Homemade raspberry cordial

raspberry-cordial

Inspired by Down to Earth‘s natural raspberry cordial from scratch, I decided to try a reduced version of the recipe. I made a few mistakes with my first attempt. I didn’t strain the raspberries as Rhonda suggests, but I found it way too bitsy for my liking. I also accidentally forgot the lemon, but I knew as soon as I tasted it that it was what was missing. Incidentally I was pleasantly surprised to find that Creative Gourmet has an organic range of raspberries. Although they are all the way from Chile.  Now I know how simple and delicious this is to make I’m sure to be trying it again soon.

300g raspberries, frozen or fresh
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup lemon, juiced

  1. Defrost the raspberries, if using frozen.
  2. Make a sugar syrup by using boiling water and sugar. Alternatively, heat the water and sugar in a pot. Stir until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  3. Add the raspberries and lemon juice.
  4. Blend with a stick blender.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and fibre (optional).
  6. Pour mixture into a bottle and store in the refrigerator.
  7. Use a small amount of the concentrate and add water or mineral water.

Raspberries in Brisbane

native-raspberry

I bought a new raspberry plant this weekend from the Ferny Grove markets. I sent the last one up to Toowoomba where I hope the frost will help it fruit better, as I was having no luck with it.

The advice I got from the grower was that raspberries in Brisbane need to be the non-frosting kind. I bought a Bogong, but he was also selling Autumn Bliss. He said you can grow your raspberries on a trellis, and pinch out the tips if you want to grow it as an espalier.

We did get some fruit on our native raspberry but not enough to make a meal of them. You can buy them from Northey Street.

Potted berries

Sunday was a productive afternoon in the garden. The mild weather was a pleasant change from the strong winds and cold evenings.

A large long box arrived from The Diggers Club a fortnight ago, so it was time to repot some of the miniature fruit trees into large plastic pots. We now have a babaco and berries – goose, marion, and two types of raspberry. I haven’t worked out a good home for the spiky berries, so they will temporarily live next to the other fruit trees. We also repotted three different guavas – pineapple, Chilean and yellow.

Our older native raspberry had three red fruit ready so it was time for the long awaited taste test. Matt thought it was pretty tasteless and I thought it was tart.

I finished off the forth bed with some seedlings of mini white cauliflower and baby broccoli. I  added some silverbeet and tomatoes in the bare patches. All four beds are now full and hopefully it won’t be long before they start producing more. It feels like cheating buying seedlings, but they save me a month of so of growing time.

The choko and passionfruit vines have slowed down and are dying back.

The peas are so delicious off the bush that there haven’t been enough to make it into a boiling pot of water for dinner.

Berry coulis with chocolate cake

As this blog is supposed to be about fruit and vegetables try to ignore the chocolate cake for a moment.

How easy is coulis to make? Absolutely lick-out-the-container-delicious and dead easy. You don’t even really need a recipe. Well, you won’t after the first time.

Raspberry Coulis

¼ cup of raspberries blitzed in the blender
add juice from half a lime (or quarter of a lemon) and 3 teaspoons of sugar to taste

You can try other fruits to make coulis (French for uncooked fruit sauces), such as strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, and kiwi fruits.  If you are  pedantic, you may like to  strain out the seeds. Drizzle over chocolate cake or dessert of choice.

Chocolate Cake

For this gorgeous gluten free chocolate cake I used Cocoa Farm chocolate to give it a hint of fruity shiraz. It’s great to see an all Australian company coming up with innovative products. I can’t wait to try their Orange Organic Dark Chocolate.

150g chocolate
100g butter
100g brown sugar
150g almond meal
3 eggs, organic and free range

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C
  2. Melt together butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. (Or use microwave on low if you are game).
  3. Separate eggs and set whites aside.
  4. Cream together yolks and sugar until pale and doubled in size. Add melted chocolate to egg mixture and beat on slow speed until combined. Fold in almond meal with a spatula.
  5. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks.
  6. Fold whites through cake mixture.
  7. Transfer mixture to a greased cake tin.
  8. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes.
  9. Cake should be springy in the middle and skewer should come out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

B.T.W. Try to avoid blitzing frozen raspberries near clean washing up. It was hard to mop up and hide the evidence of all the red segments flicked all over the place. Blend in the sink people.