A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: dessert

Kiwi basil ice cream (no-churn)

Kiwi basil ice cream (no-churn)

I love basil ice cream and it’s something that I’ve made a few times before. I like it most when it’s paired with something fruity and a little bit sharp and acidic, I really think it brings out the fragrant flavours of the basil. Using […]

Kiwi lime pie

Kiwi lime pie

Hey, can you guys promise me something? Promise me you’ll never buy a key lime pie (unless maybe if you’re actually in the Florida Keys). This recipe makes the most delicious key lime pie and it’s ludicrously quick and easy. On a warm summers day […]

Summer berry sponge

Summer berry sponge

Happy summer solstice everyone! It’s the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, which means more hours of daylight (and hopefully sunshine) and as far as I’m concerned that’s cause for celebration. One year (a really, really long time ago) I actually spent the summer solstice at Stonehenge, which really was quite a party!
I think this cake is a perfect celebration of summer with all those juicy seasonal berries, it actually reminds me a little bit of a Swedish Midsummer Cake. It’s essentially a gussied-up Victoria sponge but with white chocolate frosting that makes it just a little bit more special. Whether you’re celebrating the solstice or not, how could you resist a slice of this!?

Ingredients
serves 12
sponge
3 eggs
the weight of the eggs (inc shells) in butter, sugar and self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
zest of 1 lemon
filling
150g mixed berries (whatever is in season)
1/2 tbsp cornflour
25g sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
frosting
75g sugar
15g flour
1 tbsp cornflour
100ml milk
100g white chocolate
100g butter, room temperature
extra berries to decorate

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease two sandwich tins. Place a disc of baking parchment in the base of each just to be extra certain that nothing is going to stick.
Weigh your eggs, in their shells so that you know how much flour, butter and sugar you’ll need.
Sift together the flour and baking powder a couple of times and set it aside. This will get plenty of air into it.
Beat together the lemon zest, butter and sugar until it is pale, thick and fluffy, this should take a minute or two using a hand or stand mixer.
Lightly beat each egg and mix them into the butter and sugar one at a time. Follow each one with a spoonful of the flour and beat it well. Sift the remaining flour into the batter in two batches and carefully fold it in.
Finally stir in the milk to loosen the mixture to a nice soft dropping consistency. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared tins and level off the tops. Bake them in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. Once the time is up open the oven door and test that the sponges are cooked with a skewer. Give them another minute or two if it doesn’t come out clean. They should feel light and springy once they are cooked.


Put the cooked sponges on a wire rack and let them cool in the tins for five minutes then turn them out on the rack and carefully remove the greaseproof paper. Allow them to completely cool before you fill them.
Whilst the cakes bake and cool you can make the filling and frosting so that they have time to cool too.
Combine the berries with the sugar, cornflour and lemon juice in a small pan. Heat the fruit
until it starts to break down a little and the juices thicken to create a jammy compote. Leave to cool and thicken.


Next it’s onto the frosting. Whisk together the sugar, flour and cornflour in a small saucepan. Stir in the milk, making sure that it’s all well blended and then set the pan over a low heat. Gently heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until it starts to bubble and forms a very thick custard. Set this aside to cool completely. Melt the chocolate and let this cool too.
Put the cold custard mixture into a bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until it is slightly aerated. Beat in the melted chocolate and then follow this with the butter, adding a little at a time until it is all incorporated and you have a nice thick, fluffy frosting.
To assemble the cake place one of the sponges on a serving plate and spread it with the berry compote. Top this with half of the frosting and then sandwich on the second sponge. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the top, spreading it smoothly and just lightly grazing the sides of the cake. Finish it off by piling some pretty, fresh berries into the centre of the cake and adding a quick dusting of icing sugar.

Cheers to World Gin Day.

Cheers to World Gin Day.

Hello my lovelies! As today is World Gin Day I thought I would do a round-up of all the recipes on here that feature gin. It turns out though that I’ll sling a splash of gin into pretty much anything, so rather than present you […]

Raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake puffs

Raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake puffs

I reckon that choux pastry gets a bad rap. People think that it’s super-hard to make when the truth is it’s really not and it’s no more temperamental than any other sort of pastry. You simply need a decent a pair of biceps for all […]

Rhubarb & custard shortcakes

Rhubarb & custard shortcakes

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 summery dessert and if you scale down the portions a little it would be perfect for afternoon tea (i.e. make 6 instead of 4). The shortcakes are so light and fluffy and the custard is cool, rich and creamy. The flavours are great together too, tart rhubarb and sweet vanilla and pistachios are a delicious combination.

