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

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

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


  1. Method
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml/1½ tbsp water and return to a low heat.

  6. Stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

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

  8. Top with the julienne strips.

  9. Then chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.

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

  • Ingredients
  • 250g (9 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2½ tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 475ml (16 fl oz) milk (2 cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • pinch of salt

  • To serve
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, softened (³⁄₈ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted
  • maple syrup to pour

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


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

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

  4. 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.

  5. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

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

  13. Serve with maple syrup.

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
Prepares: 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
  • 500g carton Greek yogurt

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

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


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

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

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

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

  6. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  7. 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.)

  8. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  9. Now repeat with the other 3 ramekins.

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

  11. For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

Updated: January 4, 2020

Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

 

A traditional English dessert where bread is buttered, then topped with a sprinkling of dried fruits, and then covered with a vanilla custard before topping with cinnamon and demerara sugar. It is then baked until the top is lovely and crispy.

 

Bread and Butter Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 28g (1 oz) softened butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 2 tsp chopped mixed peel
  • 3 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) full-fat/whole milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

  • You will also need a 23 × 12cm (9 × 5 inch) shallow ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Butter the bread and cut each slice into quarters.

  3. With the buttered sides uppermost, arrange the quarters over the bottom of the ovenproof dish, overlapping them to fit.

  4. Scatter the currants, sultanas and mixed peel on top.

  5. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together two of the eggs and the yolk only of the third. Whisk in the sugar and then stir in the milk and vanilla extract.

  6. Strain the custard and then gently pour over the bread.

  7. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and demerara sugar, and then leave for 30 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  9. Put the dish into a roasting tin/pan and then fill the roasting tin/pan with boiling water until it comes half-way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is brown and crispy.

Updated: December 31, 2019

Baked Bananas in an Orange Sauce

Baked Bananas in an Orange Sauce

 

For a really quick dessert that is prepared and baked in just 15 minutes. Bananas are sliced and coated with butter, sugar and orange juice and baked with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

 

Baked Bananas in an Orange Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: Less than 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 8–10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 6 small or 4 large bananas
  • 55g/2 oz butter, melted (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 4 tbsp light muscovado sugar/soft, light brown sugar
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • ground cinnamon

  • You will also need a medium size gratin dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.

  3. Thickly slice the bananas and spread over the base of the dish.

  4. Now pour the butter over the bananas, sprinkle over the sugar, then pour over the orange juice.

  5. Finally, add a little ground cinnamon.

  6. Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes until tender and syrupy.

Updated: December 31, 2019

 

 

Raspberry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle

 

Frozen raspberries are used in this light, creamy trifle. Raspberry filled sponges are soaked in sherry and then topped with raspberries and covered in a creamy custard before decorating with dollops of whipped cream and crushed biscuits.

 

Raspberry Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Refrigeration time: At least 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 trifle sponges or 1 packet lady fingers
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve or jam
  • 50ml (2 fl oz) sherry or framboise (¼ cup)
  • 340g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups), thawed
  • 360ml (12 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1½ cups)
  • 3 ratafias or amaretti biscuits

  • You will also need a large flat bottomed glass dish or 8 individual glass dessert dishes.


  1. Method
  2. First pour the milk into a pan.

  3. Now put the egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour/cornstarch in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of milk taken from the milk in the pan. Using an electric whisk, whisk until the mixture is pale in colour and has thickened, 2–3 minutes. Set aside.

  4. Stir the vanilla into the milk and bring to the boil. Then slowly pour onto the egg mixture, stirring constantly. When smooth, pour the mixture back into a clean pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

  5. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent it forming a skin. Leave to become cold.

  6. Meanwhile, slice the trifle sponges or lady fingers in half and spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Now sandwich back together and arrange them in a single layer over the bottom of the glass dish or individual dishes.

  7. Drizzle the sherry or framboise over the sponges.

  8. Now spoon the raspberries on top of the sponges (you may not need all the juice that has come from thawing the raspberries).

  9. Whisk 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of the cream until thick. Using a balloon whisk, whisk the custard to loosen it a little and then whisk in the cream until combined. Pour over the raspberries.

  10. Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form.

  11. Now to decorate the top. Put dollops of cream around the edge of the trifle in the large glass dish or spoon one dollop on top of the trifles in the individual glass dishes. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  12. Meanwhile, crush the biscuits into small pieces and, just before serving, sprinkle over the cream.

  13. Note
  14. If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.

Updated: December 30, 2019

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar

 

I saw Mary Berry create this recipe for floating islands on the Great British Bake Off Masterclass. I have always sprinkled cocoa powder over the meringue eggs (see here) but would certainly recommend this for a change.

 

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crème anglaise
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup)
  • 180ml (7 fl oz) double cream/heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only (reserve 3 egg whites for the meringue)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)

  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, whites only (reserved from the crème anglaise)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)

  • For the spun sugar
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup)

  • You will also need a deep sided sauté or frying pan/skillet with lid and four shallow dessert bowls.


