Tag Archives: Vanilla

Life in a bubble: Ultimate Macaroons

10 Jul

I have a tendency to live in a bubble. I call it my little world. It is a lovely place, happy, like munchkin land in the Wizard of Oz. Bright colours, jaunty tunes and maybe even a lolly pop guild. However sometimes, something intrudes into my otherwise happy world and ruins it. Usually poisonous people, not easily identified by being green and wearing a pointy hat. It is always a little soul destroying to find that some people insist on acting selfishly and manipulatively even when they know how much it hurts you. It is at times like this that a girl could lose all hope and trust in humanity. But it also at this time that people can show you their inner Glinda and make you realise that some people aren’t looking for a weak spot to exploit, but rather fiercely protect and support you. Now unfortunately my real life Glinda’s didn’t give me some shiny red shoes when they waved their protective wand over me, but they did do an exceptional job at reminding me not to lose hope.

Such kindness requires a kindness in return and so these little macaroons were made as a gesture of gratitude, for lending a helpful ear, shoulder and in one case a couple of strong cocktails. Please note these are actually macaroons not macarons. Yes I know I sound like a foodie wanker when I point out that people keep calling the French sweet delicacy by the wrong name, but I wouldn’t want to lead you astray with baking miscommunications 😉

P1020056

These are dense and coconutty yet still light enough to feel that you could easily have 2 and it wouldn’t stop you floating around in a bubble. They also keep very well in a container for a few days. They are sourced from my baking bible which I simply can never praise highly enough. Thank you Ms Lawson you are always welcome in my special world.

What do like to give as gifts of gratitude?

Ultimate coconut macaroons

Makes 12

Only very slight adapted from Coconut Macaroons by Nigella Lawson in How to be a Domestic Goddess

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 100 gms of caster sugar
  • 30 gms of ground almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 225 gms of shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

2. Beat the egg whites until frothy with an electric beater.

3. Add the cream of tartar and keep beating until soft peaks start to form.

4. Then add the sugar 1 teaspoon at a time until the egg whites are stiff when the beater is stopped and removed it holds to the beater

5. Add the almond meal, salt and vanilla and fold into the egg whites a couple of times before adding the coconut and folding in until completely combined

6. Using a soup spoon measure out the macaroon mixture and form into balls and place on a lined baking sheet

7. Place into the oven and cook for 20 mins or until coconut is turning golden

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Living Dolls and Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

10 Jul

I don’t know if anyone else remembers a doll that came out years and years ago that reveled its gender only after purchase, kind of imitating the real life gender surprise at birth. I recall when I was small that they sat on the shelves beckoning me every time I went into a department store and I begged Mutti for one. I had never had anything but girl dolls before but I desperately wanted one of these dolls, it came with a dissolvable package that revealed the birth certificate and gender of your baby. I of course was adamant that despite the dolls androgynous features I could pick the girl dolls and I remember Mutti trying to reason with me that I may get a boy doll and I couldn’t give it back. After some careful consideration…..maybe a whole day of thought….. I decided I could indeed cope if I got a boy doll, although I was still sure I would get a little girl. Some time later mum let me pick a doll, I got it home dissolved the little package and it revealed I had a bouncing baby boy! I was horrified 😦 I refused to pick him up or play with him at first and I think I might even have cried.  I came to love him, I named him after an uncle, but I never felt the same fondness.

Aren’t they pretty!

 

A new little girl was introduced into the world a couple of weeks ago and I am completely ecstatic. I won’t lie, I basically jumped around after I heard the news and told people I had a living doll to dress, before promptly going out and buying clothes for her. I love the little men that my friends have so kindly brought into the world so I can practice my car sounds and force cuddles on them, but there is just something so exciting about a little girl. Little girls open a whole new world of sugar and spice and all things nice 🙂

In honour of the new little princess I made a slice which I thought was appropriately girlie and completely delicious. I also figured it would give poor mum some sweet treats to keep up her energy or bribe her toddler (or husband) with.

