Raspberry Cream Dessert

Raspberry Cream Dessert

 

A very smooth dessert that is quick to prepare. Frozen raspberries are folded into a creamy raspberry mixture that is then left to set.

 

Raspberry Cream Dessert
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: The individual serving dishes will take about 1 hour and the large serving dish will take about 3 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt raspberry jelly/jello
  • 2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) soured cream (⅔ cup)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ lemon, juice only (1½ tbsp)
  • 450g (1 lb) frozen raspberries (4 cups)
  • crème frâiche to serve

  • You will also need a large glass serving dish or 8 individual glass dishes.


  1. Method
  2. Bring some water to to the boil.

  3. If using a packet jelly in the UK, pour 150ml (5 fl oz) of the boiling water into a bowl. Separate the jelly into its sections and add to the bowl, stirring until the jelly has melted. Then stir in 150ml (5 fl oz) of cold water.

  4. If using jello in North America, pour 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of boiling water into a bowl. Add the jello, stirring to dissolve and then stir in 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of cold water.

  5. Add the sugar to the jelly, stirring to dissolve.

  6. Then, using a balloon whisk, whisk in the sour cream until it is well mixed in.

  7. Now in a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form and then fold this into the jelly mixture until fully incorporated.

  8. Stir in the lemon juice.

  9. The raspberries do not have to be fully thawed but they do need to be separated. Gently stir these into the jelly mixture.

  10. Pour into the large bowl, or divide amongst the individual glass dishes, and refrigerate to set.

  11. When ready to serve just dollop a spoonful of crème frâiche on the top.

Updated: May 19, 2019

Chocolate Fudge Sundae

Chocolate Fudge Sundae

 

Scoops of vanilla ice cream and mounds of whipped cream smothered with a chocolate fudge sauce, then decorated with grated chocolate, make this chocolate fudge sundae a sure winner with all the family.

 

Chocolate Fudge Sundae
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sundaes
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping cream (1 cup)
  • 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • grated chocolate for sprinkling

  • For the chocolate fudge sauce
  • 70g (2½ oz) butter (5 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark muscovado sugar/soft dark brown sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 180ml (6 fl oz) single/table cream (¾ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) cocoa powder, sifted (½ cup)

  • You will also need 4 sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. For the sundaes
  3. Whip the cream until it just holds soft peaks and put to one side.

  4. For the chocolate fudge sauce
  5. Put the butter, sugars, and cream in a pan over a low heat until the butter has just melted, stirring now and again. Remove from the heat.

  6. Now stir in the cocoa powder and beat until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Keep it warm while putting together the rest of the sundaes. If it becomes too thick, just add a little boiling water.

  7. (Not all the sauce may be needed but it will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. It will thicken as it cools and will eventually become solid, and it can be warmed through again to create a pouring sauce.)

  8. To assemble
  9. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the chocolate fudge sauce around the insides of each sundae glass.

  10. Add 2 scoops of ice cream to each glass.

  11. Then top each glass with a large dollop of cream.

  12. Now slowly spoon 2 tablespoons of the chocolate sauce over the top, letting it run through the cream and ice cream.

  13. Decorate with a little grated chocolate.

  14. Serve immediately.

 

Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar

Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar

 

A batch of crepes folded into quarters then drizzled with lemon juice and sprinkled with sugar make a very light version of the traditional English pancake.

 

Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar
Prepares: 8–10 large crêpes
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 110g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk (1 cup)
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, melted (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • To serve
  • caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 lemons, halved

  • You will also need a 25.5cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. First mix the milk and water together.

  3. Then sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs.

  4. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream.

  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the batter and whisk again. Reserve the remaining butter.

  6. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes.

  7. Place five plates in a warm oven.

  8. Get the pan/skillet really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  9. Smear a little of the reserved butter over the base of the pan/skillet between cooking each pancake.

  10. You will need about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first. Then pour the batter quickly into the centre of the pan/skillet, at the same time tipping the pan/skillet around from side to side to get the base evenly coated. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It should take less than a minute for the underside to turn golden. Check by lifting the edge with a palette knife.

