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
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter, for greasing
  • 
4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 
45g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)

  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)

  • 3 tsp instant coffee granules or coffee essence

  • For the topping
  • 2–3 tbsp golden caster/white sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • Equipment
  • 6 x 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


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

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

  5. Put the egg yolks into a large bowl, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk with a balloon whisk to combine. Set to one side.

  6. Pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and add the coffee granules, stirring until dissolved, or stir in the coffee essence. Leave to cool slightly, about 2 minutes.

  7. Gradually pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking with the balloon whisk until blended. Strain the custard and divide between the six ramekins.

  8. Boil a kettle of water. Meanwhile, 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 slipping). Carefully pour enough boiling water into the dish or pan/tin to come halfway up the sides of the ramekin dishes.

  9. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. The custard needs to still wobble slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the water. Take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

  10. For the topping using a chef’s blowtorch
  11. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  12. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  13. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  14. For the topping without using a chef’s blowtorch
  15. First, have a piece of parchment 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.

  16. The caramel will harden 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 custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  17. Preheat the grill/broiler to high.

  18. 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.

  19. Leave to cool then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: November 20, 2017

Individual Banoffee Pavlovas

Individual Banoffee Pavlovas

 

These scrumptious pavlovas have a base of meringue topped with cream, toffee sauce and sliced bananas, then decorated with chocolate swirls.

 

Individual Banoffee Pavlovas
Prepares: 4 pavlovas
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar

  • For the cream topping
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)

  • For the banoffee topping
  • 90ml (3 fl oz) Dulce de Leche (a creamy caramel sauce) (⅓ cup)
  • 2 bananas

  • For the chocolate swirls
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/dark chocolate

  • Equipment
  • small disposable piping bag


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

  3. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Then gradually add the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle over the cornflour/cornstarch and vinegar and whisk in.

  4. Place a piece of baking parchment on a large baking sheet and secure by dabbing a little of the meringue mixture in the corners. Use the meringue from the edge of the whisk to do this (a Mary Berry tip).

  5. Spoon four separate large spoonfuls onto the paper and flatten to make circles about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick.

  6. Bake for 1¼ hours, until the meringues can be lifted off the paper easily. Leave to cool.

  7. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place half in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water. When melted remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the consistency is smooth. Set aside to cool a little.

  8. Whip the cream until it is thick, then gently spread over the meringues.

  9. Measure the Dulce de Leche into a small bowl. Now slice the bananas and add to the bowl. Stir to coat the bananas with the caramel. Spoon over the cream layer.

  10. Spoon the chocolate into the piping bag and snip off the end to give a small opening. Pipe a zig-zag pattern over the bananas.

  11. They can be chilled for up to one hour. Any longer and the bananas will start to discolour.

Updated: November 18, 2017

Chocolate Choux Buns

I recently made some chocolate choux buns and, whilst making the choux pastry, I decided to try whisking the eggs into the melted butter mixture using an electric hand whisk. I had picked up on the fact that this is supposed to incorporate air into the mixture as you are whisking in the eggs, resulting in a lighter pastry.

 

Having had success with these choux buns, I will now use this method when making the pastry for the religieuses and so I have amended the method for making the choux pastry in that recipe to show this (see here).

 

I like trying new ways of doing things. They don’t always work but this one certainly did.

 

Chocolate Choux Buns

 

Choux buns filled with a sweet, vanilla cream and topped with a thick coating of chocolate – what could be more heavenly?

 

Chocolate Choux Buns
Prepares: 8 choux buns
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the choux buns
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, cut into cubes (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 70g (2½ oz) plain/all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), lightly beaten

  • For the filling
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp caster/white sugar

  • Topping
  • 100g (3½ oz) plain/dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter, cut into cubes (3 tbsp)


  1. Method
  2. For the choux buns
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) (gas 7)

  4. First sift the flour onto a piece of kitchen paper.

  5. Place the butter in a heavy-based pan along with 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of water. Heat the mixture over a gentle heat until the butter melts, stirring occasionally. Now bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then immediately remove from the heat and quickly tip in the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

  6. Now cook the mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly, until it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a soft ball, about 2 minutes. The mixture will also dry out a little at this stage. Then transfer to a mixing bowl and leave until it feels cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.

