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 […]
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 […]
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).
1/2 tbsp olive oil
50g desiccated coconut
1 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional)
pinch of seasalt
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.
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 […]
Sometimes your day needs a little pick-me-up but you don’t always want to rely on sugary snacks and chocolate bars (even if they are delicious). These are a really good alternative, quick and easy to make, full of fibre and pretty tasty to boot. I’m […]
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.
The big day may be over with for another a year but that doesn’t mean that we’re done with the feasting – as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t finish until the clock strikes January!
This rich, creamy cheesecake is the perfect dessert for this time of year and it’s full of festive flavours. It’s also a handy way to use up any leftover mincemeat that you might have hanging around.
200g biscuits (anything you like but ginger nuts or speculoos are nice)
600g cream cheese
100g sour cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp rum (or brandy)
dark chocolate decorations
Start by lightly greasing a spring-form cake tin and securely wrapping the base of it with foil. Pre-heat your oven to 170°c. Crush the biscuits and melt the butter before combing the two. Press this mixture firmly into the base of the tin, pushing it slightly up the sides. Pop this in the fridge to firm up whilst you make the filling.
Put the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat them together until they are smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Mix in the sour cream, alchohol and vanilla, making sure that it is well blended. Stir in the mincemeat by hand and then pour the mixture over the biscuit base. Give the tin a little shimmy to level things off before giving it a couple of sharp taps to knock out any excess air bubbles. Put the tin in a bain-marie and bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour.
Once it’s done it should have a little wobble in the middle but be a little puffed up and a little golden around the edges. Turn off the oven and take the cheesecake out of its water bath but leave it in the oven to cool. Once it’s room temperature move it to the fridge to chill for several hours, preferably overnight.
To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and add a few dark chocolate decorations and perhaps a touch of sparkle to the top.