Strawberry Cream Pots

Strawberry Cream Pots

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling time: 4 hours
  • Ingredients
  • 285 g (10 oz) strawberries (punnet or about 2 cups)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) single/table cream (⅔ cup)
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 140 g (5 oz) crème fraîche
  • a few drops of lemon juice
  • You will also need 4 ramekin dishes with a capacity of 150 ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) or 4 small pretty dessert dishes.
  • Method
  • First wash the strawberries and then hull and pat dry.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture has thickened.
  • Now pour the cream into a small pan and bring to the boil.
  • Using an electric whisk, slowly pour the cream over the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  • Return the mixture to a clean pan and let it cook over a low heat, beating with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and will coat the back of the spoon. (The heat needs to be low because the custard must not be allowed to boil or it will curdle.) Then leave to cool.
  • Meanwhile, purée half the strawberries in a food processor or blender, and then pour into a bowl.
  • Reserve four whole strawberries for decoration from the other half. Dice the remainder.
  • Add the diced strawberries to the purée and then add the cooled custard and gently stir together.
  • Fold in the crème fraîche and a couple of drops of lemon juice until well incorporated.
  • Spoon equally into the four dishes and chill for at least four hours.
  • Garnish the top with a reserved strawberry before serving.
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Summer Trifle

This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.

Summer Trifle

This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.

Summer Trifle

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) milk (½ cup)
  • ½ vanilla pod split lengthways, OR
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (3 tbsp + 1 tsp)
  • 10 lady fingers or sponge fingers
  • 1 tbsp sweet white wine or sherry
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) summer fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants
  • a splash of white wine (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tsp caster/white sugar
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 28 g (1 oz) unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, or walnuts (¼ cup)


  • Method
  • Chill four dessert plates in the fridge.

  • Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar to make a paste.
  • Next, pour the milk into a small pan.
  • If using the vanilla pod, add it to the milk and slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling. Then remove the vanilla pod.
  • If using vanilla extract, omit heating the milk for 10 minutes first but add it to the cold milk now.
  • Bring the milk up to the boil.
  • Now slowly stir the milk and vanilla into the egg and sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  • Return the custard to the pan and stir, over a low heat, until it begins to thicken. You want it to thicken enough to be able to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Cover the custard with cling film/plastic wrap to prevent it forming a skin and then leave it to cool.
  • Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in half to give two small fingers and lay them in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.
  • Next, wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks and hull and halve the strawberries.
  • Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best ones.
  • Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the wine and sugar.
  • Purée until smooth and then, using the back of a spoon, push through a plastic sieve to remove the pulp. Once the purée is pressed through, wipe the underside of the sieve with a clean spoon to get all the sauce.
  • Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.

  • Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  • Stir one spoonful into the cooled custard to loosen it a little and then fold in the remaining cream.
  • Now to assemble, carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each cooled plate.
  • Arrange the sponge fingers evenly around the edge of the plates.
  • Pour the custard over half of each the sponge finger then sprinkle the nuts on top of the custard.
  • Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.
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Updated: July 20, 2020

Classic Crème Brûlée

Classic Crème Brûlée

These crème brûlées are so creamy they make just the perfect dessert. Egg yolks, sugar and cream flavoured with vanilla make the creamy custard, and it’s topped with brittle caramel.

I have shared two methods for creating the caramelized topping, one using a chef’s blowtorch and the other using the grill/broiler.

Classic Crème Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 25–40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on day of serving
  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • For the topping

  • 6 tbsp golden caster/granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar/granulated sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch
  • You will also need 6 x 150 ml, 5 fl oz (⅔ cup)heatproof ramekins


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

  • Lightly grease ramekins with butter and put to one side.