  7. Next, using an electric whisk, gradually add the eggs, whisking well between each addition. Not all the egg may be needed. Just add enough until the mixture is smooth and shiny and forms a soft peak. (Using an electric whisk will allow air to be incorporated into the mixture as the eggs are added.) 


  8. Sprinkle or spray a little water over the baking sheet. (When in the oven the water will create steam which will help puff up the mixture.) Put eight large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, spaced evenly apart.

  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5). Cook for a further 20 minutes or until the buns are well risen and golden brown. (Don’t open the door of the oven during the first 20 minutes of cooking.) Remove the choux buns and turn off the oven.

  10. Pierce a small hole into each bun with a skewer or make a small cut with the tip of a knife, which will allow steam to escape, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out.

  11. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Then cut in half and remove any uncooked pastry. They are then ready to be filled.

  12. Topping
  13. Put the butter and half the chocolate in a heavy-based pan and melt over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from the heat, add the remaining chocolate, and stir until it has melted and the mixture is of a smooth consistency. Set to one side to cool.

  14. For the filling
  15. Whisk the cream, vanilla extract and sugar together until stiff.

  16. Cut the buns in half and fill with the cream mixture.

  17. To finish
  18. Once the chocolate is cool, thickly coat the top of each bun.

  19. Note
  20. These are best eaten within a few hours after they have been filled. Once filled with the cream mixture, the pastry will tend to soften.

Updated: November 16, 2017

Orange Baked Sponge Pudding with Raspberry Jam

Orange Baked Sponge Pudding with Raspberry Jam

 

A sponge pudding to fill the family on those cooler days. Individual, light sponge puddings flavoured with orange and topped with raspberry jam.

 

Orange Baked Sponge Pudding with Raspberry Jam
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, softened, (½ cup, or 1 stick) plus extra for greasing
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 medium orange
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup + 1½ tsp)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 115g (4 oz) self raising/self-rising flour, sifted (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 4 x 175ml (6 fl oz) (1 cup) pudding basins or similar small rounded dishes
  • A deep sided tin/pan large enough to hold the four basins


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. Grease the four pudding basins and put 1 tablespoon of jam in the bottom of each. Set aside.

  4. Grate the zest from half the orange and set aside. Then squeeze the juice from the orange and pour into a small jug.

  5. Beat the zest into the butter using an electric hand mixer. Add the sugar and beat until light and creamy. Then gradually whisk in the egg. Fold in the flour, adding sufficient orange juice to give a soft dropping consistency. This is best done one tablespoon at a time.

  6. Alternatively, use a free-standing mixer. Mix all the ingredients together, except for the orange juice. Then add the orange juice, one tablespoon at a time, until a soft dropping consistency is reached.

  7. Divide the mixture between the four basins and smooth the tops.

  8. Butter four pieces of foil, each large enough to cover the basins, and fold over the sides. Then put the covered basins in the tin/pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basins. Bake for 45 minutes until the tops of the sponges spring back when lightly pressed.

  9. Carefully lift the basins out of the pan. Run a small palette knife round the edge of the sponges, then turn them out onto four plates or dessert bowls.

  10. Serve with cream or custard (optional).

Updated: November 9, 2017

Sweet Berry Trifle

Sweet Berry Trifle

 

A sweet trifle with frozen mixed berries to create a light dessert that goes down so easily. The sponge is soaked in a fruity, sherry syrup, topped with the summer berries, a rich creamy custard and finished with flavoured whipped cream.

