Category: dessert

Mini Strawberry Pavlova recipe….well it is the Wimbeldon season!

Strawberry & cream PavlovaLast month I was asked by Achica to come up with a strawberries and cream recipe for Wimbledon fortnight. I have to say that there are few combinations that go together as well as strawberries and cream, except when you add some sugary meringues to it! Oh my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I decided that I would make some mini pavlovas, but I didn’t want them to be just ordinary ones. Oh, no. I wanted them to be pretty! So I made the meringues in Rose shapes using a rose piping nozzle. They’re dead easy to make and look so effective. I coloured my ones pink but anything goes really. You can see the feature on Achica here.

 

 How to make Mini Strawberry Pavolvas

 

Ingredients

(makes 12 meringues)

3 egg whites (at room temperature)

160g caster sugar

1 tea spoon cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Pink food colouring

500ml double cream

2 tablespoon strawberry jam

handful of strawberries cut in half to decorate.

 

 

To ensure that your meringues will be similar in size draw circles onto a sheet of silicon paper- I used a small glass. Flip the paper over and place on a baking tray ready to pipe the meringues on.Heat the oven to 120ºC (100ºC fan)

mini pavlovas

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. You can do this by hand but it will take forever! In a separate bowl sieve the sugar and cornflour together. Add a spoonful at a time to the egg whites and beat in well. Continue adding one spoon at a time until all the sugar is combined.
Add the vanilla essence and blend further until the mixture is thick and glossy and won’t fall out of the bowl if you turn it upside down!
For a pretty two tone look to the meringues add a little pink food colour to the bowl and stir a small amount up, making sure to leave some of it white.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova
Fill a piping bag with the mixture. You can use any piping tip. I wanted to get a flower effect so I used a closed star tip no. 846 (it’s the one on the left which is available from Amazon on this link Flower Piping Nozzle), but any style tip will work.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova

Use a tall glass or jug to hold your piping bag steady and open while you fill it. You can paint some pink stripes on the inside of the piping bag for a more streaky look. I did this but I thing mixing the colour in the bowl had a better result.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova
Pipe circular shapes onto your silicon paper, using the circles as a guide. For a flower effect meringue start your swirl in the centre. Keep the nozzle close to the paper and at a right angle then keep going round and round until you have filled your circle line.

Piping rose meringues

Pop the tray into the oven for 1hr 30 mins. After that turn the oven off but leave the tray in there till the oven has completely cooled. This stops the meringues from cracking. They crack if they cool too quickly.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova
Once the meringues are completely cool whisk up the double cream so it’s no longer runny and add the strawberry jam.
Place a spoonful of jam to the bottom meringue, add cream then top off with another meringue.
Assemble with the cream on the day you are eating them or they’ll get soggy.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova

 

Enjoy! 

 

p.s. Come on Andy! 

Lucy Young and Mary Berry’s Mini Banoffee pies

Mini Banoffee PiesMini Banoffee Pie

This recipe is taken from Mary Berry and Lucy Young’s latest book At Home, BBC Books Thank you BBC Books for sharing it with us.

Buy it here on Amazon

“Everyone’s favourite dessert – these individual pies are Lucy’s recipe and are divine. Tins of ready-made caramel can be bought in any supermarket and save having to boil a can of condensed milk like we used to, to give it a caramel flavour.” Mary Berry

Mini Banoffee Pie recipe

serves 8

For the base
40g (11⁄2oz) butter, melted
75g (3oz) digestive biscuits, crushed

For the topping

50g (2oz) butter
50g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
1 × 397g tin caramel
4 small bananas
200ml (7fl oz) double cream, lightly whipped 25g (1oz) square of dark chocolate

You will need eight 7cm (21⁄2-in) cooking rings, arranged on a baking sheet. To make the bases, mix the melted butter with the crushed biscuits and stir until combined. Spoon evenly between the rings and press down with the back of a spoon. Chill while you make the topping.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the caramel and stir until combined. Simmer for 1 minute then set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Pour the sauce into the rings on top of the biscuit base and chill for about 1 hour or until the toffee has just set. Slice the banana and arrange on top, then spoon or pipe over the cream. Slide a fish slice under each ring and move to serving plates. Remove the rings and finelygrate chocolate on top of each pie to garnish.

Serve chilled.

P R E P A R E AHEAD

The toffee can be put into the rings up to a day ahead. Top with banana and cream up to 6 hours ahead (leave the rings on as the banana will discolour if exposed to the air). Not suitable for freezing.

 

 enjoy!

Oaty Apple crumble with chocolate chips recipe


Oaty Apple crumble recipe

Hands up who still has some Easter Eggs left?

No? Well we do. In fact we have tons. (Thanks M&S!)

I hate to waste chocolate I mean who doesn’t right? So when it comes to those little flaky crumbs at the bottom of the box I like to find a recipe to use them up with. This year it was this Oaty Apple crumble.

I decided that I would make mini crumbles for the kids and a small adult sized one for me and Tim and anyone else who happened to pop round, but the ingredients would have made one nice big crumble. It’s also worth knowing that I like there to be a lot of topping and a good amount of fruit – but not too much, so if you love lots of filling you should add a few extra apples. The choice is yours!

