week’s Made-Up Monday.
Two recipes for you this week: lemon and mint cordial and chocolate avocado pudding.
Lemon and Mint Cordial
I love fresh lemonade with mint. I love it. But if you go to the supermarket and buy a bottle of the lemonade syrup, it’s ridiculously priced. Especially when it’s a piece of piss to make it yourself.
Things you will need:
- 2 x 500ml cordial bottles. (I used these ones from Lakeland, because that was all they had on the shelf when I went in in a last minute panic. Forward planning, people, it’s everything.)
- A large heatproof dish, that you can pour boiling water into. (I used a ceramic Le Creuset dish, because in the words of Iggy Azalea…I’m so fancy.) You need to have a lid that fits it.
- A large saucepan with a thick bottom
- A funnel
- A spatula or wooden spoon
- A knife, chopping board and a zester/vegetable peeler
- A sieve/colander
- A muslin square OR a large man’s handkerchief (which should be clean, as bogies will NOT enhance the flavour at all.)
- 1 litre of boiling water
- Two unwaxed lemons
- A bunch of mint (about 25g?)
- 600g of sugar
OK, got all that? Let’s go.
- Step one is to zest the lemons, then cut them into quarters lengthways and put them into the dish. Sprinkle the zest over the top. Hack the mint into two or three sections and throw in with the lemons (I recommend a gentle underarm lob, from not too far away, as an overarm bowl from the other end of the kitchen can get messy.)
- Boil the kettle and then pour over a litre of boiling water. (Although, to be honest, I overfilled the kettle and then guesstimated.)
- Put the lid on the dish and leave it to cool down. Leave it for at least eight hours, or overnight if you’re slack like me (and forget what you’re doing in the evening….)
- The next day, get a sieve or colander, whack it in the saucepan, and put the muslin square in the sieve. Take the dish with your lemon/mint infusion, (take the lid off), and then pour gently into the muslined sieve.
- Squeeze the hell out of the stuff in the muslin square – either by pressing down with your hand, or the more technically correct way is to wrap up the corners of the square and twist them together. Either way, get as much liquid through the muslin as possible.
- Take the sieve and chuck it in the sink – that’s to be dealt with by Future You.
- Take your 600g of sugar and pour into the liquid. Put it on a really gentle heat and stir carefully.
- Meanwhile, wash up your bottles in hot soapy water, then rinse them in hot water, and dry them off. Put them in the oven and then turn it on to 120°C. As the oven heats up, it will sterilise the bottles, and also doing it this way will reduce the chance of thermal shock and the bottle blowing up in your face. Hey, we’re risk takers over here, OK? The bottles need to be in there for about 15-20 minutes.
- Bring the cordial up to a gentle simmer, stirring all the time and making the sugar dissolve. It will be super-cloudy at first, but as you stir it will get clearer and clearer. When the cordial reaches a gentle simmer, cook it for two minutes, then take it off the heat.
- Using some form of heat protection, take the bottles out of the oven and put the funnel into the first one. Carefully pour the cordial into the bottle. Then repeat with the second one. Leave open on the side to cool.
- When you can touch the bottle with your bare hand, close up the tops, and leave to cool completely. Put in fridge.
Serve with ice, fizzy water and a slice of lemon. Omnomnom.
Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding
Yes, I know it sounds terrible. I know. But stick with it, it gets worse…..I MEAN BETTER. IT GETS BETTER.
Firstly, you will need:
- A teaspoon and a tablespoon and a tbsp measure
- Some form of small receptacle. (I used ramekins.)
- A knife and chopping board
- A 1 cup measure
- A mug or bowl
- An open mind and a willing heart
- One cup of frozen red berries
- One ripe avocado
- Chia seeds
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract or paste
OK, still with me? Splendid.
- Take three tablespoons of chia seeds and put them in a mug or bowl. Add one cup of water. (You could also use milk – almond, coconut, soya….)
- Mix around every so often for about half an hour, until your seeds have gone from floating on the water to resembling tapioca.
- Once the seeds have swollen (and thickened), pour into the blender and add one cup of frozen berries.
- Blend the shi…zzle out of this, until it’s smooth. (If you have a crappy blender, like me, this will take AAAGES. If you own a Vitamix or something, bog off and stop boasting.)
- Once it’s more like goop, add the flesh of one ripe avocado, three dessertspoons of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of vanilla paste/extract and the stevia/sweetener.
- Blend the shizzle out of it until it is really smooth – you may have to stop and scrape down the sides using a spatula, so that you don’t get green bits or lumpy bits.
- Pour into your small receptacles (put blender in sink for Future You to deal with) and chill pudding in the fridge until you want to eat them.
Serve with confidence, to an unwitting audience. Boom. Look at you, you raw food god!
OK, see you tomorrow, I’ve got a blender and a sieve to clean up – Past Me is a lazy sod.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible if your guests spew up your avocado pudding all over your dining room/kitchen, OK? You knew what you were getting into, you lunatic who put avocado in a pudding.