  • Have some boiling water ready.
  • Meanwhile, line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or small roasting pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (the paper prevents the ramekins from slipping).
  • Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

  • While the cream is cooling, put the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  • Then gradually pour in the cream, while whisking at the same time, until the cream and egg mixture is blended together.
  • Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.
  • Carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the ovenproof dish or roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.
  • Now take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin. The sugar needs to cover the custard completely.
  • Now caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

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

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on a chopping board.
  • Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar.
  • Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready.
  • Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.
  • Now turn on the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to become really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster/superfine sugar).
  • Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.
  • Put the ramekins on a baking tray/sheet and place under the heat source, as close as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.
  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.
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Updated: May 17, 2020

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • If also making the meringue shells:
  • Extra time needed for preparation: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: for the meringue shells: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus cooling in the oven
  • Ingredients
  • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 284 ml (9 fl oz) carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1⅛ cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 4 small meringues shells*
  • a few mint leaves, finely shredded for decoration

Note

  • *This dish is a great way to use up any left over meringue shells. However, if making them especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare them first.
  • For the meringues
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)

To serve

  • You will also need 4 sundae glasses.

For a Tipsy Eton Mess

  • as above, plus:
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • Method
  • For the meringues
  • Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1)
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.
  • Now line a baking tray/sheet with baking parchment. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray/sheet first will keep the lining in place.
  • Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the meringues shells lift easily from the paper.
  • Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside to completely dry out while the oven is cooling down.
  • Now while you are waiting for the meringues to cool in the oven, the strawberries can be prepared.
  • Note that you will only need four of the shells for this recipe.
  • For the Eton Mess
  • Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.
  • Halve or quarter them so they are all of a similar size.
  • Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar. 
  • If making a Tipsy Eton Mess, add the Grand Marnier now.
  • Then mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Break the meringue shells into bite-sized pieces.
  • Next whip the cream in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.
  • Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringue pieces to one side for decoration.
  • Then gently fold the rest of the meringue into the cream and, just using a few strokes, fold in the strawberries and their juice.
  • Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.
  • Finally sprinkle over the shredded mint leaves, if using.
  • Serve immediately.
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Banana and Toffee Pie

A ginger and pecan pie shell is filled with a deliciously smooth toffee custard and topped with sliced bananas. Whipped cream is then dolloped on top and garnished with chopped pecans.


Banana and Toffee Pie

  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Chilling time: 50 minutes
  • Cooling time: 5 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the crust
  • 255 g (9 oz) ginger snap biscuits/cookies
  • 55 g (2 oz) pecans, toasted (½ cup)
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick), melted
  • For the filling
  • 70 g (2½ oz) butter (⅓ cup)
  • 225 g (8 oz) dark muscovado/soft dark brown sugar, lightly packed (1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) milk (1 cup)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the topping
  • 180 ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 14 g (½ oz) pecans, roughly chopped (2 tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need a 23 cm (9 inch) loose bottomed tin or springform pan.
  • Method
  • For the crust
  • Break the biscuit/cookies into a food processor and add the pecans.
  • Pulse until the crumbs are really small (the texture of coarse sand).
  • Add the melted butter until the crumbs are nicely coated.
  • Tip into the tin or pan. Using the base of a glass, pack them down to evenly coat the base and also create a rim, 2.5 cm (1 inch), up the sides to form a pie shell.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • For the filling
  • Meanwhile melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat.
  • Add the sugar and dissolve over a low heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Put the cornflour/cornstarch into a small bowl and mix with ¼ of the milk, until the cornflour/cornstarch has dissolved.
  • Gradually stir the milk and cornstarch mixture into the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Return to a medium–high heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. The mixture should now have thickened.
  • Cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Give it a quick stir and then spoon into the pie shell and level the surface.
  • Chill for 20 minutes.
  • For the topping
  • Slice the bananas and decoratively cover the toffee custard.
  • Whip the cream until soft peaks form and cover the bananas, leaving the outer ring of bananas exposed.
  • Decorate the cream with the chopped nuts.
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Oranges in Cointreau

Oranges in Cointreau

I always think oranges are at their best during the winter months and this simple recipe of sliced oranges laced with Cointreau and topped with a dollop of cream makes it just that little bit special.

