Blackberry and apple crumble

This is very much a return to basics with the modest crumble, arguably one of the best and easiest comfort foods there is. Whether eaten with ice cream or hot custard, a crumble takes moments to prepare, will bake quite happily without attention and is a joyous way to end any meal.
Continue reading “Blackberry and apple crumble”

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Quick and easy spiced rhubarb & white chocolate ripple ice cream

This is a very simple and speedy (in terms of preparation) white chocolate ice cream, with a spiced rhubarb ripple running through it.

I use stem ginger for that wonderful heat it brings, as well as a little star anise for a spicy aniseed punch. Continue reading “Quick and easy spiced rhubarb & white chocolate ripple ice cream”

Choux buns with blackcurrant craquelin & blackcurrant and white chocolate cream

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Who doesn’t love a choux bun or éclair? Crisp pastry, creamy filling and a sticky topping…..such a treat! And they are so simple to make, yet look deceptively difficult.

Continue reading “Choux buns with blackcurrant craquelin & blackcurrant and white chocolate cream”

Tarte tatin

After a very inspiring run of many years, bringing so many food bloggers together, the Secret Recipe Club is sadly coming to an end. Continue reading “Tarte tatin”

Ginger & tamarind sticky toffee pudding

Arguably the ultimate in comfort puddings, this is my take on a sticky toffee pudding: it has the warming kick of spice from ginger and cinnamon, and what I think is a delightfully sour undertone from tamarind that is a subtle counter-balance to the sweetness of the pudding. Continue reading “Ginger & tamarind sticky toffee pudding”

Lemon & thyme drizzle layer cake

This very refreshing cake pushes it way into dessert territory with its creamy filling. And that is no bad thing! Continue reading “Lemon & thyme drizzle layer cake”

Mocha walnut pavlova

I have not made a pavlova for a few years, but it is always lovely to re-visit an occasional bake such as this. Continue reading “Mocha walnut pavlova”

Coloured mirror glazes

As its name suggests, a mirror glaze is a very shiny covering for a cake or dessert that is so reflective you should be able to see your face quite clearly in it. There are several recipes for mirror glazes but I make what I think is one of the simplest – and it always gives me great results. Continue reading “Coloured mirror glazes”

Roasted coffee bean butter: a great ingredient for coffee lovers

I am so excited to share this post for roasted coffee bean butter. Coffee is one of my favourite flavours, almost beating chocolate for me. This butter, which is basically freshly ground coffee beans infused with hot butter, has a very rich, deep coffee flavour that you simply cannot get close to when using either instant coffee or even freshly brewed coffee in a bake. Continue reading “Roasted coffee bean butter: a great ingredient for coffee lovers”

Strawberry & lemon dacquoise: with a cheat’s version!

A dacquoise is a wonderful dessert in its own right. I made this one for my partner’s birthday cake as a more dessert-type feel was wanted. Continue reading “Strawberry & lemon dacquoise: with a cheat’s version!”

Easy spiced brioche pudding in a lemongrass custard

Essentially this is my take on bread and butter pudding, using a spiced brioche loaf I had left over. Continue reading “Easy spiced brioche pudding in a lemongrass custard”

Passion fruit & peach tarts (lower-fat!)

Inspired by a passion fruit pannacotta I had a few months ago, these are very simple fragrant tarts that I made for a friend’s birthday: the tarts have a full-on passion fruit flavour, a kick of rum-soaked peaches and the richness of white chocolate in the background. Continue reading “Passion fruit & peach tarts (lower-fat!)”

Orange & vanilla rum babas

Surely it is time for a full-on revival of these fabulous 1970s dessert trolley staples? Continue reading “Orange & vanilla rum babas”

Chocolate & salted caramel éclairs

Salted caramel and chocolate éclairs: nothing too extreme flavour-wise, but two flavours that are nonetheless stunning together. A white chocolate crème pâtissière and a little salted caramel make a lovely filling here but you can, of course, use whipped cream. Continue reading “Chocolate & salted caramel éclairs”

Black forest gateau with caramel glazed cherries

Another version of my favourite over-the-top dessert cake; although I am well aware I have blogged about a few Black Forest Gateaux I have made, with little tweaks to the recipes here and there! I still argue, though, that a good Black Forest Gateau is a joy to eat in all of its retro kitsch-ness! Continue reading “Black forest gateau with caramel glazed cherries”

