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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Standing time: 2 hours or over night for the candied lemon zest
Cooking time: about 2 hours
For the candied lemon zest
55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp) plus extra for coating
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)
30 chocolate mini eggs
You will also need a piping bag fitted with a rose nozzle.
For the candied lemon zest
(Can be made up to 24 hours ahead)
Peel the zest from two lemons and cut into thin strips. (Reserve the lemons for their juice in the lemon curd.)
Lay a piece of parchment ready on the work surface and spoon over the extra sugar for coating.
Now dissolve the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
Add the zest and gently boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes.
Drain the zest and tip onto the parchment paper. Then toss in the extra sugar until each one is well coated.
Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or overnight.
For the meringue
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2)
Draw a 25cm (10 inch) circle on a sheet of baking parchment. With the drawn side down, place on a baking tray/sheet.
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.
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.
Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Then gently stir this into the meringue.
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.
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.
For the lemon curd
(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.)
Squeeze the juice from the four lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield ¾ cup.)
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.
Now gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted.
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.
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.
Spoon a little into each nest. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).
Finally, place three chocolate mini-eggs in each nest and then sprinkle the candied zest in the middle of the pavlova, creating a mound.
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.
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.
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. Whisk until blended and pale in colour, 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 for 30 minutes to cool.
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.
If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.
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.
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.
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.
For the filling
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.
For the shortcake
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with fingertips.
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.
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.
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.
Place the shortcake base on a serving plate. Cut the top into 8 equal slices, which will make cutting the dessert easier to serve.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
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.
Dust with icing sugar/powdered sugar using a small sieve and serve immediately.
3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
2 tsp coffee essence
For the filling
300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
For the decoration
1 level tsp cocoa powder
You will also need a large piping bag fitted with a medium sized nozzle.
For the meringues
Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).
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.
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.
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 15 minutes until the meringues are dry. Allow to cool, then remove from the paper.
For the filling
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and use it to sandwich the meringues together in pairs.
Dust a coating of cocoa powder over the meringues using a small sieve.
If you like your meringues really crisp and have the time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
This is a really special jelly recipe where real redcurrant jelly is crammed with blackberries, raspberries, and redcurrants and then smothered with more fresh fruit in a raspberry coulis. Just pour a little cream on top and you have very sophisticated jelly.
You will also need 4 × 175ml (6 fl oz) (¾ cup) mini pudding moulds. Alternatively, you can make them in one large jelly mould as shown in the photograph.
First soften the gelatine.
If using leaf gelatine, place the leaves in a bowl of cold water, snapping them in half to fit if necessary, and leave for 5 minutes to become very soft.
If using powdered gelatine, stir the contents of 1 sachet into ¼ cup of cold water then add ¼ cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Now mix 300g (10½ oz) (2 cups) of the redcurrants, 200g (7 oz) (1 cup) of the sugar, and 90ml (3 fl oz) (⅓ cup) water in a medium-sized pan. Slowly bring the water to the boil and then simmer briskly, uncovered, for 3 minutes to cook the redcurrants. Strain the mixture into a jug through a plastic sieve, pushing the juices through with the back of a spoon.
If using leaf gelatine, squeeze out the excess liquid and then stir it into the hot redcurrant juice.
If using the powdered gelatine, stir the dissolved gelatine into the hot redcurrant juice.
Now continue stirring until the gelatine has completely dissolved and then leave until the mixture is just warm.
Meanwhile mix the remaining redcurrants with the blackberries and 200g (7 oz) (1½ cups) of the raspberries. Fill the moulds almost to the top with the fruit. You will have some fruit left over which will be used for garnishing.
Fill each mould to the top with the jelly and then leave to cool completely. Cover with cling film/wrap and refrigerate to set for at least 6 hours.
Meanwhile you can purée the remaining raspberries in a food processor or blender along with the remaining sugar and 3 tablespoons of water.
Strain the coulis through a sieve into a bowl to remove the pips and then add the left-over fruit and stir to coat.
When the jellies are set, remove them from their moulds by dipping the bottom of each one in boiling water for 5–10 seconds. Turn them out immediately onto four serving plates. Spoon the coulis and the fruit around the jellies and serve with cream.