Oaty apple crumble with chocolate chips

 Ingredients

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 50g Demerara sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter – cold and cubed
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 500g apples – I used up gala apples but you can always use any variety.
  • 50g chocolate – chips or broken up pieces of Easter Egg- anything goes!

 

How to make an Oaty Apple Crumble 

  1. Heat your oven to 180ºC (160 fan). 
  2. Peel and core your apples then chop them into nice small cubes.
  3. Place 10g of butter in a frying pan and add the apple. Stir every now and then to make sure the apple is cooking evenly for 5 minutes. You don’t want the apple to get too squishy, just cooked on the outside edge.
  4. After 5 minutes place the cooked apple in your baking dish and set aside to cool.
  5. To make the topping: In a bowl mix the flour and sugars together then add the butter.
  6. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until it looks like bread crumbs.
  7. Add the porridge oats and mix well. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes (optional)
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate onto the apple then cover with the crumble topping.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes until the topping is a delicious golden colour.
  10. Serve straight away with custard or ice cream.

Top tips for making this crumble.

The topping for this crumble is incredible moreish and really easy to make but I did learn a few lessons in my trial runs.

  • The first time I baked this desert the chocolate chips were on the crumble and it got a bit burnt. The second time I made it I added the choc chips to the cooled apple before I added the crumble topping. This vastly improved the taste and texture. It also gives a nice surprise to guests as you can’t see the chocolateyness lurking inside!
  • I added milk chocolate pieces to this crumble but you can use white or dark too. One time (unfortunately when I was going to my in -laws for dinner!Sorry!!!)  I used pieces from an orange infused dark chocolate egg which really  didn’t work. The orange flavour just took over the whole dish.  So the key is to keep it simple. Plain old chocolate is best.
  • Don’t add more than 50g of chocolate as it becomes too sweet and spoils the crumble if you add more. 
  • If you like your crumble to have lots of nice big lumps make the topping ahead and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes. The clusters will then stay together, unless you crumble them with your fingers. 

Oaty apple crumble recipeenjoy! 

Strawberry Tarts from ‘Cook It, step by step’

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'Yesterday I reviewed the kids cook book Cook It , Step by Step by Dk  and today I am thrilled to be able to share a recipe extract straight from the book with you all.  How good do these Strawberry tarts look? Kids will love to make them.

 

Strawberry tarts recipe

These pretty pastries taste as good as they look! You can also make them with other types of soft fruit.

Ingredients

• 225g (8oz) ready-made shortcrust pastry

• 150g (51/2 oz) mascarpone cheese

• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract •

2 tbsp icing sugar

• 175g (6oz) strawberries or other soft fruit

• 4 tbsp redcurrant jelly •

15ml (1 tbsp) water

 

Preheat the oven to 200 ̊C (400 ̊F/Gas 6). Thinly roll out the pastry, then using the fluted cutter, cut out 8 circles. Press the pastry circles into a bun tin.

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'

Line the cases with baking parchment and fill them with dried beans. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the beans. Return to the oven for 3 minutes. Cool in the tin

Strawberry tarts

Transfer the cases to a cooling rack. Place the cheese and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Sift over the icing sugar, then beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'

Place the strawberries on a chopping board. Remove the green stalks from the strawberries. Then use a knife to cut them in half or quarters if they are large.

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'

When the pastry cases are completely cool, use a teaspoon to fill them with the mascarpone and vanilla mixture. Arrange the strawberries over the top.

Strawberry tarts

Place the redcurrant jelly in a small pan with the water and cook over a low heat, stirring until the jelly has dissolved. Brush this over the strawberries.

Strawberry tarts

 

enjoy!

Chocolate Madeira Cake Recipe

Chocolate Madeira cake

 

I love Madeira cake. I mean REALLY love it. It’s part of my past. So when I was asked recently “How do you convert your Madeira cake recipe into a chocolate cake?” I thought it would be a great recipe to share with you all. I also still had the Morello Cherry and William Pear compote and Belgium chocolate ganache from Tesco’s to try out so they were a perfect fit!

Chocolate Madeira cake

This cake is really easy to make and is slightly firmer than my previous chocolate recipes, yet it’s still moist – making it a perfect foundation cake (as my mum would say). In other words it’s perfect for covering in sugarpaste for a celebration cake and the best thing is the fact that it doesn’t crumble like other chocolate cakes do. I do hate a crumbly cake, especially when you’re trying to get a crumb coating of buttercream on it!

Madeira cake recipe 

(Makes an 8″ cake – 1 ½” deep) 

75g butter at room temperature
75g margarine (Flora is best) at room temperature
 200g caster sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla essence
3 eggs (large) 
175 g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
 1 ½ teasp of baking powder
3 tbsp milk
 
  1. Line an 8″ cake tin with silicon paper and pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan).
  2. Blend the butter, margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs slowly until they’re really well mixed in.
  3. In a separate bowl weigh out the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix them so that you have a light brown dry mixture. This will prevent you having any cocoa lumps in the mix. Sieve into the butter and sugar mix and blend.
  4. Add the vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
  5. Pour the cake mix into the tin and smooth with the back of a metal spoon.  Bake for 45 minutes in the centre of the oven. The cake is ready when you can smell that delicious chocolate cake aroma filling your kitchen. The cake will come away from the sides of the tin and a skewer will come out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  6. Leave to cool on a wire rack Chocolate Madeira cake
  7. When completely cool cut into two halves and fill with compote/ buttercream /jam. I loved the Tesco’s compote. It would be great for making a black forest gateau.

