Raspberry Jelly

raspberry jelly

You could always buy raspberry jelly but it’s just not the same, try making your own, it’s worth it Continue reading “Raspberry Jelly”

Hot Swiss Trifle

Method:

This is a very easy recipe for a great hot trifle dessert.  First slice the swiss roll and arrange along with the apricots (or other fruit you want to use) on the bottom of a heatproof casserole dish.

Next make the custard, you can either use your own recipe or do what we have done here by upgrading a packet custard.  To do this blend the custard powder with the egg yolks, 1 tbsp sugar and a little of the milk.  Heat the remaining milk and when almost boiling stir into the mixed custard before returning  to pan. Bring to almost boiling point and keep stirring continuously until the custard has thickened to a level you are happy with, ideally the thickness of double cream.

Leave the custard to cool slightly before pouring it over the swiss roll and fruit.

Next you need to make the meringue.  To do this whisk the egg whites with the sugar until they form a stiff peak, its best to do this with an electric whisk if possible.

To finish the dish add the meringue to the top of the custard and bake at 180C for 20 mins or until the meringue is golden brown on top.  Serve while hot.

The best chocolate cake in the world

nemesis chocolate cake

Method:

This is the most amazing chocolate cake. There is no flour in it so it is not a spongey cake but instead is rich, gooey and fudgy… a bit like a giant chocolate truffle. It is surprisingly easy to make and will feed a lot of people.

Preheat your oven to 120C. Using the extra butter, grease a 25cm cake tin and line with parchment paper.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter in a bowl over simmering water.
Beat the eggs with 70g of the sugar with an electric whisk until the volume quadruples.

Heat the remaining sugar with 100ml water until dissolved into a light syrup. Pour the hot syrup into the chocolate mixture and leave to cool slightly.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and fold together using a metal spoon or spatula. Pour into the tin.
Put a folded tea towel in the bottom of a baking tray. Put in the cake and pour in enough boiling water to come three quarters of the way up the tin.

Bake for 50 minutes until just set (it should still wobble slightly). Leave to cool in the water.

Once cooled, remove from the tin using the parchment paper to pull it out. Cutting is easier if you run your knife under hot water before each slice.

Dark chocolate fondants

Method:

This is the Rolls Royce of hot chocolate puddings and this recipe is foolproof. You can make them up ahead of time and either chill or freeze until ready to use. Apologies for the lack of photograph for this recipe – they were so good I forgot! Thanks to Babbie for the recipe!

Grease 4 ramekins and dust the insides with cocoa powder.

Melt the chocolate and the 50g of butter slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally with a spatula. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar until pale and fluffy. You can do this by hand but better with an electric mixer. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture and then fold in the flour. Spoon or pour into your prepared ramekins. Cover with cling film and chill. You can also freeze them at this stage.

When ready to use, heat the oven to 180C. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes (15 minutes if cooking from frozen). You will know they are ready when the sides have set and are starting to come away from the ramekin and the tops have formed a crust. The middle will still be lovely and gooey. Serve at once with cream or ice cream.

Blueberry bavarois

blueberry-bavrois

Method:

To make the bavarois, soak the gelatine in a little cold water for about 5 minutes, until softened. Whisk the egg yolks and 100g caster sugar together until light and fluffy.

Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla pods. Bring to the boil,remove the milk from the heat and pour it slowly over the egg mixture, whisking continuously.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a very low heat until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the mixture. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Leave to cool.

In the meatime add the bluberrys to a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and 100g sugar, you can adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet you want it.  Heat the fruit until it cooks down to a thick sauce.  Blend the mixture and push through a sieve and leave to cool.

When the bavarois mix is cold but not set, whip the double cream until thick enough to leave ribbon trails. Fold it gently into the bavarois with the fruit and then pur the mixture into ramekins and place in the fridge to set.

When set tap the bavarois out of the ramekin, using a blowtorch if you have one to help it on its way.

This recipe would work for any fruit, I would advise not using blueberries, there is something a bit odd about eating blue food and the fruit doesn’t actually pack alot of flavour.  I would suggest trying this with raspberries.

Stilton Pate with celery and walnut salad

Ingredients:

  • 200g Stilton, at room temp, crumbled
  • 100g Full-fat soft cheese
  • 1 tbsp Port
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 100g Walnut pieces
  • 150g Back grapes, halved
  • 4 Celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbsp Snipped chives

Method:

With a fork, blend the cheeses with the port and nutmeg and black pepper to taste.  Pile the mixture onto a sheet of foil, then wrap and shape into an 8 inch sausage.
Finely chop half the walnuts. Unwrap the cheese and coat evenly with the nuts. Wrap again and chill until ready to serve.

