No Churn Berry Sherbet


Sherbet is one of the less loved iced desserts, which is a shame as it has all the refreshing zestiness of sorbet, with a hint of the rich creaminess of ice cream.


It’s also incredibly easy to make.

Some versions will have you blending frozen fruit with milk, sugar syrup and lemon juice for an instant icy dessert, but in this version the fruit is cooked, allowing more of its natural sweetness to shine through and for the flavours to blend.

An added bonus of this recipe is that the small amount of condensed milk in use means that you don’t have to use an ice cream maker if you don’t have one (or didn’t have room in the freezer for the bowl, like me.) You may wish to give it a few stirs as it freezes, however if you can’t be bothered, it won’t form ice crystals in the way that traditional sherbets and ice creams can if not constantly agitated. The one thing you will need, however, is a blender, although you can use a hand blender at a push – just be careful of purple splatters.


The recipe below is given in volume, unusually for me. I’ve used Imperial Cups, however with this recipe, unlike with baking, they can be interchanged with US Cups without overly affecting the recipe

I used cherries, blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries, as these were what were sat in the freezer, however any mixed frozen berries should do as long as they include blackcurrants – that’s what gives this sherbet its incredible colour and it’s wonderfully tart flavour. If you decide to go with all blackcurrant, you may wish to increase the sugar content to taste.


2 1/2 – 3 cups / 600 – 720ml frozen berries, including blackcurrants.

1/4  cup / 60ml sugar

1/2 cup / 120ml apple juice

1 cup / 240ml milk

1/2 cup / 120ml sweetened condensed milk

Juice of half a lemon.


Place the frozen fruit, sugar and apple juice into a large saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Lower the heat and allow the fruits to cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, pour the fruit mixture into a blender and pulse until smooth. It’s up to you whether you would like your sherbet to be completely smooth or whether you would like some visible fruit in it.

Juice half a lemon, being careful of the pips, and add this to the blender along with the milk and the condensed milk. Blend on pulse until completely combined. You should have a bright pinkish purple mixture on your hands.

Pour your sherbet into a 1 litre / 2 pint freezer safe container with a secure lid. It will need to freeze for about 8 hours, or preferably overnight.

As mentioned above, you don’t need to babysit this sherbet, however you may wish to stir it after three hours and then again after five to loosen it. Don’t worry if you simply go to bed however.

Remove your sherbet from the freezer ten minutes before serving to allow it to soften.

Downloadable PDF: No Churn Berry Sherbet


This blog so far

If you have read any of my recipe posts you will know that I don’t really go in for discussing anything that isn’t directly to do with the food I’m making. I don’t know about you, but when I turn to other blogs for inspiration, I often find myself scrolling through dense paragraphs of autobiography and beautiful lifestyle photography just to get to the darned recipe, and that really isn’t something I want to inflict on anyone who ventures here.

That said, once a blog has engaged me, I will often find myself looking deeper in order to find out more about the blogger, and I don’t want to miss out on that with this blog. As a compromise, I’ve decided to add the occasional personal blog post as well.

I started this blog because I love baking and cooking, especially for other people. I’m also one of those annoying people who can’t help but share things. If you admire something I am wearing, I will instantly tell you where I bought it; likewise if you like the look of any food I have prepared, there is a good chance I will force you to try it.

Ask me to share a recipe and I will go giddy with glee. Doubly so if it’s one of my own recipes.

So here it is: spiceandcosy; an easy way for me to pass on recipes and overshare endlessly about food I have made, food I have eaten, and food I long to make and/or eat. Hopefully you will find something on here that you enjoy. I know I will enjoy creating, baking and sharing everything you see here.

This is by no means a professional blog (which I would imagine is pretty obvious!) The photos are taken with my phone camera, there is minimal editing, heck I barely even proof read. It’s is all my own work, however. All the recipes on here are my own, and if they are not (like the tiffin) then I will explicitly state as much. Everything is baked in my tiny, cluttered kitchen and generally photographed in my equally cluttered dining room. It’s just about as authentic as it can be!

Lastly, I love to talk about things I am passionate about, especially food! Always feel free to drop me a message; comments, questions or just for a chat.