Oranges in Cointreau

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: At least 6 hours or overnight

  • Ingredients
  • 4 juicy oranges
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau
  • 170 ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted


  • Method
  • Grate zest from 1 orange and set aside.

  • Cut off the top and bottom from the oranges. Remove all the peel and white pith.

  • Now cut the flesh into thin rounds, reserving any juice.

  • Either put the oranges in one large glass serving bowl or divide amongst four individual ones and then pour over the reserved juice.

  • Add 2 tbsp of the Cointreau evenly over the oranges.

  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • Whip the cream until it is just thick. Then whip in the remaining Cointreau, three-quarters of the orange zest and the icing/powdered sugar.

  • For those oranges in individual bowls, swirl a dollop of cream on the top. For the oranges in the larger bowl serve the cream as an aside.

  • Scatter the remaining orange zest over the cream.
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Updated: February 11, 2020

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

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

Equipment

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


  • Method
  • First pour the milk into a pan.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Drizzle the sherry or framboise over the sponges.

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

  • 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.
  • Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form.

  • 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.

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

Note

  • If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.
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Updated: December 30, 2019

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

A dish that is full of flavour and very scrumptious. Lamb cutlets sit on a base of garlic roasted vegetables with a hint of basil and rosemary and served with thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a garlic cream sauce.

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 55 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium aubergine/eggplant
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400 g tin cherry tomatoes, small can
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

  • For the potatoes dauphinoise
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) potatoes (5 medium)
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) whole milk (1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • whole nutmeg


  • Method
  • For the potatoes dauphinoise
  • Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into 5mm (¼ inch) thick slices.

  • Slowly bring the milk to the boil in a sauté pan with the garlic.

  • Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, seasoning, and a little grated nutmeg.

  • Now add the potato slices and turn to coat. Simmer very gently for 20–25 minutes until they are just tender. Turn every 5 minutes so all the slices cook evenly and they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  • Tip into an ovenproof dish 28 x 20cm (11 x 8 inches).

  • They will need to cook in the oven for a further 20–25 minutes until bubbling and the top is starting to brown. Before putting in the oven, though, prepare the vegetables for the ratatouille. The ratatouille will need to cook for the same length of time as the potatoes and so they both go into the oven together.

  • For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) gas 5.

  • Pour the oil into a roasting tin/pan and put in the oven while it is heating up.

  • Cut the aubergine/eggplant, pepper and courgettes/zucchini into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes.

  • Tip into the roasting tin/pan and sprinkle over the rosemary and seasoning. Turn in the oil to coat, then return to the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes until tender. (At this point, also put the potatoes in the oven.) Turn the ratatouille halfway through cooking.

  • Meanwhile preheat a griddle pan or heavy based frying pan/skillet.

  • Season the cutlets and then spread over the garlic. Over a moderate heat, cook for 5–10 minutes on each side, depending on how thick your cutlets are.

  • While the cutlets are cooking, empty the tomatoes into a medium sized pan and place over a gentle heat.

  • Once the ratatouille is cooked, add it to the tomatoes and stir through. Now add the torn basil leaves.

To serve

  • Divide the vegetables amongst four plates and top with two cutlets each. Serve with the potato dauphinoise alongside.
Print Recipe

Updated: November 16, 2019

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

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
  • 170 g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

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


  • Method
  • For the plums
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • Wash the plums and cut in half following the natural line. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove the stones.

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

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

  • For the meringue layers
  • 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.

  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

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

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

  • Draw a 20 cm (8 inch) circle on two sheets of baking parchment. (Using a 20 cm (8 inch) up-turned plate makes this easy.). Turn the baking parchment over and lay on two baking sheets.
  • Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Finally, whisk in the lemon juice.
  • 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.

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

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • To serve
  • 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.
Print Recipe

Updated: October 26, 2019

Summer Berry Crêpes

I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.

Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.

I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.

Summer Berry Crêpes

Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Summer Berry Crêpes

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/partly skimmed milk (1¼ cups)
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • For the filling
  • 450 g (1 lb) selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 28 g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate

Equipment

  • You will also need a shallow-rimmed lightweight pan/skillet, 20–23 cm (8–9 inch) in diameter with rounded sides.