  1. Method
  2. For the spun sugar
  3. Melt the sugar, without stirring, in a small stainless steel pan over a medium heat. Meanwhile, cover a rolling pin with parchment. When the sugar turns a deep golden-brown remove the pan from the heat. Leave to cool slightly, about 30 seconds, then, using the back of a fork or a whisk, quickly flick the caramel backwards and forwards over the rolling pin. (Take care as the sugar will still be very hot.) Gather the strands into a rough ball shape while gently pulling upwards and place on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

  4. For the poaching liquid
  5. This will become the crème anglaise. Pour the milk and cream in the sauté or frying pan/skillet and stir in the vanilla. Then bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat while making the meringue.

  6. For the meringues
  7. In a large grease-free bowl, using an electric hand whisk on fast speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or use the whisk attachment on a food mixer). Now gradually whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form and the meringue is thick and glossy. 


  8. Have a glass or jug of water to hand. Then using two metal tablespoons or serving spoons, shape large eggs from the meringue mixture, dipping the spoons in the water to help shape them and keep them smooth. The meringue should make 4 very large eggs. Place the meringue eggs in the poaching liquid as you form them. Cover the pan and, over a very low heat, poach the meringue eggs for about 8–9 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Make sure the poaching liquid simmers very gently. It must not boil or the meringues will puff up and then collapse. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a wire rack covered with paper towel to drain. 


  9. For the crème anglaise
  10. Strain the poaching milk through a sieve into a large jug. 


  11. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes.


  12. Gradually stir in the warm poaching milk. Then pour the mixture into a clean heavy-based pan and cook over a very low heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.

  13. To serve
  14. Divide the crème anglaise amongst the dessert bowls and then float a meringue egg on top.

    Decorate with a ball of spun sugar.

Updated: December 29, 2019

Apple Snow

 

This Apple Snow dish is based on the traditional version but it does not use raw eggs. The apples are topped with Greek yogurt and sprinkled with roasted oatmeal.

 

Apple Snow
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: about 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 45 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 small apples suitable for cooking
  • 250g Greek yogurt (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp medium or coarse pinhead oatmeal/steel cut oatmeal

  • You will also need 4 short glass tumblers


  1. Method
  2. Peel, core and chop the apples. Put in a pan with 1 tablespoon water and gently cook for 15–20 minutes until the fruit is very soft, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and whisk to make the apples fluffy. Leave to cool, about 45 minutes.

  3. Divide the apple between the glasses and smooth the tops.

  4. Stir the yogurt and then spoon on top of the apple. Chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and add the oatmeal. Cook for a few minutes moving the oatmeal around. Once it starts to brown, it is ready. Set aside to cool.

  6. Just before serving, sprinkle the oatmeal over the yogurt.

Updated: December 29, 2019

Floating Islands Dusted with Cocoa

Floating Islands Dusted with Cocoa

 

Floating Islands make a  lovely light dessert where poached meringues float on a creamy crème anglaise and are dusted with cocoa powder.

 

Floating Islands Dusted with Cocoa
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crème anglaise
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) milk (⅞ cup)
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅞ cup)
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 
4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only (reserving 3 egg whites for the meringue)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)


  • For the meringues
  • 3 egg whites (reserved from the crème anglaise)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)


  • To serve
  • Cocoa powder for dusting or grated plain/dark chocolate.

  • You will also need a large sauté pan or large deep sided frying pan/skillet with lid.


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  3. In a large grease-free bowl, using an electric hand whisk on high speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or use the whisk attachment on a food mixer). Then gradually whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is thick and glossy. Put to one side while preparing the poaching liquid.


  4. For the poaching liquid
  5. This will become the crème anglaise. Pour the milk and cream into the pan and stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat.


  6. For the islands (also known as quenelles)
  7. Fill a tumbler or jug with water. Now, using two metal tablespoons, shape eggs from the meringue. Dip the spoons in the water between making each egg as this will help in shaping them and keeping them smooth. Place the meringue eggs in the poaching liquid as you go. There should be enough meringue to make 8 eggs. Cover the pan and, over a very low heat, poach the meringue eggs for 4–5 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Make sure the poaching liquid simmers very gently. It must not boil or the meringues will puff up and then collapse. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, carefully transfer them to a wire rack covered with paper towel to drain. 


  8. For the crème anglaise
  9. Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve into a jug. 


  10. Next, in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes. 


  11. Gradually stir in the poaching liquid. Then pour the mixture into a clean pan and cook over a low heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. When it has become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat.

  12. To serve
  13. Divide the crème anglaise amongst four shallow individual serving bowls and then float two meringue eggs on top of each one. 