Be sure to check out my Instagram for sneak peeks into what’s to come!

Happy baking,



Cheesecake Brownies


I’m guilty of making the same brownies again and again (and I can’t feel too bad about it as they are delicious) but a recent pit stop at Gloucester Services, of all places, has inspired me to expand my repertoire.

I should explain that the service station in question is actual part farmers market, part artisanal coffee shop, so as you can imagine that they weren’t peddling any ordinary brownies. There were salted caramel brownies, peanut butter brownies and the prettiest swirled cheesecake brownies, all of which I am determined to try!

The brownies recipe used for the base is slightly less involved that my regular one, with the cheesecake bringing a sweetness and chewiness of its own. I should warn you that these are not the cakey variety of brownie – in truth, these are so squidgy they could be mistaken for fudge. But that makes them kind of perfect.


Makes 12


Brownie Base:

3 ½ oz / 100g butter

3 ½ oz / 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

4 oz / 125g caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ oz / 75g self raising flour

2 tbsp cocoa

3 ½ oz / 100g dark chocolate, chopped, or dark chocolate chips

Cheesecake swirl:

7 oz / 200g cream cheese

1 medium egg

2 ½ oz / 75g caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and take the eggs and cream cheese out of the fridge to come to room temperature.

Grease a 20cm square tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Gently heat the butter, sugar and chocolate over a very low heat and stir. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat let the butter will continue to melt the chocolate. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before beating in the eggs and vanilla extract – the cooling stage is important unless you like the idea of chocolate scrambled eggs. Sift in the flour and cocoa and stir until combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate – this is the last thing added, otherwise the warmth from the butter chocolate mix can melt the chips and they disappear into the brownies when the batter is stirred. Once these are distributed throughout the mix, resist the urge to stir any further. That way, you get little morsels of chocolate throughout.

Pour the brownie batter into your prepared tin. Give it a gentle jiggle to help level out the mixture. There’s no need to be precise, as you are about to make a mess with the cheesecake topping.

Speaking of which:

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the egg, vanilla and sugar. If you only have large eggs, separate the yolk from the white and just use the yolk. Don’t worry if the mix seems very wet; it will still set!

Pour the cheesecake mix over the brownie batter. It might be quite a tight fit, so you’ll need to use your judgement over whether to use it all or not. The batter will rise slightly in the oven, so be sure to leave at least half a centimetre clear at the top of the pan. Use a knife to swirl the two so that some of the brownie mix shows.


Bake for 30-35 minutes until the sides begin to pull away from the sides. The centre may still be a little jiggly, but it will firm up as it cools.

Allow to completely cool in the tin, resting on a cooling rack. The brownies should leave the tin easily once cooled, but if you have any problems, slide a sharp knife down the sides of the tin to loosen the brownies. Don’t forget to peel the baking parchment away from the base!

I sliced these into nine individual brownies, but they are so rich that you might prefer to go with twelve pieces instead. That way you get to eat more brownies!

These will keep for up to three days in an airtight tin.

I’m kidding of course, there is no way they will hang around for three days. Full disclosure: the popped air bubbles in the first picture are because I could not even wait for these to cool fully before turning them out of the tin to slice them. They’re pretty delicious warm out of the oven, with little pockets of melted chocolate, but I do think they are best once they’ve cooled.


Downloadable PDF: Cheesecake Brownies







Sugar Syrups

Sugar syrups are sometimes just so incredibly useful. They are also one of those things that you can go your entire culinary career without ever needing to use, until suddenly you do.

There are two main types of sugar syrups that you will see listed as ingredients for baking and cocktails; simple syrup and standard syrup. Both are a mix of sugar and water; Simple Syrup is made of equal amounts of sugar and water (and sometimes referred to as a one-to-one, or 1:1 syrup.) Standard syrup in made with two parts sugar to one part water. This 2:1 mix can be referred to as Rich Simple Syrup in American recipes.