Mix together celery, grapes and remaining walnuts. Put the oil and lemon juice in a jar with salt and pepper. Shake well then stir in the chives and pour over the salad.
Divide the salad between 6 plates. Slice the pate into 12 and put 2 slices on top of each salad.

Serve with melba toast or olive bread.

Arctic zone cappucinos

Ingredients:

  • Thick chocolate sauce
  • 180g dark chocolate, 70% solids
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 280ml milk
  • 160ml single cream
  • Chantilly cream
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 70g icing sugar
  • half a vanilla pod
  • Coffee granita
  • 480ml hot espresso coffee
  • 80ml hot, diluted chicory essence (Camp coffee)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • Chocolate brownies
  • 80g unsalted butter + some for greasing
  • 120g plain flour + some for dusting
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 40g good quality cocoa powder
  • 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g good quality chocolate drops or chips (or a bar cut into small chunks)

Method:

Make the coffee granita
Mix all ingredients together while the coffee is still hot. Leave to cool completely before pouring into a shallow tray or tub and placing in the freezer for 3-4 hours (can make the day before). Just before serving the ‘cappucino’, break up the frozen mixture by running the prongs of a fork along the surface, resulting in coffee ice crystals.

Make the brownies
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a fairly deep rectangular cake tin and dust with the extra flour, tipping out ant excess to leave a thin coating.
Beat the butter vigorously with the caster sugar using electric beaters (this is easier if the butter is at room temperature) until very pale and light. Then beat in the eggs one by one before adding the sifted flour and cocoa powder. Fold in the pecan nuts and the chocolate drops.

Turn this mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cut into 6 large squares in the tin while still hot. Leave to cool a little and take them out of the tin while still slightly warm. They will turn ‘fudgy’ as they cool. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Can make the day before.

Make the Chantilly cream
Mix the cream and the icing sugar. Scrape the seeds from half the vanilla pod and add to the cream. Chill in a bowl. When very cold, beat until stiff. return to the fridge until needed.

Make the thick chocolate sauce (ganache)
Break the chocolate into a food processor and whizz until finely grated. Put this into a heatproof bowl. Bring the milk and cream to the boil (but do not allow to boil or it will split) and pour this onto the chocolate. Stir carefully with a wooden spoon until completely smooth and glossy. Keep warm until needed over a bowl of hot (but not boiling water).

White Chocolate Tart with Raspberries

Ingredients:

  • Pastry:
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 2 heaped tsp golden icing sugar
  • 50g cold butter, cut into sml pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Filling:
  • 200ml crème fraiche
  • 250ml double cream
  • 175g white chocolate
  • 200g raspberries

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C and butter a 20cm tart tin with a removable base. Make the pastry. Sift the flour, cocoa and sugar into food processor, add butter and whizz briefly. Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp ice-cold water and process again to the point at which it comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.

Roll out the pastry on some flour sifted with a little cocoa and line the tin.
Bake blind for 20 mins, then remove baking beans and cook for a further 10 mins until crisp and slightly brown. Leave to cool.

Filling: heat crème fraiche with 100ml of the cream. Break the chocolate into a bowl, pour the hot cream over it and leave for a minute, then stir until it dissolves. Cover with cling film, punch some air holes in it and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Lightly crush the raspberries with a fork to let the juices run a little. Put them in a single layer on the pastry base. Whisk the remaining double cream until thick but still soft, and fold it into the chocolate mixture. Smooth over the raspberries and chill for an hour. Sprinkle with cocoa just before serving.

White chocolate and passion fruit mousse

Ingredients:

  • 300g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 10 ripe passion fruit, pulped
  • 2 punnets raspberries

Method:

Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Whisk egg whites. Beat yolks and passion fruit pulp together (you can sieve seeds out first if you prefer). Fold in egg whites.

Put a few rasps in the bottom of each serving dish (ramekins or small bowls) and pour on the mousse mixture.

Chill for 2-3 hours before serving

White chocolate and cranberry puddings

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp fine shred marmalade
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 125g fresh cranberries
  • 125g plus 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 125g very soft unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 75g white chocolate, grated

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter 6 x 200ml pudding moulds and put a round of greaseproof paper in each.

Put the marmalade and half the orange zest and juice into a small pan with the cranberries and 1 tbsp sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool a little and divide among the pudding moulds. Set aside.

