Thursday, 25 July 2013

Cooling raspberry sorbet

As the weather has been so nice of late, now I've said that it will go back to normal no doubt, I decided to make something cool for dessert. Raspberries are great this time of year so you should be able to find them at the supermarkets, I was lucky enough to get them for free from my mums allotment. There isn't alot of work in this dessert and the flavour is delicious, so get making!

Serves 6-8
170g/6oz granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon
470g/17oz raspberries
250ml water

1. Put the lemon juice, water and sugar into a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thicker, or syrupy, leave to cool.
2. Whizz up the raspberries in a blender then strain the juice out through a sieve, alternatively just push the raspberries through a sieve, and add to the sugar mixture.
3. Pour the combined mixture into a freezeable tub and put in the freezer for a few hours, take out and break up the ice crystals with a fork and return to the freezer.
4. Take out of freezer 20mins before eating, serve with fruit or meringue, enjoy.

Raspberry and disaronno trifle

I quickly made this dessert the other day, so apologies for lack of specific ingredients, its very easy and tastes great. It is abit of a twist on the traditional trifle but it went down well in my house so hopefully it will in yours too.

Serves 1 (but make as many as you like)
1 trifle sponge
Whipped double cream
Ready made custard

1. Cut the trifle sponge in half and fill with raspberries, sandwich back together and put in the bottom of a small bowl. Pour a couple of tablespoons of disaronno  on the sponge.
2. Pour the custard over the sponge until fully covered.
3. Spoon enough whipped cream over to cover the custard and place some more raspberries ontop to decorate.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Rhubarb Almond Cake

I was asked at the last minute to make a dessert using rhubarb, which my mum had picked from her allotment, and a cake was the first thing that came to mind. I know I always say this but this dessert really is simple to make and uses few ingredients, great for if like me you're in a hurry. The cake is light and fluffy but also moist and full of flavour thanks to the rhubarb so go on give it a go.

3 1/2 oz/100g self raising flour
1/2 oz/14g ground almonds
4oz/113g margarine or butter (depends if you're going for the full fat option or not)
4oz/113g golden caster sugar (again normal will do but golden is slightly healthier)
2 medium eggs beaten
1tsp baking powder
7oz/200g rhubarb, washed and cut into 2inch length chunks
2tsp Demerara sugar, for after cooking

1. Preheat the oven to 150oC (fan oven) and line the bottom of a 8x1.5in cake tin with baking paper. Cream together the margarine and sugar in a free standing or hand held electric whisk, until light then gradually add the eggs, if it looks curdled don't worry just add some of the flour to make the mixture smooth. Sieve the flour, ground almonds and baking powder into the mixture and mix until smooth. Poor the mixture into the baking tin.
2. Arrange the rhubarb ontop of the cake mixture and bake for about 35mins or until risen and golden brown, take out of the oven, sprinkle over the Demerara sugar and leave to cool in the tin.
3. Carefully take out of the tin, remembering to remove the baking paper from the bottom of the cake and serve with ice cream or have it alone, either way it's still scrumptious! 


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

An easy peasy Wimbledon themed dessert

This week I've been watching alot of the tennis at Wimbledon so thought I'd incorporate the food associated with it in a recipe, strawberries! This recipe is chocolate dipped strawberries with shortbread, an easy recipe you can make with things in the cupboard.

Serves 4 
12 strawberries  
60g/2 oz dark chocolate

125g/4 1/4 oz plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
82g/3oz softened butter or margarine 
37g/1 1/4oz caster sugar

1. Melt the chocolate until smooth in either the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Dip the end of the strawberries into the chocolate and refrigerate. 
2. To make the shortbread preheat the oven to 180oC and line a small baking tray with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until soft and light, add the flour and salt then combine into a dough.
3. Put the dough into the tray and squeeze it down with your knuckles until it is about 5-10mm thick, then bake for 20mins until golden brown. Take out of the oven, sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to cool on a cooling rack or in the tray you've baked it in.
4. Cut the shortbread into four rectangular pieces and serve with the strawberries (and maybe a cheeky Pimms to carry on the Wimbledon theme). 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Chocolate eclairs

After seeing the great Mary Berry make chocolate eclairs on TV the other day I thought I just had to make them because they looked delish! I haven't made eclairs before, only profiteroles, and I know a lot of people think choux pastry is hard to make but it really isn't as difficult as people think and these treats are extremely tasty so it's worth the effort.

Makes 12 but you can make them as small or large as you want, just remember to adjust cooking times accordingly

150ml double cream (I used Elmlea but it does take a while to whip)
50g/ 1 3/4oz butter
75g/ 2 1/2oz plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
120g chocolate (milk or dark whichever you prefer) melted 

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C fan oven and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Make the choux pastry by putting the butter along with 150ml of water into a saucepan, melt the butter and bring to the boil, take off the heat. Add the flour and beat vigorously until the mixture comes away from the sides and forms a ball shape. Allow to cool a little then gradually add the eggs, don't worry if the mixture is looking curdled at this point just keep stirring, until the mixture is smooth. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle.
2. Sprinkle the baking sheet with a little water, this will create steam when in the oven to puff up the pastry. Pipe the pastry mixture into 7.5cm strips with spaces between each to allow for spreading in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 170C fan oven and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 
3. Take the eclairs out of the oven, immediately slice them in half and put on a wire rack to cool completely. 
4. Fill your eclairs with as much, or little, cream as you want them dip one half in the melted chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate over with a spoon if it doesn't fit in the bowl which I found! Eat straight away so the pastry does not go soggy. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

My first blog

So here it is, I've finally decided after a long deliberation to start blogging about my love for baking sweet things. Not that I really need an excuse to try out, and of course taste new sugary foods, but I thought this might be abit of fun and an opportunity to share some recipes with fellow bakers.

Here's my first recipe: rhubarb and almond crumble. The rhubarb was fresh from my mum's allotment and the recipe is so easy and delicious. Give it a try, it was a winner in my house enjoyed after a roast dinner...

Serves 6-8
500g rhubarb
6oz/170g Demerara sugar
5oz/142g plain flour
1oz/28g ground almonds
3oz/85g margarine
Flaked almonds to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (fan oven). Chop the rhubarb into short chunks and place with 3oz/85g of the Demerara sugar into a saucepan, heat gently until soft which should take about 15-20 mins, take off the heat and leave to cool.
2. To make the crumble put the flour, ground almonds and margarine into a bowl and rub together until it resembles a fine breadcrumb like texture. Add the rest of the Demerara sugar and mix.
3. Put the rhubarb mixture into an oven proof dish and spread the crumble mixture over the top, sprinkle a little Demerara sugar ontop for added crunch and then scatter the flaked almonds and bake for 25mins until slightly golden brown. Add some cream or custard and enjoy :)