Basic Cocktails

basic cocktails, looking for these recipes? check this for 5 best basic cocktails: Basic dark chocolate-dipped truffles,Mai Tai rum balls,Lemon and honey haloumi with pink peppercorns,Cucumber sushi

Lemon and honey haloumi with pink peppercorns

Image credit: Brett Stevens –


  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 x 225g pkt haloumi
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed


  • Step 1
    Thinly slice the haloumi. Combine the honey, lemon juice and dried oregano in a shallow dish. Add the haloumi slices and turn to coat.
  • Step 2
    Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the haloumi slices, reserving the honey mixture, for 1 minute each side or until golden brown. Drizzle over the reserved honey mixture. Transfer to a serving plate. Scatter over the fresh oregano and crushed pink peppercorns to serve.

Basic dark chocolate-dipped truffles


  • 80ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream
  • 250g good-quality dark cooking chocolate (like Plaistowe brand), coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 350g dark compound chocolate (like Nestle Dark Melts), chopped
  • 30g copha, chopped


  • Step 1
    Position a medium heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan a third filled with water. The bowl should fit snugly into the saucepan and not touch the water. If steam escapes and penetrates the chocolate and/or the chocolate is overheated, it will ‘seize’ (become hard, grainy and useless). Remove the bowl from the pan and bring the water to the boil. Meanwhile, place cream in the bowl. Reduce heat to low so the water barely simmers and place the bowl of cream over the pan. Use a metal spoon to stir for 1 minute or until the cream thins. Add the cooking chocolate to the bowl. Use the metal spoon to stir gently for 4 minutes or until melted and smooth. (See microwave tip 1.) Carefully remove the bowl from the pan and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla essence. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Chilling the mixture will help to make a lighter texture when it is beaten.
  • Step 2
    Remove bowl from the fridge and place on a wet cloth. Use clean, dry electric beaters to beat the mixture on low speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge, stirring occasionally to help mixture firm evenly, for a further 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll into balls.Meanwhile, line 3 baking trays with non-stick baking paper cut to fit.
  • Step 3
    To make the truffles, remove the bowl from the fridge and use a metal teaspoon to scoop a spoonful of mixture. Use your hands to roll the mixture into a small ball and place it on one of the lined trays. If the mixture becomes too sticky, return it to the fridge until firm. If your palms are too warm, wash your hands and hold a packet of frozen peas or freezer brick for a minute or so to cool them. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Place the tray of balls in the freezer for 10 minutes or until firm.
  • Step 4
    Place the compound chocolate and copha in a medium, clean, dry heatproof bowl. Place the bowl to fit snugly over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water over low heat (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a dry metal spoon to stir gently for 4 minutes or until melted and smooth. (See microwave tip 2.) Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. Place a truffle in the chocolate mixture and use a teaspoon to spoon chocolate over it to coat. Use a wide-pronged fork (or a wide-pronged olive fork or wire truffle dipper) to lift the coated truffle from chocolate, tapping the fork handle gently on the edge of the bowl to shake off any excess.
  • Step 5
    Use the tip of a small spatula to ease the truffle off the fork onto the second lined tray. Repeat with the remaining truffles and chocolate mixture. (Replace your fork with a clean dry one if too much chocolate builds up on it.) During dipping, use a spatula to occasionally scrape chocolate from the side of the bowl, so it doesn’t set. As dipping of truffles takes about 15 minutes, the chocolate may begin to thicken during this step. If it does, return the bowl to the pan of barely simmering water and stir gently until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set truffles aside at room temperature for 5-10 minutes or until set.
  • Step 6
    Return bowl of compound chocolate to pan of barely simmering water and stir with a dry metal spoon until smooth (see microwave tip 3). Coat 1 truffle at a time with the chocolate, as before, and place on the remaining lined tray. Set aside at room temperature or place in the fridge until set. Trim any excess chocolate from the truffle bases. If desired, place the dipped truffles in paper confectionery cases to serve.

Mai Tai rum balls

Image credit: Guy Bailey –


  • 250g pkt Arnott's Orange Slice
  • 130g (1 1/2 cups) desiccated coconut
  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon white rum
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
  • 375g pkt white chocolate melts, melted
  • Lime zest, to decorate


  • Step 1
    Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until they are finely crushed. Transfer the crushed biscuit to a large bowl
  • Step 2
    Add desiccated coconut. Stir until well combined. Add the condensed milk, lime rind and rum. Stir until well combined. Place in the fridge for 60 minutes to firm up slightly.
  • Step 3
    Roll level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place, in a single layer, on a tray lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge for 60 minutes to firm up slightly.
  • Step 4
    Use a fork to dip the balls, 1 at a time, in chocolate. Return to tray. Decorate with lime zest. Set aside for 5 minutes. Store the rum balls, covered, in the fridge.

Cucumber sushi

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  • 125g (1/2 cup) spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind, plus extra, to serve
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped dill, plus extra sprigs, to serve
  • 1 large Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced into ribbons with a peeler
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced
  • Baby capers, to serve


  • Step 1
    Combine cream cheese, lemon rind and dill. Season.
  • Step 2
    Lay the cucumber ribbons on a clean surface. Spread with cream cheese mixture. Top with salmon. Roll up and stand upright on a serving platter. Sprinkle with capers, and extra lemon rind and dill to serve.

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