Pavlova

Pavlova

Pavlova

6 –8 servings
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus time to prepare the fruit
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Standing time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • 225 g (8 oz) caster/granulated sugar (1⅛ cups)
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 450 g (1 lb) prepared fresh fruits
  • 2–3 tbsp Cointreau with a winter pavlova
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)

For a summer pavlova

  • Prepare strawberries, raspberries and other seasonal fruits of your choice.

For a winter pavlova

  • Melon, scooped out into balls, kiwi fruit, grapes and oranges.


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  • In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff.
  • Gradually whisk in 170 g (6 oz) (¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon) of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
  • Sift the cream of tartare and cornflour into the bowl. Sprinkle over the vanilla. Whisk until just combined.
  • Cut a sheet of baking parchment to fit a large baking sheet. Draw a 24 cm (9½ inch) oval onto the paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the baking sheet to secure the paper and stop it moving. Then place the paper on the baking sheet with the marked side facing down.
  • Spread the meringue inside the marked oval shape. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

  • Meanwhile prepare fruits. Cut larger fruits into slices or segments. Cut any orange segments free from their connecting tissue with a small, sharp knife. You want to end up with all the fruits being of a similar size. Place them in a bowl as you prepare them.

  • Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining sugar and, if making a winter pavlova, add the Cointreau. Allow to soak for 1 hour before serving.

  • Carefully peel the paper off the pavlova then place it on a flat serving dish.

  • Whip the cream until it will hold a soft peak and then spread over the meringue.

  • Carefully spoon the fruit on top.

  • Serve immediately.

  • More pavlovas
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other pavlovas:
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Stuffed Sole

Stuffed Sole

Sole fillets are a delicate fish and here they are cooked with a cream cheese, parsley and lemon stuffing, which adds to the flavour of the fish without overpowering it. Cooks in just 20 minutes for a delicious meal.

Stuffed Sole

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes, oven
  • Ingredients
  • 8 sole fillets, about 140 g (5 oz each)
  • 55 g (2 oz) cream cheese, softened (¼ cup)
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs, 1 slice bread with crusts
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • lemons
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • paprika

Equipment

  • You will also need an ovenproof dish large enough to take 4 fillets in a single layer, lightly greased.


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  • Zest half a lemon and set aside.

  • Tip the breadcrumbs into a large frying pan/skillet and, over a medium heat, toast them until quite crispy, 2–3 minutes. Shake the pan often to turn the crumbs.

  • Now tip the breadcrumbs into a large bowl and add the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley, black pepper, and the juice of the whole lemon. Mix to combine.

  • Place four of the fillets in the ovenproof dish in a single layer. Spread the filling over the four fillets and then top with the four remaining fillets.

  • Squeeze the juice of the half lemon over the fish.Then sprinkle a little paprika and the lemon zest on top.

  • Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

  • Garnish with the remaining parsley.

  • Serve with asparagus when in season. It is delicious with this dish as it complements the delicacy of the sole. Serve with whole green beans at other times.

Note

  • This dish can also be microwaved, covered, on high for 8 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
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Updated January 30, 2020

Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Maple Syrup

Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Maple Syrup

These buttermilk pancakes with apple and maple syrup are thicker, North American-style pancakes. The addition of the  buttermilk in the pancakes and the topping of sweet dessert apples, all smothered with maple syrup, make this a delicious dessert.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Maple Syrup

4 servings (12 pancakes)
  • Preparation time: about 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pancakes
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)
  • 170 ml (6 fl oz) buttermilk (¾ cup)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 140 ml (5 oz) milk (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • For the apples
  • 3 dessert apples
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar

  • To serve
  • maple syrup
  • crème fraîche


  • Method
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and mix in the sugar.

  • Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and most of the milk.

  • Gradually whisk the flour into the wet ingredients, adding enough extra milk to make a smooth, fairly thick batter.

  • Set aside to stand for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile warm 6 plates in the oven.

  • Now peel, core and thickly slice the apples.