Blackcurrant & raspberry éclairs

It

is never less than a joy to eat a crisp éclair that is filled with a well-flavoured centre and topped with a sticky icing! While chocolate éclairs should never be turned down, fruity éclairs are delightful to eat. Continue reading “Blackcurrant & raspberry éclairs”

Treacle tart with a hint of orange

For me, a treacle tart is the epitome of comfort food, especially with the nights drawing in and the temperature outside dropping of an evening! Continue reading “Treacle tart with a hint of orange”

Spiced pear & ginger cake

A wonderfully moist and rustic cake, the gentle heat of the ginger and the juicy sweetness of the pears, all set in a lightly spiced cake, work so well together. Continue reading “Spiced pear & ginger cake”

Raspberry & dark chocolate mousse domes

One of the great joys for me when having Afternoon Tea, in addition to eating the most delectable sweet and savoury treats, is the inspiration I get. I shared one of these entremets as part of an Afternoon Tea a while ago and was blown away by it, not least by the raspberry explosion inside! Continue reading “Raspberry & dark chocolate mousse domes”

Very easy cherry & chocolate brownies

At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I would claim these to be among the best brownies you can eat. I would be be so proud to serve these to anyone….if I don’t eat them first! Continue reading “Very easy cherry & chocolate brownies”

Coffee Dacquoise with caramelised hazelnuts

I ate a stunning Dacquoise in a pâtisserie in France very recently and I couldn’t wait to put my spin on it when recreating it back home. Crisp toasted hazelnut meringue layers are sandwiched together with a truly melt-in-the-mouth coffee buttercream, and it is topped with a very simple shiny chocolate glaze. Continue reading “Coffee Dacquoise with caramelised hazelnuts”

Mini Gluten-free Pistachio Fraisiers using left-overs!

 

Further to posting my version of a large Fraisier a few weeks ago, I decided to make another large one for this month’s Clandestine Cake Club – this time going for a gluten-free version. And with left over elements, I also went for mini Fraisiers. Continue reading “Mini Gluten-free Pistachio Fraisiers using left-overs!”

Pistachio & lemon Fraisier cake

This Fraisier is a slight variation on the classic recipe, using a pistachio joconde sponge, sprinkled liberally with Amaretto, and a thin layer of pistachio ganache. A fragrant crème mousseline, subtly flavoured with lemon, envelops the strawberries, and the cake is topped with a thin layer of a tangy strawberry jelly glaze. Continue reading “Pistachio & lemon Fraisier cake”

Quick & easy version of the “After Dark Gü-Zillionaires’ Puddings”

This is my fairly quick, but certainly very easy version of the gorgeous After Dark Gü-Zillionaires’ Puddings: chocolatey biscuit base with layers of luscious cheesecake with a hint of treacle, salted caramel and finished with a soft dark chocolate ganache. A very naughty, but once-in-a-while treat! Continue reading “Quick & easy version of the “After Dark Gü-Zillionaires’ Puddings””

Mango and lime “egg cup” desserts

Post updated April 2017: recipe slightly tweaked and re-photographed.

I have seen this sort of sweet dessert with sponge and various goodies such as mousse inside an egg shell, although often it is served in the actual egg shell. However, I wanted the whole thing to be edible so I decided to make a light dessert in a crisp white chocolate shell. Continue reading “Mango and lime “egg cup” desserts”

Blackcurrant & white chocolate mousse entremets

These mini dessert cakes were created as a different way to use some of the blackcurrants from the allotment, as well as any excuse to have a play in the kitchen. It was also a nice surprise for these to feature during an episode of The Great British Bake Off: Extra Slice after submitting them. Continue reading “Blackcurrant & white chocolate mousse entremets”

Joconde Imprime Fruit Mousse Entremets

Although I have made joconde sponge before, I had never made a joconde imprime (a sponge design baked into a sponge) so this was an exciting first for me. Continue reading “Joconde Imprime Fruit Mousse Entremets”

Black Forest “Arctic Roll”

 

In a moment of retro-inspiration I decided to do a twist on an Arctic Roll ie) sponge cake encasing ice cream. The commercial ones have thin, dry sponge and cheap, synthetic ice cream with a yellow tinge that is often so bright it would certainly prove useful finding one’s way around in a blackout! Continue reading “Black Forest “Arctic Roll””

Watermelon & lime sorbet

A very refreshing and simple sorbet: the flavours of both the lime and the watermelon come through very well, with the lime striking a subtle note against the watermelon. The sorbet is great eaten just as it is, although I like to make coconut tuiles to serve with them. Continue reading “Watermelon & lime sorbet”

