Raspberry Coconut Jam

This Raspberry Coconut Jam is the best thing that’s going to come out of your kitchen this summer.

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

Of all the jams surely raspberry jam is the most superior? Well it’s certainly the jam that the Women’s Institute deem the only appropriate jam for an approved WI Victoria Sandwich cake so that certainly tells us something. Here I’ve amped up a very easy raspberry jam by marrying it with coconut, a love story for our times and it’s no exaggeration to say that this Raspberry and Coconut Jam is taking over my life at the moment.

Last month we travelled up to Scotland for a wedding and made a mini-holiday of it. It’s a bit on an effort to go anywhere with a baby so we got quite cosy in Fife, staying at the gorgeous Cairnie Fruit Farm which not only has a maize maze (!!!) but they also bottle their own jam with fruit freshly plucked from the vine. On our arrival they left us a delicious pot of their raspberry jam with fresh scones. It was like I suddenly discovered raspberry jam again, I had forgotten just how utterly vibrant and exciting this most superior of jams is.

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

The secret to an easy raspberry jam is to use equal parts fruit and jam sugar. To be honest once you have that little bit of info in your back pocket you can pretty much make any jam. Raspberries don’t have much natural pectin, the special stuff present in most fruit which helps a jam achieve its setting point. You could pair the raspberries with another fruit like apples which are high in pectin, also a good method of making your raspberry jam go further, but if you are after a clean raspberry taste then jam sugar is your best friend as it has pectin built in. I also included the juice of a lemon not only for more pectin to ensure an easy set but also to encourage the piquancy of our raspberry flavour.

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

Now this wouldn’t be much of a love story without a leading man and for that part I have cast the superstar coconut. He is everything a raspberry could wish for, this jam is truly a romance for the ages. The two flavours are just meant to be together and that’s that.

My favourite way to incorporate a certain flavour into anything is to include two different dimensions of the same ingredient, so here I don’t just use coconut cream or desiccated coconut but a combination of both. The desiccated coconut is steeped in the heated coconut cream to soften it up and then this coconut flavourbomb is added at the beginning of the jam process. It couldn’t be easier.

If you don’t like coconut then you can simply use the method outlined below for the raspberry jam and omit the coconut but why would you??? It’s true love!

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

This jam is most excellent as the cake filling of a Victoria Sandwich (just don’t tell the WI there’s coconut in it) so to celebrate this epic Raspberry Coconut Jam I’ll be posting my best recipe for the best Victoria Sandwich in an upcoming post (hint: raspberry and coconut jam might be involved).

Print Recipe
Raspberry Coconut Jam
A classic raspberry jam, made all the better with lashings of coconut.
Raspberry and Coconut Jam
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
6x 200ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg raspberries
  • 1 kg jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
6x 200ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg raspberries
  • 1 kg jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
Raspberry and Coconut Jam
Instructions
  1. Place your raspberries, jam sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl and stir well. Leave to macerate together for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Pour the coconut cream into a saucepan and stir in the desiccated coconut. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat and let stand for a couple of hours.
  3. Stir the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and coconut mixture together in a large preserving pan then bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Boil the mixture hard for about 5 minutes or until the jam has reached setting point (about 104.5°C).
  5. Decant the jam into sterilised jars and leave to cool. The jam can be stored in a cool dark place for about 12 months.
Recipe Notes
  • If you can’t find coconut cream you can extract the cream from a tin of coconut milk. Place a 400g tin of coconut milk in the fridge for a day or so, whereupon the coconut cream will harden and separate itself from the coconut water. When you open the tin you should be able to just scoop out the cream leaving the water behind. There should be about 200g of cream in a 400g tin.
  • I often do steps 1 and 2 last thing in the evening and place both the macerating raspberries and the steeping coconut in the fridge (in separate containers) and then begin my jam first thing the next day.

Chocolate and Raspberry Valentine Biscuits

Chocolate and Raspberry Valentine BiscuitsI’m totally in love with my freeze-dried raspberry powder. It’s proving to be an indispensible ingredient in my larder and I’m learning more about the different ways I can use it all the time. I’ve already used it for making the most amazing homemade lip balm to add colour and flavour, in my Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars and now I have just used it for the purpose that I actually bought it for – raspberry buttercream.

raspberry powder

If I’m making fruit flavoured buttercream like lemon or strawberry then usually I would use natural extract but although the buttercream has always turned out delicious there is an almost undetectable aftertaste. Using fresh fruit doesn’t quite work for me as it can sometimes be a bit lumpy, I’m not a big fan of picking lemon zest out of my teeth and fruit puree can be a bit wet.