 

Sweet Berry Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 1 hour 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 6 sponge trifles or 1 packet lady fingers
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 340g (12 oz) frozen summer fruits/frozen mixed berries, thawed (2 cups)
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup*
  • 4 tbsp sherry

  • For the custard
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) full-fat/whole milk (1¼ cups)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 3 egg yolks, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the topping
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup*
  • 1 tbsp sherry

  • *runny honey can be substituted for golden syrup

  • Equipment
  • Large, flat-bottomed glass bowl (trifle bowl) or 8 individual flat-bottomed, glass dishes


  1. Method
  2. Slice the trifle sponges or lady fingers in half and sandwich back together with the raspberry jam. Cut the sponges into large chunks and put in the bottom of the trifle bowl, or divide between the individual dishes.

  3. Drain the fruit, reserving the juice, and layer over the sponge.

  4. Make up the reserved juice to 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) with boiling water and add the golden syrup and sherry. Stir well to combine and then spoon evenly over the fruit and sponge to moisten.

  5. For the custard
  6. Pour the milk, cream and the vanilla extract into a pan and heat until bubbling around the edges. Put to one side. Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour until smooth. Then gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture. Return the custard to the pan, bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 2–3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the custard has thickened. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  7. Slowly pour the custard in an even layer over the fruit, then chill for 20 minutes, until the custard is cool and just beginning to set.

  8. For the topping
  9. Whip the cream with the golden syrup and sherry until it starts to hold its shape. Then spoon over the custard.

  10. Return to the fridge to chill for 1 hour 30 minutes before serving.

Updated: November 7, 2017

Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae

Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae

 

A traditional ice cream sundae – delicious at any time. Raspberry sauce drizzled through scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt and velvety whipped cream.

 

Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) frozen raspberries, thawed (2 cups)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 lemon, juice only*
  • 284ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 8 good scoops vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

  • *1 lemon should yield 3 tbsp

  • Equipment
  • 4 sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. To make the raspberry sauce, put the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan with 225ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly thick and syrupy.

  3. Put the raspberries in a blender or food processor and pour the hot syrup over the top. Purée until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

  4. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  5. Drizzle two tablespoons of the raspberry sauce round the inside of each sundae glass. (It will run down the insides of the glass and leave a layer on the bottom.)

  6. Add two scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt to each glass.

  7. Now add a large dollop of whipped cream and then slowly drizzle two tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the top, allowing the sauce to run down through the layers.

  8. Serve immediately.

Updated: November 1, 2017

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: 15 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/white sugar
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) full-fat/whole milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

  • Equipment
  • 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, lay the quarters in the bottom of the ovenproof dish, overlapping them to fit.

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

  5. 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 until combined.

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

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

  8. 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.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding

This week we’ve had a couple of nights where it feels quite cool – it seems as though the time has come to say goodbye to summer and all those lovely berry desserts.

The coming of fall, although a beautiful but short season here in Ontario, will mean that winter is just around the corner. Now being a summer person, that is not my favourite time of year. It means there is often a very reluctant dog (our yellow labrador) and us to venture out on walks. The bright sunny, even snowy days, are a delight – it’s the ice and wind I could do without!

So – where I was going – it seems that it’s now time to start bringing out the fall recipes with that bit of comfort food about them. The first one we had again for supper last evening – a Lemon Surprise Pudding – which has just been added to the blog. I hope that you will want to try it.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding

 

This Lemon Surprise Pudding makes a lovely, citrus dessert. The mixture creates a thick, very lemony sauce that is covered with a really light and airy sponge.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large lemons
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, softened (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/cake and pastry flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (⅔ cup)

  • To serve
  • Double/whipping or heavy cream

  • Equipment
  • 1 litre ( 1¾ pint) (4 cups) ovenproof dish
  • roasting tin/pan


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  3. First, zest one of the lemons and then squeeze out the juice from both of them. The juice should yield 150 ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup).

