desserts · food + drink · posts · store cupboard

easy mixed berry mousse made with uncooked raspberry jam

Fruit and dairy products make a delicious combination and chilled desserts using these ingredients can easily be assembled for quick summer entertaining. This months blog hop theme “Berry Nice to Meet You” found me scouring the supermarkets to find the freshest raspberries (organic if possible) available, as I wanted to make an uncooked raspberry jam. I love traditional jam making and had recently made some delicious Doughnut Peach Conserve, but it’s always nice to try a different method!

Planing an easy make-ahead dessert for entertaining, the uncooked raspberry jam was perfect for this easy berry mousse, assembled and served in glasses. Actually this berry mousse would make a wonderful filling for pavlovas, meringues and cakes.

When making the jam, warming the sugar makes it easier to dissolve and the heat helps release some of the pectin when mixed with the berries! Infusing the warming sugar with the wonderful perfume of thyme had more of a therapeutic effect on me than the taste it delivered. However the fresh thyme served with the finished mousse was really quite delicious…!

Using only sugar and raspberries in equal weights, Marguerite Pattens version of uncooked raspberry jam; heat the sugar for 15 minutes in an oven on a low temperature  before mixing with the berries until the sugar has dissolved, then place the jam into hot jars and store in the fridge. I would imagine using perfectly ripe berries would make a nicely set jam but I needed to give my jam a little helping hand by adding a small amount of gelatine.

Over at Serious Eats you can find different recipes for delicious uncooked jams or freezer jams (method of preserving), which use instant pectin for sure jam setting results. Less sugar and more fruit is my preference when making jams and conserves, I still find them very sweet… but also berry very delicious!

Room temperature does make this jam somewhat runny, so when serving this jam with freshly baked scones, I would leave a little pot resting on some crushed ice, keeping its spoonable consistency.

Uncooked Raspberry Jam


  • 100g castor sugar
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • 170g fresh raspberries or blackberries or you could even use a mix
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatine

How to make: Place the sprigs of thyme into a heatproof bowl and cover with the castor sugar. Place the bowl into the oven and turn the temperature to low (160°C), leaving the sugar to heat and infuse with the flavour of thyme for about 30 minutes, give a quick stir half way through heating.

While the sugar is warming place the raspberries into a bowl. Remove the hot sugar from the oven, discarding the thyme. Quickly sieve (catching any small bits of herb) over the raspberries. Gently mix together and set aside while preparing the gelatine.

Pour the lemon juice into a small heatproof dish and sprinkle over the gelatine, leave to sponge for a couple of minutes. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat and place the bowl containing the gelatine into the hot water. Stir the gelatine until completely dissolved.

Gently mix the raspberries and sugar a few more times, ensuring the sugar has melted. Stir the gelatine into the raspberry jam. Spoon the raspberry jam into a suitable jar rinsed with some boiling water, cover and leave the jam in the fridge to set, a few hours or overnight.

When making and assembling this dessert certain kitchen tools help with getting the job done faster… using an electric whisk to beat the cream and piping the berry mousse into the serving glasses using a piping bag fitted with a plain tipped nozzle.

Easy Berry Mousse


  • 225ml whipping cream
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons uncooked raspberry jam or bought jam from a local farmers market

    to assemble

  • 6 glasses with narrow bottoms
  • 3 teaspoons raspberry jam
  • whole fresh blackberries
  • fresh thyme (optional)

How to make:  Pour the cream into a bowl and with and an electric whisk, whisk until thick and the cream holds its shape. Gently fold in the raspberry jam.

Assembling the dessert: Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam at the bottom of each glass, followed by a whole blackberry. Spoon or pipe the raspberry mousse evenly into each glass and top with another whole blackberry, garnish with thyme just before serving.

This dessert can be made several hours in advance, covered with cling film and stored in the fridge. Always serve chilled.

This post is part of the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop hosted by Christina from The Hungry Australian. See all the other delicious entries here.

desserts · food + drink · posts

turkish rice pudding – sütlac

Cooked on a stove top or baked in an oven, eaten hot or cold, rice pudding is enjoyed all over the globe. The basic ingredients for this simple but wholesome dessert are similar… rice, milk/water and sugar, but it is the variations, flavourings and additions by different cultures that give each rice pudding its own characteristic taste. The rice pudding I knew and loved when growing up was made using milk, sugar and raisins, sometimes enriched with cream and egg yolks and then baked in the oven… comfort food at its best!

Last month Suzanne Husseini visited Bahrain at Words Bookstore Café promoting her cookbook… Modern Flavours of Arabia “when suzanne cooks” and her delicious version of rice pudding is flavoured with rosewater, orange blossom water and the seeds of a vanilla pod, served with a Date Compote.

Inspired by Suzanne’s cookbook I decided to make Sütlac,  a Turkish rice pudding that is sometimes flavoured with rosewater and mastic, and wanting to include an orange flavour in the rice pudding, decided to add some pieces of my home-dried orange peel.  What I love about a basic rice pudding is… it’s like a blank canvas and you can experiment with a myriad of different culinary flavors.