Beat the butter and remaining sugar in a bowl until soft and creamy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Add a spoonful of the flour if the mixture looks like it might curdle.

Fold in flour, Grand Marnier, remaining orange zest and juice and the chocolate. Divide the mixture among the moulds, cover them tightly with a square of buttered foil and put in a deep roasting tin. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides then bake in the oven fpr 35-40 minutes.

Remove the foil carefully from the moulds. Upturn the puddings onto plates and serve with custard or thick cream.

Tiramisu

Ingredients:

  • 400g mascarpone
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso
  • 8 tbsp weak coffee
  • 3-4 tbsp Marsala, brandy or rum
  • about 20 Boudoir biscuits
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp finely ground coffee

Method:

In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks until they go pale. Add the mascarpone and beat together until well combined – this is much easier using an electric whisk. Very gradually add the sugar (about a teaspoon at a time) whisking constantly.

Pour in the espresso and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites to the mascarpone mixture and mix through – this will slacken the mixture and make it easier to fold in the rest of the egg whites. Fold in the remainder of the beaten egg whites. Set aside.

In a shallow dish mix together the weak coffee and the alcohol. Dip half of the biscuits in one by one and line the bottom of a dish. (Don’t leave the biscuits in the liquid for any length of time or they will just disintegrate!)

Pour over half the mascarpone mixture. Repeat. Bang dish to settle the layers.

Chill for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

To serve, mix together the cocoa and ground coffee and sieve over the top until it is totally covered

The best cheesecake recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 250g Hob Nob biscuits
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 100g creme fraiche
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • Suggestions for toppings:
  • Rhubarb
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Soft fruits (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
  • Stew your fruit of choice with just enough sugar to sweeten and the pod ‘shell’ of the vanilla until soft.

Method:

Crush the biscuits to a fine crumb in a food processor (or place in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin). Melt the butter with the honey and add to the crumbs. Stir well until mixed then tip into a springform or loose-bottomed cake tin. Using the back of a spoon, pat down the crumbs until evenly smoothed. Chill until firm.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the double cream. Whip until softly stiff (soft peaks). Be careful not to overbeat at this stage. Set aside.

In a food processor whizz the cream cheese, creme fraiche, sugar, lime zest and juice until smooth and creamy. Scoop out into a mixing bowl. Fold the vanilla flavoured cream into the cream cheese mixture and spoon into the prepared biscuit base. Chill to firm.

Serve with your choice of fruit topping and some cream to pour over.

Sticky toffee pudding

Ingredients:

  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 125ml full fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 100g chopped rolled dates
  • 100g sultanas
  • Sauce:
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • Approx 25g unsalted butter in little blobs
  • 500ml boiling water

Method:

Preheat oven to 190C. Butter a large pudding dish.
Combine the 50g dark and light muscovado sugar with the flour in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a measuring jug, beat in the egg, vanilla and melted butter and then pour this mixture over the sugar and flour, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Fold in the dates and sultanas and then scrape into the pudding dish.

Sprinkle over the other sugar and dot with the butter. Pour over the boiling water and transfer to the oven. Cook for 45 minutes although it may need 5-10 mins more. The top of the pudding should be springy and spongy when cooked.

Rosewater Pannacotta

Ingredients:

  • 568ml double cream
  • 140ml milk
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 3 sheets gelatine
  • 3 tbsp rosewater

Method:

Bring the cream, milk and sugar to the boil, turn down and simmer for 5 mins or until reduced by a third.
Soften the gelatine in cold water. Squeeze out the extra water and put the gelatine in a bowl. Strain the milk and cream into this bowl, stirring. Stir in the rosewater. Pour into 6 ramekins and chill overnight

Ricotta, Orange and Berry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • A little butter for greasing
  • 25g amaretti biscuits, crushed
  • 500g ricotta
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 5 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 300g blueberries
  • Juice from one of the oranges

Method:

Butter a 25cm round springform cake tin and dust with the crushed amaretti.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Put the ricotta, egg yolks, flour, sugar, orange rind and liqueur in food processor and whizz until blended.

In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold into the ricotta mixture. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 mins until just golden and springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Once cool, chill in the tin. Don’t worry if it sinks.

Put the blueberries in a small pan along with the orange juice. Bring to the boil then bubble gently until it has gone syrupy but the berries are still relatively intact. Leave to cool.
To serve, cut a wedge of cheesecake and spoon over some blueberries