Drunken Peaches

Drunken Peaches

 

Quick to prepare and just perfect for a late summer dessert. Peaches and red berries are simply marinated in a peach schnapps syrup.

 

Drunken Peaches
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 minutes
  • Chilling time: 24 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) Archers/peach schnapps (½ cup)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 4 peaches
  • 200g (7 oz) raspberries (1¾ cups) or strawberries, halved (1 cup)


  1. Method
  2. Pour the Archers/schnapps into a small pan.

  3. Juice the orange and add to the pan along with the redcurrant jelly.

  4. Heat gently to melt the jelly, stirring occasionally. Then bring to a bubble for 2–3 minutes until the liquid becomes syrupy. Pour into a large bowl and leave to cool.

  5. Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil and then pour over the peaches in a separate bowl, making sure they are completely covered. Leave for 1 minute. Discard the water. The skins can then be easily removed. Halve them and remove the stones. Thinly slice and add to the cooled syrup along with the raspberries or strawberries. Gently stir to coat with the syrup. Cover the bowl and chill for 24 hours, stirring the fruit occasionally.

  6. The syrup may thicken during chilling. If it is too thick when you come to serve, just add 1–2 tablespoons of orange juice to thin it down a bit.

 

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

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.

 

Summer Fruit Glory

Summer Fruit Glory

 

Summer Fruit Glory is a quick summer dessert to prepare that looks very impressive. Layers of mascarpone and strawberry yogurt, summer fruits and amaretti biscuits soaked in Marsala. Delicious!

 

Summer Fruit Glory
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g (275g) tub mascarpone
  • ½ x 500g pot strawberry yogurt
  • 12 strawberries, hulled
  • 140g (5 oz) raspberries (1¼ cups)
  • 140g (5 oz) blueberries (¾ cup, heaped)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting
  • 225g (8 oz) amaretti biscuits (about 24)
  • 4 tbsp Marsala, medium sherry or brandy

  • Equipment
  • 4 x pretty glasses, short tumblers are ideal


  1. Method
  2. Whisk the mascarpone and yogurt together until combined.

  3. Reserve 4 strawberries, 8 raspberries and 8 blueberries for decoration, then lightly mix the other fruits together in a small bowl and dust with icing/powdered sugar to sweeten.

  4. Break the biscuits into small pieces.

  5. Begin layering the glasses. First, divide half the biscuits between the glasses, spreading them evenly over the base. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Marsala (or whatever you are using) over the biscuit crumbs, then top with a quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  6. Next, divide half the fruit between each of the glasses and layer with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  7. Now, sprinkle the remaining biscuit pieces over the mascarpone mixture and add 2 more tablespoons of the Marsala (or whatever you are using). Top with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  8. Add the other half of the fruit and finally the last quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  9. You should now have 4 layers of the mascarpone mixture, 2 layers of the amaretti biscuits and 2 layers of fruit.

  10. Decorate with the reserved fruit and sieve over a dusting of icing/powdered sugar just before serving.

 

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

Berry Meringue Creams

Berry Meringue Creams

 

A delicious light dessert served in individual glass dishes. Fresh raspberries and strawberries are folded in whipped cream with crushed meringue lightly mixed in. They are decorated with cut strawberries and dusted with icing sugar.

 

Berry Meringue Creams
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Preparation time if making meringues: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time for the meringues: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time for the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 340g (12 oz) strawberries (1 pint)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 meringue shells*
  • 140g (5 oz) raspberries
  • icing/powdered sugar to decorate

  • *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/white sugar (½ cup plus 1 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 4 x glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  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. (You will only need four of the meringue shells for this recipe.)

  7. For the Berry Meringue Creams
  8. Wash, pat dry and hull strawberries. Reserve a quarter and set aside. Quarter the rest and place in a small bowl, then gently mix in 4 teaspoons of the sugar and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

  9. Pour the cream into a bowl and add the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla. Whisk until the cream holds a soft peak.

  10. Carefully break 4 of the meringue shells into small pieces and mix into the cream. Fold in the raspberries and strawberries, including any of their juice, being careful not to over mix.

  11. Divide between the four dishes. Top with the reserved strawberries, cutting any into halves or quarters if they are too large.

