Custard and Creme Anglaise

Subtly different, Creme Anglaise is both richer and more temperamental than a good pouring custard. The differences in preparation are really quite trivial, and for all but the grandest f entertaining, the custard alternative is probably the best bet.  It will give greater volume and much less chance of splitting I also use an alternative…

Spotted Dick

It’s freezing cold and miserable outside, time for another winter classic – Spotted Dick (I can hear you giggling – stop it!) A really easy dessert to prepare requiring minimal effort but quote a long steaming time. Use a dried fruit mix of your choice – stick with the traditional sultana or be a bit…

Mini Lemon and Plum Savarin

Week 8: Patisserie Week – Savarin It’s semi-final week, and I’ve been away, so this post is really quite late (photos to follow – sorry) A ‘high end’ desert, the Savarin is a yeast leavened sponge saturated in alcohol based syrup, usually served with cream and fruit.  Paul’s Savarin was exactly this.  His orange sponge…

Marjolaine

Week 7: Dessert Week – Marjolaine Target Time: 3 hours No, I didn’t know what was either so a visit to the interweb was called for. If you google Marjolaine you’re likely to come across a number of sites devoted to French lingerie.  Be warned, I’m sure this was not the Marjolaine that Mary had in…

Bakewell Tart

Week 5 – Pastry Week.  Technical Challenge – Bakewell Tart As it happens just like Val, Bakewell Tart (pudding) is something that I make quite often.  I’ve a tried and tested recipe which the whole family loves so I’ve no intention of trying out this week’s challenge.  I know it’s a bit of a cop…

Tropical Fruit Pavlova

I can’t really take much credit for this one – Alex saw a picture of something very similar in a Tescos magazine and immediately declared that this is what she wanted for her birthday party, instead of a cake.  So yesterday Alex had her very first ‘Pizza and Pavlova Party’ Well, I have to admit these…

Alex’s Black Forest Gelato

After asking Alex what flavour Ice Cream she fancied for Christmas, she replied ‘What about Black Forest Gelato?’ – OK, it’s a play on words and it was that bit that she found amusing, but why not?  Chocolate & Cherry ice cream which also fitted into what was turning into a 1970’s themed Christmas meal….

Danish Ring – Danish Pastry Revisited

So after watching this weeks Great British Bake Off, I’ve taken some inspiration from Richard’s Swedish Tea Ring and applied it to my original Danish Pastry recipe.  I must admit, the results were very impressive, if not a little sticky – using fresh apple in the filling and then forming into a ring does;t really…

Just the Best Apple Crumble

Autumn is upon us and the apples are falling from the trees.  I’d just picked a basket of James Grieves and was overcome to cook an apple crumble.  I love my fruit crumbles but Apple crumble always seemed to disappoint.  I would usually prefer gooseberry or rhubarb, but when your trees give you apples… …so…

Cassata Siciliana – The alternative to Christmas Pudding

So you’re entertaining for Christmas, but you want something a little different?  Just as rich and decadent, but maybe something chilled, or something a little bit lighter than the traditional pudding?  Give this cassata a go.  Packed with the festive richness of christmas pudding fruits soaked in rum, filled with creamy ricotta and covered in…

Christmas Tarts – The alternative to a traditional mince pie

I know, I know, it’s not even Christmas, and already you’ve had your fill of mince pies.  Yes, they’re really festive, but after a while you start to appreciate that there’s, well, just too much pastry.  And that mincemeat?  It’s very nice, but this is a special occasion, surely we can add a bit more…

Apple Caramel Cake

A sticky caramel upside down cake that’s great with custard, ice cream or just on it’s own.  What better way to make use of those fresh autumn apples? I’m fortunate to have a very productive James Grieve apple tree in my garden this year – the fruit is exceptionally good, perfect for both cooking and eating…

Vanilla Whippy ‘Ice Cream’ Cupcakes

The sun may be setting on those glory days of summer, but we can still reminisce on those happy times, basking in the heat of the English sunshine.  But then, when those memories start to fade, how do we recall the most amazing weather we’ve seen for many a year?  Ice Cream of course.  “Hang…

Almond, Pecan & Sour Cherry Danish

If you like your traditional Danish Pastry, or Pain au Raisin, you’re just going to love this!  The wholemeal pastry gives an added dimension, and the frangipane and sour cherries work so well to complement this   Makes about 10 pastries Ingredients 1 portion of Wholemeal Danish Pastry Dough 75g Butter 75g Castor Sugar 1…

Summer Berry Bakewell Tart

Bakewell tart, or Bakewell Pudding is a British classic.  I’ve been wanting to cook one for ages, and planned to bake one whilst off on a week’s holiday at home with Alex – quality Dad/Daughter time. I did intend to base this on a home made Blackcurrant jam.  I’ve a freezer full of blackcurrants and…

White Chocolate & Berry Valentine Tart

What better way of expressing your feelings for your loved one than presenting them with an amazingly decadent  white chocolate tart, tempered with fresh, tart berries?  What’s more, this recipe couldn’t be simpler. This recipe uses a white chocolate ganache – on it’s own this can be really sickly sweet and not to everyone’s taste,…

Christmas Fruit Gelato

Based on a really simple Nigella recipe, this is a minimal effort ice cream with a festive twist! Serves 6 Ingredients 300ml Double Cream 150ml Full Fat Milk 1 tbsp Candied Peel, finely chopped 1 tbsp Dried Sour Cherries, finely chopped 1 tbsp Dried Cranberries, finely chopped 2 tbsp Rum 60g good Dark Chocolate, very…

Pear, Pecan and Treacle Tart

The rich sweet pastry, crunch of the nuts and wonderfully fruity pears really complement this classic dessert. You can create a ‘basic’ treacle tart by omitting the pecans and pear, and stirring in the juice and zest of 2 lemons into the syrup – this acts to cut through the sickly sweet treacle to give…

Yorkshire Brack or Tea Loaf

This is an old family recipe of Yorkshire Brack, or Tea Loaf, which was served cold, sliced and buttered with a fresh cup of tea.  A really easy recipe to make, it contains no fat at all.  My main reeason for making this was as a preparation for a Ginger Brack recipe, which will be…

Chocolate Zuccotto

Zuccotto is a traditional Italian chilled desert, originating in Florence.  Domed in shape, Zuccotto used a liqueur infused sponge to enclose rich chocolate creams, to which fresh fruits, nuts or alternative ingredients can be added. Left to set in the fridge overnight, slices of zuccotto can be served with fresh cream or ice cream as…