Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into rough pieces. Place in a bowl and moisten with the milk. Mix with a fork to break up into crumbs.
In a large mixing bowl, mix in the soaked breadcrumbs, onion, lamb, eggs, seasoning and nutmeg until throughly combined.
Shape into 32 meatballs, using wet fingers. Just keep a small bowl of water nearby. (Fingers dipped in flour will just become sticky.) Chill the meatballs for 1 hour to firm up.
Heat half the butter in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. When the butter is frothy and hot, add half the meatballs. Shake them in the pan to keep them moving and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Remove, using a slotted spoon, and transfer them to the casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining meatballs, adding extra butter if needed.
Add the stock to the pan and scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, then stir in the mustard. Pour over the meatballs, cover the dish and cook above the centre of the oven for 45 minutes.
Mix the crème frâiche and cornflour/cornstarch together in a bowl, then stir into the casserole until well blended. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, uncovered, until bubbling. The sauce will become thick.
Wash and halve plums. Remove the stones and cut the fruit into chunks, placing them in a bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and cornflour/cornstarch and toss to coat. Tip into the ovenproof dish and set aside.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles small crumbs. Mix in 70g (2½ oz) sugar. Stir through the buttermilk or yogurt until combined. A food processor does all of this in no time.
Scatter balls of the dough over the plums, leaving some of the fruit exposed. The balls of dough will expand when cooked.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar and bake for 40 minutes until the juices are bubbling and the top is pale golden in colour.
Whisk the mascarpone and yogurt together until combined.
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.
Break the biscuits into small pieces.
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.
Next, divide half the fruit between each of the glasses and layer with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture.
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.
Add the other half of the fruit and finally the last quarter of the mascarpone mixture.
You should now have 4 layers of the mascarpone mixture, 2 layers of the amaretti biscuits and 2 layers of fruit.
Decorate with the reserved fruit and sieve over a dusting of icing/powdered sugar just before serving.
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.
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
17cm (6½ in) square metal baking pan at least 5cm (2 inches) deep
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.
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.
For the base
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.
For the filling
Remove the ice cream or frozen yogurt from the freezer to soften a little.
Slice the strawberries and put into a small bowl. Toss with the sugar then let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, scoop the ice cream or yogurt into a large bowl and leave until the strawberries are ready. It should not thaw completely.
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.
For the topping
Start preparing the toasted almonds and chocolate sauce about an hour before serving so they have time to cool.
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.
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.
Top each square just before serving.
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.
Slice the remaining strawberries and decorate the top of the squares. Drizzle the chocolate over and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
1 tbsp medium or coarse pinhead oatmeal/steel cut oatmeal
4 short glass tumblers
Peel, core and chop the apples. Put in a pan with 1 tablespoon water and gently cook for about 15minutes until the fruit is very soft, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and whisk to make the apples fluffy. Leave to cool, about an hour.
Divide the apple between the glasses and smooth the tops.
Stir the yogurt and then spoon on top of the apple. Chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and add the oatmeal. Cook for a few minutes moving the oatmeal around constantly. Once it starts to colour it is ready. Set aside to cool.
Just before serving, sprinkle the oatmeal over the yogurt.
Turn the grill/broiler to high and leave it for 5 minutes so that it gets really hot.
Divide the mashed bananas between the four ramekins and drizzle over the honey to completely cover the bananas.
Carefully spoon an equal amount of yogurt over the bananas in each ramekin and smooth the top.
Then spoon 1½ tablespoons of sugar over the yogurt in each ramekin. The sugar needs to completely cover the yogurt. Using a metal teaspoon will make it easier to spread the sugar without disturbing the yogurt.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Then put under the grill/broiler for 1 minutes to melt the sugar.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the nuts. Return to the grill/broiler for a further minute.
Reserve four raspberries and then cook the rest gently in a small pan with the honey until the fruit juices just start to run. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Pour the yogurt into a bowl and very carefully fold in the raspberries. The juice will be absorbed into the yogurt to turn it a pale raspberry colour. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Divide between four fancy glass dishes and top with the reserved raspberries.