There are many different recipes for a trifle but a sherry-soaked sponge first brings to mind the traditional English trifle. The delicious flavour of raspberries make this the fruit of choice with a silky, smooth custard topped with dollops of whipped cream and then decorated with more raspberries and toasted flaked almonds. Just a heavenly dessert.
480ml (16 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
14g (½ oz) toasted flaked almonds
icing/powdered sugar for dusting
For the custard
3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
600ml (20 fl oz) milk (2½ cups)
You will also need a large, flat-based glass serving bowl for this dish. Alternatively, if you need fewer than 6 servings, you can make these trifles in individual dishes (as seen in the photograph), reducing the quantities of ingredients in proportion as needed.
First make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla, sugar, and three tablespoons of the milk.
Heat the remaining milk in a small pan and, as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Now pour this back into the pan and, over a gentle heat, stir until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin, then leave to cool.
Now to make the trifle. You will need enough of the cake to cover the base of the serving dish and be about 2.5cm (1 inch) deep. Slice the cake in half horizontally and then spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Now sandwich back together and lay in the base of the serving bowl, cutting it to fit as necessary.
Scatter ⅔ of the raspberries over the sponge, reserving the rest for decoration.
Now spoon the sherry over the sponge and raspberries, top with the custard, smoothing the surface, and then chill for at least one hour.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and dollop spoonfuls over the custard but this time don’t smooth the top.
Decorate with the reserved raspberries and toasted almonds then, just before serving, dust the top with icing/powdered sugar.
113g tub clotted cream or thick Jersey cream (UK) OR
1 cup whipping or heavy cream (North America)
2 tbsp peach schnapps
8 ratafia (small almond macaroons)
You will also need 4 small heatproof dishes.
Preheat the grill/broiler.
If using whipping or heavy cream, whisk until thick.
Now whip the peach schnapps into the cream and then crumble in the ratafia.
Halve the peaches and ease out the stones. Put them cut-side up in the four individual dishes. Now drizzle over the honey and dot with the butter. Grill/broil for 2–3 minutes until the honey and butter begin to bubble.
Remove the dishes from the heat and then spoon over the cream mixture and scatter over the blackberries. Place under the grill/broiler for a further 2 minutes, until the cream has melted and the peaches are golden brown.
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.
Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% milk (1¼ cups) OR
240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup) plus 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cups)
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.
Pop the chocolate in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. It will make it easier to grate it into shavings later.
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.
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.
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 really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting. Melt the butter in the pan and then spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the rest into a small bowl and set to one side.
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 butter. The base should just glisten not run with butter.
You will need 45–60ml (3–4 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. 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.
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 a bit sticky 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. 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 rest of the batter, greasing the pan each time.
Stack the crêpes up on a warmed plate as they are cooked with a piece of kitchen paper between each one, then 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.
Now divide the fruit between the crêpes, spooning it into the middle. Fold two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone shape, then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top and sprinkle with some of the chocolate shavings.
Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!
115g (4oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
few drops vanilla extract
For the filling
Bird’s Custard Powder
120ml (4 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (½ cup)
285g (12 oz) small strawberries, washed and hulled (about 2 cups)
120ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream/double or heavy cream (½ cup)
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
You will also need 4 x 10cm (4 inch) tartlet tins.
For the sweet pastry
In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the egg yolks, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
Sift the flour and add to the bowl. Now mix to from a firm dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Then wrap in a plastic food bag and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ inches) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are 4 rounds. (Rolling it between two large sheets of cling film/wrap that have been dusted with flour will prevent the pastry sticking to the rolling pin.) Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. Now roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Prick the base, using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape and chill again while the oven is heating up.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
Line the pastry with parchment paper and baking beans, then bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.
For the filling
Meanwhile make up the custard according to the directions on the packet using 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) milk. (You want a thick custard). Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin. Leave to become cold.
Now whip the cream until stiff. Then whip the cold custard to loosen it and fold in the whipped cream until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the tart cases and level the tops.
Decorate with the strawberries, cutting them, if necessary, into halves or quarters depending on their size.
Add a little boiling water the jelly (about 1 teaspoon). Stir to melt the jelly and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.