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 bell 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 milled 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 or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • salt and freshly milled 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. Slowly 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. The ratatouille will need to cook for the same length of time as the potatoes and so they both 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/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.

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

  15. 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.

  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 amongst four plates and top with two cutlets each. Serve with the potato dauphinoise alongside.

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
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.

Updated: October 26, 2019

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
Prepares: 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
  • 
40g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 
½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)
  • 
300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)

  • For the topping

  • 4–6 tbsp golden caster/superfine sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100g (3½ oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • You will also need 6 x 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) heatproof ramekins


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

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

  5. Boil a kettle of water. Meanwhile, line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or small roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (the paper prevents the ramekins from slipping).

  6. Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

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

  8. 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.

  9. Carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  10. 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.

  11. Now take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  12. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  13. Sprinkle 2–3 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin. The sugar needs to cover the custard completely.

  14. Now caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

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

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

  18. Now turn on the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to become really hot.

  19. The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  20. Put the ramekins on a baking tray 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.

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

Updated: October 13, 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
Prepares: Makes 8 × 8 inch crêpes to serve 4
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 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.)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk (2%) (1¼ cups) OR
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup) plus 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • For the filling
  • 450g (1 lb) selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 28g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate

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


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

  3. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well and, using half the milk, gradually whisk the egg 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 rest of the milk quickly. Do not over-mix.

  4. Or use an electric mixer. First mix the egg and milk together 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.

  5. Let batter rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, wash the fruit and pat dry.

  7. Then whip the cream until thick.

  8. Now warm 5 plates in the oven.

  9. Get the pan really hot. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Once 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.

  10. Add a little butter to the pan before cooking each pancake. 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.

  11. Cook the pancakes over a medium–high heat. You will need 45ml (3 tbsp) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to be able to quickly add it 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 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

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
Prepares: 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
  • 350ml (12 fl oz) double cream/heavy or whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 4 meringue shells*
  • 450g (1 1b) raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp framboise/raspberry liqueur, optional

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

  • For the meringue
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

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


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

  4. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition until stiff and glossy.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 the meringues to completely dry out.

  7. For the fool
  8. 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.

  9. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

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

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

  12. Divide between the glass dishes and top each one with three reserved raspberries.

  13. Note
  14. This summer dessert still tastes delicious without the framboise. It just misses that little bit extra. To make your own, see Drinks – Framboise Liqueur.

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
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.

 

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

Raspberry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle

 

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

 

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

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

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


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

  3. Now put the egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour/cornstarch in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of milk taken from the milk in the pan. Whisk until blended and pale in colour, 2–3 minutes. Set aside.

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

  5. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent it forming a skin. Leave for 30 minutes to cool.

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

  7. Drizzle the sherry or framboise over the sponges.

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

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

  10. Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form.

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

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

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

Updated: December 30, 2018

Baked Sole with Cream and Parmesan

Baked Sole with Cream and Parmesan

 

This is a really delicious fish dish that is easy to prepare and bakes in only 15 minutes. The fish is baked with lemon and cream and topped with Parmesan cheese.

 

Baked Sole with Cream and Parmesan
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 8 small or 4 large sole fillets (or other flat fish), 675g (1 lb 8 oz), skinned
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 85g (3 oz) Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (¾ cup)
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • You will also need a 27 x 20 cm (11 x 8 inches) ovenproof dish.


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

  3. Grease the ovenproof dish with butter, then lay the fish in a single layer in the dish with their thin ends tucked under so the fish will cook evenly.

  4. Now spoon the lemon juice over the fish.

  5. In a separate bowl or jug, combine the cream, garlic and parsley. Pour evenly over the fish.

  6. Top with the Parmesan, sprinkling it over so it completely covers the fish and cream.

  7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the top is starting to brown and the fish is cooked through.

 

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/superfine 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

  • You will also need a 1 litre (1¾ pint) (4 cups) ovenproof dish.


  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. Sieve the flour into a separate bowl. Now add a tablespoon of flour followed by a tablespoon of milk, beating well between each addition, until all the flour and milk have been incorporated.

  7. Slowly add the lemon juice. 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 in.

  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 a 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 is beginning 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. You will find there will be a lovely, thick lemon sauce at the bottom of the dish covered with a very light and airy sponge.

Updated: October 2, 2018

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

So summery. A very light strawberry shortcake that is filled with sliced berries and whipped cream.

 

Strawberry Shortcake
Prepares: 8 servings (photo shows 4 servings)
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcake
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour, plus extra for dusting (1½ cups + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 14g (½ oz) melted butter (1 tbsp)

  • For the filling
  • 340g (12 oz) strawberries (1 pint container)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting

  • You will also need a 20cm (8 in) sandwich tin that is 5cm (2 in) deep and brushed with a little melted butter.


  1. Method
  2. For the filling
  3. Wash the strawberries and pat dry. Hull, then slice them lengthways and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and toss to coat. Put to one side for at least 1 hour to draw out the juices.

  4. For the shortcake
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  6. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with fingertips.

  7. In a smaller bowl, add the egg, and whisk with a fork to break up. Next whisk in the sugar and milk to mix. Now pour the mixture liberally over the dry ingredients and, using a table knife, cut through the mixture to begin bringing it together. Then with floured fingers continue bringing the mixture together to make a rough, soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly a few of times to smooth the surface.

  8. Divide the dough in two equal pieces and gently pat each half out to a circle that will fit the buttered tin. With floured fingers, lift one circle of dough and lay it in the tin. Brush the surface of the dough liberally with the melted butter. Now place the second circle of dough on top.

  9. Bake the shortcake for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Using the tip of a palette knife, gently separate the two pieces of shortcake. The melted butter separating the two layers will have allowed them to remain separate.

  10. To assemble
  11. Place the shortcake base on a serving plate. Cut the top into 8 equal slices, which will make cutting the dessert easier to serve.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

  13. Now spoon the strawberries and their juice over the base and then cover with the whipped cream. Place the 8 slices on top in exactly the order they were cut so they will fit back together perfectly.

  14. Dust with icing sugar/powdered sugar using a small sieve and serve immediately.

Updated: September 29, 2018

Coffee Meringues

Coffee Meringues

 

Very simple coffee flavoured meringues that just melt in the mouth. Sandwiched with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder. They are very light.

 

Coffee Meringues
Prepares: 10 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp coffee essence

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ tsp coffee essence

  • For the decoration
  • 1 level tsp cocoa powder

  • You will also need a large piping bag fitted with a medium-sized nozzle.


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

  4. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Sprinkle over the coffee essence and whisk again until blended in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  5. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. (Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheets first will keep the linings in place.)

  6. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag and pipe 20 swirls of meringue onto the paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour until the meringues are dry. Allow to cool, then remove from the paper. (If you want really crispy meringues, then leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.)

  7. For the filling
  8. Whip the cream and coffee essence until soft peaks form. Use to sandwich the meringues together in pairs.

  9. To serve
  10. Dust a coating of cocoa powder over the meringues using a small sieve.

  11. Tip
  12. If you like your meringues really crisp and have the time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

Updated: September 22, 2018