  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet and add the apple slices in a single layer. Dust with the icing/powdered sugar and cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden. Tip onto a warmed plate, cover with foil, and keep warm in the oven while cooking the pancakes.

  • For the pancakes, melt the butter in a large, heavy gauged frying pan (skillet). Pour into a small bowl and use this to smear the pan between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper,

  • Now wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper and then turn up the heat to get the pan really hot.

  • Reduce the heat to medium and then grease the pan with a little of the melted butter. (It should be lightly greased, not running with butter.)

  • Add 3 tablespoonfuls of batter and cook for 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and the underside is golden. Turn and cook for a further minute. Lift out onto a warmed plate, cover loosely with foil. and pop the plate back in the oven. Repeat using the remaining batter until there are 12 pancakes.

To serve

  • Pile three pancakes on each plate and top with the apple slices.Pour over maple syrup and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche.
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Updated: January 30, 2020

Apple Within

Apple Within

Chunky pieces of apple are baked within a sponge mixture – hence its name. Another way to enjoy cooking apples when they are at their best.

Apple Within

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 115 g (4 oz) light muscovado/soft light brown sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) milk (⅓ cup)
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising/self rising flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 450 g (1 lb) Bramley apples (or apple variety suitable for cooking)

Equipment

  • You will also need a baking dish roughly 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inches)


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  • First grease the baking dish.

  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

  • Beat in the egg.

  • Then mix in the milk.

  • Fold in the flour and cloves.

  • Now peel, core and roughly chop the apples and then fold into the mixture.

  • Tip into the buttered dish, spreading the mixture out but leaving the surface quite uneven.

  • Bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

  • Serve hot with cream and extra sugar.
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Updated: January 24, 2020

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

A very light meringue dessert, with chocolate and cream, that tastes heavenly. This is really easy to make and looks impressive.

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

12 meringues
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170 g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 3 tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped (or walnuts)
  • For the filling
  • 70 g (2½ oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter (1½ tbsp)
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • To serve
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder optional


  • Method
  • For the meringue
  • Preheat oven to a cool setting, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  • Toast the hazelnuts by heating in a pan over a medium–low heat until just turning colour and begin to smell nutty. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly. Set aside to cool.

  • Now whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Drizzle over the coffee extract and whisk again until mixed in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  • Carefully fold in the nuts.

  • Line two baking trays/sheets with parchment paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the trays/sheets to hold the linings in place. Then swirl small spoonfuls of meringue onto the paper. The mixture will make approximately 24 meringues (you want an even number). Do not try piping the meringue as the nuts will clog the tip!

  • Now bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the meringues are dry and lift freely from the paper. Turn off the oven and, if you have time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Otherwise transfer the trays/sheets onto wire cooling racks and leave the meringues to cool. When they are cool, remove from the paper.

  • For the filling
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl that will fit over a pan of just simmering water. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the water. Stir as it melts until the mixture is smooth. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  • When the chocolate is cold, coat the flat surface of 12 meringues.

  • Now whip the cream. Use the cream to sandwich together a chocolate-coated meringue and a plain meringue.

  • To serve
  • Cocoa powder can be sifted lightly over the top of each meringue to decorate.
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Updated: January 22, 2020

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

A refreshing way to end a rich meal. Slices of juicy oranges, steeped in a caramel sauce, and given an extra kick with the addition of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 2–3 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 4 medium juicy oranges
  • 110 g (4 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Equipment

  • You will also need a large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes


  • Method
  • Thinly pare the rind from one orange and cut into very thin julienne strips. Place in a small pan and cover with water. Cover the pan and gently cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  • Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remaining oranges. Remove as much pith from the oranges as possible. Then slice them into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange the slices in the serving bowl or individual dishes.

  • Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz (⅔ cup) of water in a small heavy based pan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Now bring to the boil and continue boiling until the syrup is a light caramel colour.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml (1½ tbsp) water and return to a low heat.
  • Stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

  • Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges.

  • Top with the julienne strips.