  14. They can then be decorated with a dusting of cocoa powder or a little grated chocolate.

Updated: December 29, 2019

Tarte au Citron

Tarte au Citron

 

A light pastry base is filled with a creamy, citrus filling that makes this tart very refreshing.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tarte au Citron
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Standing time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain/all purpose flour (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 115g (4 oz) cold butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • a pinch of salt

  • For the filling
  • 3 lemons, juice only (9 tbsp)
  • ½ orange, juice only
  • 225g (8 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 140ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)

  • To serve
  • icing/powdered sugar

  • You will also need a 27cm (10½ inch) loose-based tart tin, greased and floured.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.

  4. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Rub in the butter, at the same time lifting the flour well out of the bowl to incorporate as much air as possible.

  5. When the mixture resembles dry breadcrumbs, add the sugar.

  6. Then sprinkle over 3 tablespoons of cold water and, using a palette knife, bring the mixture together until it begins to form clumps. Add a little more water (no more than 1 tablespoon) if the mixture seems dry. Using your hands, bring together into a ball by kneading lightly. Cover in cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to relax the pastry.

  7. (Alternatively, use a food processor.)

  8. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is 5cm (2 inches) larger than the size of the tart tin. Carefully transfer to the tin without stretching the pastry. Gently press down into the sides of the tin, then trim by running the rolling-pin over the top to cut the pastry level with the rim. Return to the fridge for a further 20 minutes to firm up.

  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas mark 6).

  10. Prick the pastry base all over, line with baking paper and add baking beans, making sure they spread to the edge. Bake for 15 minutes.

  11. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10–15 minutes until golden. Put to one side to cool a little before filling.


  12. For the filling
  13. Meanwhile, make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2).

  14. Strain the juice of the lemons and orange into a bowl.

  15. Add the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks and whisk just enough to blend in the eggs. Whisk gently to avoid the mixture becoming too frothy.

  16. Stir in the cream.

  17. Then strain the mixture into a jug.

  18. Carefully remove the tart shell from the tin and place on baking sheet. Pour the strained mixture into the tart shell. Very carefully slide onto the oven rack and bake for 20–25 minutes until just set. Then leave to cool.

  19. Just before serving dust icing/powered sugar over the lemon tart using a small sieve. Serve at room temperature.

Updated: November 19, 2019

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

 

These meringues are flavoured with coffee and, when cooked, a little melted chocolate is drizzled over. Serve on their own or with whipped cream or ice cream. Whatever you choose, they just melt in your mouth.

 

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate
Prepares: 8 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: about 15 minutes


  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or coffee extract
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark chocolate

  • You will also need 2 medium baking sheets/trays lined with baking parchment


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. If using coffee granules, dissolve in 1 teaspoon of hot water and leave to cool.

  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until just stiff. Now gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes very thick and glossy. Then sprinkle over the coffee and whisk until it has thoroughly mixed in.

  5. Dab a little meringue on the corners of the baking sheets/trays which will prevent the parchment paper from slipping. Then line each sheet/tray, pressing the baking parchment down at the corners. Spoon 4 mounds of meringue onto each baking sheet/tray, spacing them well apart. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should feel hard to the touch and lift off the parchment paper easily.

  6. If you like your meringues crisp on the outside but chewy in the centre, then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack. If you prefer them crisp all the way through, then leave in the oven until it has become cold.

  7. Meanwhile break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, then remove from the heat and leave until it has become cold.

  8. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringues. Leave in a cool place for the chocolate to set.

Updated: November 16, 2019

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee Crème Brûlée

 

Coffee crème brûlée – a lovely creamy coffee custard topped with caramelized sugar. This recipe gives two methods of creating the caramelized topping, with or without using a chef’s blowtorch.

 

Coffee Crème Brûlée
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30–45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on the day of serving


  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 
40g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 
½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) single cream/table cream (1¼ cups)

  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 
3 tsp instant coffee granules or coffee essence

  • For the topping
  • 4 tbsp golden caster, granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100g (3½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • Note: If using a blowtorch, superfine sugar is finer than caster sugar and begins to melt too quickly once it is spooned onto the custard. Granulated sugar works better.

  • You will also need 6 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. For the custard
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3).

  4. Lightly grease the ramekins with butter and set to one side.

  5. Line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (this prevents them from slipping).

  6. Then have a kettle of boiling water ready.

  7. Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding.

  8. Remove from the heat and add the coffee granules stirring until dissolved, or just stir in the coffee essence.

  9. Leave to cool a little.

  10. Meanwhile put the egg yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together.

  11. Gradually pour the cream into the bowl, while whisking at the same time, until the cream is blended into the egg mixture.

  12. Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.

  13. Now carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  14. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it.

  15. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.

  16. Then take the ramekins out of the water, cover them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  17. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  18. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  19. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

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

  21. For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  22. First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on the counter top.

  23. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar.

  24. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved.

  25. Then increase the heat to medium–high and, 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.

  26. Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

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

  28. 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 (just like superfine sugar).

  29. Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

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

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

Updated: November 4, 2019