Chocolate and Raspberry Valentine Biscuits

These freeze-dried powders though are brilliant. Just a little dab of the raspberry powder tastes of pure zingy unadulterated fruit, I just used a tablespoon of it in a bog-standard butter and icing sugar buttercream and it livened it up immeasurably. Not to mention it paired like a dream with these intensely cocoa packed biscuits.

In fact these biscuits turned out even better than expected. They didn’t quite have the polished look I was aiming for but all was forgiven as soon as I ate one, then another, then another and I didn’t even make them for me so it’s just as well I made a whole bunch.

Chocolate and Raspberry Valentine Biscuits

The chocolate biscuits were an easy-to-come-together mix just chucked into my Kitchenaid for it to do all the heavy lifting. I added a bit of cornflour to the mix so that the finished biscuit was softer and not too crisp so they melted wondrously into the filling of buttercream sandwiching the two biscuits together.

I had two different heart shaped cutters and cut out an even number of large hearts, then for half of the hearts I cut out a mini heart from the inside. The biscuits only took just under five minutes in the oven as I had rolled out the dough super thin. Then once the biscuits were cooled, which again hardly took any time at all, I smeared a thin layer of buttercream on the whole hearts then stuck the holey hearts on top so the buttercream could peek through.

Chocolate and Raspberry Valentine Biscuits

By all means make these for your Valentine, they will love you even more. However, it is an equally good idea to just make these for yourself, after all I think we all need to love ourselves a little bit more from time to time.

Chocolate and Raspberry Valentine Biscuits
Makes about 26 biscuits

175g butter
175g caster sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g plain flour
25g cornflour
50g cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt

For the buttercream:
225g butter
225g icing sugar
1 tablespoon freeze-dried raspberry powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light but don’t overmix otherwise it will make the biscuits too crumbly.
  2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and salt then add to the rest of the mixture and mix until it all comes together into a dough.
  4. Wrap in greaseproof paper and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  6. Roll the dough out to about a 3-5mm thickness then cut out an even number of hearts, re-rolling and cutting out more hearts until all the dough has been used up.
  7. Then for half of the hearts cut out a mini heart shape from the inside.
  8. Bake the biscuits in batches on non-stick baking trays for 4-5 minutes, then once removed from the oven leave to cool for 5 minutes on the tray. Remove from the tray and finish cooling on racks.
  9. Meanwhile prepare the buttercream by creaming together the butter and icing sugar for 5-10 minutes until incredibly light and fluffy.
  10. Add the raspberry powder, vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
  11. Once the biscuits have cooled smear some buttercream evenly on the top of the whole hearts then place the holey hearts on top to create sandwiches. Repeat with the rest of the biscuits.

Raspberry and Oreo Ice Cream

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream
I am more than happy to admit my failures and my faults – I have many and I embrace them all. This ice cream is like the opposite of that.

When I make something I am really proud of it reminds me why I started blogging in the first place. It would be simply criminal not to share this ice cream with the world. My favourite of all my recipes is always the one I last blogged about which is why I’m probably always touting my latest effort as the best I have ever done. So feel free to take it with a pinch of salt when I say that this ice cream is the best ice cream in the world ever hands down. That includes the insane rosemary honey gelato I had a couple of weeks ago at Broadway Market which led to some horrible attempts to recreate it in my own kitchen immediately when I got home. I’m sure I’ll get there with my gelato recipes one day but I know for certain I can make ice cream and this one seals the deal.

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream  |  Stroud Green Larder

I thoroughly enjoy making ice cream, not just the process of it which can be immensely relaxing as I have written about before but I love the fact that you can store it in the freezer. There is no immediacy with the finished product; like when I’m trying to palm off half a cake to the UPS delivery man before it goes stale or handing out hot scones that I will never get round to eating to unsuspecting neighbourhood kids who just want to know if I would like my car washed. Although there was that one time when we had to emergency defrost the freezer and we were passing out half eaten tubs of homemade lemon and chocolate brownie ice cream down our street. However, I made this raspberry and Oreo ice cream this week and the urgency of eating it suddenly became clear. If I did not eat it, someone else would and that would be really uncool.

