I don’t actually think I can get enough of rhubarb. I bloomin’ love the stuff! The ancient plant in my garden is much happier this year than last year which means I have a small but steady supply of it too. This is a lovely […]
If anyone can think of a catchier name for this then I would love to hear it. It is a bit of a mouthful, no pun intended.
I’ve met quite a few Americans who find the fact that we Brits often refer to dessert as pudding a little odd. We also refer to things that quite clearly are not pudding as pudding (e.g. Yorkshire pudding, steak & kidney pudding, black pudding) but that’s a whole other post! In America ‘pudding’ is pretty much only used to refer to a thick custardy dessert with the exception of bread and butter pudding, although over there it’s just called bread pudding. They seem to love it though, maybe it works so well because their bread is so sweet.
Anyway, I was thinking of how to make bread and butter pudding into something really special. The answer is obviously to add chocolate and use the richest, fattiest ‘bread’ you can find – cue the croissants!
butter for greasing
6 croissants (ideally a little stale)
125g cherry jam
75g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
3 tsp brandy (optional but really good!)
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
Grease a baking dish with butter.
Slice the croissants in half horizontally and spread the cut sides with the jam. Arrange them in the baking dish, scattering the chopped chocolate amongst them.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a jug, ensuring that they are really well blended. Pour this custard mixture over the croissants and then set the whole lot to one side for 15 minutes so that the croissants can soak up the custard. Pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Bake for 35 minutes, until the custard is softly set. Cover the top with some foil if it starts to get too brown. Leave to stand for five minutes before serving.
Whilst we were living stateside I developed a tiny obsession with stopping at road-side diners on our numerous road trips for pie. I think I found something satisfyingly clichéd about it.
One of the best pies I tried was a coconut cream pie in Bangor, Maine and I promised myself that I would create my own version of it at some point. It had a very tender pastry crust and was filled with a luxuriously creamy coconut custard. Nothing like a British custard tart, which I must confess I cannot bear (Mr Colonial Cravings bloomin’ loves them though!) It was also topped with sweetened whipped cream but to be honest I could take or leave that.
Obviously here on Colonial Cravings we like to do things a little differently from time to time so I’ve had a bit of a play with the format. Lemongrass adds an unusual flavour to the rich buttery shortbread crust of this twist on a coconut cream pie.
makes 1 large or 4 individual tarts
40g icing sugar
2 6” lemongrass stalks
400ml coconut milk
1 lemongrass stalk
2 egg yolks
toasted coconut flakes and lime zest to decorate
Remove the tough outer layers from the lemongrass stalks and finely grate them. Cream this together with the butter and the sugar for the pastry. Sift together the flour and 20g of cornflour and mix this with the butter and sugar to form a soft dough. Wrap the dough and chill it for 15 minutes so that it can relax and firm up a little.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and then use it to line a lightly greased loose bottomed tin. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes and then set aside to cool whilst you prepare the filling.
Bash the remaining lemongrass stalk with a rolling-pin and put it in a saucepan along with the coconut milk. Gently heat this until it is very warm but not boiling.
Whisk together the egg yolks, egg, sugar and cornflour in a large mixing bowl until they are quite pale and fluffy.
Remove the lemongrass from the coconut milk and discard. Whilst still whisking the egg mixture gradually pour in the warm coconut milk. Mix well and then return the custard to the pan. Put it over a low heat and whisk it until it becomes very thick then allow it to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on it.
Once the coconut custard has cooled you can use it to fill the pastry case. Give it a little shake to level off the top and then decorate it with some toasted coconut flakes and lime zest. Return the tart to the fridge for at least an hour before removing from the tin and serving.
Last year I was all about my gin & lemon tart but this may well be my new favourite summer dessert.
It’s indulgent and rich without being even the tiniest bit heavy. The sponge is wonderfully light and fluffy whilst the filling is creamy and sweet but not sickly with the orange and raspberries keeping everything fresh.
Yes, making a zabaglione for the filling requires a bit more effort than say, just filling it with cream but it puts the two extra egg yolks from the sponge to good use and really adds an extra depth of flavour to the whole dessert. I promise you it’s worth it (and sometimes you just have to show off!)
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine/white balsamic vinegar
90g ground almonds
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp Cointreau (or any orange liqueur)
150ml double cream
small punnet fresh raspberries
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and line a Swiss roll tin with parchment paper.
Beat the egg yolks with approximately half of the sugar (don’t worry about being too precise) until they are really thick, fluffy and the colour of butter. Add the almond extract and vanilla paste.
In a second bowl whisk the egg whites until they hold a stiff peak. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again until they are thick and glossy. Sprinkle the vinegar and cornflour into this meringue and briefly whisk it again.
Mix the ground almonds into the egg yolk mixture and then quickly stir in a big dollop of the meringue. This should loosen the batter a bit and then you can carefully fold in the remaining meringue, making sure that it is well combined but being careful not to knock too much air out of the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and then bake it for 15 minutes. Once the sponge is cooked leave it to cool in the tin.
Whilst the sponge bakes you can start making the zabaglione for the filling, so that everything has plenty of time to cool.
Bring a medium-sized pan of water to simmer. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a large mixing bowl and whisk them until they are pale and fluffy. Add the Cointreau (or whatever you’re using) and whisk again. Place the bowl over the pan of water and continue to whisk the mixture until it is quite hot (to cook the egg yolks),thick and fluffy. Take the bowl off the pan and then leave this to cool.
Whisk the cream until it is very thick and fold in the cold zabaglione.
Now time to assemble everything!
Liberally sprinkle the surface of the sponge with icing sugar and then place a sheet of parchment paper over it. Put a clean tea towel over this and then, quickly, whilst holding everything in place, invert it and remove the tin. Carefully peel back the lining paper from the sponge.
Make a very shallow cut along one of the short edges of the sponge, about 1” in. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Spread the zabaglione cream evenly over the surface and then top this with the raspberries (I try to keep mine in rows so I know they will be evenly spread once it has been rolled up and sliced).
Starting at the short end of the sponge with the cut in it, carefully and gently roll up the sponge, using the paper and tea towel to help you. Place the roulade seam side down on a serving plate and chill until you are ready to serve it.