  11. Flip the pancake over with the palette knife and cook the other side until golden. This side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  12. Continue making the pancakes until all the batter is used. Stack them on the warmed plate as they are ready and keep them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  13. Serve with juice from the lemons squeezed over the pancakes and a generous sprinkling of sugar. They can then be rolled or folded into quarters.

Updated: April 24, 2019

Easter Lemon Pavlova

I am indebted to Mary Berry of The Great British Bakeoff for this recipe. It is very light, and the lemon makes it a refreshing end to a holiday meal with family and friends.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

This is a lovely dessert that really does taste heavenly and looks very impressive too. The one thing I like about it is that you can prepare a lot in advance. The candied lemon peel can easily be made the day before and the lemon curd a few days before. The meringue is best made on the day you wish to serve it but that takes very little time to prepare. Then all there is to do is to mix the whipped cream into the lemon curd and assemble everything.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova
Prepares: 8–10 servings (picture shows 4–6)
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 2 hours or over night for the candied lemon zest
  • Cooking time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the candied lemon zest
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp) plus extra for coating
  • 2 lemons

  • For the meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the lemon curd filling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 
2 lemons at room temperature (plus the 2 reserved from making the candied lemon zest)
  • 225g (8 oz) butter, cubed (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping cream (2 cups)

  • To serve
  • 30 chocolate mini eggs

  • You will also need a piping bag fitted with a rose nozzle.


  1. Method
  2. For the candied lemon zest
  3. (Can be made up to 24 hours ahead)

  4. Peel the zest from two lemons and cut into thin strips. (Reserve the lemons for their juice in the lemon curd.)

  5. Lay a piece of parchment ready on the work surface and spoon over the extra sugar for coating.

  6. Now dissolve the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

  7. Add the zest and gently boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes.

  8. Drain the zest and tip onto the parchment paper. Then toss in the extra sugar until each one is well coated.

  9. Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or overnight.


  10. For the meringue
  11. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2)

  12. Draw a 25cm (10 inch) circle on a sheet of baking parchment. With the drawn side down, place on a baking tray/sheet.


  13. Add the egg whites to a bowl and whisk until stiff but before they get to peak stage. Use an electric hand-whisk or a free-standing mixer.

  14. Then gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, while still whisking on the maximum speed, until the mixture is stiff and shiny, and stands in peaks. 


  15. Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Then gently stir this into the meringue. 


  16. Take half the meringue and spread it onto the baking parchment within the lines of the drawn circle. Now fill the piping bag with the remaining meringue and carefully pipe 10 separate nests equally around the edge of the meringue base. 


  17. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 1½–2 hours. The pavlova will be a pale cream colour and will lift off the paper easily when ready. Begin to check periodically after 1¼ hours until it has reached this stage. Then turn off the oven but leave the pavlova on the oven shelf, with the door slightly ajar, until cold. 


  18. For the lemon curd
  19. (The lemon curd can also be made ahead of time and, once cooled, it can be refrigerated covered with cling film/plastic wrap until needed. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to seven days.)

  20. Squeeze the juice from the four lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield ¾ cup.)

  21. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

  22. Now gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted.

  23. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. It should resemble pouring cream and coat the back of a spoon. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool. It will thicken further on cooling.

  24. To assemble
  25. Once the lemon curd has cooled completely, pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until really thick. Then add it to the lemon curd, gently swirling it through.

  26. Spoon a little into each nest. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).

  27. Finally, place three chocolate mini-eggs in each nest and then sprinkle the candied zest in the middle of the pavlova, creating a mound.

Updated: April 22, 2019

Apple Amber

Apple Amber

 

A shortcrust pastry flan is filled with a cooked apple filling and topped with meringue.

 

Apple Amber
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, cubed (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) shortening, cubed (¼ cup)
  • 8 tsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 100g (3½ oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • 450g (1 lb) granny smith apples (about 3 medium)
  • strip of lemon rind
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed flan case and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.

  4. Rub the butter and shortening into the flour until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.

  5. Now sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if the water is added unevenly, it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Then, using a pallet knife, bring the mixture together.

