Category Archives: Fruit

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves 4. Great with fresh cream or custard.

Ingredients

For the puddings

  • 125g pitted dates
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 60ml whole or semi-skimmed milk

For the toffee sauce

  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 60ml single or double cream

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan
  • Grease 4 ramekins
  • Soak the dates in the boiled water for a few minutes, then drain and whizz into a paste.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the egg a bit at a time, making sure to beat it in well.
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl, then add a third to the mixture and fold it in.
  • Add half of the milk and mix it well.
  • Continue with the next third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and the final third of the dry.
  • Mix in the date paste.
  • Split the mixture between the four ramekins and bake for 20-25mins.
  • The sauce only takes 10 minutes so you can start as the puddings are almost done or let the puddings cool and use them later on.
  • Add the butter, sugar and 40ml of the cream to a pan and melt over a low heat.
  • Stir consistently for 7-10mins until all of the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a dark toffee colour.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 20ml of cream.
  • Turn the puddings out onto a plate/bowl and spoon the toffee sauce on top.

Apple and Blackberry crumble

Serves 4-6 people

Chef’s Tip: Try my custard recipe which goes perfectly with this crumble!

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 3-4 cooking apples
  • 100-120g blackberries
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g demerera sugar (or golden caster sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the crumble:

  • 50g golden caster sugar 
  • 100g plain flour
  • 80g butter
  • Optional: 1tbsp soft brown sugar
  • Optional: 2tbsp ground almonds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
  • Peel and chop the apples into small cubes.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a medium/large saucepan and melt together over a medium heat until it turns into a light caramel (around 3mins).
  • Stir in the apples and cook for 3-5mins.
  • Add the blackberries and cinnamon and cook for another 3mins.
  • Cover with a lid and remove from the heat to sit for another few minutes while you make the topping.
  • Add the sugar, flour and butter to a mixing bowl. 
  • At this point you can also add the optional ingredients which I highly recommend!
  • Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are crumbly. 
  • Sprinkle the topping over your filling and bake for 10mins or until golden and crunchy on top.

 

Mince Pies

Ingredients

  • 140g/5oz cold butter, diced
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 50g/2oz ground almonds
  • 50g/2oz golden caster sugar
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tsp cold water
  • 280g/10oz good quality mincemeat
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • icing sugar for dusting

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Rub the butter into the flour and add the almonds, caster sugar, orange rind and salt until the mixture is a bit crumbly.
  • Combine mixture with the egg yolk and 1-2 teaspoons of water until it forms soft dough, then put it into a plastic bag and chill for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2-3mm(0.1in) and cut out about 18 rounds measuring 7.5cm(3in) with a pastry cutter.
  • Place in lightly greased patty tins and spoon the mincemeat evenly into the pies.
  • Re-roll the leftover pastry and cut out round lids, stars or other festive shapes to fit on top of the mincemeat.
  • Lightly brush the pastry tops with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from oven and leave for a few minutes before removing from tins and cooling on a wire rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar.

Mango Creme Brulee

Ingredients

  • 1 large mango, pureed in a blender
  • 500ml/18fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod/1-2tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g/4oz caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
  • 6 free-range egg yolks

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 150C/140C Fan/Gas 2.
  • Pour the cream into a saucepan.
  • Bring the cream to boiling point, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks together in a large heatproof bowl until fluffy.
  • Bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour it over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until thickened.
  • Fill the six ramekins with a layer of pureed mango on the bottom, then fill them to about two-thirds full with the mixture.
  • Place the ramekins into a large roasting tray and fill with enough hot water to come halfway up their outsides (a bain-marie).
  • Place the bain-marie onto the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the custards are just set but still a bit wobbly in the middle.
  • Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface of each crème brûlée, then caramelise with a chefs’ blowtorch.

Baked Italian Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 250g creme fraiche
  • 250g ricotta
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Make Jam for the topping (or use a jar if you’re being lazy), or use fresh strawberries.

Method

  • Crush the biscuits.
  • Add the butter to the biscuits and mix with your hands.
  • Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of your dish
  • Separate the eggs and keep the whites to one side
  • Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat well. Add the creme fraiche, ricotta and yoghurt.
  • Whip the eggs to stiff peaks (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without them falling out).
  • Mix in the cheese mixture
  • Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base
  • Bake for 30-40mins on 180.
  • When the cake is cool, add the jam or strawberries (or whatever topping you like) to the top.

Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 500g strawberries
  • 500g jam sugar (this is way too much in my opinion, I would use 300- 400g)
  • Knob of butter
  • Dash of lemon juice

Method

  • Take the tops off and middles out of the strawberries and place the good bits in a saucepan.
  • Put these on a low heat and when they soften a bit, add the sugar
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves and then add the butter
  • Turn the heat up and make it boil fast. You should not be able to control the bubbles by stirring.
  • When it gets to this point, time it for 4 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Chef’s tip: To add something special, mix some icing sugar with lemon juice, grate in a small amount of lemon zest and decorate the top of the cake with lines/squiggles.

Ingredients for the cake

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 225g self-raising flour

Ingredients for the drizzle

  • Juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 85g caster sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan, gas mark 4)
  • Beat the butter and sugar together
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time
  • Mix in the flour and then the lemon zest
  • Bake for 45-50mins
  • Mix together the drizzle, poke some holes in the top of the cake and drizzle the drizzle in a drizzly way to cover the whole cake. It will go nice and sugary/crunchy on top.

 

Raspberry Ripple Cake

Chef’s Tip: Mix the leftover raspberry juice with icing sugar to make a drizzle that you can pour on top or use to decorate with squiggly lines.

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g sour cream (a regular 300ml pot will get you this, just make sure you pour 250g into a bowl)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas Mark 4)
  • Grease and line a 23cm tin.
  • Put the raspberries into a bowl and lightly crush them with a masher – try to release as much juice as possible so it’s worth getting them out early.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs.
  • Mix in 2 spoons of the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in 2 spoons of the sour cream
  • Alternate dry and sour cream until it’s all in and mixed up.
  • Spoon approximately a third of the batter into the bottom of your tin, then spoon over half the raspberries.
  • Repeat with another third of the batter, then the remaining raspberries, and top with the rest of the batter.
  • Don’t worry if the batter and raspberries mix a bit when you’re spreading it all out.
  • Bake for 45-50mins (check how it’s going after 30mins) or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

No-Bake Chocolate Strawberry Tart with an Oreo Base

Chef’s tip: Serve with ice cream or clotted cream. If you’re feeling fancy, you could melt some extra chocolate and drizzle it on baking paper to make pretty patterns. Once it’s dry, you can use these as toppers to the cake.

Original recipe video can be found here so you can follow along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4fbOGxiFDc

Ingredients (makes 10-12 slices, or halve the ingredients to make 6 slices)

  • 32 (330g) Oreo cookies, whole
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 7 oz/200g milk chocolate
  • 3.5 oz/100g plain/dark chocolate (I use 85%)
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 300g fresh strawberries
  • OPTIONAL: chopped nuts

Method

  • Place Oreo cookies (with filling) into a food processor and blend until it turns to crumbs.
  • Pour the melted butter into the crushed Oreos. Process until evenly moistened, or you could mix them with a spoon if you haven’t used a blender.
  • Press cookie mixture with the back of the spoon and your fingers where necessary, into the bottom and edges of a rectangular 5×14 inch (12 x 36 cm) tart pan.
  • Really press it in and up the sides to make a nice edge.
  • Freeze the base while you prepare the filling, just for few minutes.
  • Prepare your strawberries by removing the greenery.
  • Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat on medium-low for a few minutes. No boiling or simmering needed. This doesn’t take very long so keep an eye on it!
  • Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it has all melted and is smooth. 
  • Pour the chocolate filling into the Oreo crust and make sure it’s level, then get your strawberries and press them gently into the chocolate so that they are half submerged.
  • If you imagine the slices you’ll cut, you can arrange the strawberries alternately in the large part of the slice.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Apple Crumble

Serves 4-6 people

Chef’s Tip: Try my custard recipe which goes perfectly with this crumble!

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 3-4 cooking apples
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • A small knob of butter
  • Ground cinnamon

For the crumble:

  • 50g golden caster sugar 
  • 100g plain flour
  • 80g butter
  • Optional: 1tbsp soft brown sugar
  • Optional: 2tbsp ground almonds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
  • Peel and chop the apples into small cubes.
  • Put them in a large saucepan with a little bit of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 75g of sugar, on a low-medium heat.
  • Cook until the apples are soft, remove from the heat and transfer to your oven dish.
  • Now to make the topping. Mix together 50g caster sugar, the flour and butter. 
  • At this point you can also add the optional ingredients which I highly recommend!
  • Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are crumbly. 
  • Sprinkle the topping over your apples and bake for 10mins or until golden and crunchy on top.