Chios mastic is an aromatic resin harvested from the Pistacia Lentiscus var. Chia (of the Anacardiaceae family) tree which grows on the Aegean Island of Chios, Greece. Chios mastic has both culinary (pastry, puddings, liqueurs, sweets, ice-cream, marinades, rice,soups and meats ) and commercial uses. If you look at some of the commercial ways in which mastic is used… plasters, cosmetics, varnish, toothpaste, stabilizers, perfumes and chewing gum…  you do wonder how it ever ended up in anything sweet or savoury!  Suzanne uses mastic in some of her sweet and savoury recipes in her cookbook which she grinds together with sugar or salt before incorporating into other ingredients.

Bahrain is known for its herbalist stores ( hawaj ) across the island, which make many natural herbal preparations for all sorts of aliments, some of which contain mastic… also known for its medicinal properties. Ghazi from Al Makhlook stores  in Jid Ali was able to supply me with mastic that came from the Greek Island of Chios… and was also able to tell me that my other supply of mastic which I had bought some time ago was definitely not from (photograph above) Chios! 

Chios mastic has pine-like aromas and a sweet warm perfumed flavour… some have suggested vanilla, cedar and licorice… which seemed to have escaped me! I must say it is hard to describe this unique flavour! The other mastic I had used before was harsh in flavour and had a slight bitter aftertaste, apparently there is another type of tree which produces a similar mastic resin! I guess it’s like tasting a good wine compared to an inferior wine… you taste the difference!

Use a pestle and mortar to grind the mastic and sugar into a fine powder,this helps disperse the mastic evenly into the rice pudding when incorporating.

 Turkish Rice Pudding – Sütlac

                                                          (serves 4)


  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 375ml whole milk
  • 4 dried pieces of home dried orange peel or 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 100g sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 150g short grained rice,
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch + 2 tablespoons of milk, mix together
  • 1/4 teaspoon mastic + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ground together (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • dried rose buds as a garnish, if desired

How to make: Pour the cream and milk into a medium saucepan, add the orange peel or cinnamon, heat together until almost boiling. Remove from heat, whisk in the sugar and leave the orange peel or cinnamon to infuse, cover with a lid.

In a heavy-based saucepan bring the water to a boil, throw in the salt and rice, stir so the rice does not stick together. Lower the heat and gently simmer the rice (cover with lid) until tender and the water has been absorbed, around 17 minutes.

Pour the cream and milk infusion into the cooked rice and place saucepan over medium heat, stir continuously until the rice mixture comes to a gentle boil. Whisk in the cornflour mixture and cook for a further 2 minutes until thickened. Whisk in the ground mastic and stir throughly. Remove from heat, discard the orange peel or cinnamon stick and stir in the rosewater. Spoon the rice into a serving bowl or small individual serving dishes and chill in the refrigerator before serving. Best served cold but can be eaten warm, if desired!

Note: The rice pudding will thicken further when cold, you can stir in a little cold milk if you find the consistency is not to your liking! This recipe can easily be doubled.

What flavourings and additions do you like in your rice pudding?

desserts · food + drink

lemon and fresh thyme posset shooter

Once again Jennifer (Delicieux) is hosting this months “Sweet Adventures Blog Hop” and the theme,“lemons.”  I was ready to submit an earlier post on the magical stages of a developing lemon... when I just realized no older posts would be accepted on the blog hop…darn!

A quick re-think and a scan over some ingredients already stocked in the kitchen… lemon posset came to mind.

Lemon posset is a dessert based on a very old British medieval drink called a posset. This drink was made by heating milk, then curdling with an acid such as wine or ale. The hot posset was also used for minor aliments such as the common cold and was often spiced with ginger and aniseed.

Even William Shakespeare’s Macbeth makes reference to this medieval drink when Lady Macbeth uses poisoned possets to knock out the guards outside Duncan’s palace

“The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms

Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugg’d their possets

That death and nature do contend about them,

Whether they live or die.”

Fast forward to the 20th century and posset is a smooth and  luxurious tangy-sweet lemony thickened cream that is chilled and best served in small quantities. A super easy do-ahead dessert for dinner parties. Like Lady Macbeth I hope to knock out (figuratively speaking) my guests bydrugg’d their (my guests) possets with this deliriously lemony dessert shooter with a hint of fresh garden thyme.

Lemon and Fresh Thyme Posset Shooters


  • 250ml double cream or whipping cream (min fat 35%)
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • zest half of a lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • thyme leaves to garnish and/or some grated lemon zest

You will need 6 small shot type glasses, the recipe can easily be doubled if you require a larger quantity.

How to make:

Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan. Add the sugar and fresh thyme. Over a medium heat dissolve the sugar in the cream while stirring continuously. Let the cream come to a gentle boil (do not let the cream boil over), reduce the heat and simmer the cream for three minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the lemon juice (this will thicken the cream) and lemon zest. Let cool for about 5 minutes, remove the thyme sprigs and pour into 6 small shot glasses. Once cool cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours (will thicken further) or overnight.

Before serving (straight from the fridge) scatter over a few thyme leaves and/or grated lemon zest.

Note: Do not use cream that has a lower fat content than 35% or the cream will curdle when you add the lemon juice. Ideally double cream which has a much higher fat content should be used which will result in a creamier and thicker setting posset.

Using a microplane zester (my star zester) will give the best results for obtaining a very fine grating of lemon zest.

This post is part of the “Sweet Adventures Blog Hop,” click (here) and check out all the other lemon dessert entries!