Ingredients
serves 4
shortcakes
200g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar (plus a bit extra for finishing)
pinch of salt
70g pistachios, coarsely ground
60g butter
60ml buttermilk
1 egg
poppyseeds for sprinkling
custard filling
4 egg yolks
60g sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
280ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
rhubarb
250g (approx) rhubarb
3 tsp sugar
1 tbsp gin (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and lightly grease a baking tray.
Slice the rhubarb into 1″ pieces and toss them in the 3 teaspoons of sugar and the gin (if using) and place them in an oven-proof dish. Pop the rhubarb in the oven and bake it until it’s tender, which should take about 15 minutes. Leave to cool once cooked.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt before lightly rubbing in the butter with your fingertips. Mix through the ground pistachios.
Beat together the buttermilk and egg and then use this to bring the dry ingredients together to form a soft dough. You may not need all of the liquid so just add it a bit at a time. Be as gentle as you can with the dough, or your shortcakes will be tough once they’re baked.


Pat the dough out onto a lightly floured surface so that it’s about 1″ thick. Use a pastry cutter to stamp out your shortcakes, being careful not to twist it. Re-roll the off cuts of dough as necessary.
Place the shortcakes onto the prepared baking tray and brush the tops with any of the remaining egg/buttermilk mixture (or just buttermilk if you used all of the egg mix in the dough) and then sprinkle them with sugar and poppyseeds. Bake them for 12-15 minutes and then leave them to cool on a wire rack. They should be lightly golden once they are baked.


Whilst the shortcakes bake you can make the custard filling. Pour the milk into a smallish pan and gently heat until it just starts to simmer. Meanwhile whisk together all of the other ingredients in a mixing bowl until they are quite thick and fluffy. Whilst still whisking (you may need to steady the bowl) pour the warm milk into the eggs through a sieve in a steady stream. Keep the egg mixture moving or they will curdle, leaving you with sugary scrambled eggs.
Rinse out the saucepan and then return the custard mixture to it. Gently heat the custard over a low light, stirring continuously, until it becomes very thick and creamy and then remove it from the heat. Cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool before slicing the shortcakes in half and filling with the creamy custard and tart rhubarb.

Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard cake

The upside of baking your own birthday cake is that you get to have exactly the cake you want. The downside of baking your own birthday cake is baking your own birthday cake! I don’t actually mind to be honest, the kitchen is my happy […]

Miso Caramel Whip

Miso Caramel Whip

I’m a child of the eighties and as such I will always have a soft spot for Angel Delight, specifically butterscotch Angel Delight. I know it’s horribly artificial but it’s also delicious and sweet and fluffy (and easy to make). I’ve made it a little […]

Peanut butter millionaires shortbread

Peanut butter millionaires shortbread

Soft tender peanut butter shortbread topped with crunchy peanuts, rich caramel and smooth creamy chocolate. What’s not to love? I can pretty much guarantee that I will never turn down a piece of caramel shortbread when it’s on offer and these are certainly no exception. I’m also a peanut butter fiend so these get a double thumbs-up from me. I was a little bit trepidatious about using it in the shortbread base at first, I wanted to be sure that I kept the crumbly texture and not end up with peanut butter cookies but I think it’s worked really well. And what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate? Except maybe caramel….

Ingredients
makes a heap
base
120g softened butter
120g smooth peanut butter (use one without palm oil)
75g sugar
225g plain flour
30g cornflour
150g unsalted peanuts
caramel
1 tin condensed milk (about 400g)
200g butter
60g soft brown sugar
big pinch of seasalt
topping
300g chocolate (anything you like)

Pre-heat your oven to 150°c and lightly grease a baking tin. I have a 13″x 9″ tin which is fairly deep and is ideal for this but you can pretty much use any shape/size tin you like, it’ll only make a difference to the thickness of the layers.
Make sure that your butter is fairly soft and cream it together with the peanut butter and the sugar. Sift in the flour and cornflour and then rub it in with your finger tips to create a mixture like fine breadcrumbs. Press this firmly into the base of your prepared tin, prick it all over with a fork and bake it for 10 minutes. Scatter the peanuts over the surface and then return the shortbread to the oven for a further 10 minutes before leaving to cool.

For the caramel, combine the condensed milk, brown sugar, seasalt and butter in a medium, heavy-based pan and melt it all together over a low heat. Give it a stir and increase the heat a little to bring it to a gentle bubble. Let it continue to gently bubble away until it has thickened a little and darkened to a rich caramel colour.
Pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread, spread it evenly and leave to set.
For the final layer simply melt the chocolate and then spread it over the caramel layer, marbling it if you’re using a few types. Leave to fully set before slicing.

Bergamot & gin soak cake

Bergamot & gin soak cake

So you’ve heard of lemon drizzle cake right? Well soak cake is what happens when you make a little too much delicious drizzling syrup and don’t want to waste any of it! Seriously, this cake is literally drenched in deliciously fragrant, sweet, sticky syrup. Because […]