  • Then chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.
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Updated: January 11, 2020

Crossover Pancakes

Crossover Pancakes

Small English-sized pancakes that are made with a thicker North American-style batter. These are served one on top the other with sweetened butter and maple syrup poured generously over the top.

Crossover Pancakes

12 pancakes
  • Preparation time: about 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: about 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250 g (9 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 475 ml (16 fl oz) milk (2 cups)
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • pinch of salt
  • To serve
  • 85 g (3 oz) butter, softened (³⁄₈ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted
  • maple syrup to pour

Equipment

  • You will also need a 20 cm (8 inch) nonstick frying pan/skillet.


  • Method
  • Melt 85g (3 oz) of the butter and set aside to cool.

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Then mix in the sugar.

  • Next make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the eggs, milk, and melted butter, incorporating flour from around the edges. Using a rubber spatula, push down any remaining flour from the sides of the bowl and whisk again until there is a smooth, thick batter.

  • Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1) and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  • Meanwhile prepare the sweetened butter In a small bowl beat the softened butter together with the icing/powdered sugar and set aside.

  • Now to cook the pancakes. Melt the remaining 28g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) butter. in the frying pan /skillet and pour into a small bowl and set aside. Wipe clean the frying pan/skillet with kitchen paper. Get the frying pan/skillet really hot and then reduce the heat to medium. Before cooking each pancake, smear the pan with a little melted butter, using a wodge of kitchen paper, to keep it lightly greased.
  • For each pancake you will need about ¼ cup of batter. A ladle makes it easy to scoop out the batter and pour into the pan. So for the first pancake, scoop ¼ cup of batter into the ladle and this will be a guide for the rest.

  • Quickly ladle the batter into the centre of the frying pan/skillet, lifting from the heat, and tipping the pan/skillet from side to side to even out the batter. The batter won’t cover the surface of the pan/skillet but should make an even round pancake. Then return to the heat and cook the pancake for 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is starting to turn golden in colour. Flip it over using a palette knife and cook the underside for another 1–2 minutes. Now slide onto one of the warmed plates and cover loosely with foil. Return to the oven to keep warm.

  • Repeat using the remaining batter, overlapping the pancakes on the warmed plate.

  • To serve, stack three pancakes on each of the other warmed plates and top each stack with a spoonful of the reserved sweetened butter.

  • Serve with maple syrup.
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Updated: January 6, 2020

Banana and Honey Brûlée

Banana and Honey Brûlée

A tasty twist on a classic crème brulée. Quick to prepare and just chill until needed.

Banana and Honey Brûlée

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 10–25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 minute
  • Refrigeration time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 small bananas, well mashed
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 500 g carton Greek yogurt

  • For the topping
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 75 g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

Equipment

  • You will also need 4 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  • Method
  • Divide the mashed bananas amongst the four ramekins and smooth the top.

  • Then drizzle over the honey to completely cover the bananas.

  • Carefully spoon an equal amount of yogurt into each ramekin and smooth the top.

  • Now sprinkle over the nuts and gently press them down into the yogurt.

  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Working on one ramekin at a time, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the nuts and yogurt. (The sugar needs to cover the yogurt completely.)

  • Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  • Now repeat with the other 3 ramekins.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  • Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the nuts and yogurt in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the yogurt is completely covered.

  • Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the heat source as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.
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Updated: January 4, 2020

Mini Ciabatta Pizzas

Mini Ciabatta Pizzas

These mini ciabatta pizzas are made with ciabatta halves topped with tomatoes, cheese, bacon and onion, cooked in olive oil and garlic. Perfect for a light snack.

Mini Ciabatta Pizzas

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 bacon rashers, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 ciabattas, halved horizontally
  • 1 × 400g (½ × 28 fl oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 115 g (4 oz) cheese, grated (1 cup)


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  • Fry the bacon in 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes until crispy. Set aside.

  • Lower the heat and fry the onion in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, in a small pan, warm through the tomatoes. Then spoon equal amounts over the cut side of the ciabatta halves.

  • Sprinkle over the cheese and then top with the bacon and onion mixture.

  • Cook the ciabatta pizza in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
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Updated: January 4, 2020