A super quick dessert to prepare. Mascarpone and lemon whisked together and then decorated with fresh berries.
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- 375 g mascarpone cheese 1½ small containers
- 1½ lemons juice only
- 55 g 2 oz caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
- 12 raspberries
- 12 blackberries
- 4 stemmed glasses or small glass dessert dishes
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth.
Spoon an equal amount into each glass.
Then decorate each one with three raspberries and three blackberries.
Chicken strips are marinated in lemon and then stir-fried with broccoli florets, carrot sticks and spring onions/green onions and tossed in soy sauce. It is served over a bed of rice and is just perfect for a summer dish.
- Preparation time: 25 minutes
- Marinading time: 1–2 hours
- Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 450 g 1 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into strips (4)
- 1 lemon
- small head broccoli
- 340 g 12 oz carrots (6–8 medium)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 60 ml 2 fl oz water (¼ cup)
- 2 tbsp clarified butter*
- 2 spring onions/green onions cut into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
- 1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 1 tsp water
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- * To clarify butter melt in a saucepan over a low heat. Skim off the clear liquid from the sediment that collects in the bottom. Discard sediment.
- To serve
- Large sauté pan with lid
Place the chicken strips in a non-metallic bowl. Finely cut the rind from a quarter of the lemon and put to one side. Squeeze the juice from the whole lemon (this should produce 3 tablespoons). Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season with pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
Cut or break the broccoli into small florets. Cut the carrots into 8cm (3 inch) batons.
Heat the oil over a high heat and add the broccoli florets and carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the water, then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Steam for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
Make a well in the centre of the vegetables and add the butter, lemon rind, and onions.
Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and add to the pan. Stir-fry for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Combine the cornflour/cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the pan along with the reserved lemon marinade and let it bubble for 1 minute until thickened.
Stir in the soy sauce and toss to coat.
Serve over a bed of rice.
Updated: August 30, 2017
The Ultimate Carrot Cake, so-called because it is full of so many goodies. Carrots, bananas, and walnuts all mixed into this delicious cake mixture. Then topped with a creamy cheese icing and sprinkled with nuts.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- For the cake
- 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
- 170 g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/soft brown sugar (¾ cup)
- 170 g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pasty flour (1½ cups)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) oil (peanut or sunflower) (⅔ cup)
- 200 g (7 oz) walnut halves (1¾ cups)
- 170 g (6 oz) carrots, grated (3 medium, or 1 cup grated)
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- For the icing
- 85 g (3 oz) cream cheese (⅜ cup, or 3 tbsp)
- 85 g (3 oz) butter, softened (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
- 170 g (6 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 20 cm (8 inch) diameter cake tin with removable base, greased
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.
Set aside 28 g (1 oz) (¼ cup) of the walnuts for the decoration and then chop the the rest into quarters.
Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl until thick.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and fold in gently.
Gently stir in the oil until thoroughly combined.
Next, stir in the bananas, then the carrot, and finally the walnut pieces.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing
While the cake is baking, remove the cream cheese from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
Chop the reserved nuts into small pieces suitable for sprinkling over the top of the finished cake.
Once the cake is cold, prepare the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and the butter until creamy.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Sift in the icing/powdered sugar and beat well until smooth.
Spread over the top of the cake and then sprinkle over the nuts.
A delicious summer dessert where fresh raspberries and blueberries are nestled in a raspberry jelly which has a fluffy, creamy cheese topping and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.
- Preparation time: 25 minutes
- Refrigeration time: the time to set the jelly plus 1 hour
- 1 pkt raspberry jelly/jello
- 1 lemon
- 55 g 2 oz raspberries (½ cup)
- 55 g 2 oz blueberries (⅓ cup)
- 150 ml 5 fl oz double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
- 115 g 4 oz cream cheese (½ cup)
- 40 g 1½ oz icing sugar (⅜ cup)
- 28 g 1 oz slivered almonds, finely chopped (¼ cup)
- A 20 × 20 × 5cm/8 × 8 × 2 inch dish
Finely grate enough of the lemon peel to produce ½ teaspoon and set aside. Then juice the lemon.
Make up the jelly/jello according to the packet and add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Refrigerate until partially set (the consistency of unbeaten egg whites).
Stir the berries into the jelly/jello and then pour the berry mixture into the dish and refrigerate until the jelly has completely set.
Meanwhile, remove the cream cheese from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about 1 hour).
Once the jelly/jello has set, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
Cube the cream cheese and add to the cream, then sift in the icing sugar and beat well until combined. The mixture will become fluffy and thicken. Stir in the grated lemon peel.
Carefully spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over the jelly mixture and gently level with a palette knife making sure the mixture reaches the edges. Refrigerate for a further 1 hour.
