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

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

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.

 

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.

 

Crêpes aux Fraises

Crêpe aux Fraises

 

Crêpes aux fraises is a simple traditional recipe that tastes heavenly. Very light crêpes are filled with strawberries and then topped with mounds of whipped cream.

 

Crêpes aux Fraises
Prepares: 4 servings (2 crêpes each)
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • For the filling
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (2½ cups)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar, plus extra to dust

  • Equipment
  • A heavy gauge aluminium frying pan


  1. Method
  2. Warm 5 plates in the oven.

  3. Mix the milk and water together.

  4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  5. 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 around the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, wash, hull and pat dry the strawberries. Cut large strawberries into quarters and smaller ones in half so they are all of a similar size. Set to one side.

  7. Pour the cream into a large bowl and add the icing sugar. Whisk until stiff.

  8. When the batter has stood for its 20 minutes start cooking the crêpes.

  9. First melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the rest into a small bowl and set aside. Use a wodge of kitchen paper dipped in the melted butter to smear the pan between cooking each crêpe.

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

  11. Use about 2 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 in one go. 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. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, 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 the 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.

  12. Flip the crêpe over with the palette knife and cook the the underside until it is golden. It will cook very quickly. Then slide it out of the pan onto a piece of kitchen paper on one of the warmed plates.

  13. Continue until you have 8 crêpes, overlapping them on the plate with a sheet of kitchen paper between each one. Return the plate to the oven to keep warm.

  14. Fold the strawberries into the cream.

  15. Fold each crêpe in half and lay 2 on a plate. Then divide the strawberries and cream between the 8 crêpes, spooning the mixture inside the fold.

  16. Dust with icing/powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Updated: September 14, 2017

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
Prepares: Makes 8, 8 inch crêpes to serve 4
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115g (4 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • For the filling
  • 450g/1 lb a selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 28g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate

  • Equipment
  • A heavy gauge aluminium frying pan


  1. Method
  2. Warm 5 plates in the oven.

  3. Mix the milk and water together.

  4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  5. 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 around the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, wash the berries and pat dry. Hull any strawberries, if using. Place in a bowl and set to one side.

  7. Over a shallow bowl, grate the chocolate to create chocolate shavings to be used for decoration.

  8. Then, in a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff and put to one side while making the crêpes.

  9. When the batter has stood for its 20 minutes start cooking the crêpes.

  10. First melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the rest into a small bowl and set aside. Use a wodge of kitchen paper dipped in the melted butter to smear the pan between cooking each crepe.

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

  12. Use about 2 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 in one go. 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. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, 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 the 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.

  13. Flip the crêpe over with the palette knife and cook the the underside until it is golden. It will cook very quickly. Then slide it out of the pan onto a piece of kitchen paper on one of the warmed plates.

  14. Continue until you have 8 crêpes, overlapping them on the plate with a sheet of kitchen paper between each one. Return the plate to the oven to keep warm.

  15. Divide the fruit between the crêpes spooning it into the middle. Fold in two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone shape.

  16. Spoon a generous dollop of cream on top of each crêpe and sprinkle with some of the chocolate shavings.

  17. Serve immediately.

Updated: September 14, 2017

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas

 

These individual pavlovas are a mix of vanilla and chocolate meringue which is then covered in whipped cream, topped with fresh raspberries and dusted with cocoa.

 

Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlovas
Prepares: 4 pavlovas
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 7g (/¼ oz) cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 14g (½ oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ tbsp)
  • 115g (4 oz) raspberries (1 cup)


  • Equipment
  • large baking sheet/tray lined with baking parchment


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

  3. Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition, until stiff. Add the vanilla and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy.

  4. Using a metal spoon, spoon a third of the meringue into another bowl and sift over 2 teaspoons of the cocoa powder. Gently fold the cocoa into the meringue.

  5. Spoon the cocoa meringue over the white meringue and then, using the metal spoon, fold together once to create a rippled effect.

  6. Put a little dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheet/tray and top with the baking parchment. (This will help the lining stay in place.) Spoon the meringue into four mounds on the baking parchment and bake for 1 hour and fifteen minutes, until the meringue is crisp on the outside and peels away easily from the parchment. Cool on a wire rack.

  7. Divide the meringues between four serving dishes. Then whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form and spoon over the meringues. Top with the raspberries and then dust with the reserved cocoa powder using a small sieve.

Updated: September 8, 2017

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote

 

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote

 

 

A delicious light dessert of silky baked custard served with a compote of plums, strawberries and blueberries.

 

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 24 hours
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Standing time: 20–30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit compote
  • 85g (3 oz) sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) plums (about 4)
  • 170g (6 oz) strawberries, hulled and halved (⅞ cup)
  • 170g (6 oz) blueberries (1 cup)

  • For the custard
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) whole/full fat milk (⅔ cup)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) single cream/table cream (⅔ cup)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 28g (1 oz) caster/white sugar (2 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • To serve
  • Single cream/table cream

  • Equipment
  • a shallow ovenproof dish with a capacity of 600ml (20 fl oz) (3 cups)
  • a small roasting tin/pan


  1. Method
  2. For the fruit compote
  3. Wash the plums, halve and remove the stones. Pour 300ml (10 fl oz) of water into a pan, add the sugar and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the syrup-water to a simmer and add the plums. Cook for one minute. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for 10–15 minutes until the fruit has softened but still keeps its shape.

  4. Meanwhile, wash the berries, hull and halve the strawberries. Add them to the plums and stir to distribute the fruit. Transfer the fruit to a serving dish, cover and chill for 24 hours.