They are no greater work than a usual brownie. The only amendment I made to the original recipe was to make a double batch and use a different shade of food colouring. They are by far the most moist and moreish brownie I have ever made and they didn’t last long.

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Brownie

adapted (only slightly) from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

 

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 110 gms of dark chocolate
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp of rose pink colouring
  • 1 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 450 gms of cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees

2. Grease an aluminium roasting tray, line if you are using a non disposable baking tray

3. Microwave the butter and chocolate in a bowl until melted and combined

4. In a seperate bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and pink food colouring.

Prior to adding chocolate the mixture is bright pink

5. Add the chocolate and butter mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine

6. Add flour and salt and stir to combine completely

7. Pour into baking dish. Bang the dish a couple of time on the bench top to release any bubbles

8. Beat together the ingredients for the topping until smooth and then layer on top of the brownie and using a knife swirl the topping in with the brownie mixture.

9. Bake for 40 mins or until sides are slightly crisp but centre is just set. Leave to completely cool before cutting

 

Self Awareness and M&M Cookies

6 May

Recently I have been going through a little stage of hating people. My faith in them has been seriously undermined by a combination of being exposed to the worst qualities in people in both my work and my social life. It doesn’t happen that often, but a few incidents of poor behaviour in a row and a wealth of stewing on and analysing disappointments can really put me in a mood. So here goes the rant….

People just seem to be prepared to have no self awareness.  Let’s be honest no one wants to admit that they can behave badly, but recently I have become increasingly frustrated at people who run away from their mistakes or minimise their involvement. I sometimes feel that this complete unwillingness to be brutally honest with ourselves means that people can engage in some hurtful and often self harming behaviour. We learn nothing and gain nothing when we ignore our failings. We all make mistakes and bad choices, we respond in humanly flawed ways to challenges and humiliations, I think it is how we deal with them that is the measure of who we are and who we will become…. Deep breath….

When I get into my hating people funk I like to spend time with children. I can’t have any expectation that a small child will have any self awareness and empathy, I can’t feel betrayed when they hug me and tell me 5 mins later they don’t like me and I know that all I have to do to win a smile is present them with a cookie. If only everything was so simple. I have to admit these cookies were crunchier than I would have liked but they were still tasty, maybe a little less cooking time would have rendered them more chewy. I also used M&M’s instead of Smarties. Chocolate freckles would be good too.

I brought the cookies along with me for my play date and they did elicit a smile and that smile plus some cuddles went some way to rebuilding my trust in people, plus they look like such happy cookies, how can a world filled with cookies be bad? In the meantime I have to keep practicing acceptance and repeating the mantra the dude abides…the dude abides

M&M Cookies

Very slightly adapted

 

Happiness in a biscuit


 

Do you ever have difficulty accepting things as they are?

 

Indulging for Easter: Black Forest Trifle

2 May

When I was a kid, Mutti and I while shopping would sometimes stop for Kaffe and Kuchen. I loved being able to go up to the cake display and with my nose pressed to the glass look at all of the sweet offerings and decide what I would have.

I absolutely love chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, but I am not obsessed with mud cake like so many chocoholics I know, unless it is for breakfast where it seems to possess an all together different appeal……..rather like McDonalds at 2 am after a night out drinking 😉 So Black forest cake was often my pick. The slight sourness of the cherries against chocolate sponge and cream were just heavenly.

This Easter after weeks of almost no sugar in my daily diet thanks to my new health kick, I decided to go all out and make a heavenly trifle based on black forest cake I so fondly consumed as a child. There is certainly no shortage of chocolate in this recipe which seemed only fitting for celebrating the day where I can eat chocolate with guilt free glee.

Black Forest Trifle

I won’t lie, this particular version is not exactly a slap dash type of trifle. But I have taken some short cuts which hopefully will make you more inclined to make it. I used cherry brandy because despite Dads best efforts Kirsch could not be found. The cherry liqueur serves to add an echo of cherry flavour to all layers of the trifle and gives it extra depth. The chocolate cake recipe I have used is by no obligatory it just happens to be a quick one bowl wonder and is not so rich as to be over powering, but you can use your favourite chocolate sponge recipe.

