Healthy Eton Mess

Healthy Eton Mess

A super quick and much healthier recipe for the quintessential English summer dessert.

Raspberries are macerated in framboise before being combined with meringue and a combination of low fat crème fraîche and Greek yogurt.

Healthy Eton Mess
Serves 4

Ingredients:

25g Golden Caster Sugar
1tbsp Framboise
250g Raspberries
200g Low Fat Crème Fraîche
150g Low Fat Greek Yogurt
4 Small Meringue Shells (Crushed)

Method:

1) Place the raspberries in a bowl with the sugar and framboise and lightly crush. Allow to macerate in the fridge for around 2 hours.

2) Meanwhile, combine the crème fraîche and greek yogurt in a bowl. Set aside.

3) When ready to serve, fold the crushed meringue through the crème fraîche mixture. Spoon into bowls and top with the raspberries.

Enjoy!

Caramel Cheesecake

Caramel Cheesecake

A deliciously decadent cheesecake – packed full of caramel richness. This gluten free version uses a gluten free biscuit base which is topped with a mix of cream cheese and dulce de leche.

Crunchy caramel shards add great contrast of texture and make for an impressive dessert. Whilst a thin topping of sour cream stops the cheesecake from becoming too sweet.

Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Base: 300g Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits, 85g Unsalted Butter

For the Cheesecake Mixture: 750g Cream Cheese (Full Fat), 3 Large Eggs, 1tsp Vanilla Extract, 1 Tin Dulce De Leche, 2tbsp Corn Flour, 100g Caster Sugar

For the Sour Cream Topping: 600ml Sour Cream, 25g Caster Sugar, 1tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Shards: 220g Golden Caster Sugar, 80ml Water

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200c. Place the digestives in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a medium lined cake tin (preferably spring form). Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, set aside and turn down the oven temperature to 160c.

2) Meanwhile make the cheesecake mixture; place the cream cheese, cornflour, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer and mix until well combined. Add the dulce de leche and continue to mix until well combined. Pour over the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 45 minutes the remove.

3) Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, 25g of caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk. When the cheesecake has been removed from the oven, pour the sour cream mixture over the cheesecake and bake for a further 15 minutes before turning the oven off and leaving the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.

4) Make the shards by combining the caster sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Place over a high heat and cook to a medium-dark caramel. Transfer to a baking matt and spread to form a thin sheet. Allow to cool then break into shards before serving with the cheesecake.

Enjoy!

Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries and Cream

The quintessential English dessert revisited – a simple cream panna cotta with fresh strawberries and strawberry coulis.

An ideal dessert for warm evenings in the garden – a light glaze of vanilla paste over the panna cotta and a subtle garnish of fresh tarragon make for a deliciously rich and satisfying dessert.

Strawberries and Cream
Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the Panna Cotta: 450ml Double Cream, 400ml Semi-Skimmed Milk, 4 Gelatine Leaves, 50g Golden Caster Sugar, 50g Caster Sugar, 2tbsp Groundnut Oil, 1tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste

For the Coulis and Garnish: 450g Fresh Strawberries (Chopped), 25g Caster Sugar (Optional), Fresh Tarragon

Method:

1) Bloom the gelatine leaves in a little cold water. Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk and caster sugars in a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring, then remove from the heat. Drain the gelatine leaves and add to the mixture – whisking to combine.

2) Grease 6 ramekins with a little groundnut oil. Divide the panna cotta mixture between the ramekins and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set for at least 6 hours.

3) Meanwhile, make the strawberry coulis by combining half of the chopped strawberries with the icing sugar (if required to sweeten) in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve and set aside.

4) When set, turn out the panna cotta and glaze with a little vanilla bean syrup. Serve with the strawberry coulis, some chopped strawberries and a little chopped tarragon.

Enjoy!

Tapioca and Mango Pudding

Tapioca & Mango Pudding
 
This is the perfect pudding for a warm night in front of the fire – bringing a little bit of sunshine to these gloomy nights!

Tapioca is difficult to get right, but when you do you are rewarded with one of the most comforting desserts imaginable – which pairs gloriously with fresh mango purée. Blackberry or cherry also make a great substitution for the mango.

Tapioca and Mango Pudding
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 Cup Small Pearl Tapioca (Not Quick Cook)
8 1/2 Cups Semi-Skimmed Milk
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Large Egg Yolks (Lightly Beaten)
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Pinch Fine Sea Salt
2 Ripe Mangoes (Peeled, Cored and Chopped)
1 tbsp Water
Lime Zest

Method:

1) Place 3 cups of the milk in a large saucepan with the tapioca, leave to sit uncovered for 1 hour.
2) Add the remaining milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt to the pan and stir to combine.
3) Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously – be careful not to boil.
4) Turn down the heat and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the tapioca pearls appear soft and translucent – around 15 minutes. The tapioca will continue to thicken as it cools.
5) Pour the tapioca into a dish, allow to cool slightly then cover with cling-film to stop a skin forming.
6) Make the mango purée by combining the mango and water in a food processor and blitz until puréed.
7) Serve the tapioca with the mango purée and a little lime zest.

Enjoy!

Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

 

If, like me, you always have some over-ripe bananas kicking about the kitchen, put them to good use in this incredibly delicious and comforting recipe!

In a different league to the artificial shop-bought alternative, this recipe is very simple to prepare. For best results ensure your bananas are very ripe (but not totally black) and give the mixture a good amount of time to chill in the fridge.

I have seen the ‘one-ingredient’ method of making ice cream used with bananas countless times and whilst the results are good, I favour this recipe for its wonderful richness.

Whilst an ice cream machine will give you super smooth ice cream with little effort, this recipe works just as well if using the ‘freezer method’.

Banana Ice Cream
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3 Ripe Bananas Chopped
400 ml Double Cream
1 tsp Lemon Juice
3 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Paste
3 tbsp Milk

Method:

1) Place all the ingredients except the milk in a food processor. Blitz briefly until smooth – ensure the mixture does not become too thick. Add the milk and pulse until combined.

2) Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing through with the back of a spoon.

3) Transfer the mixture to the fridge for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight).

4) Transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine and churn for around 30 minutes or until set relatively hard. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes before serving to allow the ice cream to firm up a little.

Best served with slices of glazed banana. Enjoy!

Banana Toffee Blondies

 

Banana, toffee and white chocolate. What could be finer?

Blondies are fantastic – think of a brownie, not quite as rich but much, much sweeter – definitely for those with a sweet tooth! I’ve been baking them on and off for years, usually plumping for simple white chocolate. They go down great as little gifts.

I’m sure everyone has used brown bananas for banana bread – I urge you to try these next time, they are incredibly comforting. Finding a little chunk of toffee or almond halfway through makes them extra special!

Banana Toffee Blondies

Makes 15 Small Squares

Ingredients:

For the almond toffee: 75g Caster Sugar, 75g Whole Almonds, Splash of Water

For the Blondie: 220g Caster Sugar, 100g Unsalted Butter, 200g White Vanilla Chocolate, 1 Large Egg, 2 Ripe Bananas Chopped, 225g Plain Flour, 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Method:

1) Make the toffee by heating the sugar and water to a golden caramel. Stir through the nuts and turn out onto a baking mat. Allow to cool. Once cooled, blitz or bash into small pieces.

2) Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a shallow rectangular baking tin with tin foil.

3) Melt the butter and white chocolate in a bain-marie.

4) Beat together the sugar, egg and banana in a bowl. Add the melted butter and chocolate and combine.

5) Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture, add the toffee and fold in.

6) Pour into the baking tin and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.

7) Allow to cool and cut into even pieces.

Enjoy!

Crème Fraîche Vanilla Sauce

 

I never seem to make sweet sauces and until now I haven’t really missed them. Pudding normally consists of some form of cake or meringue (we are big bakers in my house). However, my girlfriend made a strawberry and champagne terrine and I knew we just had to have something to accompany it.

I wanted something sweet and rich, it was the weekend after all. But it could not overpower the delicate strawberry and champagne. In comes the vanilla crème fraîche sauce – on the edge of sweetness with a strong kick of heady vanilla.

If you have any other suggestions for sweet sauces to enhance my repertoire I would love to hear them!

Vanilla Crème Fraîche Sauce

Makes enough for 4 small servings

Ingredients:

200ml Crème Fraîche

1tbsp Caster Sugar

Seeds from 1 Vanilla Pod

Method:

1) Combine the crème fraîche, sugar and vanilla seeds in a sauce pan.

2) Bring to a simmer, stirring continuously until the sugar is dissolved.

3) Either serve warm or allow to cool.

4) If storing in the fridge, reheat ever so slightly before reserving to increase its viscosity.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

 

 

 

 

We absolutely love crumbles, can’t get enough of them. Unfortunately the majority of recipes call for winter fruits – rendering the magnificent fruit crumble out of season in the summer months.

Not content with limiting our crumble quota to a mere 4 months of the year we have devised this simple summer recipe.

Strawberries and rhubarb are in abundance right now and work fantastically well as a base for your favourite crumble topping. Whats more, as the strawberries cook down, you are left with the most delicious juice at the bottom of the dish – so good I could drink that alone.

Of course this recipe would work equally as well with any number of summer fruits, but in my opinion this combination is simply sublime.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble

Serves 6

Ingredients:

800g Strawberries, Topped & Halved

8 Sticks Rhubarb, Cut into 1″ Chunks

100g Unsalted Butter

40g Oats

200g Self Raising Flour

3tbsp Caster Sugar

3tbsp Demerara Sugar

1tsp Ground Cinnamon

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place the rhubarb in the dish you wish to serve the crumble in and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until just tender.

2) Whilst the rhubarb is roasting make the crumble by rubbing the butter into the flour and ground cinnamon until combined (the texture of fine breadcrumbs). Add the oats to the crumble mixture.

3) Once the rhubarb is cooked, add the strawberries and toss to combine.

4) Sprinkle the fruit evenly with the crumble mixture. Then sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly with the Demerara sugar.

5) Bake in the oven at 180C for approximately 30-40 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy either cold or warm with custard or vanilla ice-cream!