  5. For the custard
  6. The next day prepare the custard.

  7. Heat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  8. Pour the milk and cream into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine and then strain the custard into the ovenproof dish.

  9. Pour the custard into the ovenproof dish and place this in the roasting tin/pan. Then slowly pour cold water into the roasting tin/pan to a depth of at least 2.5cm (1 inch). Carefully slide onto the middle rack in the oven and bake the custard for 50 minutes until it is set but still has a slight wobble in the centre when gently moved. It will also have an attractive golden skin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20–30 minutes.

  10. To serve
  11. Remove the fruit compote from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.

  12. Divide the custard between four dessert dishes and then spoon the compote around. Cream can also be poured over for a little bit of extra indulgence.

 

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
Prepares: 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 pepper, deseeded
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes (small can)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

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


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

  4. Bring the milk to the boil in a sauté pan with the garlic.

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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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. They will need to cook for the same length of time as the potatoes and so they go into the oven together.

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

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

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

  13. Tip into the roasting tin 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.

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

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

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

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

  18. To serve
  19. Divide the vegetables between four plates and top with two cutlets each. Serve with the potato dauphinoise alongside.

 

Panna Cotta Terrine

Panna Cotta Terrine

 

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert where cream is sweetened and flavoured then left to set in a mould using gelatine. Here I have used a mixture of cream and yogurt to make to make a light summer dessert. Raspberry coulis is then drizzled over the top and topped with fresh raspberries.

 

Panna Cotta Terrine
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 4 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the panna cotta
  • 425ml (14 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 14g powdered gelatine (2 sachets)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 425ml (14 fl oz) natural Greek yogurt (1¾ cups)

  • For the fruit coulis
  • 340g (12 oz) raspberries (2½ cups)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only

  • Equipment
  • A loaf tin or plastic container measuring 10 x 10 x 20cm (4 x 4 x 8 ins)


  1. Method
  2. For the panna cotta
  3. Line the loaf tin or container with cling film/wrap so that it hangs over the sides.

  4. Put 2 tablespoons each of cream and water into a shallow dish and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave for 5 minutes to swell.

  5. Place the dish in a larger dish and fill the larger dish with just boiling water until it comes up to the level of the gelatine in the smaller dish. Leave for 5 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, pour the remaining cream into a pan and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool a little.

  7. Spoon the yogurt into a bowl and whisk in the cream until the mixture is smooth. Then whisk in the dissolved gelatine mixture.

  8. Pour into the prepared loaf tin or container and chill for 4 hours.

  9. For the fruit coulis
  10. Wash and pat dry the raspberries. Reserve 18 for decoration and put the rest into a blender. Add the sugar and the juice of the half lemon. Purée the fruit.

  11. Strain through a nylon sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds, pressing the sauce through with the back of a spoon. Wipe the underside of the sieve with a clean spoon to remove all the coulis.

  12. To serve
  13. Invert the panna cotta over a large serving plate and remove the cling film/wrap.

  14. Divide into 6 slices and lay on 6 plates. Drizzle the coulis over the slices and then decorate each slice with 3 of the reserved raspberries.

  15. Best served on the day it is prepared.

Updated: October 17, 2017

Syllabub Trifle

Syllabub Trifle

 

A true summer trifle – one that is so simple but so light and delicious. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and redcurrants sit on a sponge base and are topped with a wine syllabub.

The syllabub originated in 16th century England. It was a drink of milk or cream curdled with a little wine or cider, sweetened and flavoured. In modern recipes a dessert syllabub is a thick or heavy cream curdled with wine or sherry, sweetened and flavoured, usually with lemon. It is whipped until thick and foamy.

 

Syllabub Trifle
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 5 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 340g (12 oz) a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and redcurrants (2 cups)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (1½ tbsp)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine (¼ cup)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sponge cases
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup + 1 tsp)
  • 142 ml carton double/whipping cream (⅔ cup)

  • Equipment
  • 4 × squat glass tumblers or similar pretty glasses


  1. Method
  2. Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull and slice the strawberries and strip the redcurrants from their stalks. Place all the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle over 40g (1½ oz) sugar. Toss to coat the fruit and set to one side for 2 hours to draw out the juices.

  3. Measure the wine into a small bowl. Pare a couple of slices of rind from the lemon, cut them in half and add to the wine, making sure they are covered. Put to one side for 2 hours.

  4. After the 2 hours, cut the sponge cases to fit the base of the four glasses. Divide the fruit and their juices between the four glasses, spooning over the sponge base.

  5. Remove the lemon rind from the wine. Squeeze one and half tablespoons of juice from the lemon and add to the wine, along with the remaining sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

  6. Pour the cream into a large bowl and stir in the wine mixture. Whisk until it is thick and frothy to form a syllabub. Because the wine dilutes the cream, it will take longer than usual to thicken but it will become thick and frothy. Spoon this equally over the fruit and swirl the top. Chill for 3 hours.

  7. Serve.

 

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

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


  1. Method
  2. Chill four dessert plates in the fridge.

  3. Pour the milk in a small pan. and add the vanilla pod or vanilla extract. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.

  4. Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir in the sugar to make a paste.

  5. 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. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool briefly.

  6. Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in two and lay them in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.

  7. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then stir in the cooled custard.

  8. Wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the teaspoon of sugar and wine. 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 the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.

  9. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.

  10. Divide the sponge fingers between the plates arranging them around the edge.

  11. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.

  12. Pour the custard over the sponge fingers then sprinkle the nuts on top.

  13. Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.

Updated: August 2, 2017