I have  used the mousse recipe so many times it doesn’t bear thinking about. I usually use brandy, but in keeping with the cherry theme substituted cherry brandy. Don’t be scared that it will add some strong alcoholic component to the mousse. It really doesn’t but rather enhances the flavour of the chocolate.

While I knew all the components of this trifle were delicious by themselves, I had no idea if placed together they would really work the way I hoped. But I promise that this will not disappoint. Even Dad licked the bowl!

Black Forest Trifle

Serves 6-8

Chocolate Sponge

by Miranda Sharp in Epicure Chocolate

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Chocolate Mousse

adapted from ABC Online

  • 300 mil cream
  • 30 gms of sugar
  • 130 gms of dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 2 tsp of Cherry Brandy

Remaining Layers

  • Jar of morello cherries
  • 300 mls Whipped cream
  • Vanilla pod
  • Store bought sponge cake
  • Cherry jam

Make the chocolate cake as instructed below;

1. Melt butter and combine with remaining ingredients. Pour into 20 cm cake tin and bake for 20 mins.

2. Once cooled and removed from the tin wrap in cling film and place in the freezer for approximately 30 mins before using. This will make it easier to cut in half.

Make the mousse as instructed below;

1. Whip cream with sugar until soft peaks

2. Melt chocolate in microwave on short bursts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly and then add brandy, egg yolks and whip until smooth and thickened

3. Fold cream into the chocolate mixture

4. Whip egg whites until soft peaks and then fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, you can be quite cavalier with how you combine this 1st 1/3 of the egg whites. Add the egg white and chocolate mixture to the remaining 2/3rds of the egg whites folding gently until just combined.

5. Chill.

Next prepare the cherries

1. Drain cherries, put the cherries aside and place the syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Add 2 tbsp of cherry brandy and reduce the syrup until reduce by half and sticky. Take off the heat and put cherries into the mixture and leave to macerate. The cherry mixture must be completely cooled before using.

Slices are similar heights.

3. Slice vanilla sponge cake in half lengthwise.

4. Slice chocolate sponge in half lengthwise

5.  Slice 1 slice of vanilla sponge on the bottom of trifle bowl. Spread with cherry jam top with 1 slice of chocolate sponge.

6. Top the chocolate sponge with half the cherry mix and spoon over half the syrup.

7. Repeat process until all the sponge, cherries and syrup are used up.

8. Top with Chocolate mousse

9. Whip cream with vanilla seed from 1 vanilla pod and spread on top of trifle.

10. Top with chocolate shavings.

 

Sweets for my Sweet: Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes with Pink Frosting

12 Feb

I know a lot of people despise Valentine’s Day as some commercial beat up, requiring you to buy overpriced, poorly thought out presents for your significant other. But I have to admit that I kind of like Valentine’s Day.

When I was a kid my dad always bought my mum a big bunch of flowers and I always got a single red rose in a plastic tube. I loved it! 🙂 I felt so grown up. Mutti also used to buy us kids little chocolates for Valentine’s Day. So for me, Valentines Day was never something people did only for a romantic partner, but rather just a day where you exploited the opportunity to show the people in your life you loved them.

Now I am a person who loves a reason to do something special and create a little moment, be it Christmas, a birthday or a job promotion, there is a little special moment that can be created in celebrating all of these things. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but why not celebrate the end of exams with apple pie and ice cream!

I can’t say that the men in my life have felt the same. A few days before Valentine’s Day the conversation usually goes like this.

Him “So do you like.. celebrate Valentine’s Day?’

Me “What do you mean celebrate?’

Him “You know.. do you like to do something special, specifically for Valentine’s Day?’