  4. Cream the butter and lemon zest together in a large bowl. Then, a spoonful at a time, add the sugar, beating well between each addition, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

  5. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl to whip later and adding the yolks to the mixture.

  6. Next sieve the flour into a separate bowl, then add a tablespoon of flour, followed by a tablespoon of milk to the mixture. Beat well between each addition until all the flour and milk have been incorporated.

  7. Now, slowly add the lemon juice to the sponge mixture. It may start to curdle but that will not be a problem.

  8. Finally, whip the egg whites until they are just stiff and then lightly fold into the mixture.

  9. Generously butter the ovenproof dish and then pour in the mixture.

  10. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place the ovenproof dish in the roasting tin/pan and then add the boiling water to the tin/pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ovenproof dish.

  11. Bake for 35 minutes until the top begins to brown and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of a finger.

  12. Serve immediately along with a jug of cream. Surprise! Beneath the very light and airy sponge, you’ll find a lovely, thick lemon sauce at the bottom of the dish.

 

Quick Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

Quick Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

 

This makes a lovely refreshing dessert and is very quick to prepare. A thick raspberry sauce, made from frozen raspberries, is carefully swirled through a creamy vanilla ice cream.

 

Quick Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Freezing time: 3 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 litre container vanilla ice cream
  • 285g (10 oz) frozen raspberries (1¼ cups)
  • 28g (1oz) caster/white sugar (2 tbsp)
  • ½ lemon

  • Equipment
  • dessert glass dishes


  1. Method
  2. First transfer the ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator so it can soften while preparing the raspberry sauce.

  3. Place the raspberries in a small pan (they don’t have to be thawed). Break them up a little if they have frozen in a clump. Sprinkle over the sugar and add the zest of the lemon. Then squeeze out the juice into the pan.

  4. Bring the juice to the boil over a medium heat and then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and become syrupy.

  5. Pass the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, which will then leave a lovely thick syrup. Leave to become cold which will only take a few minutes.

  6. Tip the ice cream into a large bowl and break up with a spoon. It should be quite soft by now. Pour half of the syrup over the ice cream and quickly cut in with a spoon just using a few strokes. (Avoid over-working or it will turn into a raspberry mess!!) Now just sprinkle over the remaining raspberry syrup and this should just run through any gaps.

  7. Using a large spoon, scoop the ice cream into a 2 litre container and then return to the freezer. It will take about 3 hours to refreeze.

 

Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry Crisp

 

Sliced strawberries are tossed in sugar and covered with buttery oats and brown sugar … then baked until the top is crisp. Serve it warm with lashings of cream or a scoop or two of ice cream.

 

Strawberry Crisp
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the strawberries
  • 1 quart container, 675g (1½ lb) strawberries, thickly sliced (4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp caster/white sugar

  • For the topping
  • 140g (5 oz) wholemeal/wholewheat flour (1 cup)
  • 85g (3 oz) porridge oats/rolled oats (1 cup)
  • 100g (3½ oz) light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (½ cup, or 1 stick)

  • Equipment
  • 2 pint ovenproof dish measuring 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inches)


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)
  3. For the strawberries
  4. Place the sliced strawberries in a bowl and toss with the sugar to coat. Leave on one side while preparing the topping.

  5. For the topping
  6. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda. Rub in the butter until a crumbly mixture is reached.

  7. For baking
  8. Tip the strawberries into the ovenproof dish, spreading out evenly, and spooning over the juice.

  9. Cover with the crumbly mixture.

  10. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is crisp and the strawberry juices are bubbling.

  11. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

  12. Tip: This recipe also works well with frozen strawberries.

 

Meringue Layers with Red Plums

Meringue Layers with Red Plums

 

For meringue lovers – this is another recipe that is delicious at the end of summer. Juicy red plums lie on freshly whipped cream, sandwiched between meringue, topped with chopped nuts.

