I love the fact that citrus fruit are at their peak during the most miserable part of the year. It’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy something so bright and zingy and fresh amidst all the heavy winter food. Citrus fruit are like a […]
This is such a classic Christmas combination. Tart cranberries and sweet fragrant orange combined with all the luxury and indulgence we deserve at this time of year. Panna cotta is also a fantastic dessert for the festive season, when we’re all so busy and could […]
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 […]
I’ve made this a few times now and it always gets a really warm welcome at the table. It’s what autumn puddings should be, rich and warming and packed with flavourful spices. The sponge is wonderfully light with a gloriously sticky crust, the pears are soft and fruity and there are occasional fiery little nuggets of stem ginger, just to keep things interesting. I like this best served warm, five or ten minutes after it’s come out of the oven (so you don’t burn your mouth on the pears) but it’s also delicious served cold and keeps for several days because the sponge is so moist.
serves 6 generously
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp very hot water
65g soft dark brown sugar
pich of salt
90g golden syrup
50ml warm milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground allspice
2 pieces of stem ginger
1 tin of pear halves, drained (you can use fresh if you prefer but you’ll need to poach them first)
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line a springform baking tin. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and set it aside.
Cream together the butter, salt and sugar until it is nice and fluffy and then beat in the syrup and egg. Stir in the milk, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda mixture. Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices to ensure that they are well blended and then briefly beat this into the wet mixture. Finely chop the stem ginger and fold it through the batter.
Pour the sponge mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the pears on top and push them into the batter a little. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, covering the top with some foil if it starts to get a bit too brown in the last 15 minutes or so. Once the cake is done it should have risen up nicely around the pears and feel springy to the touch.
Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard.
When I was little a battle would be waged every summer in our garden between my mum and the resident blackbirds over who was going to get to the blackcurrants first once they reached peak ripeness. On the occasions when my mum won the war […]
You know you’ve come up with a winning recipe when your brother sends you this message and tells you that he’s just polished off his third slice!
But really I can’t blame him for having thirds of this rich, delicious, sticky, gooey cake. The sponge is fluffy and full of flavour, the filling is sweet, salty and creamy and the topping is just downright decadent. I bet you can’t eat just one slice!
I’ve adapted the recipe from my malted mocha cupcakes for the sponge.
200g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
250g soft light brown sugar
100ml vegetable oil
100ml hot coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g soft light brown sugar
70ml double cream
1 tbsp shiro miso (you can just add a big pinch of seasalt if you prefer)
150ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
75g dark chocolate
75ml double cream
little bit of fudge/chocolate shavings/sprinkles to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line two sandwich cake tins.
Sift the flour, raising agents, spices and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl and then use a whisk to mix in the sugar and salt. Make sure that everything is well blended.
Lightly beat the eggs and then combine them with the oil, milk, coffee and vanilla extract. Mix this into the dry ingredients and then briefly beat it together to leave you with a smooth, fairly wet batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins (you can weigh them if you want to be super precise) and level off the tops. Bake the sponges for 30-35 minutes, they should be well risen and feel springy to the touch when they’re done. Leave the sponges on a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst the sponges bake you can make the miso caramel . Simply combine the cream, sugar and butter in a pan and bring to boil. Turn the heat down and let it gently bubble for several minutes, it should deepen in colour a little and become a little thicker. Remove it from the heat and stir in the miso, ensuring that it blends in smoothly. Set it aside to cool.
Whip the cream with the vanilla and the sugar until it is thick and fluffy and set it aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
For the ganache topping chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Heat the cream until it is quite warm but don’t let it boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two before giving it a good stir. Leave to cool and thicken.
Trim the sponges to level them if you need to and place one of them on a serving plate. Spread a fairly generous amount of the caramel over the base and then pile on the cream, spreading it just shy of the edges. Drizzle a little more of the caramel over the cream and then gently place the second sponge on top. Spread the ganache over this sponge, swirling it a little for decoration and then scatter some crumbled fudge, sprinkles or chocolate shavings over the top to finish it off.