  12. Dust a little icing sugar over top just before serving.

  13. They can be refrigerated for up to two hours, leaving the icing sugar to be dusted over until just before serving.

Updated: July 19, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake

Summer for me has always been about enjoying strawberries. I can remember when the season was very short because you could only buy locally grown ones. Memories of watching Wimbledon Tennis with a bowl of strawberries and cream – a wonderful combination where neither lasted long enough! Well perhaps the strawberry season lasted a little longer.  Now newer varieties are grown in many areas which extend the season and have a longer shelf life too. Meaning they are available in the stores for many months over the summer.

In U.K. stores they are mainly U.K. grown and here in Canada most are imported from the States, but wherever we have lived the best for me are those grown locally. Because they are not picked to travel far they tend to be left to ripen just that little bit longer which means they are sweet and full of flavour with an aroma which is always more intense. The best are those you can find being sold by the roadside outside the main towns.

A strawberry cheesecake recipe is always a must and here is my classic version. I hope you will enjoy it too.

 

Strawberry Cheesecake

 

This is a classic strawberry cheesecake. It has a sweet crumb base and a creamy cheese filling then topped with heaps of sliced strawberries and a gorgeous strawberry sauce.

 

Strawberry Cheesecake
Prepares: 8 servings (images show 4 servings size)
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Cooling time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients

  • Strawberry Cheesecake


  • For the base
  • 170g (6 oz) Graham cracker crumbs (1¼ cups) OR
  • 170g (6 oz) plain digestive biscuits (12)*
  • 50g (1¾ oz) sugar (¼ cup)
  • 50g (1¾ oz) butter, melted (¼ cup)

  • *In North America you can buy packaged baking crumbs ready for using in desserts like cheesecakes. In the U.K. these aren’t readily available, so use plain digestive biscuits and just put them in a large plastic food bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are broken into very small crumbs.

  • For the filling
  • 2 pkgs (250g each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 140g (5 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup less 2 tsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • For the topping
  • 675g (1 lb 8 oz) strawberries (about 1½ quart punnets)
  • 115g (4 oz) redcurrant jelly (2 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 23cm (9 inch) springform pan or loose-bottomed pan


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

  4. Mix the crumbs and sugar together in a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Stir to coat the crumb mixture.

  5. Strawberry Cheesecake


  6. Press into the pan pushing some of the crumbs up the sides to form a rim about 2cm (¾ inch) high and 1.25cm (½ in) wide.

  7. Strawberry Cheesecake


  8. Bake for 10 minutes then remove and leave to cool, about 20 minutes.

  9. For the filling
  10. Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 180°C (/350°F) gas 4.

  11. Beat the two packets of cheese together until soft and creamy, using a food mixer or electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract one at a time, beating well between each addition until smooth. Pour into the crumb crust.

  12. Strawberry Cheesecake


  13. Bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Leave to cool then refrigerate while preparing the topping or until 1 hour before you want to serve the cheesecake.

  14. Strawberry Cheesecake


  15. For the topping
  16. Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.

  17. Set aside 170g (6 oz) (about ½ small punnet) and purée. Strain so you are left with a smooth sauce.

  18. Melt the redcurrant jelly in a small pan over a low heat, stirring in the purée until blended together.

  19. Strawberry Cheesecake
  20. Strawberry Cheesecake


  21. Remove from the heat and pour into a small serving jug. Set to one side to cool.

  22. Slice the remaining strawberries.

  23. To serve
  24. No more than one hour before serving, carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan and decorate the top with the sliced strawberries.

  25. Strawberry Cheesecake


  26. Serve, cut into wedges and pour the strawberry sauce over.

Updated: July 17, 2017

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes

Frozen Strawberry Sundae

 

These squares of strawberry ice cream are on a chocolate base and topped with sliced strawberries, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with toasted almonds. Frozen ahead of time, they make an impressive dessert and take no time at all to add the toppings just before serving.

 

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Freezing time: 4 hours
  • Standing time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 115g (4 oz) Oreo chocolate baking crumbs (1 cup)*
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter, melted (3 tbsp)

  • *This is a North American recipe where the chocolate baking crumbs are bought ready in a box. Use the following for a substitution for the ingredients to make the base in England:

  • 115g (4 oz) plain digestive biscuits crushed to make fine crumbs
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

  • Stir the cocoa powder into the melted butter to mix. Add to the biscuit crumbs and stir to coat.

