A Cornish girl's food adventures

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Strawberry gateaux

Strawberry gateaux

My friends allotment is awash with strawberries. Delicious plump, sweet, ruby-red berries – she could open a pick-your-own! She generously gave me so many (and some plants) that I had enough for this cake, the strawberry and mascarpone tart from a week or so ago […]

Banana rum raisin cake

Banana rum raisin cake

Is it bad that these days I only ever buy bananas with the intention of letting them get over-ripe in my fruit bowl and then turning them into various incarnations of vegan banana bread? I just love it, I don’t think that I would ever […]

Strawberry & mascarpone tart

Strawberry & mascarpone tart

To give you some idea of just how ridiculously easy it is to make this lovely summer tart, I prepared it with a two month old baby strapped to my chest! This is the kind of recipe that you can just sling together within a few minutes and it looks like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen for hours to produce a decadent dessert. What could be better? This tart has a rich, flaky crust topped with a creamy cheesecake filling, sweet fresh strawberries and fragrant basil.

Ingredients
serves 8-10
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
250g mascarpone
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
150g strawberries
few basil leaves
icing sugar

Preheat your oven to 220°c and grease or line a large baking sheet.
Unroll the pastry onto the baking sheet and use a sharp knife to score about one centimetre in from the edge all the way around.
Beat together the mascarpone and the sugar until nice and smooth. Lightly beat the egg and add most of this to the cheese mixture, keep bake just enough to brush around the edges of the tart. Beat the egg into the cheese mixture, ensure it is well combined. Spread this over the tart base, keeping within the scored lines. Slice the strawberries and spread these over the cheesecake topping. Brush the edges of the tart with the reserved beaten egg and sprinkle with a little sugar to give the crust a nice glaze and crunch.
Bake the tart for 20 minutes, until the topping has set and the pastry is golden-brown. Leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar and scattering on a little shredded basil and serving.

Tahini frappe (vegan option)

Tahini frappe (vegan option)

Should summer ever find its way to the UK I think that this would be deliciously refreshing on a warm day. I would never buy something like this from a big coffee shop chain, partly because the town I live in is blessed with several […]

Vegan rhubarb and ginger cake

Vegan rhubarb and ginger cake

I’m quickly learning that it’s entirely possible to make delicious cakes without having to use eggs or any dairy products. This flavourful cake is light and fluffy with a lovely soft texture, like a traditional ginger cake but it’s completely vegan, using dates and vegetable […]

Vegan chocolate torte

Vegan chocolate torte

This is quite an unusual dessert, but very tasty. The base is fudgy and chewy and the topping is rich and meltingly creamy. It tastes far more indulgent than the ingredient list might suggest. Whilst I’m not actually vegan I’ve been getting really into exploring vegan alternatives recently, there’s some clever kitchen alchemy involved in quite a lot of them and more often than not they’re truly delicious.
It doesn’t really matter what size or shape you make this recipe, it’ll only make a difference to the thickness of the layers. I use either individual tart tins or a 7/8 inch tin (just make sure that whatever you use has a loose bottom).

Ingredients
base
1/2 tbsp olive oil
75g dates
75g cashews
50g desiccated coconut
1 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional)
pinch of seasalt
topping
150g dark chocolate
100ml coconut cream (the thickened part from a can of full fat coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of seasalt

extra coconut, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs to decorate

Place all of the ingredients for the base into a food processor and whizz it all up until it is quite well blended and has a soft, fudgy texture. Lightly oil your tin(s) and press the mixture evenly and firmly into the base and up the sides. Pop this in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.


Using a small pan set over a low heat, gently melt together the ingredients for the topping, stirring until smooth. Pour this over the chilled base and return the tart to the fridge for several hours or even overnight.
Carefully remove the tart from the tin (you might find it helpful to warm the sides of the tin a little with a kitchen blow torch) and decorate the top with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut, a dusting of cocoa powder and perhaps a pinch of cocoa nibs.

Vegan apple muffins

Vegan apple muffins

Nine times out of ten if I bake something vegan it’s because I’ve run out of eggs. These muffins are so nice though that I would make them this way whether I had eggs in my fridge or not. They’re incredibly fluffy and full of […]

Malteser cheesecake (no bake)

Malteser cheesecake (no bake)

Generally I’m a baked cheesecake kind of girl but after my white chocolate and berry cheesecake proved so popular I thought that it would be nice to make a variation on that recipe. This malty, chocolatey malteser version is really indulgent and decadent – a […]

Chipotle lime hummus

Chipotle lime hummus

Homemade hummus is such a quick and easy thing to make and it’s super-simple to tweak the flavours to suit your own taste, whether you want something classic and traditional or something a little different like this one with a spicy zingy kick!
I roast my garlic by just popping a few cloves into the oven when I’m cooking other things, so that I don’t have to turn the oven on for just the garlic but otherwise it should take 15-20 minutes at 170°c, until it becomes soft, sweet and caramelised.
If you haven’t got the time or the inclination to roast the garlic then you can use 1 clove of raw garlic instead, although this will give a slightly stronger garlic flavour.

Ingredients
2 cloves roasted garlic (see note above)
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp tahini
1 – 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (depending on how spicy you like things)
water and seasalt to taste

Put everything apart from the chipotle, salt and water in blender and pulse until everything is smooth. Add the chipotle and salt to taste, a teaspoon of spice is usually enough for me but you can add a little more if you like. Use a splash of cold water to thin out the hummus to your preferred consistency. Serve with warm pitta bread and crudites.

Roasted strawberry & rhubarb bread and butter pudding

Roasted strawberry & rhubarb bread and butter pudding

This is a really delicious dessert. Like a combination of rhubarb and custard and bread pudding. I actually think it’s much nicer than the traditional version made with dried fruit, it’s not quite as sweet. The rhubarb gives it a nice tang whilst the strawberries […]