    Chocolate Madeira Cake
    This compote is delish!
  8. Cover the top of the cake with a dusting of icing sugar or a really decadent chocolate ganache (if you want a ganache recipe you can find mine on this post)

Chocolate Madeira cake

 

I re-heated the Tesco ganache in a saucepan and poured it all over the cake till it just dribbled down. There was a little left over which Tim said could not be wasted! He scooped it up with a spoon.   I then placed the finished cake on the kitchen table to cool. Actually, it was to bribe the girls to do their homework before the Sunday evening witching hour! No homework. No cake!

It worked!

 Chocolate Madeira cake

Enjoy!

Excited about sprinkles. And sauces. And ganache!

Tesco Sprinkles

Just before Christmas I received one of those emails that makes you feel like the pounds instantly go from your Mac straight onto your hips! Tesco’s are launching a great new range of ice cream accessories and Finest* desserts and they wanted to know if I would like to ‘test them’? I mean it would be rude not to, don’t you think? So I carefully made a small selection from the fantastic range which will be instore from next week (14th January to be precise)

Mr Nice Cream

The ‘Mr Nice Cream’ Ice cream range includes cones, sponge cookies -now they sound fab and fan wafers (I love those things. When I was little I used to make sandwiches out of them with jam and cream).

I requested to test the squeezy sauces. Strawberry -which tastes like jam without the annoying lumps of fruit (I’ve been putting it on my toast!), Chocolate sauce which is made with Belgian milk chocolate and British cream (deelish) and Toffee sauce which is made with British double cream, British butter and golden syrup (Sorry but I can’t do the toffee sauce but that didn’t stop Beau and Darcey demolishing it on their ice cream. Are you supposed to squeeze it directly onto a spoon before you put it on your gob? No, I didn’t think so, but that’s what I found them doing one afternoon during the Christmas holidays- I hope our dentist isn’t reading this!)

There’s also a mango and passionfruit sauce. How did I miss that off my list?

To top it all off.

Don’t you just love these cell sprinkles with the 3-4 compartments with different colours and designs? They’re the perfect store cupboard essential. I tested the Princess ice cream sprinkles with pink hearts and dots sprinkles (my fav) and the mixed sprinkles with mini chocolate sweets and 100’s and thousands. Although they are ice cream toppers, they obviously make perfect cupcake and cookie toppers too.

I tested just two types of sprinkles but there are tons in the range, including the mini pots of toppers (see below). This is where you can really go to town. There’s micro marshmallows, jelly beans (in cherry, lemon & lime, banana, raspberry, strawberry and orange flavours), mini meringues, chocolate orange fudge, shortcake balls, caramel fudge…..shall I go on? There’s more! The world is your ice cream oyster.

Chocolate heaven

The only things I haven’t tried out yet are the Morello Cherry & William pear compote and the Belgian chocolate ganache sauce. I’m saving them for a cake I am making next week. I can’t wait. They look so good.

Tesco Sprinkles

Sprinkle trouble

Now, when these arrived Beau helped me open the package up. That’s where I went wrong. Letting a 9 year old see a small tub of jelly beans and chocolate covered shortbread would be pester power out of control enough, but when it came to the micro marshmallows I was in big trouble. You see I had lots of baking to do for Christmas and I wasn’t going to have five minutes to do any additional blogging, so the whole collection just sat on the kitchen worktop (accidentally) teasing her. Every single day she asked if she could have them. “Not until I have taken shots of them and done some baking with them” I would say. To which I was greeted with a lot of huffing and puffiing!  Then on Christmas day I broke my camera! More delay!

Beau had to wait a WHOLE WEEK! to eat them!!! I think it’s a new form of kiddie torture!  Just look at what happened the day we were due to bake with them. I borrowed my sisters camera (thanks Shell) and her son and we made biscuits. The shot below was taken before any biscuits went into the oven. Beau just couldn’t wait any longer! What a cruel Mamma I am.

Needless to say I used about 5 micro marshmallows on one cookie and she ate the rest! I think they were a hit!

Tesco sprinkles

We made vanilla cookies and chocolate cookies and I let Beau, Darcey and my nephew Asher go to town with the icing. Then the toppers came out to play. This is when the fun really started. Here are just a few that they made. (there were over 50) A good time was had by all, but I think I shall ‘play’ with the chocolate ganache and compote when the kids are in bed. I’m not sharing that!

Beau's cookies

Ice cream sauces are £ 1.49 each, Ice cream sprinkles from £ 2.19, Mini topper tubs 89p each, Chocolate ganache £ 2, Compote, £2, all available from Tesco.com from January 14th. Enjoy.

EmmaMT

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