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 […]
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 […]
For me it’s the melting point of a truffle that makes it so delicious. There needs to be that soft, yielding luciousness when you bite into them. I once read that the reason this is so satisfying is because the melting point of chocolate is very close to body temperature. If you lower the melting point ever so slightly that satisfaction is increased. You can lower the melting point by simply adding a little extra fat to the chocolate, in the form of vegetable oil. Because of the lower melting point it’s important to keep the filling cold, otherwise things can get pretty messy.
makes a heap
200g dark chocolate
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp peppermint extract
pinch of salt (optional)
200g extra chocolate for coating
Melt together the oil and the chocolate, either in a double boiler or by using short blasts in a microwave. Stir well and add the peppermint extract and the salt (if using). Either pour this mixture into silicone chocolate moulds or a shallow tray lined with parchment (to cut into cubes later) and place it in the freezer to firm up for several hours and get really nice and cold.
Remove the truffles from the moulds or cut into bite sized cubes. Melt the extra chocolate for coating and carefully dip each chilled truffle in the liquid chocolate, ensuring that they are fully coated before placing them on a parchment lined tray. The chocolate should set on the truffles very quickly because they have been pre-chilled. Wrap in foil or simply place in pretty boxes ready for gifting.
The blossom is just starting to appear on my cherry tree and it reminded me that there was a little stash of last years fruit in my freezer. But what should I do with this treasure that I squirreled away? Make a delicious cake of course!
I am completely besotted with this recipe. I can’t get over how well the tonka bean goes with the cherries, I suppose it’s because it has flavours of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and almond, which all go really well with cherry.
The ermine (cooked) frosting is delicious, light, silky and fluffy – so much better than just beating together some butter and icing sugar. The light, golden sponges are just a classic Victoria sponge, which you can never really go wrong with can you!
If you can’t find tonka beans then 1 tsp of vanilla, a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg does a fairly decent impression of the flavour.
the weight of the eggs (inc. shells) in softened butter, sugar and self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tonka bean, finely grated
3 tbsp milk
filling & frosting
250g pitted cherries (frozen is fine)
squeeze of lemon juice
150g + 3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
200g softened butter, cubed
fresh cherries and dark chocolate to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line 3 identical cake tins.
Beat together the butter, salt and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, following each one with a spoonful of flour to reduce the risk of the mixture curdling. Sift the remaining flour with the baking power and grated tonka bean before sifting for a second time into the batter mixture. Briefly beat again until the mixture is smooth and then stir in the milk to leave you with a nice dropping consistency. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins, smooth off the tops and bake for 25 minutes, until the sponges are nicely risen, golden and feel springy to the touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Make the filling and frosting whilst the sponges are baking and cooling. Roughly chop the cherries and combine them in small pan with three tablespoons of the sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the juices thicken and the fruit becomes soft and pulpy. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the frosting base by mixing together the remaining 150g of sugar, the flour and cornflour with two tablespoons of juice from the cooked cherries. Stir it together before adding the milk (this will prevent the cherry juice from turning the milk sour). Make sure it is all well blended and there are no lumps before gently heating the mixture. Stir it continuously until you have a very thick, smooth custard. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool completely.
Use an electric mixer to whip the custard base before whipping in the butter, a few cubes at a time until you’re left with a thick, fluffy, silky-smooth buttercream. Place half of this in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Beat the cooked cherries into the remaining frosting.
To assemble the cake place one of the sponges onto a serving plate and spread it with half of the cherry/frosting mixture. Pipe small blobs of the plainer frosting around the edge before carefully topping with another of the sponges. Repeat the filling and piping process and then pop on the final sponge. Pipe a generous swirl of the plain frosting on the top and then use a pallet knife to spread and smooth it out. Pipe 12 blobs of the buttercream around the top of the cake and top each one with a chocolate dipped cherry. Sprinkle a little grated chocolate onto the centre of the cake. Chill before serving to allow the buttercream to firm up.
I love the flavour of tahini in both sweet and savoury dishes (halva makes me very happy!). It goes really well in these little baked cheesecakes, especially when combined with fragrant honey and rich cocoa. They have a lovely buttery, crunchy base and a rich, […]
There are pancakes and then there are souffle pancakes! These aren’t the enormous Japanese style souffle pancakes (I’m not together enough in the mornings to make them) but they are gorgeously fluffy, pillow-like pancakes made by whipping the egg whites into a meringue before folding them into the rest of the batter. These can be either an extremely luxurious way to start your day or a deliciously indulgent dessert, served with your favourite toppings.
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
50g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, icing sugar etc for serving
Separate the eggs, placing the whites in one mixing bowl and the yolks in another. Use an electric mixer to whip the whites to a stiff peak. Add the sugar and the cream of tartar and whip again until the peaks become glossy. Set aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg yolks and mix together. Beat in the milk and the vanilla paste to leave you with a very thick batter. Mix a spoonful of the meringue mixture into the batter to loosen it and then carefully fold in the remaining meringue.
Lightly oil a lidded non-stick frying pan and place it over a low heat. Add dollops of the pancake batter and spread them out a little. Pop the lid on the pan and cook the pancakes on one side for a minute of two before carefully flipping them over to repeat the process on the other side. They should be lightly golden when they are cooked but still soft and fluffy in the middle.
Serve with whichever toppings you choose.
Look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t want to eat one of these right now. Rich, fluffy chocolatey sponge absolutely smothered in sticky, salty miso caramel. Sounds pretty delicious doesn’t it? This is perfect comfort food. It’s cosiness on a plate! […]