Category: Grand Marnier

Strawberries in Grand Marnier with Mint Sugar

The good news, is that with this post, we are done with the letter F in the A-Z of Cooking.  The chapter heading promises that we will be “Finishing with Flair”. The bad news is that without seeming like Mary, Mary Quite Contrary right from the get go, another F word springs to mind when I consider the contents.  Except for these Strawberries in Grand Marnier.  They were good!  Although how could a combination of fresh sweet strawberries combined with luscious orange liqueur with mint as it’s cheerleader not be delicious?

Strawberries in Grand Marnier With Mint SugarWe’ll get to them later.  However, back to Finishing with Flair – we have already mentioned this so called Mango Mousse. The picture of which contains bananas, oranges, passionfruit, eggs and nuts.  The recipe below has none of these.  The Mango mousse recipe actually sounds really nice.  Maybe I am just being a brat for not making it.  Then again, if they can’t be arsed putting the right picture with the recipe, what are the chances that recipe will turn out?

Mango MousseThat fear of 1977 desserts not being all they were cracked up to be was born out when I made the Continental Chocolate Squares featured on p28.  The picture from the A-Z of Cooking is on the left, with the Squares looking rather decadent.  Mine are on the right looking a lot more Raggedy Anne.  I think I tried to cut them when the chocolate topping was still too hard from being in the fridge and I could not get a nice clean line. Maybe I should have glammed them up by adding some candlelight!

Continental Chocolate Squares3What both of these pictures fail to convey is the overbearing sickly sweetness of the filling. It contained 4 cups of icing sugar which was far too much!  I love sweet food but this was way too much for me and prompted the fussiest eater in the world to ask if I was trying to put him into a diabetic coma.  It is a shame that the middle layer was awful because the base which was chocolate and walnuts and biscuits was quite nice.  It is probably worth someone spending some time on trying to get that filling right because this could have been amazing.  I just don’t think that person will be me!  Although, now I kind of want to.  So maybe it will rear its head in another incarnation down the track. 

Strawberries in Grand Marnier With Mint Sugar2
There was a lovely sounding recipe in this section for French Cherry Fritters.  This is the one I would have loved to make but you had to deep fry the fritters and I do not have a deep-fryer.  This however is one I am going to:

a) Play around with until I can perfect a baked version

b) borrow a deep-fryer.  i think my mum has one. 

Until then, it’s Strawberries with Grand Marnier.  Adding the mint sugar was an idea I borrowed from Sabrina Ghayour in Persiana.  She makes a number of herb sugars to sprinkle over fruit and now it is something I do all the time!

Strawberries in Grand Marnier With Mint Sugar4I served this with some white chocolate dipped almond bread which was every bit as delicious as it sounds!

Initially I thought this might be a bit too simple to blog about – soak some strawberries in booze.  And done.

And it is very simple.  But sometimes that is all you need to finish a meal with flair!

Strawberries in Grand Marnier with Mint Sugar
Serves 4
A simple way to finish your meal with flair!
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  1. 1 punnet of strawberries
  2. 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
  3. Handful of mint leaves
  4. 3 tbsp caster sugar
  5. White Chocolate Dipped Almond Bread to serve (optional)
  1. Halve the strawberries and place in individual serving dishes.
  2. Sprinkle each dish with 1/2 tbsp of Grand Marnier.
  3. Leave to stand at room temperature for at least an hour.
  4. Meantime, make your herb sugar.
  5. Place your mint and your sugar in the bowl a mortar and grind with your pestle until them mint is finely ground and well combined with the sugar, which will be a lovely green.
  6. Alternatively, place both in your food processor and whiz until you achieve the same effect
  1. You could use basil instead of mint. Or a mix of basil and black pepper.
  2. Any Orange flavoured liqueur could be used instead of Grand Marnier.
  3. Any left over herb sugar can be used to rim a cocktail glass, or used in place of regular sugar in anything else you are making - I'm thinking lemonade would be amazing.
Adapted from A-Z of Cooking & Persiana
Adapted from A-Z of Cooking & Persiana
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Ok so  that’s F done. 

Coming up we have G is for Good Health.  I have actually already made the Cheese & Date Bread from this section so we may skip it altogether as there is not much else to get excited about.  So, possibly our next venture into the A-Z will be The Gourmet’s Touch.  Ooh la la.  Exciting times ahead!  Possibly.

Have a wonderful week lovely people and this week, what ever you do, I hope you finish it with flair!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2;


History Happy Hour – The Inkahlúarable

  For many a month I’ve been thinking about how to bring you some of the delights of  “International Mixed Drinks” as featured in this post.  I’ve also been wanting to do something more interactive, that allows others to join in if they wish.

Because, lets face it.  Sometimes we all need a reason to have a libation (or two).

Inkahluarable1So, without any further ado, welcome to History Happy Hour!

Every couple of weeks, I will find a reason to celebrate a piece of history and we can all drink to it! 

Kicking things off we have the Inkahúarable celebrating Jamaica. 

Reasons to celebrate Jamaica this week? 

  • Last week Marlon James became the first Jamaican writer to win the Man Booker Prize with his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, based in part on an assassination attempt on Bob Marley.
  • Today, 19 October is National Heroes Day in Jamaica. 

So why not pop some Bob Marley on the ipod, raise a toast to Marlon James and the seven National Heroes of Jamaica and join me in sipping an Inkahlúarable.  And don’t worry about a thing.  Because every little thing’s gonna be alright!

Inkahluarable2NOTE: The book of International Mixed Drinks claims that terminal illness can be temporarily postponed with this drink. 

I think that is highly unlikely so don’t go off your meds if you drink one of these. 

Totally irresponsible claims from the book of IMD aside, this is a damn fine cocktail.  Who knew orange and coffee went together so well!!!  Inkahluarable3

History Happy Hour – The Inkahlúarable

History Happy Hour – The Inkahlúarable


  • 10ml Kahlúa
  • 10ml Cointreau
  • 10ml Grand Marnier


  • Pour the Kahlua into the glass.
  • Slowly pour in the Cointreau over the back of a spoon.
  • Repeat with the Grand Marnier.
  • Enjoy!

But wait, there’s more!

You Can Be A Part of History Happy Hour!

  • Do you live in a country? (Yes you do.)
  • Does that country have any celebratory days? / Historically significant days / weird fun facts? (Of course it does)
  • Want to make a cocktail to celebrate the above? (You betcha)

Either make your cocktail, # historyhappyhour and drop me a line in the comments.  Or guest post it on here. 

Or, stumped for a cocktail?  Let me know where you are from and I will do my best to send you an appropriate recipe.  (Not all countries are represented in the International Book of Mixed Drinks).  Again, you can post it on your own blog, or guest post your cocktail on here.

Have a recipe celebrating a particular place / piece of history and can’t be bothered making it?  Send it through.  Just give me plenty of time before your special day so I can buy supplies if needed.

Happy (Responsible) Drinking!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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