Strawberry and Coffee Biscuit Trifle

strawberry coffee gateau

Stawberry and Coffee Biscuit Trifle, photo by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

You will need:

2 packets Nice Biscuits
4 tablespoons instant coffee
2 cups boiling water
1 vanilla pod
100g butter
80g sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 punnets strawberries
500ml whipping cream

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Use an electric mixer to beat the cream.  Remove from the bowl and mix in the seeds from a vanilla pod.  Keep aside.

Place the water in a saucepan with the remaining vanilla pod and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the coffee powder, mix with a large spoon, then add the cocoa powder and brandy.

Place the softened butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together until the mixture is white and fluffy.

Fold in the whipped cream and vanilla.  Place the cream mixture in a piping bag and keep aside.

Slice the strawberries.

Assemble the trifle by dipping the ‘Nice’ Biscuits into the coffee mixture and line the bottom of the container.

Work neatly and pipe a layer of the cream mixture.  Flatten with a spoon, then top with a layer of sliced strawberries.

Repeat with a layer of coffee-soaked ‘Nice’ biscuits, a layer of the cream mixture and strawberries until you have used all your ingredients.

I usually fill up the whole bowl with these layers, but due to time constraints of live tv, I finished off with a layer of strawberries before we reached the top and had lots of left overs to make more trifles !

Cover with cling film and Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

Trade Enquiries

Rimus Trading Agency  for Nice Biscuits by Regal, President Butter and Cream

Good Earth Distributors for pure vanilla pods and raw cocoa powder

Big Fresh  Mosta for all my fresh fruit and vegetables

Coffee Mug Almond Cookies

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My kitchen utensils come from Tescoma

You do need the right cutters for these cookies but I think they are such a good idea, just to serve something different :). You can also cut out an incision in the dough before baking to accommodate for the cookies to hang on the rim of your mug. I these are cookies, I wanted a cakey cookie texture and used self raising flour instead of all purpose. The slighted roasted taste of the balanced almonds is delicious .

You will need :

1 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups self raising flour
Grated zest of 1/4 lemon
Blanched almonds for the top
Water to bind the dough

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In a bowl place the sifted flour and butter. Rub in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, lemon zest and mix. Add enough water, 3 spoonfuls at a time until the dough comes together and it is a good consistency.

Keep in the fridge for half an hour. Roll out on a floured surface. Cut out the cookies and press the almonds into the surface. Bake at 170 C for 20 minutes or until the surface starts to turn a golden brown. Do not overlook as you want a soft interior.

Push the cookies out of the moulds once they have cooled down. Serve.

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Gluten Free Coffee Toffee Cheesecake

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This is a gluten free sweet that combines the popularity of two of the best loved American desserts with an added Mediterranean twist of fresh figs. Blums coffee toffee tart brings nostalgia to many Americans and this is combined with a layer of baked New York cheesecake, two favorites with the addition of Mediterranean figs. It is suitable for anyone who follows a gluten free diet too. On our island we have two types of figs, some are pink inside and these are the sweeter yellow ones and taste of jam.

You will need:

For the no-bake topping

5 Doves Gluten free Chocolate Biscuits, crushed
100g Doves Gluten free Chocolate Rice Crispies
100g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon instant coffee
100g butter
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large fig chopped up (or substitute with the fruit of your choice)

8″ spring form cake tin

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Melt the butter in the microwave, not too hot until just melted.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, one minute at a time, mix in the oil and stir. This makes it more workable and gives it a glossy finish.

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Add to the crushed biscuits mixed with the rice crispies. Cut the fig and add it to the mixture.
Line the tin with cling film. Pour the mixture in and press down with a metal spoon. Refridgerate.

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For the cheescake base

4 eggs
250g ricotta
200g single cream

150g cornflour
150g sugar

1 fig
Few drops vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee

Beat the ricotta in a mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the instant coffee. Turn the speed down to low, then add the eggs keep beating until combined and there are no lumps. Add the cream and the rest of the ingredients.

Pour the cheesecake into the springform tin.

Preheat oven to 180C. Remove the springform tin lined with pastry from the refrigerator, pour the cheese mixture into the tin.

Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 35 minutes. Then let the cheesecake cool in oven. Remove from tin and transfer to refrigerator to let it set overnight.

To assemble

50 g dark chocolate
1 spoon Butterscotch based syrup
Figs
icing sugar

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place the two layers of Chocolate base and Cheesecake near each other. Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave. Brush the chocolate layer with butterscotch syrup. Brush onto bottom of the cheesecake and immediately place the chocolate top layer over it. Decorate with sliced and whole figs. Dust with some icing sugar.

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The Dancers and an Irish Coffee Bread and Butter pudding

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I share with you today a photo from the party on Friday hosted by Ambassador Hennessy which many of you have asked about. The Dancers on a special visit to the island for St Patrick’s gave a magnificent performance. They wear blue which was the original color associated with St Patrick but over the years the tradition changed to the color of three leaf clover which St Patrick used to teach about the trinity.

And to carry on our Irish theme, Nadia and Adriana prepare a wonderful dessert of Irish coffee bread and butter pudding. It is divine and it will take you to another planet. It is made up of layers of bread dipped in butter and layered with apple and giant raisins, baked in an oven and then topped with a light custard of Irish Coffee. We even tried some pudding with a scoop of the girls’ home-made Caramel ice cream on top.

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And you will need:
300ml double cream
2 spoons Irish Whiskey
300ml milk
8 egg yolks
175g sugar
25 g golden giant sultanas
1 vanilla pod
1 apple
Few drops of lemon juice
8 slices bread of your choice, each slice cut into 4 pieces
125g
125g melted butter

Soak the raisins and chopped apple in water in a saucepan with a few drops of lemon juice, add the skin of the vanilla pod for flavor and scrape out the seeds to use in the Irish Coffee cream. Bring the saucepan to boil and turn off.

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Brush each triangle of bread with the melted butter

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Overlap the bread slices and cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish

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Drain the raisin mixture and spoon a layer of the mixture onto the bread slices
Cover with another layer of bread slices and a final layer of raisin and apple mixture,
Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Beat the eggs, irish whiskey, cream, milk and sugar and pour over the bread pudding.
Sprinkle some flaked almonds and bake at 160C for 40 minutes.

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Take out of oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

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For the Irish coffee sauce:
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream
50g caster sugar
50g coffee beans
6 large egg yolks
60ml Irish whiskey

Put milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan with 1 tablespoon of the sugar ( the sugar will prevent the milk from boiling over). Add the coffee beans and slowly bring to the boil.

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Meanwhile, using a ballon whisk, beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar together until pale and creamy. When the liquid is on the point of boiling, pour about a third of it on to the egg mixture, whisking well. Gradually pour in the rest of the milk, whisking continuously.

Pass the mixture through a strainer, add the whiskey and return the mixture to the pan, stirring. Cook on a very low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until it thickens slightly enough to thinly coat the back of the spoon.

If you draw a finger down the back of the spoon it should leave a line. Remove the pan from the from the heat and strain again. Chill.

For St Patrick’s Parade in the City this morning, we had fine weather, although a bit cool…

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and from the heart of the Mediterranean, I wish you a very good evening and big fun day tomorrow …