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream  |  Stroud Green Larder

If you read my recipes carefully then you will see the base of this recipe is very similar to my Blackberries and Cream ice cream, it has become my favourite method of ice cream recently. The set is soft and the sharp berry flavour is intensified without the addition of an egg based custard. It’s so fresh tasting and contrasts beautifully with the homeliness of the Oreos.

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream
Makes about 2 pints

500g raspberries
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
250g caster sugar
4 egg whites
300ml double cream
154g packet of Oreos

  1. Pour the raspberries into a medium sized pan and heat gently with a splash of water to aid the breaking down of the berries. Once the berries have completely softened then remove them from the heat and pour into a sieve. Push the berries through, the best aid for this I think is a silicone spatula, so that all the seeds are extracted from the fruit pulp. Discard the seeds (or save to make a fruit alcohol infusion as explained above) and return the pureed raspberries back into the pan.
  2. Add the icing sugar and liquid glucose to the raspberry puree and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat then leave to cool before covering and refrigerating overnight.
  3. Meanwhile pour the sugar into another medium sized saucepan and add 300ml of water. Heat gently so that the sugar completely dissolves into the water. Then bring to the boil and carrying on boiling until it reaches a very thick and syrupy consistency, it should reach 112°C on a sugar thermometer and can take about 20 minutes. You must keep your eye on the saucepan at all times so that it doesn’t bubble over.
  4. In a large mixing bowl whisk up the egg whites until stiff, then drizzle in the sugar syrup in a slow steady steam whilst continuing whisking. The egg whites will turn beautifully glossy.
  5. In a separate bowl lightly whip the double cream then fold into the egg whites until they are fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day pour the egg white and cream mixture into your ice cream machine and start churning. Pour in the raspberry puree immediately whilst the machine is churning and then the puree will mix in evenly.
  7. Meanwhile reserve 4 Oreos for decorating the top but place the rest of the biscuits in a food processor and whizz until they have become breadcrumbs. Chop the reserved 4 Oreos roughly.
  8. Once the ice cream has reached a thick milkshake consistency and is pretty much ready then pour in the crumbed Oreos and churn for a couple of minutes until they have been evenly distributed through the ice cream.
  9. Decant the ice cream into tubs, tucking in the roughly chopped 4 Oreos on the top and then freeze overnight to reach the correct set.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Banana Bread

Raspberry and White Chocolate Banana Bread
Why are bananas so fun?  They are great to eat, they are great to say, you can play cops and robbers with them and they look kinda funny too.  There is a reason why slipping on a banana skin is a comedy staple as opposed to a mango skin or a peach skin which can be just as hazardous I’m assuming.  The banana not only does the job but it looks the part.  They are the stand up comic of the fruit bowl.  But c’mon you know why I like bananas.  They are just so great to bake with, especially on a grizzly October day.

I like to buy bananas, arrange them regally in the fruit bowl, perching on top of the apples and oranges.  Then I forget about them.  Deliberately.  A banana in its prime is no good to me so I will keep a subtle eye out after day four, checking for black spots, the other fruit if still around cowering under its blackening skin.  Only when I’m sure that it is definitely past-its-best will I pounce, launching myself into a banana baking bonanza.  This is the ideal stage for mashing, its flavour having matured into its innate bananainess and perfect now for its signature recipe, the banana bread.

The banana bread is such a popular and universal family favourite that when I man cake stalls we have to issue a missive that people don’t donate banana breads, otherwise that is all we would have.  It’s probably because they are easy to make well, they mistakenly sound very healthy and the cook has the added pleasure of indulging in the heady scent as the banana bread nestles in the oven, the wonderful aroma permeating the kitchen.

This recipe is adapted from a Donna Hay classic, all I did was add the raspberries and white chocolate, just because.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Banana Bread

125g unsalted butter, softened
200g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
185g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 medium sized bananas, mashed
125g raspberries
100g white chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.  Line and butter a 900g loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  6. When just combined, fold in the bananas, then the white chocolate, then the raspberries.
  7. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 10 mins.
  8. Leave for half an hour in the tin before removing and cooling on a wire rack.