Pep up your favourite treats

Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - Recipes -

For some rea­son, pep­per­mint ex­tract can be quite hard to find. You would ex­pect it to be in the bak­ing aisle next to the vanilla essence but more of­ten than not it’s miss­ing from the shelf. To avoid dis­ap­point­ment, I rec­om­mend buy­ing it on­line. You can find lots on Ama­zon as well as on in­de­pen­dent shops’ web­sites (I or­dered from

and it ar­rived the next day). Go for pep­per­mint rather than mint (mint seems too like tooth­paste for my taste).

Or­der it once and the lit­tle vial will be more than you will ever need. As well as this recipe I like to add a lit­tle drop to hot choco­late or a few drops to a batch of en­ergy balls for an in­stant flavour twist. Last week, I fi­nally got back to Bres­son in Monkstown, Co Dublin, for my sec­ond visit. I knew it would be as good as I re­mem­bered as soon as I turned into their court­yard and peered in at the glow­ing, can­dle-lit restau­rant that looked so invit­ing and cosy. We had a quick glass of wine at the gor­geous bar be­fore sit­ting down for din­ner. We didn’t or­der starters but the sea­sonal pump­kin soup amuse-bouche and warm bread re­ally hit the spot. I had the spe­cial — hake with ten­der­stem broc­coli and crisp po­ta­toes and it was ex­actly what I was hop­ing for and great value. Next time, I’m go­ing for all three cour­ses and I hear Stu, the bar­tender, has some killer new cock­tails up his sleeve.

If mint is your thing, I also love mak­ing home­made Af­ter Eight­style treats. They only take a few sim­ple in­gre­di­ents so check out the­lit­tle­green­spoon.com if you want to give them a go.

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