  • Method
  • Pop the chocolate in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. It will make it easier to grate into shavings later.

  • Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and, using half the milk, gradually whisk the eggs and milk into the flour, using a balloon whisk. Once a smooth consistency is reached and lots of bubbles rise to the surface, add the remaining milk quickly. Do not over-mix.
  • Or use an electric mixer. First whisk the eggs and milk together and then mix in the sifted flour and salt until the batter is smooth and lots of bubbles rise to the surface. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Let batter rest for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, wash the fruit and pat dry.

  • Then whip the cream until thick.

  • Now warm 5 plates in the oven.

  • Get the pan/skillet really hot. Remove from the heat and add the butter. As soon as it has melted, spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the remainder into a small bowl and set to one side.
  • Add a little butter to the pan before cooking each crêpe. Just add enough to be able to tilt the pan and cover the base with the melted butter. The base should just glisten not run with butter.
  • Cook the crêpes over a medium-high heat. You will need 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first so you can  quickly add the batter to the pan. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. Immediately lift and tilt the pan/skillet in all directions so the batter spreads thinly over the base. If there are any holes, just fill them in with batter using a teaspoon.
  • Turn when the the crêpe starts to curl away from the sides of the pan, the mixture begins to bubble and the underside is golden. It should take about a minute. If it seems to be sticking to the base of the pan give it a couple of seconds more. Loosen the edge of the crêpe from the pan, then flip it over with a palette knife and cook until the underside is golden. This will only take about 30 seconds. Slip each cooked crêpe from the pan directly onto a piece of kitchen paper which will absorb any grease and keep it light and dry.

  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter, greasing the pan each time and stacking the crêpes up on a warmed plate as they are cooked. Put a piece of kitchen paper between each one and cover loosely with foil so the top one doesn’t dry out. Keep warm in the oven.

  • Grate the chocolate onto a plate to create a pile of shavings.

  • To serve, spoon the fruit into the middle of each crêpe. Fold two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone, then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top and, using a small spoon, sprinkle over the chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.
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Updated: September 22, 2019

Posh Raspberry Mess

Posh Raspberry Mess

This is a grown up version of the famous Eton Mess but with raspberries. Raspberries are drizzled with framboise, a raspberry liqueur, and then folded with crushed meringue shells into mounds of whipped cream.

Posh Raspberry Mess

4 servings
  • Preparation time without making the meringues: 10 minutes
  • Preparation time including making the meringues: 18 minutes
  • Cooking time if making the meringues: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time if making the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) double cream/heavy or whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 4 meringue shells*
  • 450 g (1 1b) raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp framboise/raspberry liqueur, optional
  • For the meringue
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes or sundae glasses.

Note

  • *This dish is a great way to use up any left-over meringue shells. However, if making the meringues shells especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare these first.


  • Method
  • For the meringue
  • Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (mark 1)

  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff.
  • Then gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition until stiff and glossy.
  • Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dab a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheet first to keep the lining in place.

  • Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking parchment. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues will lift from the paper easily. Turn off the oven but leave the meringues in the oven for a further 2 hours. This will allow them to completely dry out.
  • For the fool
  • Pat dry the washed raspberries and put in a bowl, reserving 12 for later. Drizzle over the framboise, if using, and set to one side.
  • Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  • Roughly crush 4 meringue shells and fold into the cream.

  • Just using a few strokes, fold in the raspberries along with any juice.

  • Divide amongst the glass dishes and top each one with three reserved raspberries.
  • Note
  • This summer dessert still tastes delicious without the framboise. It just misses that little bit extra. To make your own, see Drinks – Framboise Liqueur.
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Updated: June 28, 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

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

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

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

To serve

  • You will also need 4 sundae glasses


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

  • For the chocolate fudge sauce
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • (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.)

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

  • Add 2 scoops of ice cream to each glass.

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

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

  • Decorate with a little grated chocolate.

  • Serve immediately.
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