Me “I always like doing something special”

Now at this point you would have thought they would have just erred on the side of caution and organised something and stopped asking questions…particularly because they had consumed more than their portion of the end of exam pie, not that I am keeping track 😉 No their questions continue…

Him “I mean… like will I get in to trouble if I don’t do something? I don’t care so I won’t do anything unless you want me to’

Me “I don’t want you to do something that you don’t want to do, and you won’t get in to trouble. It is up to you”

Now I know this might sound annoyingly like I won’t give a straight answer, but what I have said is completely true. Valentine’s Day to me should not be some forced mushy fest where presents are begrudgingly bought because you have to. I like to take part in it because I can show people I care and have an excuse to eat sweets!

Sweet treats for those who sweeten your life!

I don’t like the tacky gifts that are for sale on Valentine’s Day, although I would love a bunch of lemon roses….anyone?! So I usually make something for loved ones. These cupcakes are the perfect sweet addition to any day.  They are beautiful to look at and I found some very  appropriate little candy hearts to top them with. Most importantly they are beautiful to eat. You would have to feel loved just consuming them.

Do you celebrate Valentines Day?

Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream Frosting

Makes 6-8

Cupcakes

Adapted from 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies and other Tempting treats

  • 85 grams of unsalted butter
  • 85 grams of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 70 gms of plain flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of bi carbonate
  • 1 tbsp of cocoa
  • Raspberry jam

1. Cream together sugar and butter and the vanilla extract, until fluffy

2. Add eggs one at a time allowing the first to be incorporated into the mixture before you add the second one.

3. Sift in flour, cocoa, bicarbonate and baking powder and mix to combine

4. Spoon mixture into the lined cupcake tray

5. Bake in oven for 20 mins or until skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake is springy to the touch

6. Allow to cool completely.

7. Then using a small serrated knife cut a small disc about 1-2 cm deep into the cupcake.

8. Fill with raspberry jam but be careful not to overfill as the cut out lid needs to be placed back on top.

Frosting

  • 200 gms of unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp of milk
  • 250 gms of icing mixture (or enough to get desired consistency and sweetness)
  • 2 drops of Rose pink food colouring

1. Cream together butter and milk until fluffy

2. Add colouring, add more if you want a more intense colour

3. Add sifted icing mixture and beat until combined.

4. Spread or pipe on top of cooled and jam filled cupcakes.

Birthdays! Pink Velvet Cake with Mascarpone frosting.

21 Jan

It was my birthday on Thursday and this year I decided to embrace it. I do have a tendency to suffer from Birthday blues. About a week before and a week afterwards I am….. well lets say difficult. I typically try and pretend my birthday is not happening, but then mourn the lack of birthday phone calls and presents as a reflection on my unloveableness, plunging me deeper into self indulgent despair. Last year was particularly bad when my own mother didn’t even call me for my birthday, she just sent an email. 😦

I wasn’t always like this. There was a time that I loved birthdays. As a child I was fortunate to have my birthday fall not only in the school holidays but in summer. I got dressed up in a new dress, friends were there to keep me occupied and Mutti organised food and party games. The turning point came on my 10th birthday. A short time before my actual birthday occurred, some inane smiling mother of a friend, gleefully exclaimed. ‘How exciting you are turning ten. That is double digits, you will never be a single digit again’. From that moment on I saw birthdays as a reminder of the relentless march of time, a force over which I had no control. Some would say I was a dramatic child, I like to call it sensitive 😉

These birthday blues have meant that I have always just ignored birthdays, no grand parties, no fancy dinners, just a studied attempt at surviving another birthday and the accompanying reflections on another year gone. Birthdays for me have always been the most disappointing when in a relationship. I have always thought that this person who is supposed to care about you, would not let your birthday pass without making a fuss. I was wrong. Nearly every partner has been ‘too busy’ to buy me anything or book a restaurant for my birthday, or If they do actually book something, like they promised, they organise something on the day and give me 1 hour’s notice. So on my birthday I am either inwardly sulking or frazzled and snippy.

Why am I telling you all this. Well this year I decided, NO!  I am not working on my birthday. NO! I am not going without birthday cake and NO! I am not waiting for someone else to instigate birthday celebrations. So I took the day off and went to the day spa for a few hours, but not before whipping up my very own birthday cake.