 

Meringue Layers with Red Plums
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus cooling time for meringues
  • Chilling time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringue layers
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

  • For the filling
  • 8 large red plums
  • 2 tbsp caster/white sugar
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)


  1. Method
  2. For the plums
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  4. Wash the plums and cut in half following the natural line. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove the stones.

  5. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish, cut sides up. Sprinkle with the sugar and add 2 tablespoons of cold water.

  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

  7. For the meringue layers
  8. While the plums are cooking, the nuts can be roasted. An easy way to do this is by tipping the nuts into a small non-stick frying pan/skillet placed over a medium-low heat. Cook until they just start to smell ‘nutty’, stirring occasionally. This only takes a few minutes.

  9. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  10. Once the plums have cooked, lower the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2)

  11. Prepare the meringue while the oven is cooling down to the right temperature.

  12. Draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle with a pencil on two sheets of baking parchment. (Using a 20cm (8 inch) up-turned plate makes this easy.). Turn the sheets over and lay on two baking sheets/trays.

  13. Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. Finally, whisk in the lemon juice.

  14. Add a dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheets/trays, pressing the baking parchment down to keep in place. Then divide the the meringue evenly between the paper lined sheets/trays, spooning it into the centre of each circle. Using the back of the spoon, level the top of the meringue on one of the sheets/trays. Keep the top of the meringue rough on the other sheet/tray and then sprinkle the nuts over the meringue on this one.

  15. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn out the oven but leave the meringues inside until the oven has become cold.

  16. Lift the meringue layers from the paper and slide the base one onto a serving plate.

  17. For the filling
  18. Whisk the cream until stiff and then spread over the base meringue layer.

  19. Pour off any juice from the plums and reserve. Top the cream with the plum halves with the cut sides facing downwards. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of reserved plum juice being careful not to allow it to get too close to the edge or it will run down the outside of the bottom meringue layer.

  20. Cover with the top meringue layer and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

  21. To serve
  22. When slicing the meringue into portions use a long bladed knife that has been dipped in a jug of hot water. Shake off any droplets of water before cutting and wipe the blade clean between each cut.

 

Lemon and Lime Cheesecake

Lemon and Lime Cheesecake

 

A creamy baked cheesecake with just a hint of citrus. Decorated with a mound of freshly whipped cream and lemon and lime slices.

 

Lemon and Lime Cheesecake
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Refrigeration time and standing time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 140g (5 oz) plain digestive biscuits/Graham Crumbs or Christie Honey Crumbs (1 cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 3 pkg (250g each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 140g (5 oz) granulated sugar (¾ cup)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)

  • For decoration
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  • ½ lime, thinly sliced

  • Equipment
  • 9 inch springform pan, base lined


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3

  3. If using digestive biscuits, place the biscuits in a plastic storage bag and crush, using a rolling pin, until the biscuits have become small crumbs.

  4. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and, as soon as it has melted, remove from the heat. Add the crumbs and stir until well coated. Tip into the springform pan and press down making sure they make an even base right into the corners.

  5. Zest half the lemon and all of the lime and put to one side. Juice the lemon and put in a small bowl.

  6. Place the cream cheese into a large bowl with the sugar. For this stage it is easier to use a free standing mixer or a hand–held electric whisk. Beat until the cheese has softened and blended with the sugar.

  7. Add the juice from the lime along with 2 tablespoons of reserved lemon juice and the vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Blend in the flour.

  8. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition until just blended.

  9. Stir in the lemon and lime zest.

  10. Pour over the crust and bake for 35–40 minutes or until the centre is just set.

  11. Turn off the oven. Remove the pan and run a palette knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.

  12. If time allows, return to the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven. Cooling the mixture slowly prevents any potential for cracking.

  13. Once cool, remove from the pan and refrigerate for 4 hours.

  14. To serve
  15. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form then gradually add the icing/powdered sugar, whisking until the cream becomes stiff. Spoon dollops of cream in the centre of the cheesecake.

  16. Cut the lemon and lime slices in half and use them to decorate the top of the cream.