Category Dessert

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. I gate-crashed this wonderful party very late in the game (just a few months ago), but it has been an exciting part of each month: I have discovered new blogs and have cooked my way through […]

Ginger & tamarind sticky toffee pudding

Arguably the ultimate in comfort puddings, this is my take on a sticky toffee pudding: ot 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. I like to have an even stickier, […]

Lemon & thyme drizzle layer cake

This is a very refreshing cake, pushing into dessert territory. the filling and icing can be spooned over and swirled for ease, or piped: it is purely personal choice! Essentially it is a layered lemon drizzle cake, filled and topped with a mixture of cream and lemon curd. I have added fresh lemon thyme to the […]

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. Rather than go for many layers of meringue, I went for one thick layer as the base, which was then topped with the cream and the wonderful coffee, walnuts and dark chocolate. […]

Coloured Mirror glazes: as simple or as elaborate as you want…..

NB: while some of these attempts are practices done on a flat surface, the spiced orange & rum cake, the blood orange & raspberry cake and the planet cake are real cakes. I will post recipes for these in due course, but feel free to contact me in the meantime about any of them. As its name […]

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 […]

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. It is essentially pavlova with more bite to it: meringue with toasted nuts in the mixture. A real melt-in-the-mouth dessert with a deep nutty flavour. This version, with the nutty meringue being […]

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. I often make this pudding with left-over hot cross buns around Easter, which gives a very creamy and indulgent hot cross bun flavour throughout, but this works well with any bread, brioche, even stale croissants……. While this […]

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. Ideal for a party, buffet or any occasion when you […]

Orange & vanilla rum babas

Surely it is time for a full-on revival of these fabulous 1970s dessert trolley staples? Rum babas should have a beautifully light texture, a rich buttery flavour and a real adult kick of indulgence from the rum. They are, I think, a winning end to any meal, a great sweet treat as part of an Afternoon Tea […]

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. And while a topping of dark chocolate would be excellent to use, I prefer a sticky, rich chocolatey […]

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! I used Callebaut […]

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. Using fruit from the freezer, I decided to make a batch of blackcurrant and raspberry éclairs: they are filled with a […]

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! This rich, sticky tart has just a hint of orange in both the pastry and the filling, and is a version of a recipe I have been making for decades. It has a […]

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. This cake is perfect sliced and eaten along with a cup of coffee, but wonderful served warm as a dessert with either cream, ice cream […]

Raspberry & dark chocolate mousse domes

Post updated April 2016: recipe tweaked, domes re-made and re-photographed 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 […]

Very easy cherry & smoked chocolate brownies (gluten-free)

Brownies have to be quick and simple to make, and they are such a versatile mixture that you can add all manner of goodies or replace some of the ingredients eg) replace the nuts with dried fruit or crushed biscuits…….. I use a recipe that I have had for decades, although I do tweak it from […]

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. The 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. About the recipe I took a standard […]

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. A gluten-free treat! As I do with several of my bakes […]

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. The pistachio ganache and the strawberry jelly […]

Chocolate praline dessert cake

A very indulgent chocolate cake, which is more a dessert but is great eaten at any time! The cake is layers of whisked chocolate sponge filled with vanilla and rum cream, topped with a praline ganache and a few fresh raspberries (I am quite sure raspberries absorb and then obliterate the other calories!!). A few chocolate curls […]

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! They can be made a couple of days in advance […]

Black Forest Gateau Twist

  A Black Forest gateau is one of my favourite cakes ever: liqueur-soaked cherries and dark chocolate make a fabulous combination anyhow, but when layered with cream and a light sponge you get a very special dessert cake. Granted, to echo the sublime Victoria Wood’s description of it, a Black Forest Gateau really is just cake in drag, […]

Mango and lime “egg cup” desserts

Post updated March 2016: 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 […]

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. Update: and it was a nice surprise for these to feature during an episode of The Great British Bake Off: Extra Slice after submitting them. The layers […]

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. I wanted a real flavour explosion, so the filling I decided to go for was mainly sharp raspberry mousse (any excuse to use raspberries from the allotment at […]

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! […]

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. I make my sorbets and ice […]

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. I have used star anise in the recipe to give […]

St Émilion au Chocolat

A very simple and insanely good chocolate dessert, this is my variation of the inspirational and quite fabulous 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, and it eats effortlessly; this might well be a […]

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. These have crumbly, buttery shortbread bases with a bit of toasted coconut, topped with domes of fresh […]

Lemongrass & Ginger Croquembouche in an hour!

This is my 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. Mind you, the much lighter, […]

Blackcurrant Mousse Gateau

A simple but effective cake that 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. While I do make chocolate […]

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 […]

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! Home-made versions of jaffa cakes are nothing new; there is an abundance of recipes out there and they are […]

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! When eating doughnuts my penchant is for those near-spherical doughnuts that are filled with fresh jam: so hard to ignore in a bakery. I have taken ideas from several […]

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: Genoise sponge layers, Amaretto liqueur brushed over the sponge, raspberry mousseline, fresh raspberry jelly, fresh raspberries lightly glazed in their jelly and […]

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 many chocolate roulades that are “out there”. Caramelised oranges: Some of the intensely orangey syrup that is produced while the oranges cook is […]

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…… I tweaked the cake for our […]

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Essentially this is a sponge base, topped with chocolate mousse with a covering of dark chocolate glaze – a rich, indulgent cake (but cakes without at least those two qualities do not often qualify as cakes in my book!). This is my attempt at recreating one of the cakes served there with an Afternoon Tea I […]

Chocolate Birthday Cake

A seriously chocolately cake! The sponge is a Victoria Sandwich, with 30g of cocoa powder replacing 30g of the flour. A fatless sponge works very well too. The filling is a simple buttercream made by beating together 75g of softened unsalted butter, 200g sifted icing sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 50g of cooled, melted dark […]

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. I tend to make a quick rough-puff pastry for this tart but a […]

The joys of Afternoon Tea

All images are of my bakes. 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. […]

Raspberry genoise slices

This is a light dessert cake with 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. A last-minute cake! These were very much made last-minute for a summer barbeque: I had been asked […]

Raspberry Frangipane Tarts

With a crisp, buttery pastry and the sharp raspberries cutting through the richness of the almond filling, these moist tarts are lovely served warm, dusted with icing sugar and with some whipped cream They are also nice made more bite-sized using shallow mince pie tins, with a generous teaspoonful of frangipane on top of each […]

Chocolate Roulade

I am unashamed to admit my love of chocolate – the very best quality chocolate for my baking, certainly, but a bar of the more synthetic chocolate bar often more than hits the spot. Although I do not always opt for desserts – despite the number of cake and sweet treats I bake – if […]

Almost instant strawberry ice cream (no churn)

This is a ridiculously simple ice cream, using practically no effort, whatsoever: just 3 ingredients, a food blender and the strong will not to eat the ice cream before placing it back in the freezer! While I love making the traditional custard-based ice creams, I have been making this ice cream for decades, and of […]

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