  6. Once it starts to clump together, remove from the bowl and knead lightly to form a firm, smooth dough.

  7. Pop in a plastic bag or cover with cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C) (gas 7).

  9. Now, on a floured surface, roll out the pastry in one direction only, turning it occasionally. Then line the flan case and trim the edges to neaten. Prick the base of the pastry with the tines of a fork to make sure no air gets trapped underneath the pastry.

  10. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°F (150°C) (gas 3).

  11. For the filling
  12. While the pastry is cooking start preparing the filling.

  13. In a medium-sized pan make a sugar syrup by gently dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.

  14. While the sugar in dissolving, peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks.

  15. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the apples along with the strip of lemon rind and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples have softened but still hold their shape.

  16. Drain the apples and then add the butter. Stir to melt the butter into the apples, mashing them slightly. Now add the egg yolks and mix in.

  17. Once the flan case has cooled, carefully remove the pastry case and sit it on a baking tray/sheet. Fill with the apple.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  20. Pile the meringue on top the apple, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  21. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

 

Baked Apple and Orange Pudding

Baked Apple and Orange Pudding

 

Apple slices are baked within an orange-flavoured moist sponge and then dredged with icing/powdered sugar to serve.

 

Baked Apple and Orange Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Bramley cooking apples, or 2 large apples suitable for cooking
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 medium orange, zest and juice
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), separated
  • 55g (2 oz) self raising/self rising flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dredging

  • You will also need a 23cm (9 inch) round, shallow baking dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  3. Cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg yolks. Next fold in the flour and cinnamon.

  4. Stir in the milk and orange juice until well combined. The mixture will tend to curdle at this stage but don’t be concerned.

  5. Whisk the egg whites until just before they reach the soft peak stage, then gently fold into the mixture.

  6. Put to one side while preparing the apples.

  7. Peel the apples and core with an apple corer to keep them whole. Then thinly slice crossways and layer them in the baking dish in circles.

  8. Now pour the pudding mixture over the apples.

  9. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake above the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is set and golden in colour.

  10. Dredge with icing/powdered sugar just before serving.

 

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

 

A classic simple dish of apples with a crumbly topping baked in the oven until the apple juices are bubbling and the topping is crisp. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Delicious.

 

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

  • Ingredients
  • For the apples
  • 450g (1 lb) apples (3 medium)
  • 70g (2½ oz) granulated/white sugar (⅓ cup)

  • For the topping
  • 55g (2 oz) flour, sifted (⅓ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) porridge oats/rolled oats (⅔ cup)
  • 70g (2½ oz) light muscovado/soft brown sugar (⅓ cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, melted (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • You will also need a 2 pint ovenproof dish measuring 25 × 15cm (9 × 6 inches)


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  3. Peel and core the apples. Slice them fairly thinly and place in a bowl with the sugar. Toss together and then spread over the base of the ovenproof dish.

  4. Mix together the first four ingredients of the topping. Pour the butter over the top and mix in until the mixture has become crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the apples.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the apples are tender and the juices are bubbling around the edge.

  6. Best served with ice cream or whipped cream.

 

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
  • Standing time: about 10 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 set aside 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. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

  6. 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.

  7. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringues and then refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

Updated: March 27, 2019

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

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 3 tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped (or walnuts)

  • For the filling
  • 70g (2½ oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 20g (¾ oz) butter (1½ tbsp)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/heavy cream (1 cup)

  • To serve
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)


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

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

  5. 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.

  6. Carefully fold in the nuts.

  7. Line two baking trays/sheets with baking paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the trays/sheets to hold the linings in place. Then swirl 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 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 a wire cooling rack and leave the meringues to cool. When they are cool, remove from the paper..

  8. For the filling
  9. Melt the butter slowly with half the chocolate. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the chocolate, stirring until it has melted. Beat with a wooden spoon and, when it is smooth, coat the flat surface of 12 meringues.