This just looked so pretty in the Woman’s Weekly magazine and I love mascarpone frosting. I made a few changes as I always do. The cake is unbelievably moist. It does make assembly a bit of a challenge and really needs to be kept refrigerated to stop it from becoming impossible to cut. Everyone loved it and the colour is just so girly and festive!

Do you celebrate birthdays?

Pink Velvet Birthday Cake

Adapted from a recipe by Fran Abdallaoui from Womens Weekly

  • 125 gms softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ cups of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons coca powder
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp rose pink food colouring
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp of bi carb
  • 100 gms of raspberry jam

Mascarpone frosting

  • 250 gms cream cheese
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 250 gms of mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup of thickened cream

White Chocolate Bark

  • 200 gms block of white chocolate

1. Line and grease two 22 cm round cake tins

2. Sift together flours cocoa

3. Combine buttermilk and food colouring in bowl

Fabulous colour

4. Beat butter, vanilla extract and sugar with eggs until light and fluffy.

5. Fold flour and cocoa mix into butter mix with pink coloured buttermilk in two alternating batches.

6. In a small bowl combine vinegar and bi carb soda until it fizzes and then fold into the cake mixture

7. Divide mixture between two baking tins

8. Put into oven on 180 degrees for 25 mins or until skewer comes out clean

9. Allow cakes to cool in tin for a few minutes before turning out on to rack and allowing to fully cool

10. Wrap in plastic and place into freezer for at least 30 mins. This will make the cake much easier to cut

11. While the cake is cooling make the frosting

12. Beat cream cheese mascarpone and vanilla extract together until smooth and then add cream and sifted icing sugar continuing to beat until smooth. Place in fridge.

13. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Place one sheet of baking paper on a surface and spread the melted chocolate out across the paper until smooth and a thin layer. Top with another sheet of baking paper and roll into a tube before placing in the fridge to cool

14. Cut the cake into two horizontally to get two layers.

15. Place one layer down on a plate or serving stand and spread with some raspberry jam

16. Spread the frosting on another layer and place the jam and frosting together in a sandwich. Repeat with remaining layers.

Before icing

17. Top the cake with half of the remaining frosting and spread across the top and down the sides use the remaining frosting to spread and smooth the sides

18. Unroll the white chocolate tube allowing to crack and crumble.

19. Press shards of chocolate on the side of the cake and place in the fridge to let frosting get firmer before serving.

20. Slice and serve to friends and family!

Christmas Traditions: Christmas Cookies with Mixed Nuts

12 Dec

I come from a very small family. My extended family lives almost exclusively overseas or on the other side of the continent. This means that our family Christmas traditions aren’t very old. The good thing about this is that our traditions are still young enough for them to evolve, without feeling like a betrayal of the old established ways and Christmas day is generally relaxed. Additional benefits to small family Christmases are:

  1. Not having to forgo drink because you have to drive to another relatives house;
  2. Not having to visit people you don’t want to see;
  3. Only a few well thought out presents to buy;
  4. Spending the day in shorts, t-shirt and no shoes;
  5. Being able to break out the good sparkling red without fear of the obnoxious drunken in-laws drinking it all.

While I am the first to sing the benefits of a Christmas without extended family, I do love tradition and larger families seem to have more traditions because of the intergenerational nature of the family unit. Grandparents are keepers of old recipes and family comes together for the making of pudding and the decorating of trees. Considering I am a person who hates feeling like I may be missing out on the good parts of anything….I am happy to avoid the leering drunken uncle and the revolting wild children running through your house…  I feel it essential that our little family has its own traditions and I will not hear of them being in any way departed from. In fact I can become borderline hysterical at the thought of one of our traditional dishes not being served. After all I generally only get these dishes once a year! 😦  Christmas is simply not Christmas without Dad putting on Handel’s Messiah in the morning while we drink Black Velvets followed by a late lunch including Mutti’s potato salad, Cold turkey and Cranberry pie and Tipsy pudding, an aptly named dessert if ever there was one.

