It was still cold when me and the kids stepped out of the house today, but the sun was shining down in full glory. We haven’t seen the sun god for quite a few days now, and it does make one appreciate it all the more.
This week has been a flurry of activities for the li’l ones, both in their school and their local brownies and beaver groups. ‘Christmas’ is the word that has been dropping into our conversations quite often, recently…outings, writing out Christmas and new year cards; practising for Christmas concerts; getting ready for Christmas parties..sigh! I am ready for a break!
Today, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to present you with an intoxicating recipe. No, I’m not going to get you drunk, but I might sneak some booze into what’s going to make it’s way out of my oven. It’s a Coffee- craisin-mascarpone loaf.
The coffee part of the loaf is where the booze is..but if you do not like it, read on for substitutions. This is another of my put together recipes. I did like the outcome…the loaf was moist and spongy, the nuts on top adding a nice bite.
4 eggs, separated
3 tblsp honey
7-8 tblsp of Baileys Irish cream with a hint of coffee **
3 tblsp mascarpone cheese
2 and 1/2 tblsp of whole wheat flour(atta)
1 tsp baking powder
a handful of craisins
a handful of almond slivers
a little icing sugar for dusting
For the spread-
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C. Line an 8 and 1/2 inch by 4 and 1/2 inch loaf with foil and brush with oil.
- Mix together the flour and baking powder.
- Beat the egg yolks together with honey. Follow this with the liquer, mascarpone cheese and flour mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Beat the egg whites till they are frothy and form soft peaks.
- Fold the egg whites into the rest of the mixture.
- Fold in the craisins and tip the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
- Place the tin in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the almond slivers on top. Do this very quickly.( the batter is quite thin, the almonds will sink in, baking for 2 minutes firms the top a bit)
- Return to the oven and bake for about 20-21 minutes.
- Cover the loaf with foil( to avoid over browning) and bake for another 14-15 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for a minute and then transfer to a rack. Very carefully, peel off the foil. Cool completely and dust the loaf with icing sugar before slicing.
- Make the spread by mixing a little honey with some mascarpone cheese.
- Serve the slices with a dollop of the honey-mascarpone spread.
- Coffee liquer substitute- To replace 1 tablespoon of liqueur, use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 1 tablespoon of water(instead of water, can use 1/2 tblsp single cream+1/2 tblsp water). Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup (the colour of the finished product may differ with substitutes).
- The loaf will slightly sink after cooling…but, not to worry, this does not affect the taste or texture at all.
It was mildly sweet, moist and spongy. The downside? Well, it is not so much of a downside, as far as taste goes, but visually, it would have been nicer if the craisins spread around a bit…as the batter was thin, they decided to sink to the bottom and it was a bit late to do anything to rescue them. But, as I have said, they did not affect the taste in any way, and added their sweetness to the loaf.
Enjoy! Keep it away from the kids though