  10. Now whip the cream until stiff and spread it to sandwich together a chocolate-coated meringue and a plain meringue.

  11. To serve
  12. Cocoa powder can be sifted lightly over the top of each meringue to decorate.

Updated: March 18, 2019

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple CrumbleCrunchy Apple Crumble

 

Apples are cooked with raisins and a hint of cinnamon while walnuts added to the crumble mixture to make this a real crunchy apple crumble. One of those comforting desserts, perfect for a winter’s day, and served with lots of cream.

 

Crunchy Apple Crumble
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit
  • 1kg (2 lb 4 oz) Bramley apples (or any variety suitable for cooking) (about 6)
  • 70g (2½ oz) light muscovado sugar/soft light brown sugar (¼ cup)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g (3 oz) raisins (⅓ cup)
  • a little softened butter for greasing

  • For the crumble
  • 55g (2 oz) walnut pieces (½ cup)
  • 125g (4½ oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 100g (3½ oz) chilled butter, cubed (½ cup, or 1 stick less 1 tbsp)
  • 55g (2 oz) demerara sugar (¼ cup)

  • To serve
  • Double cream/heavy cream

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


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  3. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Then place them in a large bowl.

  4. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, add to the apples and toss to coat.

  5. Now add the raisins, separating those that may have stuck together, and toss to evenly distribute.

  6. Grease the ovenproof dish and then tip in the apples. Sprinkle over 4 tablespoons of water, cover the dish with foil, and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn over the apple slices halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven, turn the slices over again, and set aside for about 1 hour to cool.

  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), (gas 6).

  8. To prepare the crumble, finely chop the walnut pieces and then set to one side.

  9. Rub the butter into the flour and then stir in the walnuts. The mixture should look like large breadcrumbs.

  10. Mix in the sugar and then spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the apples.

  11. Bake for 30 minutes until the crumble is browning and the juices are starting to bubble through.

  12. Serve with a jug of cream.

Updated: March 3, 2019

Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette

Cheat's Crêpes Suzette

 

I call these Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette because they aren’t flambéed just before serving. The crêpes with orange segments in orange sauce flavoured with Cointreau still make them sublime. (To flambé them, just follow the last steps of the method.)

 

Cheat's Crêpes Suzette
Prepares: 4–6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% milk (1 cup) mixed with 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • For the orange sauce
  • 55g (2 oz) icing/powdered sugar (½ cup)
  • 3 small oranges
  • 85g (3 oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ³⁄₈ stick)
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

  • You will also need a 25cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour, gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Set aside for 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Squeeze the juice from one orange into a small pan and add the icing sugar. Stir to dissolve and then add the butter. Gently heat to melt the butter and then simmer for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken slightly. Set the pan to one side.

  5. Then zest the two remaining oranges and put the zest to one side.

  6. Now remove all the pith from the 2 oranges, separate into their segments and remove any pips. Cut each segment in half.

  7. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2) and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  8. To prepare for cooking the crêpes: Melt the butter in the pan/skillet. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in. Pour the remainder into a small bowl and use it to smear the pan/skillet between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper.

  9. Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium–hot setting.

  10. Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan/skillet in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan/skillet in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan/skillet, lift the pan/skillet and tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.

  11. Now flip the crêpe over. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  12. Continue until there are 12 crêpes. Overlap them on the warmed plate as you go, keeping them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  13. Pour the sauce into the pan/skillet and warm through. Add the zest and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur.

  14. Then fold the crêpes into quarters, placing a few orange segments in each one. Add the crêpes to the pan along with any remaining orange segments.

  15. Cook for 2 minutes to heat the crêpes through.

  16. Note
  17. If you want to flambé the crêpes just follow the steps below.

  18. To flambé the crêpes
  19. This is done just before serving the crêpes. First mix together 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and 3 tablespoons of brandy. Then pour them into the pan and set the sauce alight. This has to be done very quickly or the alcohol will evaporate and won’t light. Carefully swirl the pan around so that the sauce flames evenly. Serve when the flames have extinguished. Be very careful when doing this.

Updated: February 25, 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

  • 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 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 large 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 doesn’t 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. Pour over the warm poaching milk, whisking continuously. 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.

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

    Decorate with a ball of spun sugar.