These biscuits entered my repertoire about 10 years ago. I now make them every Christmas. No amount of begging and pleading for them at any other time of year will break my resolve in maintaining these as a Christmas only treat. It is the Christmas only nature of these biscuits that render them, in my opinion a Christmas tradition. This biscuit recipe was adopted from a cook book put out by my high school. Parents and ex students contributed to the book and there are many great family recipes contained within its covers. The biscuits claim to be Irish Christmas biscuits. I certainly don’t have anything like them in my Irish family and I can’t see anything distinctly Irish about them, but I am happy to claim them as food that is representative of one half of my ethnic background. They are delightfully crunchy thanks to a combination of corn flakes and nuts, and the cinnamon lends a real Christmas flavour. They have become an anticipated baked treat for the festive season.

Coming to a gift box near you.....

 

Do you have any recipe that only gets made at Christmas? Do you have big or small family Christmases?

Irish Christmas Biscuits

From a recipe by Anne Withnell

Makes 25

  • 180 gms butter
  • 60 gms caster sugar
  • 240 gms plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 30 gms of cornflake crumbs
  • 60 gms of mixed nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • icing sugar to coat

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy

2. Add flour, cinnamon cornflake crumbs, nuts and vanilla and mix together with a wooden spoon.

3. Divide into small balls, about a teaspoon of dough for each ball and place on a baking tray. Press slightly to flatten.

4. Bake in oven on 180 degrees for 25 mins or until starting to turn golden.

5. Cool and dust in icing sugar.

Christmas Food Gifts: Strawberry, Pear and Vanilla Jam

5 Dec

I approach many festive events or celebrations with the type of organisation and efficiency that you would expect from the leader of an army. Christmas is by far the biggest festive event that I participate in every year, requiring  honed skills of preparation and organisation.  I don’t like feeling stressed or frazzled….no I take that back. I like feeling only mildly stressed and frazzled. Just frazzled enough to know I am alive and achieving things, but not so much that I am crying over a bowl of cookie dough.

The only way to strike this stress balance is to plan ahead. As previous posts have suggested, I like to plan and write lists and plan just a little bit more. This is why I am thinking of Christmas presents in October and I aim for having all Christmas shopping completed before November is even completed. Now for over organised freaks like me, one of the things we fear most is being caught short. Caught short of food. Caught short of presents. Worst of all caught short of booze. So on top of stocking up on wine and bubbly for the month preceding Christmas, I also start putting little stocking fillers aside, just in case. Food is a nice non gendered gift, that still requires effort and love to create. This year on top of my usual Christmas biscuits, I also decided to make some Jam to give away.

Christmas Presents!

I have never made jam before and was very excited to find I could make it quite easily, so don’t be afraid. I am not a great lover of strawberry jam as a rule. I find it can be overly sweet, but the pear, although not obvious, cuts through the sweetness. I do plan on adding more vanilla to my next batch, as I felt one pod was not sufficient. There are no setting agents added to this jam. But I did add lemon peel to provide extra pectin and set, as I like a firmer set jam.

Strawberry, Pear and Vanilla jam

Makes 2-3 small jars

Adapted from a recipe by Dan Lepard on BBC online (Original Recipe)

  • 2 large hard pears
  • 500 gms of strawberries, hulled. I cut the larger strawberries in half
  • 400 gms caster sugar
  • Juice of a small lemon.
  • ½ lemon rind grated
  • 1 vanilla pod

1. Grate the pears, minus the core and pips into 500 ml of water in a saucepan.

2. Cook for 15-20 mins over high, until water almost evaporated and pear is tender

3. Add strawberries and boil until liquid has evaporated. Then add the sugar and lemon. Continue to boil the jam until reduced and sticky.

4. Stir frequently to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom.

5. When the jam is the consistency you would like turn the heat off

Firm set

6. Stir in the vanilla seeds only.

7. Pour into warm sterilized jars, put the lid on, tip upside down to create a vacuum.

8. Once opened place in the fridge

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