Heat a small frying pan/skillet and tip in the nuts. Over a gentle heat stir the nuts to toast them. This will only take a few minutes. They are ready when they have turned a light golden colour and they begin to smell nutty. Remove from the pan and set to one side to cool.
To serve, sprinkle the nuts over the cream cheese mixture and cut into 6 portions. The first portion is always tricky to remove from the pan but then it becomes much easier.
Updated: August 7, 2017
Panna cotta is an Italian dessert where cream is sweetened and flavoured then left to set in a mould using gelatine. Here I have used a mixture of cream and yogurt to make to make a light summer dessert. Raspberry coulis is then drizzled over the top and topped with fresh raspberries.
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Chilling time: 4 hours
- For the panna cotta
- 425 ml 14 fl oz double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
- 14 g powdered gelatine 2 sachets or enough to set 850ml (28 fl oz) (3½ cups) according to the packet
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 85 g 3 oz caster/superfine sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
- 425 ml 14 fl oz natural Greek yogurt (1¾ cups)
- For the fruit coulis
- 340 g 12 oz raspberries (2½ cups)
- 55 g 2 oz caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)
- ½ lemon juice only
- You will also need a loaf tin or plastic container measuring 10 x 10 x 20cm 4 x 4 x 8 ins
For the panna cotta
First line the loaf tin or container with cling film/plastic wrap so that it hangs over the sides.
Put 2 tablespoons each of cream and water into a shallow dish and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave for 5 minutes to swell.
Place the dish in a larger dish and fill the larger dish with boiling water until it comes up to the level of the gelatine in the smaller dish. Leave for 5 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining cream into a pan and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool a little.
Spoon the yogurt into a bowl and, using a balloon whisk, whisk in the cream until the mixture is smooth. Then whisk in the dissolved gelatine mixture. (The gelatine needs to be fully dissolved before adding to the yogurt and cream and then mixed in thoroughly.)
Pour into the prepared loaf tin or container and chill for 4 hours.
For the fruit coulis
Wash and pat dry the raspberries. Reserve 18 for decoration and put the rest in a blender. Add the sugar and the juice of the half lemon. Purée the fruit.
Strain through a nylon sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds, pressing the sauce through with the back of a spoon. (Wipe the underside of the sieve with a clean spoon to remove all the coulis.)
Invert the panna cotta over a large plate and remove the cling film/plastic wrap.
Divide into 6 slices and lay each on a serving plate. Drizzle the coulis over the slices and then decorate each slice with 3 of the reserved raspberries.
Best served on the day it is prepared.
Updated: July 27, 2019
Pork fillets cooked in wine and flavoured with oregano, then covered with mozzarella cheese and a dollop of thick passata sauce.
- Preparation time: 40 minutes
- Marinading time: 1 hour
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 4450 g 1 lb pork fillet/tenderloin
- 3 fresh oregano sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 150 ml 5 fl oz red wine (⅔ cup)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 28 g 1 oz butter (⅛ cup, or ¼ stick)
- 4 tbsp chicken stock
- 300 ml 10 fl oz passata (1¼ cups)
- 115 g 4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into four thick slices
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- To serve
- Pasta fettuccini works well
Cut the pork into four and then flatten a little by placing each piece between cling film/plastic wrap and bashing with a rolling pin.
Place the fillets side by side in a shallow dish. Season and add the sprigs of oregano and crushed garlic. Then pour over the wine, cover the dish and marinade for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.
Meanwhile, spread the flour over a plate. Remove the fillets from the marinade and pat dry, then coat both sides in the flour. Reserve the marinade.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the butter over a moderate heat in a large frying pan/skillet. The butter will begin to foam and when this almost stops add the pork fillets. Sear on both sides for 2–3 minutes.
Strain the reserved marinade and add to the pan/skillet. Let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add the stock, and season. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the passata into a small pan over a moderate heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season, and let it bubble, uncovered, to reduce to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.
Now bring a kettle of water to the boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.
Next, put the peppers in a bowl, pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Tip into a large pan and sauté until soft.
Once the pork is cooked through, transfer the fillets to an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold them in a single layer.
Add 1 tablespoon water to the frying pan/skillet, stir and then reduce the liquid to 3–4 tablespoons. Spoon over the pork.
Cover each fillet with a slice of mozzarella and then add a large spoonful of the passata sauce in the middle of the slice. (Keep any remaining sauce warm.) Sprinkle over the oregano.
Pop in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes.
Spoon any remaining passata on four dinner plates and then top with the pasta. Add the pork fillets and spoon over the sauce from the ovenproof dish. Serve with the peppers.
Updated: August 23, 2019