  • For the filling
  • 280g (10 oz) vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (8 scoops)
  • 170g (6 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (½ pint punnet)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • For the topping
  • 85g (3 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (¼ pint punnet)
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/dark chocolate (8 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds

  • Equipment
  • 17cm (6½ in) square metal baking pan at least 5cm (2 inches) deep

  • Note
  • Once the base and filling have been left to freeze, it can be cut into portions and then the portions returned to the freezer. until needed The topping is added just before serving and is better not frozen.

  • This is a great recipe to make and keep in the freezer. The quantities can be doubled to be able to freeze more portions, just use a 24cm (9½ in) square pan.


  1. Method
  2. Cut two sheets of baking parchment larger than the baking pan so that they can be laid across one another and overhang the edges of the pan on all sides. Press well into the corners of the pan.

  3. For the base
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate crumbs and the sugar. Stir in the butter to coat the crumbs. Spread evenly in the pan pressing well into the corners. Freeze while making the filling.

  5. For the filling
  6. Remove the ice cream or frozen yogurt from the freezer to soften a little.

  7. Slice the strawberries and put into a small bowl. Toss with the sugar then let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. Meanwhile, scoop the ice cream or yogurt into a large bowl and leave until the strawberries are ready. It should not thaw completely.

  9. Purée the strawberries until smooth, then pour over the top of the ice cream or yogurt. Stir until well blended. Spoon evenly over the chocolate base in the pan and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

  10. Frozen Strawberry Sundae


  11. For the topping
  12. Start preparing the toasted almonds and chocolate sauce about an hour before serving so they have time to cool.

  13. Tip the almonds into a small frying pan/skillet and toast over a medium to low heat until golden, tossing frequently. They will take about 5–10 minutes but keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly. (They produce a nutty smell when they are ready, too.) Put to one side.

  14. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add half to a glass bowl and melt over a pan of just simmering water. (The bowl should not touch the water.). Once melted, remove from the heat. Add the remaining chocolate to the bowl and stir until it has melted and there is a smooth chocolate sauce. Leave to one side to cool.

  15. To finish
  16. Top each square just before serving.

  17. Holding the edges of the baking parchment, remove the frozen sundae to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut into six even pieces. Leave for 10 to soften a little.

  18. Slice the remaining strawberries and decorate the top of the squares. Drizzle the chocolate over and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Updated: July 10, 2017

Easy Summer Trifle

Easy Summer Trifle

 

A very refreshing summer trifle with fresh raspberries and strawberries, that is very quick and easy to prepare.

 

Easy Summer Trifle
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt. sponge fingers, lady fingers or trifle sponges
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 115g (4 oz) strawberries (about ⅓ of a pint container)
  • 115g (4 oz) raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) Bird’s custard (1 cup)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (½ cup)

  • Equipment
  • 4 glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. Break enough of the sponges to fit the base of each dish.

  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve on top of the sponge and level.

  4. Reserve 4 raspberries and 4 strawberries for decoration. Equally divide the rest of the fruit between the four dishes, cutting the strawberries in half.

  5. Now sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sherry over the fruit in each dish and leave while preparing the custard so the sherry can be absorbed by the fruit and sponge. At this stage it can be left for up to an hour.

  6. Make up 1 cup of Bird’s custard according to the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm so it does not form a skin. Leave until just cold. (I usually like to make my custard from scratch but, hey, this is supposed to be an easy, summer recipe! You could even buy a carton of ready-made custard.)

  7. Divide the custard between the four dishes.

  8. Whip up the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.

  9. Half the reserved strawberries and decorate each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.

  10. Serve.

 

 

 

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

 

Eton Mess – a mix of strawberry halves, soft whipped cream and crushed meringue.

 

Eton Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time:
  • 15 minutes plus 30 minutes standing time, if using ready-made meringues
  • 25 minutes plus 20 minutes standing time, if making the meringues as well
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes (only if making the meringues)

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 6 small meringues*
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping cream

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

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

  • Equipment
  • 4 glass dessert dishes


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

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

  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 six mounds of meringue onto the baking paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should now lift easily from the paper. Leave to cool.

  7. For the Eton Mess
  8. Wash, hull and halve the strawberries. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle over the sugar and drizzle with the Grand Marnier if using. Mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  9. In a separate bowl, break the meringues into bite-sized pieces.

  10. Whip the cream until it just forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.

  11. Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringues to one side for decoration.

  12. Now gently mix the cream into the strawberries in the large bowl and add the remaining meringue pieces. Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.

  13. Serve immediately.

Updated: June 25, 2017