The higher sugar content in Standard Syrup means, unsurprisingly, that it brings more sweetness to a recipe, and is therefore more noticeable. It also means that Standard Syrup has a longer shelf life, with the sugar acting as a natural preservative. Neither syrup lasts indefinitely, however, so it’s probably a good idea to only even make ever-so-slightly more than enough to cover your immediate plans. It’s not as if it will be difficult to make some more should you run out. This syrup really is as simple to make as the name suggests.

Back to storage: if you are planning to make this ahead, it’s best to follow the following tips to keep everything fresh.

Simple Syrup: Find a jar with a tightly fitting/airtight lid to store it in – a jam jar or mason jar will do very well. Wash it well, then sterilise it by filling with boiling water. Pour boiling water over the lid as well. Leave the hot water inside until just before you pour the hot syrup in – hot glass is far less likely to crack than cold. Please, never pour boiling hot liquid into cold glass!

If you are planning on making a Standard Syrup and keeping it for a few months, then take things a step further. Wash your jar and lid well (removing the rubber seal if it has one) and once completely dry, place on a baking tray and place in a low oven (gas mark 1 / 140 C / 275 F) for ten minutes. If using a Kilner jar with a rubber seal, this can be boiled – although if you are boiling the seal you may as well use the boiling method to sterlise the jar as well. Either way, be very careful when handling your heated jars.

Keep your syrups in the fridge. Simple Syrup can be kept for a month, and Standard Syrup for up to six, however both can go mouldy if left out at room temperature. Both can go mouldy in the fridge too, so make sure you make a note of the date you make them and throw them away if you are unsure if they are still good.

It’s usual to measure the sugar and water out by volume when making syrup. I tend to use measuring cups, but you can use a measuring jug just as easily. If you don’t have either then you can weigh the amounts (you won’t end up with quite the same ratio, but this isn’t exactly a science.)

I always use granulated sugar for sugar syrup and reserve my more expensive caster sugar for recipes that require a finer grain, but please use whichever you have to hand.


Simple Syrup

1 cup white sugar

1 cup water

Standard Syrup

2 cups white sugar

1 cup water


I’m almost embarrassed to write this down, it’s so easy! Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. There’s no need to let the syrup boil – in fact this will reduce the water content and change the ratio of the mix. Once all the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and pour into your heated jar.

Once again, please be careful when handling hot syrup! Make sure your jar is standing on a stable surface.

Secure the lid, allow to cool completely, and store in the fridge until needed.

Ultimate Iced Coffee

I know, I know. ‘Ultimate’ is a pretty big claim, but this iced coffee is delicious. Perhaps it’s the unusually hot summer we’re experiencing here in ole Blighty, but I am all about iced drinks at the moment.

So hot I think most of the ice had melted by this point!

A word of warning – there is a lot of sugar in this recipe. However, you will find that the milk can handle quite a lot of sugar; in fact, coffee shops usually add sugar syrups to milk based iced coffee. If you’re unsure, or if you don’t usually have sugar in coffee, start small, then add more of the sweet stuff to suit your taste.

The sweetened condensed milk is what makes this drink so amazing. If you can’t bring yourself to add sugar and condensed milk to this, please choose the condensed milk. Although you will only use a small part of a tin, it’s not expensive, and it’s easy to use up. It’s amazing stirred into an everyday cup of coffee, can be used to make no-churn ice cream, or used to sweeten a number of desserts and bakes.


This recipe makes two iced coffees. Whether you share one with someone or drink both yourself is up to you.

Serves: 2


3/4 cup / 180 ml / 6 fl oz strong cold brew coffee

1 1/2 cups / 360 ml / 12 fl oz cold milk

2 – 6 tsp simple syrup

2 – 6 tsp sweetened condensed milk



Measure out your coffee and milk into a jug that’s larger than the glass you intend to use. Add a small amount of both the sugar syrup and the condensed milk and stir thoroughly. Up the amounts of sugar and condensed milk to taste, making sure you stir well between each addition.

Add ice to the glasses you intend to serve the coffee in to start chilling the glass. Add extra ice to your coffee mix (honestly the amount is up to you – but don’t skip this part entirely unless you are super short on ice) and stir, stir, stir for at good minute. This will bring the temperature of your coffee right down.

Serve over ice. With a straw.