Rhubarb & strawberry cordial

This is a very refreshing cordial, made using the some of the rhubarb and the first of the year’s strawberry pickings from the allotment. Just dilute it with ice cold water or, better still, sparkling water: 1 part cordial to 4 or 5 parts water. Continue reading “Rhubarb & strawberry cordial”

St Émilion au Chocolat

A very simple and insanely good chocolate dessert, this is my variation of the inspirational Elizabeth David, whose books, many decades later, are never less than an joy to read. Essentially this is a top-notch chocolate mousse that is indulgent yet light textured; this might well be a retro dessert but, quite frankly, when something is this good it matters not one jot! Continue reading “St Émilion au Chocolat”

Mango & Passionfruit cheesecakes domes

A slight twist on the cheesecake, inspired by one of the goodies served to us when having Afternoon Tea recently. I often get inspiration while eating out and it was fun trying to recreate the feel of this sweet at home. Continue reading “Mango & Passionfruit cheesecakes domes”

Lemongrass & Ginger Croquembouche in an hour!

This is my somewhat speedy and rustic(!) take on the classic croquembouche, but made smaller and with different flavours: I have filled the choux buns with a lemongrass flavoured crème patissière, topped with a ginger flavoured caramel and decorated with a few thin slices of stem ginger coated with caramel and thin shards of roughly spun sugar. Continue reading “Lemongrass & Ginger Croquembouche in an hour!”

Blackcurrant Mousse Gateau

This fairly simple but effective cake makes for a lovely dessert: two layers of light whisked sponge, sandwiched together with a blackcurrant mousse. A thin layer of the mousse coats the cake, which is then decorated with both dark chocolate and white chocolate cigarellos and a light dusting of blackcurrant powder. Continue reading “Blackcurrant Mousse Gateau”

Lemon Meringue Pies

My gran’s lemon meringue pie is hands-down the best lemon meringue pie I have ever tasted. For a lemon meringue pie, every bite has to scream lemon at you, and this is certainly not a lemon meringue pie for anyone who does not love lemons! I prefer, unashamedly, a rustic appearance for these: their elegance lies in the flavours within! Continue reading “Lemon Meringue Pies”

Tangy orange gateau: jaffa cake style!

Jaffa cakes are a favourite sweet treat of mine and while driving home from work the other day I decided to make a large one, gateau-style – I often have sudden whims at seemingly random times! Continue reading “Tangy orange gateau: jaffa cake style!”

Jam Doughnuts

This is my first foray in many years into the somewhat guilt-inducing world of the doughnut. But given they are such a rare treat, the guilt simply vanishes: it has to! Continue reading “Jam Doughnuts”

Raspberry & white chocolate genoise cakes

This is a challenging bake and is a cross between a dessert and a cake. It is creation arising from the wish to do something a little more special than merely sponge and buttercream: sponge layers, Amaretto liqueur, raspberry mousseline, fresh raspberry jelly, fresh glazed raspberries and topped with a raspberry macaron. Continue reading “Raspberry & white chocolate genoise cakes”

Caramelised orange & chocolate roulade

An indulgently chocolatey dessert – and yet one that is not too sweet – with the addition of caramelised oranges to the filling and for decoration. This recipe is a tweak on the many chocolate roulade recipes that are “out there”. Continue reading “Caramelised orange & chocolate roulade”

Raspberry and white chocolate Wedding Cake

I had already made and posted a “trial run” of the main cake for my recent Civil Partnership when I had a go at it back in the summer but why stop at one main feature when there could be two? So a macaron tower HAD to be included…… Continue reading “Raspberry and white chocolate Wedding Cake”

Quick Apple Tart

This is lovely dessert that is both simple and quick to make. It is equally lovely served either warm or chilled, with a dollop of cream or ice cream. The tart can also be made very small and served as petits fours. Continue reading “Quick Apple Tart”

The joys of Afternoon Tea

A marvellous institution in itself, you do not need a reason to justify taking Afternoon Tea: wonderfully indulgent, it is one of the most pleasurable ways to spend what should be several unrushed hours, allowing gasps of excitement to escape out as both sweet and savoury goodies are presented. Continue reading “The joys of Afternoon Tea”

Raspberry genoise slices

These light dessert cakes have a full-on raspberry tang from the mousseline/buttercream. The ones in the pictures are more rough looking than I would like as I made them in something of a rush, but they were devoured very easily. Continue reading “Raspberry genoise slices”